Friday, October 19, 2007

Eating Disorder

Last night the boys decided to enjoy a late night snack. Earlier in the week I purchased a new tankard of fake butter. It was mysterically hijacked, opened and licked clean in the night. Girl-with-Phone may have left this tasty treat on the counter. I am torn whether my dogs or my kids need obedience training. Anyway, I think this may be a serious eating disorder. was almost even worse! They also got a huge container of Gatorade mix and opened it! Thankfully the inside tin had not yet been opened, so they didn't get any of that! I have asked my peeps for some suggestions to curb this crazy eating behavior and here is what I have so far: Please send more suggestions. Jack will never be crowned the Iams poster beagle at this rate:

Suggestion: Misha, why don't you take the dogs to the dog park every day?

Response: Good Suggestion. However since it has RAINED for 10 days in a row, the prospect of getting outside is somewhat hopeless. And of couse winter is coming...but we will try.

Suggestion: Misha, why don't you give the dogs some rawhide to keep them occupied?

Response: Marvelous Idea.....however Jack does not handle rawhide well. In fact, he ( a normally happy, easy-going dog) will fight to the death over rawhide or long lasting bones of any kind. He feels obligated to first bury his treat and then methodically steal everyone elses. One time Flamingo Farmacist saw his hiding place under the stairs and he moved the whole collection to a new spot. (sorry FF he told me not to tell you where the new location is) I thought about trying hooves (although I think they are really disgusting) to see if they might be a better treat.

Suggestion: Why can't you just get your children put away their food items?

Response: I have no idea.

Suggestion: Why can't you lock the cabinets?

Response: If they had to lock and unlock cabinets...nothing would ever be put away!

Send more suggestions and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hawkeye Pride

Jack is wearing the black and gold very proudly this week. I wanted to post last week about Jack's latest weigh-in...but it is NOT good news. I think I am going to forget the scale and measure his girth instead! Either the previous 44.5 pound weight check was OFF or he is putting on muscle. He weighs about 46 pounds right now. He has been exercising pretty regularly, looks healthier, looks thinner and acts much friskier. Hopefully he has not hit a plateau. Like the Hawkeyes....he can be the comeback beagle. PS--Jack..I DID notice the empty wheat thins box and hamburger bun bag in the back yard. TSK...TSK.
PS--Milo has lost some weight, too. He looks incredibly muscular these days. Yeah Dog Park.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Beagle Intelligence...An oxymoron?

There are several interesting publications that look at the relative intelligence of various canine breeds and I have yet to see one where the beagle ranks high. One of the most famous experiments is one where a towel is placed over the dog's head and the human uses a stopwatch to see how long it takes for the dog to remove the towel. Apparently, Poodles and Border Collies are able to take off the towel in under 3 seconds. Beagles on the other hand tend to sit there motionless for a long time. I asked Jack about this and he argues that any dummy can take a towel off his head. He, on the other hand, takes the time to enjoy the unexpected shade and take in the smell of my new dryer sheets.

Now, I do have to admit that I have questioned Jack's intelligence on occasion. It is a little known family secret that when I would take Milo to the groomer....(see before photo)

...and bring him home later...(see after photo)

Jack thought I brought home a new dog. Beaglemoron??? You be the judge.

Happy Birthday (Saturday) to Girl with Phone and Angry T. (Yes, they were born on the same day 5 years apart)

Enjoy some pictures from the dog park:

Here is Oakley and LOG (his best friend)

Jack: "Yes, I believe we HAVE met......"

Jack after the dogpark: Zzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Say Cheese

Actually, I told the photographer specifically NOT to say CHEESE. It is a word that Jack knows. We would have had to cancel the session for sure. Aren't they cute, though? need a professional photo of your dog(s). Trust me. Call and book an appointment today.

Jack has had a good week. He has had several trips to the dog park. He went to Pets on Parade where he was FEATURED in the local newspaper and he got a snazzy new bandana (and coupons) from the Iams people. He is still hoping to become their poster beagle...but he probably still needs to lose a few pounds. Unfortunately, his new-found fame went to his head. He managed to steal a pack of hot dogs from the counter last night (Angry-T needs to be more careful). On another positive note...Just Jack was featured on Kevin MD's anniversary edition of notable medical blog entries AKA GRAND ROUNDS. I told him all about it and he is honored and humbled.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Taking your kid to the doctor VS Taking your dog to the vet

I got that cute post card today from the Vet (time for your dooooogone shots)....Reminding me to bring Jack in for his shots. It's funny, I have 3 dogs and it's tough to keep track of who needs shots. Actually, I also have 3 kids. I don't think I have ever received a note from a clinic reminding me that any of my human children were due for shots. So I pondered the differences between going to the vet and going to the family doctor.

Vet Clinic: Sure, we can get Jack in today for his Rabies shot.

Human Clinic: I am sorry, Gadget Boy can't get a Meningitis Vaccine...He hasn't been here for a he will have to be seen by the's a week from Friday? No..Misha...I am sorry he can't just go to public health to get the shot. You have health insurance so you will have to come here. If you were just a little more irresponsible as a parent you could avoid this.

Vet Clinic after hours: This sounds urgent, the on-call vet will meet you at the clinic.

Human Clinic after hours: Yes, this is your clinic but since it is 4:30 we are now doing urgent care. This means nobody has access to your chart and don't ask us to follow the regular protocol for your chronically sick child because we won't believe you.

Vet Clinic Greeting: Smiling receptionist gushes over your dog/cat/rat/lizard who she seems to know by name. She offers a treat and forgives all urinary indiscretions which may occur.

Human Clinic Greeting: Frosted sliding glass window cracks open and sneering receptionist peers out--then shuts it again to gossip about you.

Vet Clinic Decor: Cuddling puppies, kittens, paw prints, educational materials.


Vet Clinic Diagnoses ear Infection: Vet flushes out ear and puts in drops causing immediate relief. Accepts Jacks doggy kisses of appreciation.

Human Clinic Diagnoses ear infection: Looks like your eardrum has burst Angry-T. Have you considered wearing earplugs to the pool?????? (picture the priceless look on Angry-T's face at the thought of showing up at the pool with earplugs)

Vet Clinic Medication: Here are Jack's medications. They are meat flavored. Give us a call when you need more.

Human Clinic Medication: This medication tastes like battery acid but since Angry T only weighs 79 pounds he will have to take the liquid. It may cause him to overheat, become psychotic and have explosive diarrhea. You will have to drive across town and wait in a long line of geriatric patients with LOTS of questions to pick it up. By the way, it is on the highest tier of your medical plan. Good Luck with That!

Tune in next time: Human Hairdresser VS Dog Groomer

Monday, September 17, 2007


For a number of reasons I am feeling unbalanced.

I am still reeling from a 5 day trip with Angry T. I have never played so much ping pong (they have a table at the ronald mcdonald house)in my life. His presentation was awesome. I couldn't have spoken to a group of doctors at age 12. He can't get enough of it. He also had a pretty good appointment. His kidney is still swollen, but his function has improved.

My beloved Hawkeyes lost to rival Iowa State.

I haven't had scooter therapy for a few weeks.

And frankly, I can't get used to Sadie being gone. It's not like I don't have the pitter patter of doggie feet. It is just weird. I keep dodging the calls from the humane society telling me her cremains are ready. I imagine it will just make me cry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

King of the Dog Park

Yes, it's true. Jack did FIVE laps at the dog park. No cheating---No shortcuts. There were times he actually PASSED us on the trail. Maybe Sadie provided some divine intervention. First he did a few laps with his neighbor Oakley who made his first trip to the dogpark. Then, he did a few more with his pug cousins. Girl with Phone had my camera, but I swear I will take pictures next time. Jack has been coughing and I may need to take him to the vet. I was cleaning the kitchen and I think he found an old dog treat under the stove and managed to inhale some dog hair along with it. Can dogs get hairballs? He has been coughing ever since. Or he has the same cold that GWP and Tom have. I am busting Angry T out of school tomorrow. He was asked to come to Iowa City and teach medical students (not a bad gig for a 12 year old). And then we stay for his urology appointment on Friday. The other big news is that Gadget Boy turned 21! I tried to buy him his first legal adult beverage....but his buddies took him out on Friday night at midnight and I believe he overindulged. He gets that from his father. I will try to post from the Ronald McDonald House and let you know how Angry T did. Peace.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Readers of this blog have informed me that I am a loser. I have failed them by forgetting the reason behind JUST JACK. It was just "supposed" to be for and about JACK. I agree...I have meandered a bit. However, I have news to report. News that will unite young and old. News that will unite the liberals and the conservatives. News that will unite the moral majority and the immoral minority (or vice versa). Move over Kirstie Alley... Step aside Valerie Bertinelli... Game over Oprah.

Jack weighed in this morning.

and the scale read......

drum roll...............

44.5 pounds
That is down from 50 pounds! rock. I am sending a testimonial to Iams. You should be their poster beagle for Iams Weight Control Formula.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Out for Lunch with Sadie

Jack is forever the middle child. Sadie takes center stage currently. She is pictured above after having polished off Wendy's chicken nuggets and fries. Sadie is 16 and as I mentioned earlier is on her last legs. However, she had a fabulous day today at the park. We found a level park with lots of trees and she was running around like a puppy. Maybe she is not ready for that last fateful trip to the vet. Or maybe we aren't ready. Ok--Look at how happy she is:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Emergency 911 part 2

You read about the dogtastrophe yesterday. Now the pictures as promised.

My shed after Gadget Boy unleashed his male-rescue-reflex (notice how the door is unnecessarily ripped off its hinges):

Here is the shed floor--he entered from the right, so I can't figure out how he ended up in the middle section:

And here is what he looked like AFTER his bath:

Poor Baby--Someone bake him some dog biscuits---he's had a rough year!

P.S. Who is up for Bloody Mary's this weekend? We may be toasting the long-awaited birth of the neighborhood CHORKIES.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Emergency 911

I got a frantic call from Gadget Boy today telling me that there had been a dogtastrophe at my house. Apparently Milo (the Bichon) and Bailey (the Spaniel) had FALLEN DOWN A SINKHOLE UNDER THE SHED and could not get out. Bailey was barking...Milo was uncharacteristically silent--we are not sure how long he had been there. Gadget boy managed to tear off the shed door and then attempted to use a circular saw IN THE POURNING RAIN to cut a hole in the shed floor and rescue the dogs. This wasn't working and they decided the situation was dire enough to call the Fire Department---(I think they have been watching too many episodes of Leave it to Beaver). Anyway, Animal Control was dispatched to the scene. Or, as Gadget Boy explained:
"They sent a $%#!*ing guy with gloves". In the end, Gadget Boy and Tom were able to save the dogs through the hole they made in the floor. It is a good thing Jack didn't follow them....He certainly would have blocked the hole. I will post pictures of the damage tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Down in the Dumps

Hey Just Jack Fans...

Sorry, but I am posting from down in the dumps.. ..Why? You ask?

Well, summer is coming to an end. That is always a bummer when you work in education. Tom's big job interview extravaganza didn't work out like we had hoped. (Although I now affectionately call him "numba two" since that is generally where he ends up when it comes to a job offer) . And probably the saddest thing is that Sadie the 16 year old Beagle/Basset is going down hill. She barks for no reason, needs to be carried up stairs, has trouble getting comfortable and is simply wasting away in her fur. I am also not sure she can see much any more. Part of me knows it is time, but another part is waiting for a sign and secretly hoping she will just go in her sleep. As if this all isn't enough, Angry-T (who is almost 13) went for his physical yesterday. He has another ear infection and suspected UTI. His doctor now suspects he has kidney stones. So...I am bummed. I even passed up on scooter therapy last night. Someone stop this tilt-a-whirl, I want off.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tacos and other Road Hazards

Thanks to the cooldown...FINALLY... I took Jack and Bailey for a walk last night. All was well (aside from some rain) until we encountered a Taco John's bag in the street. It had someone's leftover tacos and ole's. Jack ate a huge bite, bag, paper and all. (Chili Pepper--please check to see if the paper is toxic) Then Bailey got in on the fun. So I was standing there with 2 dogs who apparently enjoy a good taco enough to wiggle out of their collars and cause a traffic jam/mom panic. So I finally got home with wet, taco-hungry dogs to realize that we had WALKED THROUGH A PATCH OF NETTLES. So, I spent my evening removing nettles. Sometimes I think I should get a treadmill!

The Evita party was fun. Thanks for coming everyone....Are the songs still stuck in your head Chili Pepper? Don't ask anyyyyyyyymoooooore.

PS: Thanks Pat and Joe for being the token spanish translators.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


So--I am not entirely sure ... but I think this is progress. I found a package of ramen noodles in the back yard. It is not at all unusual to find the residue of Jack's food binges in the yard. This time, however, the bag was not open. So, that leaves 2 options. Either Jack is more "into" the theft of food than the consumption of it, OR he doesn't especially care for the new spicy chicken ramen I bought. I'd like to think he is less interested in food. Best wishes to Tom (Jack's dad) who is interviewing for a great (yet complicating) job next week! And thanks to Flamingo Farmacist for bringing home (from ALASKA) a sign for our deck. (Our elderly dog can no longer make it into the yard....if you know what I mean) We will have to hang it this weekend at our EVITA party. Any ideas for an Argentina theme??? Anyone?? We need to have something to interest Chili Pepper. She doesn't like musicals. Trust me, Antonio Banderas is worth it. Besides, I will let you go car shopping with me. This one would be a step up for me. I just can't find the &*^%#@ keyless door entry!!! Sorry Junebug--still no automatic windows.

Current project: Putting girl-with-phone's room back together

Monday, July 23, 2007

He ain't heavy..He's my brother

Check out our fancy new tow rope....errr...leash. Milo is quite the trooper, towing poor, exhausted Jack up hills. So far, Jack has been exercising regularly despite the midwest heat wave. Today we may give him a day off because it is REALLY humid. You'll never guess what Jack did on Sunday at the dog park. HE RAN. He wanted to catch up with us after taking a little break and he RAN to us. He is the new dog park hero.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I went home for lunch today to find this. The english muffin container contained only crumbs and he really just ripped open one of the jolly time microwave packs. But he does look disgusted with himself just the same. So how about it Bays & Jolly Time... Would you like to sponsor this site? Or perhaps underwrite Jack's expenses if we send him to doggie fat camp?

Misery Loves Company

So you may think it's a little crazy to have a website dedicated to an overweight beagle. Apparently I am in good company.

Battle of Beagle Bulge cool photo

Beagle Fat Camp (what's next...The biggest loser on Animal Planet?)

Pooch Portliness-Drugs for chubby dogs..Is that covered on my plan?

Fat Dog in Court-custody battle looms. Maybe they should spend the money on a personal

The best part was that Just Jack appeared on the google results list. Way to go buddy, you are famous! Jack did his 2 mile walk with ease last night. Chili Pepper laughed at me as I was trying to get them out the door. Ceasar the dog whisperer would not approve. I don't know how he can walk so many dogs and not have a tangled mess of leashes and chaos. I took 2 of the dogs last night and a third one wiggled out the door after us. Are there any professional dog walkers out there? I need help. I'd like to be able to take all 3. HEEELP!

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Weigh-In

Good News...Jack is down from 50 pounds to a thinner 48.8 pounds. Woo-Hoo Jack.
Bad News...Jack has a double ear infection. Who knew? Actually girl-with-phone thought he was sick. Girl-with-Phone is observant...note to self...listen to GWP...she knows what she is talking about. So--as I look at the photo above I wonder. Could I buy a bathroom scale that would fit a 50 pound beagle? And more importantly, if the scooter gang makes a trip to our favorite houseware store can I fit it in my scooter trunk? Chili Pepper (who always has a solution) says we should weigh ourselves (God forbid) and then PICK JACK UP and weigh ourselves again and do the math. Surely she jokes. Hopefully Jack will get a walk in tonight when the big cool off begins.

Current project: Finish painting trim in GWPs room, get carpet installed & hide the markers and fingernail polish.

Junk Shopping update: Went junking with Flamingo Farmacist and found some cool stuff. FF is thinking about buying a TIKI bar for her driveway. I found some original art by P Buckey Moss in a dumpy flea market. 3 prints for $27.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Everything I ever needed to know I learned from my daughter's walls

Girl-with-phone is on her way to having a really nice room. As we painted over her teenage angst, I thought about how she is growing up and where I might hide her sharpie markers in case she regresses, only to wax poetic on her walls again. This issue of Just Jack is dedicated to girl-with-phone, who like Jack, is a middle child coming of age.

Lesson one: Know who you are.

Lesson Two: Love Stinks

Lesson Three: Take Time to Read the Classics

Lesson Four: Express your Spirituality

Lesson Five: Sometimes things just don't make sense

You are quite an individual, girl-with-phone. Don't ever change.....except for that habit of writing on your walls.

Love, MOM

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Looks Like You Made It

Jack made the trip (uphill) to my office today. That means he is up to a 2 mile round trip. That's real progress. Does he look any thinner? anyone? anyone?

Current dog treat: Zen : They must be good because they practically kill me to get at them. I think they are high in calories so I chop them into 4 pieces. There have been complaints about this.

Current project: Clearing college-boy's junk out of his room so girl-with-phone can move in during the priming/painting extravaganza.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Feel the Burn

Here is Jack on lap 2 of the dog park. Our goal is usually 3 laps...but we gave him a break due to the heat. He does well with both humans and canines at the park although I sense a little bitterness when the young, fit dogs run past him. Support your local dog park. Even if you don't have a dog.....You will meet some interesting people there!

Currently reading: Northern Lights

Current Project: Painting over the graffiti in teenage daughter's room. Daughter is transitioning from grunge room to a vintage room with lots of seating. (thank goodness) Junk shopping anyone???? Send ideas...Color will be "ginger" with a deep red accent wall. So far she has collected a daybed (thanks chili pepper's mom). Tom and I spent 3 hours at an auction yesterday but lost out on the vanity/dresser we were bidding on. sigh. The goal is to have some progress by 7.10. when she has her long anticipated knee surgery.

Friday, June 29, 2007

No hot dogs for you

Greetings and Happy Independence Day. No hotdogs or apple pie for Jack. Jack is doing great on his wellness plan. Tom says he has picked up the pace. The final walk up the hill is hysterical, though. The neighbors think he looks like he is being tortured. I swear his face looks a little thinner. He is almost ready for 2-a-day walks. I promise---pictures this weekend....FOR SURE! And speaking of pictures, I asked a professional photographer about taking a photo of all 4 dogs. Once the shock wore off....she said she could shoot them one or two at a time and digitize it to look like they were in one photo. WOW--I never thought about that. I think I will set it up.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vitamin K

As I mentioned earlier, after the near poisoning, the dogs are on Vitamin K

therapy. Jack is "onto" this. Now, Jack does not even chew his food under

normal circumstances. But, when I give him his vitamin wrapped in a variety

of cheeses, peanut butters, etc, he rolls it on his tongue and spits out the perfectly clean pills. I

am having a little better luck with american cheese---but OH the calories!! My friend, Chili

Pepper says that I have to pry his mouth open and throw it into his throat. Is she nuts or

what? I think I may have her demonstrate this technique. (don't worry, I will take pictures). I

still haven't had a chance to do the weigh-in (too much scootering this weekend) but according to
Flamingo Pharmacist, he doesn't look any thinner, (sigh).

Currently reading (if I can successfully download the audiobook): Middlesex

Currently listening to: My new toaster radio

Currently eating: toast, of course

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Life of Jack

Now that I have actual readers (including, but not limited to my scooter gang---more later on the crazy Northside scooter ladies) the time is probably right to explain Jack's history. Perhaps he has an eating disorder or "issues" that stem from his early life experiences. Jack wasn't always our dog, you see. Jack wanted to be our dog...but in actuality he belonged to a neighbor who worked and traveled A LOT. At the age of 6 months he found various ways of wiggling his already chubby self out of his lonely yard into ours. It seemed he liked to visit Queen Sadie our BAGEL (beagle basset mix).

You can see where this is going....within a few months our traveling neighbor gifted neglected beagle to nice, unsuspecting family. Jack enjoyed the spotlight for a while until his world was shaken by our adoption of MILO a stray/injured Bichon-Frise.

Is this where Jack's real weight issues began? Did he begin to seek attention? Was it doggy depression? Alpha Male Issues? Middle Child Syndrome? As if we have learned NOTHING from our willingness to adopt we recently found Bailey in a shelter. (now, tell me you wouldn't have brought her home....) Folks....that's how you end up with 4 dogs.

New Dog Snack: Canned Green Beans

Currently Reading: Salem Falls by Jodi Piccoult (Misha..not the dogs)

Current Project: *((&&&^+ kitchen cabinets (Misha and Tom--but the dogs help)

Current Frustration: Getting the photos I add to this page to appear where I want them.Please send solutions blogger vex me with your perfectly placed images.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

PS...Try not to poison your dogs

Drum Roll.......................Jack weighs 50 pounds. That is a LOT of beagle. Tom has been taking him on daily walks and he has a new spring in his step. His trips to the dog park usually involve him strategically keeping us within sight, but taking a shortcut to reunite with us on the descent. He has been much less food aggressive in general since he has started his daily walks. One of these days, Tom says he will be able to extend the walks and visit me at work. We had a major problem earlier in the week, however. While we were refinishing our kitchen cabinets, the dogs found a box of long forgotten MOUSEBAIT in the recesses of the cabinets. I came into the kitchen to see the box chewed up and licked clean and 4 smiling canines. 70 dollars and one vet visit later, all 4 dogs are on vitamin K therapy. I suspect Jack and his brother were the culprits but I am treating the girls as well. Nobody seems to be showing ill effects. We will be doing a repeat weigh in soon. Hopefully he dropped a pound or two already. Anyone have any ideas for dog-proofing those corner cabinet thingy's? I would like to store food in there again!

PS--I have READERS--That is so exciting. Please keep those comments coming and I will post every day!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Beginning

OK--So we are guilty of being the parents of a morbidly obese beagle named Jack. We are the owners of this dog and have full control over his food intake, right? What is wrong with this picture? Our other canines are within their appropriate weight guidelines. Before you judge us, you should know that Jack is no ordinary beagle. He is the Houdini of canines. Despite his pudgy appearance he can maneuver his way into cabinets WITH OR WITHOUT childproof locks. He knows exactly when the time is right sneak his nose up on the countertop to snag a loaf of bread after someone has made a sandwich. He even sub-contracts to the dog with the best manual dexterity to open doors to food sources that he is unable to break into. (Note from Milo---- the Bichon-Frise with amazing dexterity----Jack never shares the loot).

So--we begin this blog to chronicle the progress of Jack becoming a more slender version of himself. And as he is the "middle dog" we have named his blog: Just Jack. He is insecure and shows some symtoms of Middle Dog Syndrome. Tune in tommorrow for photos of the weigh-in.