I am Gone

June 20, 2014


I crossed the rainbow bridge early this week when my physical body failed me.

My people wept as they wished me godspeed. I was already focused on the road ahead, so I barely noticed the vet who so gently helped me on my way.

I had been in ill health for several months. I had good days, not so good days, and awful days.

There was much hand wringing and hushed conversations about what to do for me. Imagine all that fuss over an old dog like me.

At one point Ash pulled me aside and asked me if I was going to die.

“We’re all going to die Ash,” I said. “It’s just that I am going to die sooner than you.”

“I don’t want you to die, Jack,” Ash said.

His lip quivered as he spoke and I knew he was near tears. Ever since he lost his beloved Codie, Ash has struggled with death.

“Where will you go, Jack?” Ash asked.

“I don’t know exactly,” I said. “This life has been a strange and wonderful journey that brought me to Asherpark. We were meant to be pals, Ash. I will see you someday on the other side.”

As I prepared to leave this world, visions of my life played like a movie in front of my eyes. There were scenes from my puppy days when I was taken from my mother far too soon. Days of hunger when I was gaunt and my eyes were gooey with infection because nobody took care of me.

Then the police came and took me to the dog jail. I spent five months in a kennel at the animal control prison while the woman who owned me debated whether I was worth saving or not.

In January 2010 my life changed forever when Old Dog Haven found me a home at Asherpark. I was overcome with gratitude but helpless to express what I felt. Instead of being a gracious guest, I tried to intimidate Ash and marked constantly for weekss until my scent obliterated every other scent in the house.

One day our mom put me and Ash in the car and drove off with us. I thought for sure I was on my way back to jail because of my bad behavior. As I started to cry Ash licked my big snout and told me everything would be okay.

Ash told me we were going to the grocery store to get doggie ice cream. And so we were.

While I waited nervously in the car, mom ran into the grocery store and came out with boxes of doggie ice cream. We raced home before the ice cream could melt.

Mom pulled the lids off two containers and tossed them to Ash and Tess. They ran off to the backyard to enjoy their treats.

When Mom opened my ice cream and held it by my nose, I grabbed it and tried to swallow it whole. She laughed and patiently showed me how to lick the ice cream without eating the paper.

That first ice cream was the best thing I ever tasted in my whole life. Later I learned how to eat the ice cream by myself.


Jack and Ice Cream

As I lay dying my heart was filled with gratitude. Out of thousands of old discarded dogs, I was a lucky one given a second chance when Old Dog Haven agreed to find a home for me.

Smilin' Jack

When you remember me, remember how happy I was at Asherpark. If you want to honor my life, please consider making a small donation to Old Dog Haven in my name so another scared old dog can have a second chance.





6 Responses to “ I am Gone ”

  1. River on June 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I am glad you went gently in to that good night we all will enter someday.
    I was so lucky to know such a special dog. You had a peace about you I can only hope to replicate in my later years.
    Good-by Jack. I will miss you.

    Love, River

  2. True on June 20, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    You my friend Jack…will never be “gone”! You touched way too many hearts…and there you will remain.

  3. Jeanne on June 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Jack: Im glad you came to Kev and Bob and Asherpark. I got to know and love you just as they did. You were a big fluffy chocolate brown sweetie pie with triangle ears. You looked more like a bear when you came–deaf as a post, but sweet as honey. You adored Keven because she was so gentle and kind and good to you. I know you will join hers and Bob’s guardian dog spirit pack. You showed us all acceptance and grace while enduring the aches and pains of a neglected life and the infirmities of old age. Regardless, you showed me how to take joy in the little things, like eating well, a sunshiney day, walking on the summer grass and listening to the bees buzz in the sun, and going to bed when you darned well wanted to, you showed me comfort with silence. I will miss you precious Jack. Thank you for coming into my life, and I will remember you as long as I live. You are part of the fabric of my Soul, and I am grateful for it. Good bye for now, precious One, and may your journey be unfettered and joyous and filled with beauty.


  4. Dallas on June 22, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Jack my friend you will be missed. The time you spent with Keven and Bob were the best years of your life. (You earned and deserved it)You gave far more to mankind than you ever got in return. Enjoy the light my friend.

  5. Joani and Art on June 26, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Jack, what a sweet soul you are, and we’re so glad we got to spend time with you at Asher Park. We are so happy for you, that you were able to spend your last years in such a loving and special place. We will always remember you, and miss you, you dear “old fedora!”

    Joani & Art

  6. liz on June 27, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    gentlmen jack, smiling jack.
    rest well ol’ boy.
    you will be missed.


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