Like so many of the people who adopt a dog from ABR, I had put down my previous Brittany a year earlier. Jaque was a wonderful dog, who was with me for nearly 16 years. He was a great companion and hunting dog, who gave his all every time we went out. He was healthy his entire life. As he got older, I would ask him when I fed him, if he was going to live forever. Two months prior to his 16th birthday, Jaque began to go downhill. He lost weight, became unstable, and gave me a look that told me what I needed to know. I took him to Ken, the vet where I got him when he was a pup. He took care of Jaque his whole life and hunted over him many times.   After he examined Jaque, he looked up at me and said, “Tom, its time”. I didn’t ask for a diagnosis. I trusted Ken, so we put Jague to rest. I buried him behind our house, where he loved to run, and said my good-byes. I was holding it together until my wife hugged me and told me that he was a good dog. Let’s just say that “real men do cry”.

A year went by and I was ready for another dog. However, I had just retired and moved to a much smaller home. My wife wasn’t crazy about the idea because this dog would have to live in the house, but with a little persuasion she was on board. Originally, I wanted a puppy, but the cost was much more than I could afford. During my search I came across the ABR website. I had never considered adoption before, but when I saw all the dogs that needed homes, I was moved to act. I couldn’t specify a dog that was trained to hunt, but I knew that a pure bread Brittany would have that instinct. I soon found Sam only 15 miles away. I filled out an application and was quickly contacted. After completing the process, I picked up Sam. He is a wonderful affectionate dog, who is well suited to live indoors.

After a couple months of training, I took Sam on his first hunt. He ran over the first bird, but retrieved it to hand. After that first encounter, he quickly connected the scent with the bird and began pointing from farther and farther away. The picture I included shows Sam on a staunch point. You can see in his eyes that he’s doing what he loves.

Even though I call him Jaque from time to time, Sam is my boy now, and a much loved member of our family. I thank ABR for the good work that they do. I have also volunteered to help transport dogs.   It helps me to give back a little of what I have received.

Tom Thompson

Kalamazoo, MI