Story of Jumping Jack Dog Ranch
Jumping Jack Dog Ranch would not have been created if it weren't for a special black lab named Jack Mooper who changed the course of my life. On my 20th birthday, my parents gave me the best birthday gift ever- Jack. He was a tiny, energetic, and rambunctious black lab puppy and I had no idea what kind of a ride he would take me on.
Jack, like most every puppy, had a ton of energy and absolutely adored tearing up just about everything I owned. As a college student, I began my added course in Puppy 101. I read books, blogs, tips from trainers, but I just couldn’t seem to tame this little guy. He screamed at night unless he was on my pillow, curled around my head and chewing on my hair. Within a few weeks, I had a bald spot, I was sleep deprived and had made zero progress with Jack’s training. Something had to change.
I was employed as a horse trainer in the afternoons, and began taking Jack to work with me. This was brilliant, the ranch allowed him to get out some of that energy that was making life a little stressful.... at least for a while. Eventually he would sneak under electric fences, get in the pens of aggressive horses, and jump over the stall doors to eat horse poop! My boss wouldn't let me bring him to work, my roommate wouldn't let me leave him at home and something had to change again.
The next day, I scanned Craigslist for any job where I could bring my dog to work. I came across a job posting for a local Dog Ranch. The Ranch was a doggy daycare and boarding facility. I submitted an application and was hired! From there on, I spent my time after class at the ranch with Jack. We filled water buckets, supervised doggie playgroups, and went on hikes. Jack met hundreds of dog friends all with unique personalities. He was absolutely elated every time “we” went to work. I was also happier than ever, this job didn’t feel like work! This is what people meant when they said they found their passion and I knew had found mine.
I quickly developed a talent for working with numerous breeds, creating compatible play groups, and took every training class available to me. I even took another part time job as a vet tech to learn about veterinary care. Along the way I met three wonderful friends who are all now founding members of Jumping Jack Dog Ranch (see our staff here.)
Once I graduated college, I was pressured to get a “real job” in Austin. I sadly left the pet care industry for the tech industry working for places like Apple and Solarwinds. I began to imagine infusing technology with dog boarding facility, and started drafting design plans in my spare time. I constantly thought about how happy Jack and I had been, how I fell in love with dogs, and how time was running out for Jack. I decided it might take me 10 years, but I had to build a dog ranch of our own before Jack was gone. If I could just get his pawprints in the foundation, and a photo of him on the front porch then I would have something to remember him by forever.
I worked 2-3 jobs for about 6 years, saved money, paid off debts, sold some real estate, applied for a small business loan , and on my 31st birthday February 17, 2017 we broke ground on Jumping Jack Dog Ranch. We offer boarding, daycare, training and grooming. We employ the best talent and most passionate dog lovers in Austin while paying a living wage. All employees will have ownership in the ranch creating a unified team and helping build the premiere boarding and daycare facility in Austin!
Jack was there with me throughout construction, and watched the entire facility be built week after week. His footprints are in the foundation of the front porch, and he stayed by my side the first few months when the business opened to make sure I was okay. When times were hard, he sat with me on the porch of my little home and licked my face to remind me to have faith the dream we had built together. In January of 2018, he had several seizures and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. When he no longer wanted to eat or fetch, I knew it was time to say goodbye to the friend who got me through the ups and downs of my 20's. He helped me to my next chapter of life, and patiently licked my face as I sobbed about closing the chapter with him. On January 21st, 2018 I held him in my arms as he crossed over the rainbow bridge. He was the canine love of my life, and I am so grateful for the 12 wonderful years I had him by my side. I still see a glimpse of him in the face of every Labrador I meet, and in this way I carry a part of him with me.
In memory of Jack, we have partnered with Lucky Lab Dog Rescue. We currently reserve 5 of our dog rooms of Lucky Lab rescues, and often have them playing on the ranch. Check out our current rescues here.