Few people think I’m handsome. Ash says I have dark and brooding good looks, but I lack confidence and tend to hang back in a crowd. People notice the flashy twins and little Nellie before they see me standing in the background.
Once people get to know me, they like me. I’m affectionate in a quiet way. I never jump on people or scratch them. I don’t bark and carry on like the twins. When visitors sit down, I come over to greet them. They call me Gentleman Jack.
I must have amnesia because I don’t remember much before I came to Asherpark. My rap sheet at the shelter says I lived in a crazy house with druggies and run away kids. There were lots of little dogs in the house along with me and my pal, Butch.
Our vet, Dr. Brad, says the bone under my right eye was broken a long time ago. Maybe that’s why I flinch when anybody reaches to pet me. I don’t remember how it happened. I don’t want to.
My great adventure started on Christmas Eve. My big brother, Dan, came to see me. He works in the city and doesn’t come out very often.
On Christmas eve night I got to sleep in the studio with Dan. It was so nice to have my own person and get all the attention without the competition from the prettier dogs.
On Christmas morning Dan loaded my bed and food into his big truck. All of a sudden I got real nervous. I thought maybe he was gonna kidnap me and take me back to the shelter.
Then mom came out and told me everything was okay. She said it was a Christmas surprise for me and I would spend the entire day in town with Dan. I reluctantly got in the truck, still wondering if something bad was going to happen to me.
When we got to town Dan took me to his apartment. It was nice and warm. There were other people there and a guest dog. I was still scared, but Dan kept telling me everything would be all right.
When the visitors left, it was just me and Dan. We hung out together all afternoon. We watched TV and took walks in the neighborhood. About 5pm Dan warmed up my dinner that he brought from Asherpark. It tasted so good. I fell asleep right afterwards.
When I woke up it was time for my last walk of the night. Dan let me sniff all the pee scents. There sure are a lot of mutts that pee on the street corner where he lives.
Next morning Dan fed me breakfast and drove me back to Asherpark. I felt so important when I got out of his truck. All the other mutts gathered round and sniffed my butt to make sure I was okay. Ash was so happy for me. He said none of the other mutts ever get to sleep over with Dan.
When it was time for Dan to leave, I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to tell him how much it meant to be his special pal. I wanted to say thank you for the best Chrismas I ever had.
Out of nowhere big tears started rolling down my snout. I thought about life before Asherpark, when nobody cared about me and some people were mean to me. Now I have a big brother to look out for me, a big brother who really likes me and wants me to be his special buddy.
Tess ran over to see what was happening. Sometime she can be really nice. She licked my snout and told me she tasted tears of joy. I guess that’s so.
I can’t wait till Dan comes and gets me again. Me and Dan. That’s special.