Jack was born on July 10, 2001, in a litter of 12
puppies! I was shocked since it was my first time
using frozen semen and was afraid I wouldn't get any
puppies at all. Jack's famous daddy Tony (BIS,
BISS Ch. Ridge View Heartland Hit Man) was on the road
with Erin, and I really wanted to do this breeding with
my Molly and Tony. There were 3 yellow boys, 3
black boys, 3 yellow girls and 3 black girls, and Jack
(Red & Blue Boy) was my ultimate pick. I also kept
2 females, Jasmine and Janelle.
From the very
beginning, Jack seemed to have his
beautiful head and expression, wrinkled brows and all.
He displayed a serenity and regal confidence, even as a
puppy. And, his movement was amazing. I
still recall my friend Diane Glenny (a Lab breeder)
coming to help evaluate the litter. She and I
stood in the yard as the puppies ran around; suddenly,
we both turned to each other and said "did you see
THAT?" It was Jack, trotting flawlessly across the
said "No 7-week-old puppy is supposed to be able to move
like that!". Even up to the last month, when I
watched Jack trot across my yard, it was like he was
floating, topline still strong and solid, neck arched,
tail wagging right off the back. It wasn't because
he had the best angulation in the world, it was because
he was "balanced" and had attitude enough to reach and
Jack took an immediate
liking to carrying things in his mouth ... the bigger
the better, the more the better!
In these pictures, he's
carrying heavy treated fence posts around the property
like they were weightless! And, from birth to the
his last days, Jack collected as many toys as he could
in his mouth. Many times I watched him re-arrange
the toys, "plan" how he could fit more in. For
example, he'd decide to put the ball down, get the bone,
then the ball last ... it didn't work in reverse.
No one can tell me that's not analytical thinking!
Jack LOVED to swim and
retrieve. Going to our pond in Wisconsin was the
ultimate afternoon or evening. He was super
competitive, and fast ... almost always got the bumper.
Here's Jack bringing in the bumper with Gizmo and Oliver
Jack was always such a
good boy, tried so hard to please me. I think the
only time I ever had to raise my voice to him was when
he became obnoxious when girls were in heat. Well,
with one exception ... I think he's the one who chewed
down my little cherry tree at about 8 months of age!
I started showing Jack
in puppy classes and he did really well. He loved
going to shows, strutted around the ring like
he owned the place.
And was always congenial with other dogs. He was
AKC champion pointed, had multiple Best of Breed wins,
some over specials, and attained his UKC Int'l Champion
title with all V-1 ratings. I didn't continue to
try to finish him, as he was a more moderate dog than
was winning at the time. Old timer judges loved
him, others wouldn't look at him. But, he
had so many worthwhile qualities that I never felt the
lack of a title detracted from his being a worthy stud
dog. This is Jack getting his first champion
points, back-to-back wins his 2nd and 3rd shows out.
Jack was bred to
numerous bitches and always put a lot of himself in the
puppies ... especially lovely headpieces, intelligence,
congenial, loving temperaments and strong
retrieving/hunting abilities. And, yes, many of
his puppies always lay "spread eagle", with rear legs
stretched out behind them ... and they collect as many
things as they can stuff in their mouths! And are
"talkers". I love to see those genetic mannerisms
In addition to all
Jack's puppies becoming much loved family companions, he
has produced outstanding hunters, service dogs, therapy
dogs and one youngster now doing really well in his
search and rescue training. Jack was in such good
shape right up to the end (except for the brain tumor),
that he was collected for a stud service the day after
the first seizure, then again 3 days before he passed on
... and his semen was still excellent. We're
hoping for a nice final litter of Jack babies.
And, I'm extremely happy to have Jack's son, Buddy, here
with me. He reminds me a lot of Jack ... and,
someday, that will be a good feeling. Here's Buddy
(at 4 months) and his daddy Jack in February 2012.
give Jack credit for raising my young boys well,
teaching them by example how to be congenial and get
along with each other. My boys always run together
and I've never had a dog fight, even with girls in heat
around. I hope that congeniality will continue to
be passed down from them to others coming up. Jack
was always so patient with puppies, no matter what they
did to him. Somewhere I have a picture of him
trotting across the yard with a puppy hanging onto his
neck by the teeth!
important than any of Jack's accomplishments is the
level of totally unconditional love that he gave me.
Like most breeders, I do place some of my dogs when
they're ready to retire from my breeding program.
I live with my dogs, so really know which ones will be
able to make an easy transition to a wonderful family
... one where they'll be the center of the universe and
get constant one-on-one attention. I realized
quite a while ago that Jack needed to be with me
forever. The clincher came when a good friend,
Diane Glenny, came to pick up Jack for a weekend of
shows. Jack loved Diane and Diane loved
Jack, visited often. I was whelping a litter, so
Diane just got Jack out of his crate, grabbed his
supplies and headed out. It was a surprise to
Diane when Jack refused to come to her when let out in
her yard, and acted depressed, didn't show well.
The next time Diane came to visit, the boys were out in
the yard, at the fence waiting to greet the "visitor".
As soon as she got out of the car, Jack took one look
and ran to the back corner of the yard. For almost
a year, he refused to come near her. It really
hurt Diane's feeling, as she loved Jack. We
figured that he somehow thought that, since she
always said she was going to "steal" him and take him
home with her, she really intended to do that. It
was obvious that Big Jack needed to stay with me.
And I cherish every day I've had with him, especially
the final moments when I was there to give him comfort,
and let him know how much I loved him.
A favorite picture of Jack at 5.5 years after a
I like to remember him this way
Jack's Last Days:
Jack's last morning breakfast ... hamburger with salt
Last morning walk
Jack's bed by my couch in the family room.
beautiful, just older.
Even the last evening, he still enjoyed chewing on a
But, in confusion from the brain tumor, Jack started to
woof and hollar
at me, maybe trying to tell me something, trying to
After the first seizure, Jack got a kennel run with his
big cushion bed ... to be sure he had enough space if he
seizured during the night.
The last 2 nights, we slept together in the family room.
July 27, 2012 - One of Jack's first and last days
enjoying our pool.
Jack and his 4-month-old son Buddy charming visitors.
Jack and Buddy giving kisses to visitors.
Jack at 9 years of age, sprawled out.