This is Jack.  No, we didn’t get another dog. 

Jack was my very first medical alert dog for my diabetes.   When I found Jack, he was an 18-month old Golden Retriever; a discarded kennel dog, who had been returned to the breeder by 3 different families due to “aggression” issues.  With the advice of a professional trainer, I was able to give Jack a much-needed purpose in life–taking care of someone.  He became a very sensitive and successful alert dog, with absolutely no aggression issues, and worked with me 24/7 for over a year.  He slept on a platform by the bed beside me, he went everywhere with me, and he made sure my blood sugars never dropped too low.  When my husband was TDY (military business trip), Jack was always there.  If I woke in the middle of the night with a low, Jack would run fetch me a juice box, stand up on the bed, and drop it beside me. 

Life happened, and through some unexpected circumstances, we wound up with Will, who became an almost self-taught alert dog.  I had to make a choice between the two.  Due to personality, I wound up choosing Will, and, after months of searching, I found the perfect home for Jack.  Jack went home with a family who had a 6 year old little boy, suffering from very unstable blood sugars.  The family was exhausted from lack of sleep, and stressed by the inability to figure it out.  Jack’s personality was perfect for this little boy and his family.  He quickly settled into his new role as an alert dog for them.  Because of the boy’s young age, Jack learned to go alert the parents if the child had a problem, which he learned to do well.  My understanding is, within a couple months, Jack would sleep by the child at night, and for the first time since the child’s diagnosis, the family finally had some peace and got some much-needed rest.  He became a celebrity around town, and always proudly represented service dogs everywhere. 

Jack is now around eight and half, and I just got word that he was diagnosed with lymphoma.  It seems to be spreading quickly, and they don’t expect he has much time left.  Even in this pic, taken just this morning, though, you can see he still has a wise, regal air about him. 

Jack, you were a good dog.  Not many dogs succeed at what you did, or enjoy it so much.  We hope that your final days will be peaceful, though we have no doubt that you are well-loved by many!

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