|Sweet Jazzy Girl
I met my sweet Jazzy Girl the summer of 2009 when I was volunteering at animal shelter as a dog walker. Jazzy, who on top of having parvo, had knee issues and was scared of her own shadow. Once I was able to handle her I had to carry her outside because she was too scared to walk. She was so scared she pooped herself. Due to the combination of her medical (knee issues) and behavioral (fear) issues the shelter didn’t think she would make a good adoption candidate. I offered to foster her to see if her “issues”, with some TLC, would improve. I knew from the moment I brought her home that her and I belonged together and she became an instant foster failure. Since she wasn’t allowed to jump, I slept with her on the floor each night until she was medically cleared to run and jump and be a puppy. Though her knee issues improved she never fully outgrew her fear. Jazzy was my velcro dog. Where I went, she went. As she got older she grew more confident thanks to the support of our other dogs. I never pushed her boundaries so she rarely went too far from home. She was the perfect dog on leash. She always checked in with me and I am pretty sure if I took her off leash she would have stayed by my side. Because of her knees issues she was never able to scratch herself like a normal dog (if she had an itch she would rub against a piece of furniture – kind of like a bear rubbing on a tree). To help her, I would brush her every morning. Jazzy was the first to bark when I walked in the door. And her bark was so very loud. She barked at everything. The only time she was silent was when she was done eating and would wait quietly and patiently to be let out of her kennel. She could jump gates and run fast. She played rough with her brothers and sister (our other dogs). And she was a little trouble maker. She got into a bag of grapes once and I had to rush her to the ER. She loved to give kisses. But she also loved to eat poop. It was a running joke that the secret to her soft fur was all the poop she ate. She loved to be pet on the white patch of fur on her chest. If I stopped she would gently paw at me asking me to keep petting her. She was by my side for some of the biggest moments in my life (good and bad). I always thought she would be by my side. There was never a day that went by, even as her face got grey, that I thought about saying goodbye. She was healthy and crazy, until she wasn’t. Everything happened so fast. The vets suspected she had a brain tumor that finally grew big enough to cause irrevocable neurological damage. There were no warnings signs. No abnormal lab results. I knew after 12 years of being my rock it was time for me to return the favor. Our last night together was spent the same as our first night together. We snuggled on the floor together while I slept on and off, occasionally checking on her to make sure she was Ok. When it was time to let her go I held her paw and told her thank you for being my best friend, apologized a thousand times that I didn’t get to fight for her and told her I loved her. I don’t know if she knew I was there because she had been non responsive all morning. But I hope she heard my voice and felt my hand and knows that I never left her side. It’s been a month and it still feels like we just said goodbye. I light a candle for her every night and tell her I love her, hoping that one day I’ll see her again.
Run free sweet Jazzy Girl.