A/N: This story is dedicated to my family's three Jack Russell terriers, Chloe, Ty and Titan.
In our story, Janet is alive; she and Daniel have been married five years and have a 6 month old son, Ethan. Sam and Jack have been married 14 years and have four children. Cassie is twenty-nine years old.
(For those of you familiar with the alternate universe I've created in the Alone series, this little tidbit happens shortly after Jack returns in Alone; the twins are 12 years old.)
Chapter One: Trial Period
Cassandra Frasier was back in Colorado Springs. Once she'd completed her post-doctoral work, she'd easily secured a research posting at the SGC. For Cassie, clearance was no problem, and she'd easily adjusted to her new responsibilities. Initially, she lived with her mom, Daniel and little Ethan. But just last week she'd made a down payment on a place of her own. She was excited to say the least!
She'd hoped to come back to the Springs with a fiancé in tow, but things hadn't worked out. Donald wasn't able to deal with the fact that her work would be classified and he'd be shut out of that part of her life. As she moved into her new home, just two blocks from the Jackson residence, she realized she didn't want to be there all alone.
Cassie had never forgotten the moment, many long years ago, when Jack O'Neill had presented her with her first dog. He'd made up some excuse for giving it to her, but she knew now the gift was meant to ease the loneliness and loss she felt those first few months on Earth. A dog, maybe that's exactly what she needed. Probably be a lot more reliable than Donald, she thought.
She wasn't sure how she ended up at a Jack Russell rescue in the foothills, but before she knew it, she was falling in love.
"Ms. Frasier, we have three dogs available for adoption right now," Mrs. Anderson, the owner of the rescue stated, two of said dogs even now vying for her attention.
"All of our animals at the rescue have had failed placements in the past. Often the Jacks are misunderstood by families who think they are cute little picture postcard dogs, like the ones on television, dogs that won't be any trouble. As you may notice from watching these two," she said, gesturing to the little ones even now nipping at her heels, "the Jack Russell terrier is a high energy breed which demands a great deal of attention from his adoptive parents."
"I can see that," Cassie said with a wide grin, getting down on her knees to greet the two small, friendly, curious dogs as they greeted her with their boundless energy and very wet tongues.
"I apologize for their behavior, Ms. Frasier. The goal is to teach the dogs to avoid licking, especially when greeting strangers. These two have only been with me the past two weeks. Their last owner couldn't deal with some of their behaviors, I'm afraid."
Cassie didn't hear much of what Mrs. Anderson was telling her right now. She was buried in wet kisses from two very lovable bundles of joy and she couldn't stop laughing at their antics. Just then a third terrier, smaller than the first two, shyly made her way over to join her friends.
"The two active little guys in your arms right now are Chip and Dale, brothers from the same litter actually," Mrs. Anderson supplied. And the young lady watching all the fuss is Gloria. She's been here a little longer and was abused as a puppy. She's really quite laid back for a Jack."
"They're just wonderful, Mrs. Anderson. I love them all," Cassie beamed. And indeed she did.
Four great kids, a gorgeous wife, a fantastic home and on speed dial for friends of various alien persuasions.
All that was missing was a dog,
Jack O'Neill had wanted a dog for a long time. But he'd wanted a real dog. You know, a golden retriever or a chocolate lab. Not the poster child for Canine Attention Deficit Disorder. He swore those TV spots that showcased these cute little dogs were secretly financed by a world wide conspiracy of Jack Russell Rescue organizations to lull potential adoptive families into a false sense of security.
Now, as he shook his head at the ball of boundless energy jumping between Jake and Grace in the backyard, he wondered anew what had gotten into Cassie. His usually level headed, scientifically minded honorary daughter had shown up at his front door with a wired whirling dervish named Chip yesterday. A big smile on her face and a bright ribbon tied to Chip's collar, she proudly announced he was the lucky owner of a handsome Jack Russell Terrier.
Seems Cassie couldn't decide which dog to adopt at Mrs. Anderson's rescue. They were all so cute. So she adopted Gloria herself and offered to 'foster' Chip and Dale for an extended trial period. And she'd decided on just the right foster parents. (By the 'right foster parents', she meant parents who would never be able to give them back!)
She presented Dale to her mom and Daniel. After all, she was sure Ethan would need a dog eventually. Then she brought Chip to the O'Neills. She selected the most high spirited of the terriers for Jack and Sam's family figuring the energy would be absorbed in a household of four children.
When Cassie arrived with Chip and explained the plan, the O'Neill children were thrilled. Jack, however, was less than enthusiastic.
"Cassie, what are you doing?" He'd asked, trying not to hurt her feelings.
"I'm bringing the kids a dog, Uncle Jack. They'll love Chip. And so will you."
"But Cassie, maybe we don't want a dog. Ever think of that?" Jack had questioned innocently, his wife trying to hide her laughter in the background.
Without missing a beat, Cassie replied, "But Uncle Jack, every kid has to have a dog – it's an earth rule. Remember?"
Hope you liked.
I have two short follow up chapters planned.
Reviews much appreciated!