Adopted Dog Makes a Splash With His New Family

Jack loves nothing more than fun in the sun with Timy.

Timy + Jack

Adopted pit bull avoids water; takes a walk on the sunny side of life with his new family.

"As soon as he catches a glimpse of that bathing suit, Jack starts jumping up and down, running circles around me and pulling me by the towel, barking excitedly: ‘Come on, Mom! Let’s go. Let’s go.'"

Adopted Dog Jack

I’ve often said that Jack is my heart dog. The truth is, this once-broken street dog who stole my heart at the City of Cleveland Division of Animal Care & Control four years ago is my mini-me.

That really hit home this summer. Normally Jack is a very mellow guy. Oh, he gets the zoomies like any self-respecting pit bull; but for the most part, he’s a couch potato who moves only when necessary to follow me from room to room, secure a meal or dig his favorite stuffed fish out of the toy basket. That all changes the minute I walk out of the bathroom wearing a bathing suit and carrying a towel. Suddenly Jack is six-year-old me hearing the words, “Let’s go swimming.”

Adopted Dog Jack

As soon as he catches a glimpse of that bathing suit, Jack starts jumping up and down, running circles around me and pulling me by the towel, barking excitedly: “Come on, Mom! Let’s go. Let’s go.” If I forget my phone or my water bottle and have to make a detour, he throws himself on the floor and gives me the exact same look I used to give my mother when she forgot the car keys. Once out the door, Jack flies across the yard to the pool gate where he hops up and down, clearly irritated that it takes me so long to catch up.

Adopted Dog Jack

That, however, is where the similarity ends. When I finally open the gate, Jack does not leap into the pool the way I did when I was a kid. In fact, Jack does not swim. Ever. Jack hates water. Pool water. Rainwater. Bath water. In Jack’s mind, water belongs in the body. Not on it. So, when I open the pool gate, Jack makes a beeline for the first chaise and sits staring at it intently until I add a nice new striped cushion and cover it with a towel. Then he hops up, turns around three times, stretches out with his head facing the water, and goes to sleep.

Adopted Dog Jack

Jack, it turns out, prefers to do his bathing in the sun, and he will stay there as long as I let him. I, on the other hand, still spend all my time in the water. But now, as I approach my 80th birthday and watch my husband of 54 years drift deeper and deeper into Alzheimer’s, I prefer to float and meditate on the clouds going by and the cicadas singing their deep summer song. So that is what we do, Jack and I, as many summer afternoons as possible.

For me there is nothing quite as restorative as looking over from my float and seeing Jack stretched out on his chaise, gazing at me with eyes full of dog love.

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Timy won City Dogs Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio a 2019 Holiday Wishes award.