Photographer and bluegrass musician Brennan Gilmore remembers his dog Jack with a bittersweet fondness. The rescued hound dog was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 but lived well beyond his six-month prognosis, passing away peacefully in the fall of 2020.
During their time together, Gilmore and Jack traveled the world, learned about life, and developed a mutual love for bluegrass music. Gilmore, who goes by the Reddit handle MrJackDog, recently shared a video of Jack jamming with his band, Walker’s Run, to the subReddit, r/aww.
As you may have guessed, r/aww is a domain for folks who want a break from the world’s harsh realities. It features exclusively cute content such as photos and videos of puppies, bunnies, and babies to make you go “Aww!”
The heading to Gilmore’s video reads, “my dog was sleeping backstage and wandered out during the encore to sing with the band.” In it, Jack howls along in perfect tune as his dad and the guys from Walker’s Run rock out. The posting received so much love from fellow Redditors that Gilmore was compelled to share more about the harmonizing hound.
Gilmore adopted his beloved Jack from the pound in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Despite his hound dog blood, Jack never “barked, howled, or so much as whispered” during their first year together.
According to Gilmore, Jack was likely mistreated and tossed out by his previous family. Sadly, this is common practice with hunting dogs in the area. It would take time for Gilmore to earn Jack’s trust.
Just months after Jack’s adoption, the pair packed up and moved to the Central African Republic for two years. Here, man and dog bonded, and Jack finally found his voice.
“One night I was playing guitar, and when I picked up a slide and played a little run, Jack for the first time made a sound,” Gilmore wrote. “He had heard the howling sound of the glass on the steel strings and emulated it, nearly note for note. I was thrilled, and jam sessions became a nightly thing. From then on, from Africa to Washington, to finally home in the Blue Ridge, anytime we played music Jack would join in. He became not just my best friend, but my ever present musical partner.”
In 2016, Walker’s Run played a show at a theater in Little Washington, Virginia. With no one available to watch Jack, Gilmore brought him along. The pooch rested comfortably in the green room, but someone forgot to close the door when the band was called back on stage for an encore.
“We started the tune (Hangman’s Reel) and after about a minute I noticed everybody in the audience pulling out their phones to take pictures,” Gilmore shared. “Then we looked over and saw Jack had found his way out to the stage. He looked at us, looked at the audience, and then let her rip.”
The result is this adorable video!
Apparently, Reddit users love Jack’s performance just as much as the original audience. In under a week, the post has garnered more than 108,000 upvotes.
Even though Jack has passed on, Gilmore says his spirit is still alive in his heart and in his music.
“I have a guitar with an engraving of him on the headstock, and a few of his ashes inside so he’s still always singing when we play.”
Featured Image via Instagram