There is nothing like your first dog.
It may seem crazy to some, but before I can write about my dog’s behavior, food, treats, recipes, supplements, etc I have to write his bio so all of you understand him on a deeper level.
Jack Daniels Immenschuh (soon to be Harris)
Jack is my first dog and my best friend with fur (sorry Rayann).
I was not a dog person or a dog kid growing up. I have always loved animals, but I never begged my parents for a dog. I always wanted a horse. My grandpa even challenged my cousin Mikaela and I that if we could find an all black horse with all 4 hooves being white he would buy it for us. Oh, the times of the Internet – we Googled, emailed random people, and still to this day have never found that horse. I had bettas, frogs, and a cat named Tiger. I never had a want or a need for a dog it just wasn’t my style.
When I was 22 I was living in my first apartment and working my first grown up job at a marketing agency where basically my job was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other form of social media that was relevant. I decided, randomly, and with little to no thought behind it that now that I had a “house” I needed a dog. I then did something very out of character for me and started telling one of my human best friends, Jared that I wanted a dog, and because he is a gossip shortly enough everyone in my office knew that I was on the hunt for a dog. Even MORE out of character I never researched or obsessed over what type of dog I wanted, which dog was best for apartments, where or how I would acquire said dog, and how on Earth I would take care of it. About 30 minutes after Jared spread my dog wanting rumor another coworker came running over to me saying she knew a lady on Facebook with one puppy left for sale.
Yes, this is a true story. Yes, this is really how I acquired a dog. Yes, Jack is a “bought” purebred puppy – you can give me shit about it some other time. My coworker sent me the info and I contacted the lady about this one puppy shortly after. The dog lady, Jenny told me that she had one black male Labrador left of her most recent litter and that she was having a hard time finding him a home because he was the runt of the litter. Jenny and I have since become great friends, she has one litter a year, and her customers are primarily hunters so when it comes to males in general especially small she has a hard time finding them homes. Jenny sent me some pictures of the one puppy left that afternoon particularly a photo that she sent saying “he is the little one in the middle” and I replied “I will take him”. A paypal deposit later and I had a puppy, an eight week old puppy, a full time job, and no idea how to raise a dog.
I tricked my dad into taking the 3 hour drive to pick him up a few weeks later. I named him Jack. I always give Jack credit for helping me break my own mold for the first time. I did not think, research, or over analyze my decision to get Jack – I just took the leap. Jack was my first leap. I will not bore you with the last 7 years of his life as bringing him home went pretty much as you can expect. The first few months with Jack my dad and brother helped a lot checking on him throughout the day while I was away at work, and once he was neutered he started going to daycare 5 days a week – yup he was spoiled rotten. No one ever believes me when I tell them this but Jack was and still is just a chill puppy. Even for a Labrador he was never crazy full of energy and was really good at mimicking your mood – if you want to chill all day on the couch Jack will chill with you and if you want to run around like a crazy person – he can keep up. He really truly was the best puppy which now translates to him being the best dog.
Jack was and always will be my first dog and truly there is nothing like it. He loves unconditionally and always forgives. Jack and I have been through a lot together. When he was about three years old Jack developed elbow dysplasia and began living life in quite a bit of pain. His condition eventually got bad enough that he no longer could go to daycare, run, play, and on the really bad nights he was unable to sleep. We were referred to UC Davis for a consultation with their surgeon. Jack needed surgery and fast. The surgeon explained to me that the only way to “fix” his elbows were to break them……literally. A few weeks later I was dropping Jack off for surgery and leaving him overnight for the first time. I cried all the way to Davis (about a 45 min drive), cried all the way home, and all night. My dad and I picked Jack up the next day, his front two legs up to his shoulders were shaved bald, he still had an IV in, but his tail never stopped wagging once I walked into the room. Jack went home with me where he then spent the next 4 weeks in a crate, bored out of his mind, and pretty heavily sedated, and healing from his surgery. We could only go on walks for short amounts of time, no stairs, no running, no jumping. Jack was a three year old lab – it felt impossible to pull off this kind of therapy at the time, but we made it through. Five weeks later we had our follow-up with UC Davis and they cleared Jack for regular activity – he went back to daycare happy as could be, I was a dumb 22 year old girl with about 5k in debt for his surgery, but he was my dog and I would do it all over again and pay 10 times over. He is my dog.
Ironically enough a few years later I suffered a major concussion which resulted in a small brain bleed. When I was released from the hospital I was confined to my tiny apartment, could not do what once were simple things, I had a significant amount of pain and anxiety, but Jack never left my side. There were days that Jack only got to go outside once or twice because I was so miserable and slept most of the day in order to heal, but he never complained, he never whined, he never got in trouble. He laid right there in bed with me never leaving my side even though I knew how bored he was and how badly that dog needed exercise he never left. He has always been a good dog – a good boy. He has always been the dog that I needed. Jack also really loves Dillon…..sometimes more than me.
If you have a dog I am sure none of these stories surprise you. I don’t think we get the dog we want – we get the dog we need – especially when it comes to your first dog. To this day if I had one wish I would not want money, fancy things, kiss Harrison ford, etc. I would just want Jack to live forever. His paw prints are tattooed on my right forearm – it’s where he puts his paws when he lays with me. He is my first dog. He is my best dog.
I feel sorry for people that don’t have dogs.
Jack found me. Dogs have this ability to find the people that need them.
Now, we can properly move on to Jack’s diet, recipes for dogs, and his CBD treatment. He deserved a bio. He deserves the whole world.