From TODAY correspondent Jill Rappaport
What can I say about a dog who not only changed my life, but taught me with courage and love that you can really get through anything? Jack learned how to be tough when he was abandoned on the street as a puppy. He found his way to me and I smothered him with the love he so desperately needed. From that day, he had the courage and love to guide him throughout his life. In return he showed me how to live a BETTER life.
When Jack got bone cancer my heart stopped at the thought I could lose my best friend and my "fur angel." But Jack had such an incredible will to live that despite despite having a front leg amputated, undergoing six rounds of chemotherapy and developing a heart condition, he still happily forged ahead with a wagging tail and grateful, loving eyes. He showed me that he could still live a wonderful life minus a limb. There was no stopping Jack from doing everything he did before his surgery, like chasing deer, jumping on the sofa and rolling in the grass. He did it all — just a little slower and more carefully. Jack was never depressed after losing his leg and he never seemed to notice that he looked different from his brothers and sisters who ran wild on all fours. He was just so happy to be hopping along behind them, PAIN FREE. What a lesson that taught me.
When he became the "AmbassaDog of Hope" for animal cancer, I received e-mails from all over the world. He touched so many lives that I realized this beautiful German shepherd could and should be a role model for children. That is why I wrote the book, "Jack and Jill: The Miracle Dog With a Happy Tail to Tell." He showed me that even though life can throw you some curveballs, you can still catch them and stay in the game! These are lessons for life from an incredible dog. And how blessed I was that he was mine...