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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Our best friend....

As October draws to a close, we have been forced to deal with yet another loss to our family.  Although this loss isn't of the human kind, the loss has effected both my husband and I much harder than we could have imagined.

It started as an average Sunday morning...with a little added ciaos. With three of our grandchildren spending the night, we were busy with breakfast, creating a robot costume for Peter, and choosing pumpkins to carve later in the day.  Peter had gone outside to pick a pumpkin, and his brother Joey was standing near the door.  When Petie approached with  his chosen pumpkin, Joey kindly opened the door a bit to help him in....but, as happened so many time before, our dog, Jack, bolted out the door.  Oh, how he loved to run!  We knew that....he had bolted before, run around and eventually come back.  We were busy doing things in the kitchen with the kids, and let him stay outside.  He never was very good at coming when he was called anyway, but usually just sat around the front yard enjoying his freedom.  I was standing at the kitchen table facing the windows when I saw a truck suddenly stop and two young men jump out....then I saw our Jack, laying on the front yard, not moving.  He had been hit.   I gasped and cried, Oh my God...and my husband and I ran outside, telling the kids to please stay inside.

The rest is a blur....Chris carried our Jack inside, and Allie and I sat by him on the dining room floor.  He was injured badly on his legs, but was conscious.  He struggled to get up a few times, but I made him lay down.  We called Cornell Vet Emergency clinic, and just as our oldest son came to watch the kids, we rushed Jack down to the clinic.  We kept telling ourselves he will be okay...he will make it...but the doctor gave us the devastating news that Jack's injuries were too severe, and he only had a 50/50 chance of using his legs again, but that he also had brain trauma.  We could see he was suffering very much, so we made the only kind decision we could....we let him go.  We stayed with him until the end....and haven't stopped crying since.

I've always tried to keep priorities straight...animals are just animals....but the huge void that Jack's death has put in our lives is almost more than we can bear.  No longer is Jack waiting in the kitchen for my husband for his morning walk.  He's no longer there for his milk when I get up.  I didn't realize how much my daily routine involved Jack....our morning visits to take care of the chickens, our walks to the mailbox, how he was always in the way of my chair at my computer desk.  The way he peeked around the corner into the kitchen when I was fixing dinner, our walks back to the coop in the evening to close them up...and most of all, how he waited at the small window in the carriage room, waiting for daddy to come home, and getting so excited when he pulled in the drive after work.  Oh, the way he used to bug Chris for his nightly walk.  He was always a happy dog, rolling around on the floor, and wagging that big tail of his, while our kitten batted at him.
Jack was so good with the cats, who loved to nuzzle him...he was so good with the grandkids, who could crawl all over him, and he didn't mind.
The hurt is so raw right now....his absence is more than we can stand.  His bowl still sits there with the few crumbs he left in it.  His beloved dog house, sits empty, with the chain coiled up inside. His leash hangs on the wall..unused. 

We tried to take good care of him...but with his loss comes the thoughts of what we could have and should have done differently.  We always knew he loved to run, and hated it when he darted across the road. We should have fenced in part of the yard for him to use all his energy.  We should have given him a safe place to run and play.  He was good most of the time being free, but we knew his tendencies...why were we so blind, denying that this wouldn't happen.  We spent money and time making sure our chickens were safe....why were we so blind to the necessity to do so for Jack, who was so much more to us than the chickens.
Why were we intolerant of him at times, when he was so energetic....if he could have safely used his energy, maybe he wouldn't have wanted to bolt out the door.  Why didn't we take him for longer walks...because we were too busy?  Because we were too tired?  At 10 years old, he still had so much energy and joy in him...why didn't we appreciate it more.
Oh, don't get me wrong, we loved this dog....he was well cared for and we tried to keep him safe...we just could have done better....the regrets we feel now, are, in a way, lessons to be learned.

Don't take things for granted, as you NEVER know when they will be taken from you.

Take joy in all the little things in life... a quick walk to the mailbox, a little treat, your loved ones walking in the door, or even the joy of waking in the morning to another day. 

Do your best to take care of the things you love...nurture, protect and guide. 

We get so caught up in the daily duties and demands of life, that we rarely take the time to truly appreciate this life that Our Lord has blessed us with.  These lessons are so very important, and we are so devastated that it took the loss of our best friend, Jack, to make us see more clearly.

Hugs your loved ones today, furry or human.
Give them your attention and kindness.
So that when you do have to part, the hurt may not be full of 'should haves' but full of  "I'm glad I dids."..

Rest in Peace Jack Jack
Oh how we miss you.


  1. I'm so sorry Wendy and family. It's such a hard thing to go through. :( My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Wendy~ You gave him a good life full of love. In hind sight there are always things we should of or could of.But in the end it might not have changed a thing.I know it hurts so much they are a part of the family. We spend more time with them than we do people. Big hugs and prayers for comfort sent your way!~Amy

  3. I am so sorry to hear about Jack and I feel your pain. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  4. Oh Wendy, I am so sorry to hear this. While animals are not humans, they are living beings and deserve our love. Praying for you all.

  5. Wendy, my heart goes out to you & I cried as I read your email today. The journey of losing a pet is heart wrenching as they are so part of our family. I know you do not know me, but I share in your sadness during this difficult time. Hugs, Blessings & Prayers be with you & your husband. Ruth


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