Daisy was the absolute best dog and friend that I’ve had. She was a diva princess who usually always got her way. But she could also be a crazy bully but in a very loving way. She loved riding in the car, and always demanded the front seat if we were driving around locally. She even made my teenage daughter sit in the backseat a few times. She was a very finicky eater and was extremely picky about human food when she was given the chance to have some. She had quite an extensive wardrobe and tolerated all of the clothes and shoes that I would put on her. She brought me pure joy, happiness, and companionship for a great 7 years! A big hole was left in my heart when she passed and I look forward to seeing her again one day. I love you dearly my sweet, precious Daisy Sue! ❤💜❤
We just entrusted Pine Hill with our 31 year old quarter horse. He was a faithful pet and loved by family and friends. His name is Elite Bueno (Doc) and his bloodlines include Doc Bar on the top side and Poco Bueno on the bottom side! He is already missed and will be loved always! He has a great history of being an outstanding bulldogging horse and has winning spanning the range of high school rodeo champion, college rodeo champion and PRCA champion!! He was a great champion and loved by all who knew him. After his rodeo days he was loved and honored in a loving manner by family and friends. He lived a long restful life by our family on our small ranch with other horses much love!!! We will visit the Cemetery very soon!
Jazz left us a year ago today. I have attempted to put my feelings into words many times since, thinking it might help, in some cathartic way, to put something in writing. But every time I tried; the emotions of remembering were just too much. Even now, I’m crying as I write this a year later. But Jazz deserves to have his story told so here it goes again.
Actually, Jazz was not my dog…I was “his human”. It started the first time we ever set eyes on one another.
We were at a friend’s apartment and I was trying to fix a problem with her computer when Dyana walked into the room with a tiny bundle in her arms. We had no children or other pets and had been talking about the fact that she felt we had reached the point in our relationship where a puppy might be just the nurturing experience, we both needed. I disagreed. It wasn’t that I didn’t like dogs. I loved dogs and had had numerous ones throughout my life. However, at this point I just didn’t feel I wanted the added responsibility.
Well, Jazz must not have been aware of my reluctance.
“What have you got there?” I asked.
“Isn’t he just the sweetest thing you ever saw?” Dyana said as she handed him to me.
In that instant, for reasons that, to this day I do not understand, a bond was formed. I became Jazz’s. Dyana joked many times over the next, almost 17 years, that she had been the one that wanted a puppy, but Jazz had something different in mind and, as we were to find out many times over, once Jazz got something in his head, it stayed there.
Jazz was a Jack Russell Terrier but was the runt of the litter and didn’t have the distinctive brown or black patches of a pure-bred Jack Russell which is why Dyana’s friend was willing to trade him, even up, for the computer work since she knew that, even if she was able to sell him, which was doubtful, she’d never get full price. What little hair he had was pure white but it was so thin that the black dots that covered his skin were quite visible through the hair and made him look almost Dalmatian-like. He had long legs, a stubby tail that never stopped moving and, even though the runt of the litter, a thick body that would eventually grow in to a handsome, muscular, barrel-chested adult. He was beautiful. He was my Boy.
And he was a bundle of contradictions. Being a Jack Russell, he was bred to be a hunter and woe be it to any creature that had the misfortune to wander into his territory. Over the years Jazz caught and killed rabbits, possums, birds, rats and snakes, just to name a few. It wasn’t that he was mean or blood-thirsty, just the opposite, but it was bred into his breed and there was nothing he could do but hunt. His constant preoccupation was to, as we quickly titled it, “patrol the perimeter”, meaning that he would constantly move around the perimeter of the yard, checking for weaknesses. Any place an enemy might find to invade.
But however ferocious and unforgiving he could be with uninvited guests; Jazz was just as loving and tender with anyone he knew we had intentionally brought into the family. Over the years we would bring in any number of cats and other dogs and never once was Jazz anything other than sweet and kind to them all. He would take any abuse, any indignity thrust upon him by these new additions with never a protest or even a perturbed growl. He simply welcomed the company and new friends wherever he found them.
And speaking of friends, another contradiction was, as much as he loved us and loved being around us every minute of every day, just let him see the merest semblance of an opportunity, a broken fence panel, a gate left partially open, the slightest hint of daylight as you opened the front door, and the last thing you would see was a streak of white as he shot, at supersonic speed, down the street and around the corner before you knew he was even out. Every time this happened, I would jump angrily into my truck and go after him, wondering why in the world he was so intent on getting away from us. We were good parents, right? It happened so often that we eventually gave him the nickname of “Papillon” after the Steve McQueen character in the movie of the same title. A prisoner, constantly attempting to escape his prison but always being recaptured and returned.
Eventually I would always find him, in the same situation, surrounded by an adoring group of either adults or kids laughing and hugging him while he licked their faces and wiggled in supreme happiness. It took me a while, but I finally figured out that Jazz never wanted to escape. His intent was never to get away, nor did he consider our home his prison. But he knew there was a big, wide world out there, full of people and new friends and he just wanted to be near them and share his love of life with them. Realizing this didn’t make the “escapes” less inconvenient but it did serve to reduce my frustration limit considerably.
Over the years Jazz, as we all do, started a slow decline. He slept more. His old bones ached. You could tell by the limp and by the fact that he had a harder and harder time getting around. Cataracts began forming over his eyes to the point, eventually that he became blind. His hearing started to decline and eventually he was all but deaf. None of this stopped his roaming and patrolling of the perimeter, however. He might not do it as often; he might not be able to see or hear the invaders, but he could certainly smell them and I would often see him standing in the yard, head held high, sniffing for clues, still working to keep his family safe.
Finally, after almost 17 years of living every day to his fullest, even a heart as big and strong as Jazz’s fails him. On his final day he laid down in his favorite place, the sun filled back yard, and just couldn’t get back up. As heartbroken as I was, I went out and laid beside him in the grass, petting him, talking to him and looking up at the sky, describing it to him as best I could. I knew he couldn’t hear me, but he knew I was there and that was enough for us both. That night I held him in my arms until I fell asleep in my chair. When I woke up, I put him in the bed, and we spent our last few hours together sleeping next to each other as we had so many times before. The next morning, we said our goodbyes, tears in our eyes but no crying. We had promised not to cry in front of him. All we wanted him to sense from us this day was love, not sadness.
I remember wishing the short trip to the vet’s office was longer, anything to extend my time with Jazz, no matter how hard it was. But I did arrive and eventually it was over. Jazz let my life in my arms, the same as he had come into it. My only comfort was that he had left this world without pain, held by someone who loved him and wanted nothing more than for him to be at peace. We should all be so lucky.
Even after a year Jazz’s spirit still surrounds us. We feel him. We even, at times, see him. Dyana and I have both shared the experience of catching a flash of white out of the corner of our eye and turning, knowing we would see him running around the yard, only to be disappointed when we realized it wasn’t so. And why wouldn’t we? Jazz was so much a part of our lives for so long. That spirit doesn’t just leave you simply because the physical body does and if I have any control over it, it never will.
Sometimes, in my dreams, I also see Jazz. It’s once again a beautiful, sunny spring day and a handsome, young, healthy, clear-eyed puppy dog has once again “escaped” in a flash of white that rounds the corner so fast I’m not sure I really saw it. This time, however, instead of being angry or frustrated at him, I smile as I climb into my truck and slowly, to give him time to stretch his legs, follow in the direction my “Papillon” just took.
Soon, as always happens, I come upon him a few blocks away surrounded by a group of adoring kids, basking in their petting and laughter. Suddenly he turns, recognizes the truck and me. As I lean over to open the passenger door, he runs toward me and jumps into the seat beside me, his stubby tail wagging for all its worth and a big, wide smile on his face. I reach over and rub his ears and he reciprocates with a few well places licks. He sit’s back in the seat and faces forward expectantly. I laugh, put the truck in gear, and we drive slowly forward into the sunlight together, looking for new friends.