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Travelin’ Jack’s Story

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Olde English Bulldogge July 4, 2008 – August 10, 2019

Jack’s story began in January 2009 when I adopted him from the Pueblo Animal Shelter.  He was relinquished at the age of seven months old by his first owner because “he got big.” This excuse by a non-committed owner was the greatest gift I ever received. From the beginning he was supposed to be a pet, but that first trip from Colorado to New Mexico began his legacy as Travelin’ Jack.

Travelin’ Jack was immediately put to the task of becoming the most famous …and hard-working dog in New Mexico. He quickly became New Mexico’s Adventure Dog and pre-eminent dog-expert on Pet Travel. Since his entrance into the public media arena, he captured the hearts, attention and exposure of people and pets alike. Jack appeared on Television, Radio, and Print. He participated in conferences and dog-hosted numerous pet-oriented events. And like any good celebrity, Jack adopted his own ‘pet project’ i.e. worthwhile cause. Travelin’ Jack’s favorite charitable endeavor: promoting and sharing the message regarding Animal Adoptions, Rescue and Animal Welfare organizations.

His first book, Travelin’ Jack’s Story…from Shelter to Star, published in 2010 espoused the benefits of Pet Adoption. Jack also appeared on the cover or was incorporated into numerous other publications including books, magazines and internet sites.

Travelin’ Jack’s TV career started in December 2009 when he landed a role on the TV show “Travel Guide New Mexico”. He had his own segment called JACK’S TRACKS where he reported on pet friendly travel destinations around New Mexico. That show carried over to regular monthly segments on the New Mexico CBS and Fox New Mexico TV affiliate shows where he and Jill reported on ANYTHING PET…from pet-friendly travel to Fashion to Animal Health and Welfare. His last TV appearance was this 4th of July on the subject of pet safety during 4th of July fireworks. Jack also appeared in a number of TV commercials, including a Ford Commercial. He partnered (and modeled for) PetSmart on pet product promotions and was even included in a Dr. Oz segment on national TV.

His dog adventures included travel, the likes of which most dogs only dream about.

Jack’s adventures have been shared throughout the media world, via TV, radio, magazines, brochures, websites, blogs & social media. Always ready to share his adventures with his Facebook and real-life friends and fans,   in Jack’s words…“Here are a few of my favorite pet adventures.”

Hot Air Ballooning. While this adventure might not be the norm for the average Joe-Dog, I loved it and I know many balloonists’ dogs fly with their people. It’s a doggone grand adventure to fly high in the sky and look down on the world below.

Zip Lining. I may be the 1st dog in the world to ride a Zip Line. And I reveled in this adventure at Ski Apache Ski Area, where they made an exception and included me on a special mile-long zip line ride. It was awesome! But (disclaimer here), it is not an activity for the average Joe-Dog.

Ski Gondola Ride. Yes, this is a pet friendly adventure for the whole family. There are several ski areas in New Mexico that include the dog. While some of the group skis down the slopes, Fido and Grandma…or whoever can hike around the mountain top, take pics galore and breathe in the fresh mountain air and beauty. Then re-board the gondola for the ride back down. This adventure is good for ANY dog!

Boating. From kayaking to floating on a pontoon boat, the lakes and rivers provide many adventures for the outdoor lovers. I’ve experienced most of them.

Cardboard Derby Race We’ve participated in a race at Sipapu Ski Area racing down a ski slope in our custom built ‘Dog Sled.’ Jill and I took a ‘spin’ down the mountain. I give this a paws-down for the less than crazy dog. It’s better to watch from the sidelines and eat a burger later.

Sand Dunes Sledding White Sands National Monument. This is FUN for even the most laidback pup. You can also tour the park in your car and enjoy the sedentary travel experience.

City Touring. New Mexico is a state filled with history, culture and beautiful scenery. A tour is a great way to experience an area in a short time. It’s a big surprise to many visitors that several bus and trolley tour companies include pets.

Wine-ing, & Dining: OK…no wine for the Jack-ster, but I do like an H2O Bowser Brew while dining on a PET-IO at a pet-friendly restaurant.   Because of New Mexico’s pet-friendly laws, there are MANY places to enjoy dining al fresco with your pet here.

Pet Friendly Lodging. Whether it’s a posh resort or an economical motel, quaint B&B, rustic cabin or even RVing, there is something for every pup and person in New Mexico. I have stayed in Presidential Suites at historic luxury resorts, relaxed in cozy riverside cabins, snoozed in lakeside campgrounds and shady RV parks that welcome the 4-footed adventurer. Why, I have even convinced some non-pet friendly establishments to change their ways by including pets.”

Travelin’ Jack and Jill just introduced their latest book just this June, a pet travel guide to New Mexico. ON THE ROAD WITH JACK AND JILL. In addition to sharing info on great New Mexico destinations (Gallup is included) and pet-friendly options, proceeds from the book are donated to New Mexico animal shelters.

This philanthropy with a focus on shelter adoptions is perhaps the most important part of Jack’s legacy. Over the course of his 10-year animal welfare campaign, he helped raise around $40,000 for New Mexico shelters and animal welfare groups.

TravelinJack was recognized by Mayor Berry of Albuquerque for his philanthropic work with the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department. He was also the 1st dog ever recognized by the Governor of New Mexico for his impactful work in travel.

While most of Travelin’ Jack’s work revolved around travel adventures, animal advocacy and philanthropy, he also incorporated a public servant role into the mix of his workday.

In 2010 he became PAW-litical with his successful run for Dog-Governor of New Mexico. His successful Canine Campaign as 1st ever INDEPENDENT DOG-ERNATIORIAL CANINE-DI-DATE FOR DOG-GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO. was his first serious foray into raising awareness and funds and sharing the Animal Welfare message. He campaigned around the state and encouraged pets to vote for him on his ‘write-in PETition’ and of course make a donation for pets in need. The campaign raised over $6000 for twelve animal organizations in just one month of campaigning. And he was elected 1st ever Dog-Governor of New Mexico by 798 four-footed compadres. Since then, he was ‘re-elected’ in 2014 and 2018 and was uncontested by any opponents…because ‘they recognized and voted in a true leader of 4-feet’.

Another area of PUBLIC SERVICE lay in his Military role. Since the Bulldog is the official mascot for the Marines, Travelin’ Jack volunteered his service as official Mascot for the Delta Company Marine Corps reserve unit in Albuquerque. Every December he donned his Marine Dress Blues and helped raise money, toys and awareness for TOYS FOR TOTS. He has been recognized by the Marines as one of their Top Supporters and he holds the honor of being the largest Dog Donor for the New Mexico Toys for Tots Campaign. The past 2 years he also traveled to Gallup to hold a TOYS FOR TOTS campaign, in support of local Gallup children and families.

Travelin’ Jack may have started life out as a shelter pup, but he accomplished a lot in his 11 years.  He dedicated his life to supporting his 4-footed compadres. His work helped hundreds of pets get adopted into forever families and raise much needed funds for deserving Animal Welfare organizations. He proudly shared his experiences (and has been recognized in local, state and national arenas) in the pet travel arena as one of the top Pet Travel Experts in America. He is a New Mexico True icon!

Travelin’ Jack was blessed with amazing adventures and opportunities. And while a catastrophic heart issue cut his life short, he’s not finished yet…his legacy will carry on.  There are many more miles and milestones down the road for Travelin’ Jack as we continue to move his legacy forward. His important role as co-pilot for travel adventures and to raise awareness for animals will continue! Soon there will be a Memorial Tour …to continue Jack’s Legacy.

We thank everyone for the endless Love shared with Jack, from tiny tots to elders, from handicapped individuals to large groups. We feel blessed with all the amazing support he received from everyone, from well-known politicians and military heroes, to the New Mexico travel and tourism industry-all who embraced him as their ‘pet expert’. From the  myriads of friends and supporters he made both in dog-person and via Facebook and social media forums. From his compadres in media, including TV, radio, magazines and social media, he has been embraced by friends far and wide. His story and personality have been shared worldwide.

I feel blessed to have shared this unique adventure with this very special 4-footed person! May he romp through Doggie Heaven and hold paws with friends who will welcome him there.

Thank you to everyone who loved and shared life with Travelin’ Jack. May his motto ‘DOGGY HUGS AND SLURPY KISSES’ and his good work continue forward…one pawprint at a time!

By Jill Lane
Travelin’ Jack’s Person, Co-Author, Fundraising Partner, PR Agent, Travel Partner, Chauffeur, Personal Chef & Partner in All Things Good
For the Sun