We lost Jackson two weeks ago and I wanted to write something for the website in order for him to be memorialized and to let people know how wonderful he was.

We adopted Jackson (formally Cletus) on December 26, 2011. When my wife and I picked him up we were both excited and nervous. This was the first dog we would have together; we were beginning a new chapter in our life. He was just what we had hoped for: Gorgeous, friendly, gentle and as laid back as any dog could be. At this time in our lives, we lived in Seattle in a condo.

Adjusting to Jackson and he adjusting to us took some time. We quickly found out he had pretty bad separation anxiety. We tried everything from running him 4 miles a day, dog obedience training, Thunder Shirt, herbal remedies and everything else you could imagine. We ended up putting him in doggie daycare after the second accident he had in his crate. This worked out great! The daycare provider loved Jackson. He was mellow and got along great with everyone - he became their official greeter!

Within 3 months of his arrival, we found out we were having twins. Yes, our lives were changing yet again, and this time, Jackson would be with us. Before the twins were born, we bought a house with a big yard in Olympia. We started full renovations when our twins arrived 10 weeks early. During the many weeks our girls were in the hospital, Jackson and Daddy were helping to quickly finish house renovations. Having a house with a yard and children in it helped Jackson with his anxiety. Jackson was at his best with lots of his humans around at all times.

When the girls were first brought home, he was right there assisting with all the work. Curious about the diapers and the toys. So gentle and sweet, he kept his tongue to himself and didn't lick. He gave gentle sniffs and didn't mind when his ears were lovingly tugged by the babies. He was our Gentle Giant. We nicknamed him, Nanny Jack.

As the girls grew, Nanny Jack wanted to be where they were, especially if they were playing outside. He would lay near the twins and let them crawl on him and pull his ears and paws. If it got to be too much, he would simply roll over or get up gently and walk away.

Our family grew by another in 2014, our son was born. Our son has always been drawn to Jackson. Jackson would let him crawl on him and chew on his ears as a baby and as he grew older would allow our son to play toys (cars mostly) on his giant back. Again, just a gentle giant. All three kids have grown with Jackson as a permanent fixture in their play areas. Where they go, he would go. If they moved to a different area of the yard, he would follow and lay next to the new area. If the kids came in the house, he was with them. Our first and fourth baby.

It was always comforting to come home and have Jackson there to greet you. His bay was the sweetest noise next to his snoring. Jackson was world-class snorer and this is something we miss dearly. Up late at night? There was Jack to sit up with you (rocking new babies). Up early to go to work? There was Jack helping make coffee. Scared of the thunder and lightening at night? There was Jack in your bed.

He was a great dog and the best dog we could have asked for. He is painfully missed and will never be forgotten. We are grateful for our Dr. Katie who was able to come to our home to help Jackson transition over Rainbow Bridge. He was pain free, surrounded by family, under his great Walnut Tree in our backyard when he passed. Thank you Tine Kellogg for helping bring Jackson into our lives, and thank you American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue for all you do.

Josh and Anna Halsey

28 August 2018