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Jill Lerdal, Great Bear's event coordinator, and her husband, Pete, became Jack's surrogate parents. When Jack and his "little brother," Duke, a toy fox terrier, decided they'd rather live apart, the Lerdals took Duke in.

"He pouted and wouldn't look at me," Grider says.

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A ski area suited Jack perfectly.

into a wall as he tried to stand up.

"I know you outlive dogs," he says, sitting in his office at Great Bear. "And that hurts."

"He looked at me like 'you threw it, you go get it,'" Grider says, smilling at the memory. "Fifteen minutes later, we were out at Great Bear walking the trails."

"He was my friend," Grider says. "We had gone through a lot of things. I could never let him suffer. When I took him back to the vet, he died in my arms. It was terrible, but I knew it was the right thing."

He caught Grider's eye, and Grider tossed Jack a ball.

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The right thing, sadly, means Grider no longer can listen to Jack's snoring at night. The food dishes are empty, and life at Great Bear a little less joyous for the family of employees.

Between staff and visitors, it's a family at Great Bear, Grider says, brought together in part by the brown and white dog who happily greeted everyone who came through the door.

Jack's final act of mischief also involved the theft of food, Grider says. He allows himself one "cheat day" a week on his health regimen, and that day it meant a cheeseburger. It was on the table when he left the room, gone when he returned a few minutes later with Jack nearby, a sheepish look on his face.

After cleaning Jack up, he began to make regular appearances at Great Bear, sitting contentedly under Grider's desk or heading out to meet the skiers. Jack reveled in the patting, petting and stroking and never minded the occasional French fry that fell nearby.

That trip to the veterinarian uncovered cancer and internal bleeding.

Grider and Jack met when Jack was 2 Converse Gold And White or 3 years old. In the decade since, Jack had gotten a little arthritic and a little hard of hearing, but he looked much younger than his years.

On the days Jack couldn't go to Great Bear, he pouted. There's no other word for it.

a day Grider had dreaded so much he almost didn't get a dog. He had grown up with pets, he said, and he knew how painful it was to say goodbye.

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A notice on Facebook announcing Jack's death received so many notes of condolence that even the devoted Grider was surprised.

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Then the cancer came.

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Soon after, however, Jack's appetite disappeared. Grider coaxed his appetite for several weeks, then made a trip to the veterinarian. Preliminary blood tests came back negative, but a few days later Jack staggered Converse Mens Sneakers

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"He loved to run through the snow," Grider says. "If it was just made or just groomed, four to five inches deep, he'd go running and barking, his tongue hanging out. If I drove the snowmobile to the top, he'd race along up there."

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Dan Grider fell in love with a dog, knowing someday that same animal would break his heart.

´╗┐Great Bear manager says goodbye to Jack the dog

the warmer months, but in the winter Jack was a fixture.

And there was Jack. A spaniel retriever mix. Skinny. Dealing with fleas. And with a certain air about him.

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When he arrived, however, the terrier had been adopted so he began to browse among the other dogs.

Grider was faced with the decision all loving pet owners dread.

The heartbreak happened Tuesday, when Grider took Jack on one last ride to Great Bear Recreation Park, then drove him to the veterinarian's office. Jack had been diagnosed with cancer just hours earlier, and despite the tempting promise of life prolonging surgery, Grider looked in his dog's eyes and knew it was time to let him go.

Another says, "So many funny memories of Jack at GB grabbing the hot dog right out of the young skier's hand (just too hard to resist)."

"Oh, we loved seeing Jack when we visited! His floppy ears always made us smile as he greeted us at the chalet," reads one message.

Grider isn't the only one grieving for Jack. For 10 years, the spaniel retriever mix had greeted visitors to the skiing and hiking area between Sioux Falls and Brandon. He often came out in Converse High Heels Boots

It was Converse Chuck 2 Knit

His then wife thought having a dog would be good for their children, however, so Grider in 2003 headed to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. He already decided to bring home a small terrier.

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