Jack's history is a mystery; he doesn't seem to be registered on any of the databases. We believe he raced in Northern Ireland (he went to NI rescue to begin with), but where and whether he started in the Republic of Ireland is unclear. But we do know what happened once he came here, and that's the important bit.
Jack was fostered at a time when Claire (then owner of White Lodge) was having an op and needed to clear the rescue. Our prior experience with greyhounds was Monty (i.e. timid and scared of his own shadow); Jack could not have been more different. From day one Jack was affectionate, cheerful, happy go lucky, and just seemed to enjoy life; not a care in the world - so long as he got fed, walked, and hugged. When he arrived home he stood in the lounge, looked round, and it was almost as if he was thinking "Dis is a noice gaff. It'll do just noicely tank you very much."; then he went and lay down as though he'd always been here.
Jack wormed his way in by being nice and slightly nutty, and it wasn't too long before it was decided he was going to stay. And I'm really glad he did. Jack brightened every day: he always woke up with a smile (he was one of those greyhounds that genuinely smiles) and invariably greeted you with a toy in his mouth and a wag. And no matter what Jack was doing he did it as though it was the best thing he'd ever done; this earned him the nickname Happy Jack; HJ for short. Jack's attitude to life was that the world was one big playground and everyone and everything in it has been put there to play with him. Having said that, he was more than happy with his own company and often ran round the garden by himself, or did a spot of sunbathing (he was a sun worshipper), or lay on the lawn to eat a treat. He was a truly gentle and empathetic dog; he would be more than happy to "have a mad" while out on a walk, but put him on a lead with a child or one of the residents at St. Andrews and he wouldn't even chase a squirrel if it ran in front of him.
In August 2009 Jack was diagnosed with osteocarcenoma (bone cancer) in his front leg which was amputated (a procedure described by one of the surgeons as being "more like butchery than surgery". For a couple weeks I had doubts as to whether that had been the right decision, but when Jack came over to Salcey Forest to meet everyone after the September White Lodge Walk it seemed to prove to him there was life on three legs and from that point on there was no stopping him; soon he was out on the daily walks - going everywhere and keeping up, went on holiday to Little Dumpledale, and did stairs - albeit slowly. Between Christmas and New Year he contracted pneumonia and the X-ray also showed tumours on the lungs - the chemo hadn't worked as hoped and his time was now weeks rather than months. On New Years day Jack went on his last White Lodge Walk to Beacon Hill; not only did he manage it all (it's fairly steep on the way up), he ran down it. Four days later he went downhill in a big way; that night he had lots of cuddles and many tears were shed - the next day Jack went to the bridge. It is a tribute to him that the nurses at the vet cried as they put the cannular in for the injection.
My memories of Jack are of his constantly wagging tale, squeaking squeakys as soon as he woke up, and rolling around in the lounge biting the air. Jack had a great attitude to life and his courage and determinedness on three legs were amazing; I think we could all learn a lot from Jack.