post no. 12 -- Jack

We just got back from the park with Jack. For those of you who do not know, Jack is our nine month old Boxer puppy. 

She is a girl with a boys name; we justify it by calling her Jacklin when she gets into trouble. Occasionally she'll turn from Jack-le into Hyde when we are gone too long, but that usually involves the trash can's contents being strewn onto the floor. I take that back, not occasionally, more than not, every time we step foot out of our front door, she turns into Hyde. Destruction aside, I love her. 

Shortly after moving to Hawaii, Kris deployed for the first time. We had dealt with being apart before (90% of our entire relationship being spent across the country from each other) but this time I was to be completely alone. Naturally, we thought it was a great idea to get a puppy to keep me company. I had had dogs in the past, but none like Jack. Jack is well... unique. She is after all a Boxer. Never in my life have I been faced with raising something on my own. Challenging is by far an understatement, but somehow we managed to pull through and make it 6 months alone together. In that time she has gone from 10 pounds to 60, and has successfully managed to control her urge to disobey every word that comes out of my mouth. I'm proud of her. I can honestly say I wish she was a real child at times, because I know she would love experiencing every piece of the world with us. Before we got Jack, I read The Art of Racing in the Rain. Having never really relied on a dog before for anything other than something to play with when I was bored, I didn't understand how much one could mean to me. Jack was and is my Enzo. She has been there for me through the good, the bad, and everything in between. She has taught me a lot in her short little time about enjoying life for what it is, doing what you feel like, and being yourself. It seems a lot of lessons have been coming into my life like that lately. I'm going to leave you all with a quote from The Art of Racing in the Rain, it's a bit long, but it will give you an indication of the little lessons that are packed inside the covers. 

"Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories." 

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