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Farewell, Jackson McDogg

We lost Jack on Tuesday. He was my first dog and my best buddy. A week after we adopted him, we learned that he had a grade IV heart murmur and was only expected to live for a few years. Almost exactly 11 years later, we bid our persistent, unwavering boy farewell.

Jack was the most special boy. From the moment you met him for the first time, he was going to make an impression on you. He absolutely refused to be ignored. The day we met him at Chicago Animal Care and Control (the city pound), he made it clear that he had decided that he was our dog. We met half a dozen dogs before him, but we couldn’t leave without at least giving a 6-month-old sad eyed puppy named ‘Jimbo’ a chance before we left for the day. The second we brought him out of his cage, he claimed us as his own by plopping down onto my lap and refusing to move. We knew his name wasn’t right for him, so we changed it to Jack right there on the spot. That was Jack’s way. He got what he wanted, and he wanted us to take him home. So we did.

Our first day with Jack

Before Jack, we had known a few Pit Bull-type dogs. But, perhaps naively, we didn’t realize how maligned the breed was at the time. Jack helped to change us and the way we thought about dogs. Before Jack inserted himself into our lives, we didn’t realize that dogs that looked like him couldn’t even live in some cities. We didn’t know that parents of dogs that looked like Jack could legally be denied housing in many places. We couldn’t comprehend how a dog could be labeled ‘dangerous’ just because it had a muscular body, a blocky head and perky ears. But all of those things were, and in many cases still are, a reality for dogs that look like Jack. Because of him, we did what we could to make things better for dogs that happened to look like him.

Jack showed us that a scrawny puppy from the city pound could shift the way we thought about the world. Because of him, when Kim started The Pet Shop almost a decade ago (in which she painted portraits of your pets!), we decided to donate a healthy percentage of our profits to animal rescue and welfare organizations that were saving dogs and fighting against breed discrimination. During The Pet Shop’s run, we (and in turn, you!) donated tens of thousands of dollars to organizations that helped to connect dogs like Jack with families like ours. Like I said, he was persistent. He made an impression on people.

In addition to changing the way we thought about pitties, Jack also persuaded us to adopt another pittie. One of the major reasons we chose our current home was the fully fenced-in yard since we were ready for a second dog. We took Jack to meet another half dozen dogs that he simply showed no interest in… that is, until we met CC.

Love at first sight doesn’t begin to describe the instant bond that these two Chicago Brown Dogs shared. They furiously licked tongues and chased each other around the room. (You’re welcome for that visual.) It was obvious very quickly that Jack had chosen our new dog for us, and that sweet Chocolate Chunk quickly became a part of our family. Again, our boy got exactly what he wanted.

When we were expecting Lucy, we hired a training specialist to make sure he was ready for our new addition. With our persistence, Jack took to the training well and soaked it in. When it came time to bring Lucy home, Jack ultimately became the sweet, gentle, protective older brother that we knew he could be. Watching him bond with Lucy was one of the greatest joys of our lives. Lucy was his puppy.

On more than one occasion, he tattled on Lucy with a quick bark before she could get herself into trouble. Lucy took to calling him ‘Handsome Jack’ as soon as she was able to talk. She couldn’t wait to hug and kiss him every day when she arrived home from our nanny’s house. On Wednesday morning, completely unprompted, she said ‘Jack is sleeping with Libby’. She was right. It was simultaneously the sweetest and saddest thing we’d ever heard her say.

Like a lot of pitties, Jack was loyal, gentle, kind and stubborn. He was able to match his goofy play style to that of the tiniest of puppies or the biggest adult dogs at the dog park. Jack was simply not capable of the harm that many though was inherent in him. Although once – and only once, thank goodness! – he showed us that he was very capable of a convincing bluff. Many years ago, Kim called me in a panic as I was on my way home from work. She had stepped out onto the common back porch of our former condo and found two young men trying to open the doors and windows of our neighbors in the building.

I was only a few blocks from home, and as I ran in the door, I leashed up Jack and we stepped out onto the porch. We heard low conversation coming from the deck above ours. Jack immediately went into alert mode when he knew that something was off. He perked his ears, puffed up his chest and led me to the voices that we both heard. When we found the same strangers Kim had described attempting to lift open a neighbor’s window, Jack walked to the end of his leash and let out a low, rumbling growl that that I will never forget. The attempted burglars froze, backed away from him and did everything I ordered them to do as we followed them off our property and called the police on speakerphone. He had never made that low Jurassic Park T-Rex rumble-roar sound before that day and he never made it again. But we always knew that Jack would do anything for us, even if it meant putting himself into harm’s way.

When we first learned of his heart murmur while he was a 6-month-old puppy, the specialist predicted a 2-3 year lifespan. We cried; we said we would just have to love him extra hard. But Jack leap-frogged more times than we could count, and here we were, 11 years later, and he just kept on being Jack and doing Jack things. He was always under foot. We were forced to alter our the rhythm of our steps in the kitchen because Jack attempted to occupy the exact same space in which we were standing. And while he never stopped being that same Jack we knew and loved, his age had started to show in the last handful of years. His muzzle and face were getting whiter by the day and his once strongly-outlined chest markings had faded to blend in with the rest of his silvering fur.

Jack’s heart murmur had begun to catch up with him as well. When friends arrived to our home, he simply couldn’t handle the excitement and would sometimes gently topple over to lay down and catch his breath. He was so stubborn though, that he tried to do everything in his power to keep us from remembering that he was almost twelve years old.

On Tuesday, a dear friend of ours had offered to spend the day with Lucy while our nanny needed to take a personal day. Kim and I headed off to the Two Flat to meet with contractors and knock out some projects. We got a call a couple hours later that Jack was acting sluggish, so I headed home to check on him. We called our trusted vet for advice, and they urged us to get him to the emergency vet as quickly as we could. Jack was listless as I carried him to the car and life had escaped him before we could make it to the vet. It all happened so quickly that we didn’t have time to process it until we realized that Jack had left our world on his own terms. He didn’t allow us to make any tough decisions. He didn’t allow us to let him go when the time was right for us. Jack went when he was damn well ready. Because that’s the dog he was.

To say that we will love you and miss you forever is an understatement, buddy boy. You changed us and everyone you met.

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  • Stacy1.31.20 - 4:30 AM

    I cried reading this. You gave him an incredible life, and he clearly did the same for you. I’m so sorry for your loss ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl1.31.20 - 4:59 AM

    I am so sorry about your Jack. They just wrap their paws around our heart. Remember the good times and know that Jack had a wonderful life with your family. We will all miss him very much. He was a very special pup.ReplyCancel

  • Carol1.31.20 - 5:27 AM

    I’m crying for you as I read this. I’ve been blessed to know such dog love and loss myself, so I feel your pain with you. What a blessing for Jack to have had you as well!ReplyCancel

  • Arli1.31.20 - 5:53 AM

    What a beautiful and heartfelt  tribute. My deepest condolences on losing your four-legged family member, buddy and protector. ReplyCancel

  • Stacy1.31.20 - 6:13 AM

    Oh, Scott and Kim, How sad and difficult. I’m so sorry. Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is heartbreaking. I will miss seeing Jack’s happy face on the blog, video, and IG. ReplyCancel

  • Mockginger1.31.20 - 6:45 AM

    Sending so much love. I have no words. ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Abby1.31.20 - 7:01 AM

    So much love to all of you. My first dog was a West Michigan Brown Dog, and I know there is just something magical about those block-headed Brown Dogs. Sending ear scritches for CC and warm thoughts for you as you grieve.ReplyCancel

  • Molly1.31.20 - 7:20 AM

    Oh Kim and Scott – that was an absolutely beautiful tribute – I cried reading it. Jack was such a wonderful special amazing loving dog and I’m so glad you were able to have as many years with him as you did! How is CC handling the absence? ReplyCancel

    • Scott1.31.20 - 7:25 AM

      Thanks for the kind words. CC is definitely sad, but we’re overcompensating with lots of couch time and belly rubs.ReplyCancel

      • Molly1.31.20 - 11:55 AM

        My heart is heavy for you all. I’m left without words – all my thoughts are with you and your wonderful family. Jack will be missedReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 7:27 AM

      Thank you, CC has been better, that’s for sure. We’ve been giving her an excessive amount of kisses and snuggles, and reminding her how integral she is to this family.ReplyCancel

  • kristy1.31.20 - 7:26 AM

    What a beautiful testimony to a beautiful dog. I am so sorry for your loss.ReplyCancel

  • Jess1.31.20 - 7:33 AM

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. Pets are such a big part of our lives and I can’t imagine the heartbreak that you guys are feeling. Jack and CC’s relationship and their personalities have always reminded me of our own two pitties and their bond and maybe even more so seeing your pups with Lucy and watching ours with our own little girl who is just a week or two older. I hope you guys are doing well and that CC is adjusting okay. Sending you all so much love <3 ReplyCancel

  • Christina1.31.20 - 7:37 AM

    The most beautiful tribute to the best doggo. He was lucky to have you, and you were so lucky to have been chosen by him. Thank you for your work as pit advocates. Sending you guys so much love. <3ReplyCancel

  • Michelle1.31.20 - 7:40 AM

    My pit mix’s last name is McDog too! They must be related. What a sweet and generous life he had with you. <3ReplyCancel

  • Dave1.31.20 - 7:46 AM

    He will be missed. You guys we the best for Jack. Very nice tribute to a very special guy.ReplyCancel

  • Sam1.31.20 - 7:48 AM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful tribute to a very special dog. ReplyCancel

  • Mariana1.31.20 - 7:48 AM

    What a beautiful tribute to Jack. It is clear that he was so deeply loved. He is so lucky to have found your family, just as you are lucky to have had him in your life. I have been following your blog for years, and I rarely comment, but my husband has gotten used to hearing updates about Jack and CC as though they were the pets of our friends in real life. We send our love to you, and will give our furbabies extra love today in memory of Jack.ReplyCancel

  • Tina1.31.20 - 7:53 AM

    Dear Scott and Kim, I’m heartbroken for your loss of sweet Jack. You gave him the most loving and wonderful family life ever. He will reside in your hearts forever. Thinking of you and sending condolences.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle.Z1.31.20 - 7:54 AM

    May Jack Rest In Peace.  ❤️ ReplyCancel

  • Jamie Bouldin1.31.20 - 7:55 AM

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Our dog is the same age and his fur is also starting to turn silver (yet he still thinks he’s a tiny pup who can do all the things!), and all you can do is love them fiercely for as long as you have them. You guys loved Jack fiercely and he loved you back in kind, which is all we can ask of each other. ReplyCancel

  • Liz1.31.20 - 8:07 AM

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel1.31.20 - 8:11 AM

    I bawled. What a wonderful life and a wonderful story. So glad for everything you and Jack gave each other! I hope CC is taking it okay…I know that can be hard for dog besties ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Sara1.31.20 - 8:18 AM

    What a beautiful tribute to your sweet Jack.  I am sending you all lots of love. ReplyCancel

  • erica1.31.20 - 8:21 AM

    so much love to you all. my heart breaks for you. you gave that dog the best life he possibly could have. I hope jack and my maddox find eachother. i know they would be the best of friends. xoReplyCancel

  • Chelsea1.31.20 - 8:24 AM

    Oh my the tears. This is so sweet. What an amazing boy. ????ReplyCancel

  • Hope1.31.20 - 8:29 AM

    I’m so sorry.  All this time reading about you and your family and watching Lucy grow and I never considered that of course the dogs, too, are growing older.  What beautiful pictures you have of Jack and what beautiful memories.  Thank you for sharing them with us.  ReplyCancel

  • This is a beautiful tribute to Jack.  Love to you guys.ReplyCancel

  • Lu1.31.20 - 8:36 AM

    I can’t stop crying, not just over the loss of Jack but over the love you shared during his life. Oh to be a dog like jack and know such unwaivering love in your lifetime. May he rest in sweetest peace.ReplyCancel

  • Julie Reuter1.31.20 - 8:36 AM

    I’m so very sorry for your loss, Kim, Scott, Lucy, and CC. You’ve made us all fall in love with Jack over the years, and I cried along with you, reading this. I am heartbroken for you. It was a beautiful tribute to such a special pup. I will give my own sweet 16 year old pup (as she nears this same stage) some extra snuggles and kisses. ReplyCancel

  • Jessica1.31.20 - 8:40 AM

    Crying. Lucy had it right, your sweet boy is with his friends in animal heaven. ReplyCancel

  • Danielle1.31.20 - 8:44 AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing about your sweet, stubborn boy.
    Your post explaining how you worked with Jack after Lucy was born made me realize the incredibly strong character and convictions you both have, and I am endlessly impressed with your thoughtfulness and persistence in acting on those. Jack’ story inspires me to be more compassionate, empathetic, thoughtful, and generous. Sending all my love <3ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 9:27 AM

      We appreciate this so much, thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole1.31.20 - 8:58 AM

    What a tear jerker. My heart goes out to you! Thank you for giving Jack the best life and for working to make sure others like Jack have the best life ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Dylan1.31.20 - 9:02 AM

    I’m so sorry <3 I teared up reading this, I just lost my dog unexpectedly too about a month ago. They really do leave such a big mark on our lives and losing them is the absolute worst.ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 9:25 AM

      I’m so sorry to hear this, Dylan.????????ReplyCancel

  • Jamie1.31.20 - 9:06 AM

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Losing a beloved member of your family is so difficult. Much love to you all as you grieve.ReplyCancel

  • Nina1.31.20 - 9:10 AM

    Tears rolling down my face while reading your beautiful tribute to Jack. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing him with us for so many years. Hugs to you all and an extra doggie treat for sweet CC. ReplyCancel

  • Miranda1.31.20 - 9:19 AM

    I am so, so, so sorry to hear about Jack. He’s an icon in all of your stories, and a shining star that will never dim. I will miss him. Sending so much love your way.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie1.31.20 - 9:23 AM

    I’m crying after reading this! Dogs are SO special. It sounds like Jack was a blessing in your lives (and you in his). Going to love on my dog now!ReplyCancel

  • Bailey1.31.20 - 9:25 AM

    My son has learned that having a 110 lb German Shepherd makes many landlords afraid so he scrimped and saved and has the most perfect home/yard for his gentle giant……Jack will always be remembered.ReplyCancel

  • lak1.31.20 - 9:25 AM

    I am truly sorry for your loss.  The tribute you wrote is beautiful.   I so enjoyed seeing your dogs and reading about them in your blog, I will miss seeing him.  Hope CC will be okay.  Again, truly sorry.   I will hug my dog a little harder today.ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea1.31.20 - 9:26 AM

    I am so sorry. Jack sounds like an incredible dog. ReplyCancel

  • Rachael1.31.20 - 9:29 AM

    Hard to read this, but so beautifully stated. Jack was such a special guy and will be missed by his extended Chicago family very much. ReplyCancel

  • Wendy1.31.20 - 9:37 AM

    So many tears and so much love for you all. Those pics with baby Lucy are priceless.ReplyCancel

  • Lucy1.31.20 - 9:41 AM

    I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. What a beautiful tribute to Jack. And dear sweet Lucy’s comment – ugh that really tugged on my heart strings. ReplyCancel

  • Emily1.31.20 - 10:07 AM

    So sorry for your loss.  ReplyCancel

  • Emily1.31.20 - 10:30 AM

    Crying in my office.  I am so sorry for your loss.  May his memory be a blessing <3 ReplyCancel

  • Mara Smith1.31.20 - 10:46 AM

    I lost it at Jack is sleeping with Libby. The tears are still flowing. What a beautiful story. So sorry for your loss. ????ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 11:52 AM

      As Lucy said goodbye to CC this morning, she also said, ‘bye bye, Jack’ and she followed that with, ‘Jack is sleeping.’ It’s unbearable, but we’re so happy Jack had Lucy as his puppy for 2 blissful years.ReplyCancel

  • Jane1.31.20 - 10:55 AM

    Okay. I am a reader that absolutely LOVES your website and everything you do, but I never comment. I’m an introvert. Even on the internet, apparently. But OMG. What an absolutely beautiful tribute to Jack. I kept it together until the last few sentences where you described how he left your world on his own terms. Wow. Sitting here with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing him with us. He was beautiful inside and out.ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 11:50 AM

      Thank you for speaking up, Jane. It means so much to us!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina1.31.20 - 11:00 AM

    What a good boy. Sending you all internet stranger love. <3 ReplyCancel

  • Melissa1.31.20 - 11:16 AM

    What a beautiful life you gave to each other. Thank you for sharing this heart warming story. Jackson was and will always be a very good boy. ReplyCancel

  • Jen1.31.20 - 11:17 AM

    My heart is breaking for you all.  We are also a family that cherishes our rescue dogs.  We lost our Jax 3 years ago when he was 12 (Jack physically reminds me a lot of Jax). We lost Nikki this past September when she was 15. And despite having older dogs that were declining for the last few years of their lives, the loss of them is so incredibly jarring.  
    We added a new rescue doggie to our family 3 months ago – a one-year-old chocolate lab mix.  She’s so full of energy and she moves so gracefully – such a difference from having senior dogs!  We still miss our OG pups though. Virtual hugs to you all and an extra belly rub for CC.ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 11:53 AM

      Thinking of you, Jen! It’s never easy.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - The Gold Hive1.31.20 - 11:20 AM

    What a beautiful farewell to such a great pupper! You two were the best possible parents for that little guy with his weak heart and his canine anxiety. What a great decade he had with you and the whole fam! I’m glad I got to enjoy just an ounce of the legendary Jack the last few years – even though I had to ignore him for the first few minutes of my stay (which was painfully difficult to do for such a sweetie!) Sending lots of love and virtual hugs!ReplyCancel

  • Stella1.31.20 - 11:22 AM

    What a story. I’m blinking back tears. The love you have for Libby, Jack, and CC is palpable in every picture and anecdote you share. I’m so sorry for the loss of Jack. ReplyCancel

  • Susan1.31.20 - 11:23 AM

    What an incredible tribute to a beautiful family member. I cried when reading this; losing a pet is one of the hardest moments in life and your love for Jack is so obvious. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Betsy1.31.20 - 11:26 AM

    Beautifully written, Scott!  What a lovely tribute to your sweet, Jack.  So sorry for your loss.  WIll keep your family in my thoughts.ReplyCancel

  • Angela1.31.20 - 11:47 AM

    Oh I am so sorry. Jacks presence here on this little bit of life had captured my heart from day one. He will be missed tremendously. ♥️♥️♥️ReplyCancel

  • Melissa1.31.20 - 12:01 PM

    i’m so sorry for your loss.  Jack was a great dog and i’m sure his memory will live on in your family & friends’ hearts.  Sending you love from one dog momma to another set of dog parents.ReplyCancel

  • Victoria1.31.20 - 12:10 PM

    I am so sorry. Jack has always reminded me of our pit mix George, there’s just something so sweet about that block head. I’ve been reading your baby preparation posts as we get ready for our first baby and your comments about Lucy and Jacks bond just make my heart swell. Thank you so much for sharing Jack (and CC!) with us. Sending love your way for the days to come. ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 12:52 PM

      Congrats on baby! So excited that you’ll get to see that bond, too.ReplyCancel

  • Morgan1.31.20 - 12:11 PM

    I’m so sorry that you’ve lost such an important member of your family. I’m dreading these moments with our two girls and hope that it will be as peaceful as Jack had. I hope that Lucy and CC will bounce back from the loss of their brother as well. <3 ReplyCancel

  • Charla1.31.20 - 12:24 PM

    I, too, am crying for you and your family and sweet Jack. Sending you love ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Kim B.1.31.20 - 12:35 PM

    I am so so sorry for your loss.  What a wonderful wonderful dog he was, and what a beautiful family you all made together.

    Sending a big hug,ReplyCancel

  • Cassie1.31.20 - 12:49 PM

    Oh man, I’m struggling back tears as I sit at work. My dogs are so much like yours, so the pit in my stomach and knot in my throat are gigantic. I know this so well: “because Jack attempted to occupy the exact same space in which we were standing.” What a giant sweetie pie. You can tell he loved his people so fiercely. I’m so sorry that it had to happen on the way to the vet, but you’re right, he was clearly ready. Hope you’re all processing okay (especially Lucy and poor CC). I’m so glad you were blessed with so much time with him.ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 12:53 PM

      We’re going to miss tripping over him. ????????ReplyCancel

  • Rachel1.31.20 - 1:14 PM

    What a beautiful tribute (tears over here too). You—and Jack and CC—have done such a tremendous job over the years of really showing that pit bulls and other dogs that look like them don’t have the negative characteristics so often attributed to their breed inherently ingrained in them. Sharing Jack’s sweetness (and CC’s) has undoubtedly helped many pit bulls. What a mark he left on you—and your readers.ReplyCancel

  • Nichole1.31.20 - 1:23 PM

    This is such a beautiful post in remembrance of your beautiful baby boy. I am in tears and heartbroken for you guys. It’s clear that he lived the best life possible and had a very warm and loving home. My heart and condolences go out to you and your family ????????ReplyCancel

  • Sheri1.31.20 - 1:27 PM

    I’m so sorry. I know how difficult this must be. These guys make room in your heart and then they are gone. It leaves a hole in your heart. I pray that you can find comfort in your loss.ReplyCancel

  • meg1.31.20 - 1:36 PM

    “Jack is sleeping with Libby”… Oh, my heart.  Love to all of you.  ReplyCancel

  • Trish1.31.20 - 1:40 PM

    Please take comfort in knowing that legions of Jack fans are out here sending you and your family all the support in the world. We have loved Jack from afar because of the beautiful way you have shared him with us in words, video, and photographs. Thank you for letting us be a part of his life.ReplyCancel

  • Sally1.31.20 - 2:14 PM

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Your love for Jack is so touching, even if words can never fully describe the love we have for our pets. Giving shelter pups especially a life of love and happiness is the greatest gift you can give them. I absolutely sobbed while reading this – we actually found out on Wednesday that our 7 year old pittie has a brain tumor, and the thought of what’s to come has made us an absolute wreck. Thinking of you both, and hoping Jack’s lifetime of wonderful memories is bringing you some small comfort. ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 2:44 PM

      Oh, how awful. Thinking of you Sally.ReplyCancel

  • Coleen1.31.20 - 3:30 PM

    I’m so very sorry. What a heartbreaking and beautiful post. You were all very lucky to have had each other.  I need to go home right now and hug my sweet Pointer/Pit (who’s heart is so big and full of love too!)ReplyCancel

  • Emma LaMartina1.31.20 - 3:56 PM

    My heart hurts for you.  I have “been there . . . done that” and know your pain.  The greatest blessing to be found is that they gave us unconditional love.  May peace fill your heart. ReplyCancel

  • Alissa1.31.20 - 4:02 PM

    So sorry for your loss. What a sweetheart!ReplyCancel

  • Martha1.31.20 - 4:02 PM

    How lucky you were that Jack found you, and how lucky you all were to have such a long and happy period of time together!  My condolences to all of you, including CC, on losing a member of the family. ReplyCancel

  • Shelley1.31.20 - 4:30 PM

    Love and hugs to you. They leave such a huge hole in our lives. They give and give and never ask anything in return. I love the saying that goes, “I hope to someday be the person my dog thinks I am”.  As a relatively new follower, Jack and CC  just seemed part of the YellowBrickHome brand. Thanks for sharing them with us all. ReplyCancel

  • Jenn1.31.20 - 4:36 PM

    A beautiful tribute to Jack that made me cry. They really are cherished members of the family, aren’t they? My condolences to you all. ReplyCancel

  • Jenni1.31.20 - 4:56 PM

    I’m snot sobbing reading this. So sorry for the loss your family is experiencing. I hope CC is doing ok.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle1.31.20 - 4:58 PM

    What a beautiful tribute! Dogs give us so very much and ask for so little in return. Every day I say to my sweet yellow lab, Betty – how did we get so lucky to find you? Hugs to all of you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 6:04 PM

      We say/said that to Jack and CC and Lucy all the time!ReplyCancel

  • Thad1.31.20 - 5:07 PM

    Jack was an awesome buddy. But you know what, when he chose you guys, he really knew what he was doing!
    It’s going to hurt for a while. My condolences on your family’s loss!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey1.31.20 - 5:15 PM

    Oh my goodness. Just heartbreaking. In tears and giving our pittie extra loves tonight. You gave him so much love and a wonderful long life! it’s so true what they say, you think you are rescuing them but in reality they rescue you. Thinking of you all tonight. ReplyCancel

  • Natalie1.31.20 - 5:38 PM

    Thank you for adopting, thank you for  helping change stereotypes, thank you for supporting Chicago rescues and thank you for sharing your beautiful family so openly with us all. RIP Angel Boy Jack ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Nicole1.31.20 - 5:39 PM

    Jan 3rd 2020 marked one year since we lost our Jake ???? he was a blue nosed Pit bull, 100lbs of pure love he was ???? we found a very large tumor that was inoperable due to its location. ☹️ I know there are no words that will ease your family’s pain. My heart hurts for you???? I am so so sorry for your loss????ReplyCancel

  • Roberta Hooper1.31.20 - 6:09 PM

    Beautiful tribute to jack and your love for him god bless you all including cc for the loss of handsome jack hugs to all love you Aunt Robbie X????X❤ReplyCancel

  • Yira1.31.20 - 6:16 PM

    So much feeling you pain
    These furry babies are a blessing in our lives
    May Jack continue to roam doggie heaven and watch over your beautiful family of 4 ( CC included)
    You have the fulfillment of have given him all your love these 11 years ????ReplyCancel

  • Lauren1.31.20 - 6:29 PM

    This is a beautiful tribute! ReplyCancel

  • Katie1.31.20 - 6:56 PM

    This is such a beautiful tribute and really touched my heart❤️. He sounded like a one of a kind dog and I’m so happy that he found you all those years ago.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley1.31.20 - 7:02 PM

    So beautifully written, you and Jack gave each other a wonderful life. I hope CC is coping okay,  that was the hardest part seeing my other dogs mourning along with us when our first dog passed. That and not hearing their daily noises that become the background music to your life. Much love to you all????ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 8:11 PM

      Seeing how sad CC is has been gut wrenching.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon1.31.20 - 7:16 PM

    I am so sorry to hear this news! Hugs to you as you grieve your four pawed family member.ReplyCancel

  • Hillary1.31.20 - 7:36 PM

    ❤️❤️❤️ Thank you for sharing Jack with us! What a beautiful life he lived. ReplyCancel

  • Lisa T.1.31.20 - 8:07 PM

    I saw this quote by Robert B. Parker for the first time just the other day: “I heard somebody define heaven once … as the place where, when you get there, all the dogs you ever loved run to greet you.” We said goodbye to a beloved pet earlier this month, too, after 13 wonderful years. Miss her terribly! Wish our fur babies lived as long as we do. Wishing you peace <3 ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.31.20 - 8:10 PM

      I’m sorry to hear this, Lisa, but what a happy way to think of the afterlife!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren1.31.20 - 8:23 PM

    Jack picked you to be his family and he loved as much as he was loved ❤️.  Thank you for sharing your story.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Surles1.31.20 - 8:23 PM

    That was the sweetest tribute ever. ???? Thank you for loving Jack.  (….and for not making him be Jimbo.)ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.1.20 - 9:49 AM


  • Shelly1.31.20 - 8:33 PM

    Feeling your pain as I said goodbye to my girl in July. I miss her far more than I could have imagined I would because that sweet little rescue owned a part of my heart. I’m glad Jack chose you. He knew what he wanted (they always do) and he got a pretty dreamy life. How do I know? Because he wasn’t done after 2 years. I guess he knew you guys still needed him for a few more. Sending lots of love your way. ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.1.20 - 9:49 AM

      We think he needed to know Lucy, his little buddy for life.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi1.31.20 - 8:49 PM

    I am so sorry! Dogs are one of the best parts of life. He was a true masterpiece of a dog and you gave him all the love he could ever want. I hope all your wonderful memories bring you comfort. ReplyCancel

  • Tara C1.31.20 - 9:11 PM

    What a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda1.31.20 - 9:25 PM

    Thank you for loving Jack and helping spread awareness of these wonderful dogs. Sending you all the love in the world. He was a very lucky pup. ReplyCancel

  • JT1.31.20 - 10:23 PM

    I adopted my first pup in April. He is my light. I can’t imagine losing him. I am glad you all got to have Jack for as long as you did.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney1.31.20 - 10:37 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss- and so happy Jack outlived his prognosis – what a stubborn sweet guy.  This has been your second loss of your furry family members and I can only imagine how crushed you may be.  Thanks for being fantastic animal advocates.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Flynn1.31.20 - 11:37 PM

    Tears falling….so hard to lose a loved dog.  He was well loved and he loved you back.  Virtual hugsReplyCancel

  • Jen1.31.20 - 11:57 PM

    The second the title of this post sunk in, I started crying.  I loved your Jack from afar, and I’ve always loved how much you clearly love him.  I’m glad you found and had each other for so many years, and thank you for sharing him with us.    ReplyCancel

  • Amanda2.1.20 - 6:43 AM

    Ugh, I’m crying <3 Thinking of you all during this difficult time.ReplyCancel

  • C2.1.20 - 7:44 AM

    ???? HugsReplyCancel

  • Deb2.1.20 - 8:11 AM

    So beautifully said. You gave him a life of nothing but love. As it should be. Our furry babies change our lives. So sorry ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Becky2.1.20 - 10:01 AM

    He sounds like the most wonderful friend and brother with the best personality. So so sorry for your loss. Pitties forever. ReplyCancel

  • Dana McDermott2.1.20 - 11:15 AM

    Jack, I’ll never forget cuddling with you on our couch with Piper and watching The X Files. You were such a good boy and I am extremely lucky to have spent so much time with you! Give Piper my love when you see her where ever you guys are going. XoxoxoReplyCancel

  • Carla2.1.20 - 12:02 PM

    An absolutely beautiful tribute to Jack. He was definitely one of a kind and you guys gave him such a great life. My heart is with you all as you grieve this loss. ❤ ReplyCancel

  • Julie2.1.20 - 12:03 PM

    I work in an animal shelter and just wanted to thank you for choosing to adopt and for loving him through all of the challenges and joys of life. You gave him the most wonderful life that a dog could ever imagine. ❤ReplyCancel

  • E.L2.1.20 - 1:29 PM

    Un magnifique texte, un superbe hommage. Je vous souhaite beaucoup de courage. Je pense à ma vieille Zelda, partie elle aussi et à ma petite Wanda, qui a 11 ans déjà.ReplyCancel

  • Teddy’s Human2.1.20 - 2:30 PM

    What a very heart warming story. In so thankful you found this sweet dog and claimed him as yours. 
    I’m sorry for your loss it’s so hard losing a fur baby ????ReplyCancel

  • Margaret2.1.20 - 2:54 PM

    Tears are streaming over your loss of Jack. He was a precious piece of your family. He lived a great life, full of love. He was one of the fortunate ones. May all your memories give you the comfort during the really hard days. Sending you all a hug. I’m giving my rescue pittie extra, extra snuggles because time is short & precious. The picture of Jack & CC on the old alley couch will always be a favorite ????ReplyCancel

  • Cindy2.1.20 - 3:34 PM

    Your family almost singlehandedly changed my attitude toward pitties. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ll miss him. ReplyCancel

  • Nicole2.1.20 - 4:15 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss.  He was the sweetest soul and was fortunate to have a family like yours to give him the love and life he deserved xoReplyCancel

  • Tori2.1.20 - 4:40 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. I feel like you guys and your dogs are part of our family, I’ve been following your blog for so long. What amazing stories of love, bravery and devotion you have to share about him. Sending all our love to you! ReplyCancel

  • Emily I.2.1.20 - 8:47 PM

    What a beautiful tribute, I’m so very sorry. ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB2.1.20 - 10:02 PM

    I’m so glad you have such sweet memories of the time you spent with him.  Thanks for sharing the hard times with us along with the good ones.  Sending hugs <3ReplyCancel

  • Kate2.2.20 - 8:38 AM

    That was such a simple, beautiful tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss, but so happy for the life Jack lived. No one reading this would ever question the amount of love you had for Jack. ReplyCancel

  • kym hadden2.2.20 - 10:13 AM

    I am so, so sorry.  We just lost our 12 year-old Jack on New Year’s Eve (he was a boston).  He had CHF and had recently been diagnosed with lymphoma.  Just as your Jack, ours was the most special boy we had ever had the privilege of living with.  So full of joy and he never met a stranger.  Hugs to you all!!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa2.2.20 - 5:34 PM

    Oh, gosh.  All the best to you four in the coming days.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda2.2.20 - 7:03 PM

    I love that you loved him so fiercely.  So sorry for your loss. ????ReplyCancel

  • Melissa2.2.20 - 7:42 PM

    This is such a sweet tribute to handsome jack. Your memories will sustain you and your sweet CC. ReplyCancel

  • Krista2.2.20 - 7:54 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was an incredible companion!  Libby has a buddy over the rainbow bridge with her now. ReplyCancel

  • Eva Burgess2.2.20 - 8:23 PM

    So sorry for your loss.  Fur family just don’t live long enough, heartbreakingReplyCancel

  • Sara2.2.20 - 10:44 PM

    There really aren’t any adequate words, but I am so sorry. You clearly gave him a beautiful, beautiful light and he gave you that in return.ReplyCancel

  • at home with Ashley2.3.20 - 9:05 AM

    Our pets really do shape our lives. What a nice tribute to a good boy. I’m sorry you lost him ????ReplyCancel

  • Jess2.3.20 - 9:57 AM

    Heartbreaking and beautifully told. Your family, Jack, CC, and Libby were all so lucky to have each other while you did.
    As the owner of two brown and white pitbulls, myself, Jack and CC quickly became my favorite internet dog duo, and I was so sad to hear of Jack’s passing. I appreciate so much the work you’ve done to combat the negative stereotypes around pitbulls, especially showing how sweet they’ve been with little baby Lucy. The world needs more advocates like you.ReplyCancel

  • Claudia2.3.20 - 10:12 AM

    No matter how great the heartbreak feels like at the moment, it’s still worth all the time you had with your baby.  Pets really do choose their family, you are so lucky to have found one another. Sending your family all my love.ReplyCancel

  • Katy2.3.20 - 6:01 PM

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. As a mom of a meaty pitty who also takes Trazodone, reading how much you love Jack has been such a joy.  ReplyCancel

  • Laura2.3.20 - 11:31 PM

    Your heartfelt tribute to Jack compels me to tell you how sorry I am for your loss.  It brought tears and painful memories – we lost our beloved Mocha one year and one week ago, and her loss still brings pain.  Our furry family members are forever in our hearts.  11 years, 13 years, it’s never enough.  It is amazing Jack lived so long to prove predictions wrong; glad for the time you had with him. ReplyCancel

  • Olga2.4.20 - 4:11 AM

    That was such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful dog. He was so lucky to have had such wonderful human parents and you must have felt so lucky to have met him and had him in your life. ReplyCancel

  • Meghan2.4.20 - 3:02 PM

    Gulp. Tears. So beautifully written and so very sad. What a precious precious  dog. Forever loved. Sending our biggest hugs. Feeling your pain. Love, Meg (Ndugu’s mama) ❤️ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.4.20 - 3:46 PM

      It’s great to hear from you, Meghan. :)ReplyCancel

  • Fern2.4.20 - 5:57 PM

    My husband just busted me for crying. He said “you don’t know them”. Does it matter? You have open your hearts and lives to a world of folks you don’t know, but make a connection one way or another. Thank you for sharing Jack’s story. He will be missed. ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Beth2.4.20 - 9:46 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss!  I know he was super special and he stole the hearts of many, including mine!ReplyCancel

  • Becky2.5.20 - 12:27 PM

    The tears. Oh man. Thank you for sharing Jack (and CC) with all of us. Take care of yourselves during this time. I had 11 1/2 years with my girl and, as painful as the goodbye was, I couldn’t be more grateful for every moment of it.ReplyCancel

  • Veronica Rodriguez2.5.20 - 1:41 PM

    I rarely ever cry reading a post but you beautifully described the love a owner has for “mans best friend”. Thank you for sharing such a private moment in your life. I recently adopted a pit-mix for the first time and loved your words on the misinterpreted perception  people have for this breed! ReplyCancel

  • Tails Around the Ran h2.6.20 - 10:19 AM

    Tears are flowing down my face as I read your sweet remembrance. May the tender moments you shared with your sweet boy over the years provide some measure of comfort. Hugs and tail wags.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica2.8.20 - 7:16 PM

    I’m crying as I’m reading this. I’m so sorry for your loss but so happy you got to spend all his life together.ReplyCancel

  • Ofelia2.11.20 - 4:36 PM

    At some point, our pets became our beloved family members… And we love them, miss them and forever remember them… There is no other way!ReplyCancel

  • Jamie2.12.20 - 3:07 PM

    crying — is it the dogs that are lucky or us?  sorry for your loss, Jack was certainly a special dog.  ReplyCancel

  • Corah2.18.20 - 10:48 AM

    I’m so sorry for your loss.  It’s always hard when a beloved family member dies.  He was quite obviously a wonderful dog and was loved very, very much.  We have them with us for such a short time, but in that time they make such a big impact on our hearts. ReplyCancel

  • Charisse2.23.20 - 7:46 PM

    Words are not enough, but I too am so sorry for your loss.  As a pittie rescue mom myself, I’ve learned that there is nothing like loving and being loved by a dog.  You all have my sincerest condolences.  Thank you for sharing your sweet boy with us!ReplyCancel

  • LD3.2.20 - 7:59 AM

    WE need more people like you guys!!!  You all were so lucky to have each other.  Thank you for sharing this, because now I feel lucky to have this little experience of Jack and his family.ReplyCancel

  • Liliana3.21.20 - 9:12 PM

    I just learned about Jack, and I am so sorry! He was one special boy, and you were all so lucky to have each other. I haven’t been keeping up with my fav blogs, abd feel so bad I did not know of his passing. I am sure he is having fun playing with my “The Originals”, Sasha, Argus, and Alli. Dogs truly make our lives whole. Sending hugs and love to all, and special hugs and pets to CC ????❤️????ReplyCancel

  • Jodi Chamberlain5.14.20 - 2:30 PM

    I’m just seeing this now, and as I’m reading about the wonderful Jack I have to pause between sobs. I, too, have fallen in love with this misunderstood breed. I’m very sorry for your loss and I hope that the months have helped heal your broken hearts. RIP, Jack. ReplyCancel

  • Keila6.20.20 - 10:31 PM

    Thank you for sharing. My dog passed 2 weeks ago and reading the stories of others who have also had to experience this horrific pain has made me feel less alone in my grief. Sending you and your family love for your loss. ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.22.20 - 7:23 AM

      Sending you love, Keila. It’s such a painful thing to go through.ReplyCancel

  • carmen8.4.21 - 12:42 PM

    Hi, I am just reading your sad story and I am heartbroken for you, who could read this without crying. Just wanted to say how so very sorry I am for you and your family.ReplyCancel

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