Last month we lost our most beloved family pet, Jack. My husband and I got him once we bought our first home in Menlo Park, California. We were young and engaged and we wanted a dog. So we did the stupidest thing we could have done at the time and got a black Labrador puppy. We didn’t pick Jack, he picked us. I remember looking at all the pups thinking they all pretty much looked the same so how was I ever going to pick one. But there was this one that just wouldn’t leave me alone, he was in my face, licking me to death and jumping at my heels to pay attention to him. I just looked at my soon to be husband and said “I think this is the one”. We took him home to our brand new (1974) bungalow home. He immediately tore the house apart; from eating the walls to digging up what tiny lawn we had. He was the biggest pain in the ass and I was discouraged. Planning a wedding and raising a puppy at the same time was not a great idea. A tired Lab is a good Lab they’d tell me. We took him on runs, we played ball where he would leap off the deck, he chased birds. The problem is they never get tired. Everyone said oh he’ll mellow out in about two years. Two years came and went and he never mellowed out but he grew on us. We moved to a different home where not only did the neighborhood have a dog park to meet new friends but we had a pool where he would throw the ball in himself just so he could go for a swim. After 4 years he still didn’t mellow out but that was ok we were already used to his antics and our family started to grow. He was the best “brother” to our kids who would try and ride him, pull his tail, feed him food they didn’t like (let’s be honest he liked getting the scraps). We moved across the states and of course he had a flight too. After 6 years he still didn’t mellow. He would cruise the neighborhood, play with the construction workers, greet the neighbors. Thank God for wireless fences! We moved again and after 8 years he still didn’t mellow out. We moved again and 10 years later still hadn’t mellowed out but everyone that knew him loved him. He became an old soul you longed to see sitting on the front porch just watching the children play and greeting anyone making deliveries. At about 12 years he mellowed out. It took him a long time to sit and stand and he tired very easily. We knew our time with him would be short now. After watching him slow and his quality of life lessen for a year we knew what we had to do. Not one day in the past month have I not thought of Jack; coming home from a three week vacation and not having him greet me has been one of the saddest times of him being gone. Here are just some of the hundreds of snapshots I have of my little bugger though the years.
Jumping Jack Quattrin of Menlo Park; February 9, 2003- July 12, 2016
Michele is a lifestyle photographer in North Oaks Minnesota who misses her loyal companion of 13 years so much. The days are just not the same without Jack sitting by her desk while she edits pictures of children and their families.