Once upon a time a young family went in search of the perfect companion. It was a mom, a dad and a little boy of only three. They found that friend in the puppy room of the second animal shelter they visited that cold Saturday before Thanksgiving. A handsome Jack Russel Terrier with a chip on his shoulder because he was exiled to the Puppy Room when he was really a BIG dog!
That was the day I first met my Jack. He was part of our lives for 10 wonderful years. I like to say that we all grew up with Jack. He entered our lives at a time when we were trying to find stability. The Hubs had just left active duty in the Army, we had bought our first house, and my Crohn’s Disease was running havoc. We NEEDED Jack.
Every year around this time, for the last four years or so, I start feeling out of sorts. Lonely, sad, just not right. Tonight I was feeling that way again, and, as I do every year, I realized why. It’s been five years since we lost our Jack. December 30, 2006, we thanked him for taking care of us and sent him off peacefully.
I think about Jack a lot and tonight, I found an old journal I used to keep. Before the time of WordPress…when Blogger was in its infancy…when blogging was for “kids”, I wrote an entry in a frilly notebook about my “talks” with Jack, and I thought I’d share it. I believe in my heart that Jack left us for a reason. At that time, we were trying to grow our family. Jack was turning mean in his old age. We called him the “grumpy old man”, and he was possessive, especially of me. I knew if we had a baby in the house, there would be trouble.
Jack left us…, and the Young One came. Our adoption referral came almost one year to the day.
My tribute to Jack, written 1/1/07…
It’s not a happy new year. I’ve lost my best friend. We put Jack to sleep two days ago, and I miss him so much. I was never alone when he was here. We understood each other. He was my baby. We had long talks.
The day we got him, he bit Nick twice. The next morning, I took him for a walk, and told him that I’d give him one more chance. He never bit Nick again. He went back to the house and started begging for the Reese’s Pieces Nick was eating!
As he got sicker, he was on medicine that made him drink a lot, which made him pee a lot–in the house, in the bed. The Hubs made him sleep in the kitchen and every morning we’d wake to a huge mess. I knew part of that was because he was mad, so I had a talk with him. I told him to show us he could go a whole night without going on the floor…try really hard. He did…no mess the next day!
Then I tried bringing him back into the bed at night. We sat on the bed and talked about not going in the bed. “Wake me up if you have to go.” He did, and he slept with us until the end.
The afternoon after the doctor told us that the immune system disease he thought Jack had was actually him immune system fighting a tumor on his pancreas, we took him home one last time, and we had a talk.
I told him I loved him more than anything, and I wanted him to be happy. He didn’t deserved to be so sick. He deserved to go to Heaven.
I told him what he would have there–sunny days, warm days, bones to chew and treats. He could run all he wanted and chase squirrels and rabbits and mice. He could bark all he wanted, and no one would yell at him. He would be happy there, and Pop-Pop (the Hubs’ dad) would be waiting for him.
I held him the rest of the day. I took him out and let him walk as much as he wanted. We sat in front of the window in the den and watched the kids play in the yard. We went in the living room and watched the Christmas tree–he loved Christmas so much!
I took him upstairs to the bedroom, and he curled up by my pillow. We talked some more about Heaven, and I asked him if we were doing the right thing. He picked up his head and looked me straight in the eye. I think he was telling me , “Yes”.
I told him I loved him so many times that day, and at the vet’s that night night, I told him again and again. I also told him to come greet me next time I see him, and it gives me comfort to know that he will be there for me like he always has been. He died in my arms–12/30/06 8:20 pm.
Right now, I’m lost without my Jackie, my dear sweet baby. He gave me everything, and I grew up with him. He gave me comfort when I needed it, joy and laughter too. He gave me unconditional love. I have been blessed to have Jack in my life for more than 10 years.
He was my friend, my doctor, my child. I’ll love him forever.
Love your doggies and your kitties and any other critters your call Family,