Our Jake has gotten a pretty bum deal. We rescued Jake four years ago from the Center For Animal Care and Control in Manhattan. He proved himself to be such a good boy that we had a home lined up for him right away.

Jake was adopted by a family with a newborn. Somewhere along the line, Jake began to assert his authority in the household and appointed himself protector of the turf. Jake's behavior ran unchecked, and despite some intermittent obedience training, Jake's "Mom" couldn't maintain an Alpha Pack Leader position over Jake. He became a little persnickety about who was allowed into the house. And, now, with more children on the way, the family was not inclined to make Jake's training a priority. So, after four years, Jake's family returned him to us, sadly, before we were able to provide training advice.

And so our mission was to diagnose Jake's quirks and see what makes him tick. He came to meet the Angels From God and was instantly pummeled into the "low dog on the totem pole" position. I believe that Jake was even lower on the totem pole than Irma La Deuce, whom I believe has no pack status except that of "barnacle on my heart." It always fascinates me when I observe a new dog factoring into my pack. And, a tough guy dog, too. Big Jake was clearly under Toot's rule. How does she do it, I wonder? What does Toot have going for her that Jake's former "Mom" didn't have? I suspect that it boils down to "Attitude." And, that, Toot has in abundance. My Toot, is the poster girl for "bitch."

And so, after about a month in foster care, Big Jake, managed to keep his nose clean and cooperate nicely in the five dog pack. By the end of his stay, he was able to secure a position on the bed, and felt comfortable enough to roll over on his back in close proximity to the Angels From God.

I was not in a rush to adopt Jack to another family, feeling responsible for his recent situation, so I was dragging my feet on interviewing adopters. But, then, I chatted with Bonnie, of Maryland, and I knew it was right. Jake went to his new home recently, and I couldn't be happier. He flounced off with his new family and barely even said goodbye.

Sidenote to Sweet Pea: Toot is expecting your thank-you note for the browbeating that she gave Jake, which seems to have rendered him appropriately respectful in his new home.

Here is Bonnie's first report.

January 3, 2005

Just wanted to give you a quick update.

Jake made the trip home in good spirits. He especially liked the stop at the Chesapeake House - which is a tour bus stop with several eateries. We didn't think to get some dog food, so we improvised and fed him a hamburger. He really liked us then :) So after a few rest breaks, dinner, and water, he laid across everyone in the back seat and had many opportunities to bark at the toll booth operators.

We got him home and he met Sweet Pea. They're working out their territories. Terry stayed with him all night and he did well. He does need to learn some manners about barking, but in time he'll settle into his new home and get used to his routine. He already follows Terry around the house and whines for him if he's crated and Terry is withing hearing or sight of the crate. Sweet Pea is adjusting well and steals all his toys and eats his food and lays in his crate. Zoey the cat is not liking things yet, but she does not like Sweet Pea either. She's staying out of the way.

Terry is planning on an afternoon of walking and grooming for Jake. After being on the road all day Sunday, I'm sure some walking will do them both good. I didn't realize Sweet Pea was that much smaller than Jake, but side by side, she's about 2 inches shorter.

I hope your trip back to Boston went well. You and Diane are wonderful people to be doing this for our beloved Eskies.