2485. Melanie Hunter Print         
Jack at 3 Years

Brooks (left) and Jack at 3 Years

Breed: Chow Chow/Labrador RetrieverWeight: 60 pounds
Gender: Male
Favorite Food: Jack gets lots of various wild game and salmon scraps, which he loves, but he really loses his marbles over chicken.
Favorite Activities: I got Jack in Alaska and he loves to play in the snow, and will thrash around on his back like a horse wallowing in dust when he finds a new snow patch. He also loves to be "with," no matter what. So I take him to work and he sleeps in the car. He'd rather do that than stay at home without me.
Favorite Place to Sleep: Jack's happy place is the car, where he spends a lot of time sleeping. At home he sleeps on the couch before bed, then he likes his kennel once I'm in bed. In the morning he hops up on the bed for some lovin' before I get up and feed him. Pretty much he likes to sleep, period. He's a very low-key dog.
Special Skills or Responsibilities: I wouldn't say he has any outstanding skills. He knows one interesting command: when we're out hiking and we come to a fork in the trail, and he takes the wrong one, he understands when I sing out, "We're going this way," and will immediately turn around and take the other trail. We have spent lots of time on trails. He also knows "scoot over," because when I get out of the car he sits in the driver's seat. Passers-by find this cute. It is cute.
Story: Jack got a rough start, and escaped death twice early in life. First time, he was adopted out of the Fairbanks shelter by a family that abused him and then returned him. Back at the shelter, 3 months old and terrified, they assessed him as an "aggressive" dog, and were going to put him to sleep. This is rich, because Jack would literally not hurt a mouse - he had one run under his nose once, and he just tried desperately to sniff it. Similarly, we see deer and other wildlife all the time on our walks, and he just gets wound up and happy, but doesn't chase anything. My friend Donna, who runs her own no-kill operation called Loving Companions (she's got a Web site), saw potential in Jack and took him to her place. I met Jack through helping Donna with her dogs. I'd show up and load a few random dogs in the truck and take them out in the woods for walks. Jack, a fat little puppy at the time (we didn't realize what an eater he was), was absolutely terrified when I first picked him up to go out for a walk... but it was love and he gradually turned from an abused and scared pup into a normal, incredibly sweet dog.

Jack's second brush with death came about 6 months later, when I left him in the care of an irresponsible friend while I went caribou hunting. My idiot friend took Jack for a walk near a very nasty road in Fairbanks with recklessly fast traffic. She lost track of him, and he got hit by a car. To my friend's credit, she got him to the emergency vet and they saved his life. I arrived home a week later to find my dog with a horribly broken sacroiliac joint, punctured lungs, a badly bruised eye socket, and missing teeth. Fortunately, I had just gotten out of the Army and had the time to take care of him. After two surgeries to repair his hip, I took my poor broken dog home and spent the next few weeks caring for him 24/7. I put him in my bed and fed him lots of caribou scraps, gave him massages, and carried him outside periodically. It was so hard to see him so badly hurt, and I wondered if he would ever be the same again. He steadily made progress, though, and I knew he was healed when, 2 months later, on our way to a new job in Wyoming, Jack found a patch of snow and slowly flopped over onto his back to roll around.

Breed: Domestic Shorthair CatGender: Male
Story: Someone had dumped Brooks west of town, and I found him when I was out hiking with Jack one day. He would be getting upgraded cat food, too, except that my other super-picky 15 1/2 year old cat, Cibi, has decided she will only eat canned food, so that's what Brooks goes for now, too.

Staff: Melanie Hunter
Home: Buffalo, WY
Date Entered into Gallery: January 15, 2009

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