Dogs and their Country Owners
Published: Sunday, February 20, 2011
Updated: Sunday, February 20, 2011 22:02
There is possibly just one thing with the power to make a flannel wearing, Levi clad country star melt: an ultra-lovable rescue dog.
Dierks Bentley's mixed-breed shelter dog Jake has been at his side since the beginning of his country music career back in 2003. The lovable pooch appeared on the cover of Bentley's self-titled album. This was not Jake's last appearance on one of Bentley's albums either. Bentley even gives a nod to Jake on his recent smash hit, "Up on the Ridge," when he sings "Listen to them crickets chirp/Hear old Jake start to howl/When he hears that ol' hoot owl."
Bentley knew that his fans would appreciate the use of his loyal dog in the title track of his 2010 album, "Up on the Ridge."
"It's the first time I've mentioned him in a song," Bentley told country music website, The Boot. "The first time I added his name in, I thought, ‘No you can't put Jake in there…maybe you should change the line.' And I thought about changing it…but I thought at the end, ‘No, I gotta put Jake in there.' I knew my longtime fans would get a kick out of it!"
Jake has also appeared in a couple of Bentley's music videos including his 2009 hit "Feel that Fire," and his 2008 hit "What was I Thinkin'".
Much in the same way Bentley fell in love with Jake, country artist Jimmy Wayne did the same when he set eyes on his dog, Ruby, in White Deer, Texas. Although Wayne and Ruby returned home to North Carolina a little over a year ago, their journey was anything but easy.
During his youth, Wayne was tossed through 12 different schools over two years, his mother was in and out of prison and his father abandoned him, leaving Wayne homeless.
Knowing the sorrow of being discarded and the joy of finding a loving foster family, Wayne has made it his mission to help change the lives of thousands of homeless teenagers.
On New Year's Day 2010, Wayne set out from his Monroe Harding youth home in Nashville, Tenn. and headed toward Phoenix, Ariz. on foot to raise awareness for teen homelessness as part of his "Meet Me Halfway" project.
According to Wayne's Facebook page, "Meet Me Halfway," was an idea which hatched in his kitchen in 2009. He had just returned home from his "American Saturday Night Tour" with Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley and was feeling pretty lucky. That was when he came up with the idea that he should do something for the people who had not been as lucky in life.
Wayne's project encouraged people to meet him at any point during his walk to help raise awareness for teen homelessness.
Although Wayne met a lot of loyal fans, local citizens and supporters of his mission, Wayne never expected to meet Ruby.
"There was something about Ruby that immediately got my attention," Wayne told The Boot. "I noticed that she was the outcast of the three dogs in her litter; she was so pitiful it would make any grown man crumble to his knees."
Ruby is in many ways symbolic to Wayne of his own journey as a foster child and the journeys of the kids he helped in his "Meet Me Halfway" project.
Running a close race next to Jake and Ruby for the cutest and most loved country pooch is Carrie Underwood's four-year-old rat terrier named Ace. Ace even has his own fan club where videos of the dog are posted regularly. Ace is so special to Underwood that he even played a role in Underwood's spring nuptials to hockey player Mike Fisher.
Ace looked stunning in a Swarovski crystal-encrusted pink tux and a custom collar designed by Johnathon Arndt with a diamond "A" imprinted on it.
Prior to her wedding Underwood revealed to People Magazine that Ace would be playing one of the ring bearers.
"He's like my kid," Underwood said. "Ace is such a big part of my life."
The human ring bearer, Underwood's nephew, walked Ace down the aisle. Although Fisher was not thrilled that little Ace would be dressed in a pink tux he admitted that Ace walking down the aisle was "pretty cool."