Jack the Dog: A Dog and His Boy by Victor Brodt - Read Online
Jack the Dog
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Summary

True love, joy, purpose, and treasure may be counterfeit; only some prove genuine.

Life changing stories about the undying spirit of an amazing famous dog are really about you and the most vital things in your life.

See what every good dog already sees in you.

Read it! This will change your world.

Edition 2

Published: Victor Brodt on
ISBN: 9781452339122
List price: $5.99
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Jack the Dog - Victor Brodt

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Foreword

As a child in the Northern woods of Wisconsin on a beautiful lake, Victor Brodt lived a unique life. His childhood was one that most people only dream they could have had. From the age of four, Victor watched and participated in the building of the house his family still lives in on that lake. With both parents as teachers, he was provided a wealth of educational opportunity. The woods surrounding their house teemed with deer, bears, raccoons, and all kinds of small creatures. The lake was full of fish and otters with a colorful mixture of bird life above.

The Brodt household raised a multitude of pets and farm animals from geese to sheep to pigs. With a father as an art teacher and a renaissance man (he designed the plans for their two-story beautiful house), the Brodt family delighted in projects such as throwing pottery on the wheel and firing (baking) it in their own kiln. Victor even taught himself how to make beautiful jewelry, such as the wedding ring proudly displayed on my hand for thirty-one years.

Even with all of those active pursuits, there was one pet who altered Victor's life in a way that none other would. He helped to shape the character of the man I met and whose life I've shared ever since. Jack taught my husband priceless lessons about life, love, joy, and faithfulness, and I am grateful to him for that.

Over the past several decades, Jack has attained legendary status in many parts of the country. The stories about his life and the lessons learned have been recounted to audiences large and small, all received with great enthusiasm from their listeners. About a decade ago I encouraged Victor to put these stories into a book, and now that dream has come to pass.

One of the first things that impressed me about Victor was his amazing ability to tell stories in a way that made them feel alive. Although I met Victor four years after his time with Jack had come to an end, I feel like I know Jack. I can picture his face eager for fun, affection, and adventure. Jack is real to me. I've walked where he walked. I've surveyed his territory and felt his presence there. Jack was so much more than a mere pet. He is larger than life. Enjoy the time you are about to spend with a little boy and the friend who taught him how to live life to the fullest.

Caren Brodt

Introduction

Unnoticed to many, Herb and June Brodt found a stretch of lake shore in the North Woods of Wisconsin, and inch by inch cleared logs and land in order to one day build a house on the hill that overlooked beautiful and peaceful Lake Chetek. The process would be slow and arduous. Chetek would be their home, but in the beginning they lived in rental properties that were far away from their dreams.

I, their first born, vaguely recall those humble houses, a few neighbors’ dogs, and ours named Duke (though not much else). Duke was a Labrador Retriever and always quite friendly. I knew that I liked him and that the snuggly giant was fond of me. At three or four years of age, I have only one clear memory left of my big friend. One day I had escaped the confines of the small house and wandered out through the garage. Perhaps some doors had been left ajar since doorknobs were quite high and not easy to work in those days. The one afternoon I remember of Duke, I had found an empty Coke bottle (a rare item even in our garage) and filled it with bits of dry dog food. With me curled up in Duke's lap, the two of us took turns sharing the morsels as we both pretended to drink. It was a very fine year for that wine. Many years later I still love the smell of dog food because of that experience with Duke.

Over the summers we visited the property that would one day be our home. My father and a few others dug deep holes in the ground to fill with blocks and cement. This would be the foundation of our new house. I occupied myself in the great mounds of gravel and sand piled there for the masonry projects. Duke was not interested in playing with a youngster in the sand; he had his own pursuits. One of those sandy days, Duke gleefully followed Dad's little Volkswagen Bug down the driveway and out into the main road. The timing that day was unfortunate; directly behind our car came another, and Duke was run over. When the news was made known to me that night, it was utterly crushing. This was the experience that set the stage for the new puppy, Jack. Once burnt, I was not willing to accept a new member of our family quite as fully. Pets come and go, and I had learned that hearts are too easily broken.

Work that summer went on in spite of the calamity. The first stage of our house, the lower level, was built halfway into the slanting side of a hill that overlooked the lake. What most people would think of as a basement opened out into the lower section of hill facing the waters. This was the first story in the design of what would become a two-story house. What was slated to become the upstairs level was temporarily roofed over to provide living space while we finished the inside. To enter the house at the main hilltop level, a small shack-like hallway and temporary door was built at the top of the stairway that led down to the living quarters. Years later, when I was old enough to help, we were ready to build the second story. Many of the logs from our forest went into building the house. A special onsite mill cut the logs into usable lumber, leaving scraps and sawdust piles nearly as high as a typical house. Boards were piled in careful stacks allowing the new green lumber to dry. Stacks of various sizes of lumber were distributed throughout the property for the duration. The building project was a monumental task that took years to complete.

The end product became an open-beam, two-story home resting in the hillside forest. The house was roughly one hundred by one hundred feet and had large glass windows with wide open views to the lake. Other windows nearly as large, fully displayed the surrounding forest at the other three sides of the house. Huge wooden beams stretched across the cathedral ceiling to make large, open living areas on the top floor. The house would grow to fit a family of six.

Outbuildings included a ceramic studio and a few other structures that functioned as small coops or barns. There were sheep, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and even the occasional raising of wild animals, like raccoons, owls, and rabbits. There was also the kennel. It had first been Duke's. I'd always thought it ironic that Duke's name, in fancy calligraphy style on the doghouse, was never changed. This would become Jack's home.

Our family's migration to Northern Wisconsin had begun near the turn of the century. One of our ancestors, whom we knew as Great Grandpa De Clercq, lived in Chicago. Grandpa De Clercq had bought up large tracts of land that stretched from Chetek Lake a few miles over to Bass Lake, which was a small, clear, spring-fed lake. Bass Lake was a secluded retreat when our family first came to the area. A little out-of-the-way shack named The Black Chateau was the original spot where the Chicago family spent their summers in the early part of the 1900s.

Grandma Betty's house was a few hundred yards down from where our house would be built in the woods. It was the first permanent home in Chetek for the Brodt family. Later my father purchased a portion of property neighboring on the lakefront. This is the location where a dog and his boy played and grew together, there in a tree shaded garden that held a great many secrets and treasures.