Several years ago, just after we moved to Virginia, there was a hound dog wandering our community. Knowing people didn't fence their dogs as they do in cities, I assumed the dog belonged to someone. However, after seeing the dog for about a month, I began to ask around about him. Turns out he didn't belong to anyone and he was making a nuisance of himself by eating whatever cat or dog food that was set out for pets. Our theory was that he had been a hunting dog who had been abandoned at a nearby dumpster. My husband seemed to have grown fond of the dog, so I reluctantly decided to take him in.
The first order of business was to come up with a name. Independent of one another my husband and daughter both determined his name should be Jack, so Jack it was. Jack blessed our lives with his sweetness. He liked nothing better than to put his big freckled paws on my legs so I could reach down and pet him. Jack seemed to live for love. He also never met a stranger - be it a human being or another animal, he wagged his tail at all. We were never sure what breed he was but decided that he was part beagle and part bassett hound, thus we called him a bagel.
Unfortunately, he gave us many nights of worry as he would sometimes wander off for days at a time. Hunting season gave me heartburn because Jack would run off with the hunting dogs that sometimes came through our farm. He kept losing his dog tags so I had to buy a collar that had our phone number woven into it. When hunters rounded up their dogs, they would find the spare and give us a call. Several times Jack's life was actually in danger but he always managed to pull through. He was almost like a cat in that he had nine lives.
Last December Jack underwent surgery for what I was told was an abcess. He never really recovered from that. He lost a lot of weight and was downright skinny - quite a change from the portly dog who loved to eat. Wednesday night I found Jack in his bed in the garage and I covered him up like I always did. In the morning, he was still there, covered up, and I realized we had lost him. He was a much loved bagel and will be greatly missed. RIP Jack.