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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Journey With Jack

My Journey With Captain Jack.

Jack has been a journey for us as a family.

Bringing in a foster dog is such a wonderful experience. But I would be lying if I said it was easy.

See that window? Yup puppy smudges!! I call then the troublesome triplets, three amigos, two pits and a plott, and the kids. They bring happiness and love to all those around them, we've been blessed with the chance to change the mind of a couple neighbors about bully breeds, and the neighborhood kids always come running to play with the dogs when we are outside. Sometimes I'll have 5 kids all of elementary school age in my yard. We teach the kids how to interact, expect the dogs to listen when the kids ask them to do something, and I'm hoping we can help plant seeds in the children's lives regarding responsible dog ownership. This is our #badassclub pic, tagged by @professorwigglebottoms @existentialpuppy we now tag @abrahamthepibble @theboboxer @chiweenie_leo πŸ’“πŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸ’“ #mychildrensfingerpaint #noseprints #art #gooddog #rescue #rescueadvocate #pitbulllove #lovemyfurbabies #bestdogsever #bullymommy #adoptdontshop #pibbles #pitbull #bullylife
A photo posted by DZ Dog Mom (@dzdogadventures) on

To be honest, I miss him. It makes me a bit sad walking into my house and seeing only two wiggly butts happy to see me (my cats are happy from a distance, no wiggly cat butts in this house).

My routine is off, I was looking forward to only having my two dogs again but I underestimated how far Jack managed to wiggle into my heart. Three is a lot of work, and exercising was a chore. In order to keep Jack sharp on his recall we would rotate taking him by himself and then taking him with just one other dog. Three large dogs is just a lot harder to deal with at the same time, they are strong and while I could walk all three by myself I was much more comfortable walking two at a time since we have a few reactive neighbor dogs in our area. I always loved it when my hubby or a friend would join me for a walk because then I could pass off a dog.

Just me and the dogs on a hike over the summer, this is a closed logging road.
I took all three dogs to the lake by myself! Found a great spot that we had all to ourselves!!
Three also meant three separate training times so that we could work on them individually. With Jack we did lots of heel/loose leash walking work and recall. While Ziva and Dante also got some individual "heel" work, we also worked on flyball and new tricks.

Jack was a lot of fun to teach new tricks, he's so smart! He picks new things up really fast. (Silly Jack HERE)  We taught him, beg, play dead, roll over, shake with either paw, back up, lay down. But "beg" was my favorite, look at his eyes!  We actually called it, "Stick em!" as in "stick em up!" because when he first started this trick he'd stick his paws straight up!

Jack liked to be underfoot, he loved food so if you were in the kitchen you'd for sure find a sleeping hound, or a like a shark he'd lurk around your feet waiting for some tasty morsel. He learned very quickly though that sitting and begging from a distance was rewarded as opposed to just laying in the way.

Jack loved any kind of food.
I think Dante and Ziva miss Jack too. Ziva especially - her and Jack were my troublesome twosome! They liked to take turns harassing each other into playing or a game of steal the toy. Since Jack has been gone she's been trying to get Dante to play, but like an older brother he just seems to find her attempts to be annoying.  (Fostering a New Dog HERE)

Neighborhood Watch Duty.
Little Beggars in the kitchen.

When all three dogs played together they became the Three Amigo's. The boys liked to wrestle but Ziva is to prissy for that so she'd sit back and watch then pounce into the fray when one of the boys was getting the upper hand. She just liked to help whoever was winning. But when they weren't wrestling they were either playing nicely together and sharing toys, or they were snuggled up in a big pile.

Since we had Jack for about 6 months we really got to enjoy him, and get to know him. For example; we discovered he is not a fan of swimming. He also hated getting his feet wet if it rained, and we would have to put a leash on him and walk him around the tall bushes in our yard to get him to go potty.

"UGH!! Ziva!!!"
"See? No wet feet here!"
We also discovered that like Ziva, Jack had an obsessive love for tennis balls.

Remember me saying how fostering wasn't easy? I tried really hard to not get too attached to Jack, but it just couldn't be helped. He was and will always be my Mischief Monkey. He was the one responsible for our new gates! Training With Jack HERE

Jack was also responsible for showing me that as a trainer I still have a long ways to go. He taught me that I need to be more patient, and that with a handful of treats even a naughty monkey can be taught to behave.  ( I wrote a post about part of my personal journey with Jack - Improving Myself HERE)

I also learned that when it was just myself and Jack I could relax they way I do with either Dante or Ziva. One - on - one, and Jack was much more in tuned with the human with him as opposed to the other dogs around him. If I took him out by myself our training sessions were more successful, he listened better, he was more attentive in general, and I could relax and just enjoy the walk or hike.

A hike up Eagles Rest with just Jack.  It was hot so I was pouring water on him to help him stay cool.

He also taught me that hard work and patience really does pay off. After going from runaway hound, chasing him down on more than one occasion, and door bolting... Jack finally figured out how to be off-leash.

Jack the #offleash wonder dog! On a more serious note.. Please don't just let your dog off leash, if you can't control your dog then they do not belong off leash. A leash is not only for their own safety but for the safety of other people and dogs. We have worked long and hard on this with Jack, and I only let him off leash in environments where I know we can safely train/play. He can't resist other dogs yet so we play super early in the morning and I'm always careful to watch for anyone with a dog. Having a reactive dog (Ziva) I know how frustrating it is when another dog runs up on you when you are out on a walk minding your business. I don't want to be THAT person. 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾 #dontbeajerk #dontbeirresponsible #beresponsible #trainyourdog #positivedogtraining #positivereinforcement #playtime #offleashtraining #offleash #jack #happyhound #houndmix #mutt #brindleicious
A video posted by DZ Dog Mom (@dzdogadventures) on

Gotta be honest, I miss his silly face. He was really good at snuggling too. But on a wonderful note, Jack is doing awesome with his new family and really I couldn't be happier for him!  I can proudly say that we did right by Jack, we gave him a brand new start to life and we successfully found him an amazing home. Last night his new family sent me pictures of Jack, they had a family movie night and he was right there being a good boy, soaking up attention and necessary belly rubs. I'm happy for him and proud of how far he's come. He is such a good boy.

Way to go Jack.

That's me in the upper left hand corner.

Other Posts About Jack:

Jack In The Beginning
Meet Jack
Why Neuter?
Flyball Friday!
My, Myself, & Jack
Summer Is That You?
Runaway Risk to Off-Leash Hound!
Unleash the Hound!
Jack is Heading Home!


  1. What a wonderful thing you did for Jack. I'm so happy that he found his forever home but I know from fostering myself how bittersweet it can be.

  2. I hope Jacks new family will continue working with him, and taking him for walks. You gave him such a good start and made him a beautiful adoptable dog. I have fostered, and fell in love each time. Fostering isn't for everyone,but even though your heart aches in missing them, there is such a feeling of accomplishment when you get good updates.

  3. Awe! I bet you miss him a ton! You did a wonderful thing by fostering him and I'm sure his new family really appreciates the training you did! I really hope that everything works out for Jack!


  4. You did a wonderful job with Jack and I hope he continues to thrive in his new home. I learned a lot from training our foster especially because he was so markedly different from Mr. N. Polar opposites.

  5. I am so glad Jack's new family sent you an update! You did an amazing job with him and he wouldn't have that new family without all that hard work. I loved reading about Jack's progress and initial challenges - he came a really long way and I can't believe it was only 6 months! I hope the family continues to update you. I know the few dogs I fostered - I put a lot of love and time into and there was only one time when the new family sent an update. I am not sure everyone appreciates all the hard work foster homes put into these dogs!

  6. Oooh, told you you'd wanna keep him (or something like that). You're making me tear up reading's quite bittersweet. But the happy ending cannot be beat! Even though your house will be quieter now (?), I'm so happy for Captain Jack. I love the photo of him and his new family at the bottom - you can just tell how much they love him, and it's great you hear some updates too. You done well, Dog Mom. If I had emoji's on my laptop, you'd be getting lots of applause and many kisses and hearts for making this special boy the well-behaved one he is now, and giving him a second chance!!

  7. So wonderful that you fostered him for so long. I remember when you first got him. I'm sorry that you miss him. Looking back at the pictures makes me a little sad too... but happy when I see his new family. Congratulations to you AND Jack.

  8. Fostering is the absolute best thing and simultaniously the toughest thing. I fostered four dogs before keeping Ellie and it was hearbreaking each time to let them go - however I still get updates from most of them (two years later!) and I know they are happy and loved, and giving them up just meant more room to save the next one. You did an awesome thing! Happy life, Jack!


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