RIP – Our Beauty

1 03 2012

Jasper - our beloved friend and companion


Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware, of giving your heart to a dog to tear –  Rudyard Kipling

Jasper is 13, she’s doddery now and losing herself. It’s time to say goodbye. The decision does not rest lightly or come easily. It brings a sore and rising lump to my throat.

We spent some time by the river after work yesterday. It is a place we’d regularly visit when we lived much closer. She loves the grassy banks and running between us. Finding a dead fish to roll in is always a bonus in her mind. It’s our last outing with her. It seemed right to revisit this place one last time. It was so good to see her being bouncy again, even just briefly.

This afternoon she closed her eyes for the last time. It was painless but so quick. We’ve known it for a while and have wrestled and agonised over the the decision.  When do we draw the line – how far do we let her decline before we balance kindness and cruelty?  What if we get it wrong?  It is an awful place.  I wonder if she sees it in my eyes.  We’re bereft yet again.  She is one of our best and closest friends. And now she’s gone.

Here she is lounging all over our bed on her back, head twisted one way and legs another, completely content.  I’ve always been amazed how such a little dog can take up so much room.  I routinely wake up clinging to a small strip along the edge of the bed while she snores on, loudly.  I’m sure she believes it is actually her queen sized bed which she graciously allows us to share each night. I will miss her. I will miss her love, her softness, her company, her smell, her funny little ways.  Her unwavering and totally unconditional love.

She’s stolen biscuits, dug holes in the garden, chewed my written notes, eaten my watchband, been proud of finding something smelly to roll in and is ridiculously possessive of her paws.  She hides socks, eats only one of each pair of shoes and thinks she owns whatever she can see.  She has unzipped countless bags and rummaged around in the contents.  She thinks custom dental mouthguards are tasty chew toys.  She hates anyone who wears all black clothing and her favourite toy is a stuffed wombat.  She goes crazy after a bath running laps around the house almost digging up the carpet for grip.  On walks she waits until we approach someone before she stops to cough and splutter dramatically, trying to convince people we’re choking her.  She loves to have the wind in her face during a car trip, her elbow neatly cocked out of the window.  Whenever she hurts her neck she seeks me out and shows me where to rub it.  She licks her paws until we yell at her and then licks them some more.  She insists on rubbing her face on the carpet.  She stamps and sneezes with indignation if breakfast is late.  She leaves her wet nose marks along the bottom of my windows.

She is always pleased to see me when I get home and greets me like a long lost best friend: every day. She’s seen me at my worst yet never judged me.  She has no pat answers.  I trust her with all my secrets and she loves me.  She’s been there as a quiet comforter when I’ve been ill, snuggling closer she’s content to spend a day in bed with me as I recover.  She’s cleaned my face of tears when I’ve been wracked in anguish.  She’s happy just to be around me, whatever I might be doing.  She’ll follow me from room to room just to make a nest while I work.  She says very little, but her constant presence with me is more precious than any conversation.

I want to get this right, make sure we’re not keeping her too long but don’t want to rob her of life prematurely.  I don’t want her to go but I don’t want her to suffer.  Urgh – there is that lump in the throat again.  We will hold her right to the end and hold her in our hearts much longer.

Goodbye my Beauty and elegance.  I love you and will miss you desperately.

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24 responses

1 03 2012
weavers journaler

I want to comment – but there are no more words. You’ve said it all – and I feel the sadness and loss.

3 03 2012
Louise

Thanks Cilla, I really appreciate your comment.

1 03 2012
Narelle

Tonight i said goodbye to my companion of over 13 years, my Jasper. I watched her being born and we have rarely been apart. She was a friend when i had none, a nurse when i was ill and my guiding spirit throughout our journey together. She was on my first date with Louise and has been there for us both since then. She was always Beauty and Elegance but with an inner grub. She loved unconditionally always. She was too smart for me and had me wrapped around her paw. I didn’t mind. She was the absolute essence of love and the world is a colder harsher place without her. I like to think she is there with Mum, sitting on her lap, loving and looking after us from afar. Jasper was funny, loving and the bravest Shih Tzu you could ever meet. She scared an intruder out of the house. She was my friend. Rest now Jassie. I will love and remember you forever. Narelle.

1 03 2012
eof737

Sorry to hear about this and sending my condolences your way… RIP Beauty…. 😦

3 03 2012
Louise

Thanks Eliz.

1 03 2012
Libby

So sorry to read this sad news. It brings back so many memories for me too, as it will for many others. Sending you love and hugs.

3 03 2012
Louise

Thanks Libby. Our furry friends are so special aren’t they? A beautiful gift.

1 03 2012
Madhu

Really sorry for for the loss of your beautiful Jasper!

3 03 2012
Louise

Thanks Madhu. We will miss our Jasper but treasure the memories.

2 03 2012
Cee Neuner

Jasper looked a if you pamper him nicely. I know Jasper will be missed. Sending love to you both.

3 03 2012
Louise

Yes, Jas was certainly pampered but gave us so much. Thanks Cee.

2 03 2012
Chris Alice Donner

What beautiful writing from both of you. I will write more privately, but know that there are tears in my heart for you.
Much love and many many hugs.

3 03 2012
Louise

Thanks Chris, I know you know how hard this is.

2 03 2012
J Cosmo Newbery

There’s nothing to say but I feel you you.

3 03 2012
Louise

Thanks for your comment though, it means a lot.

5 03 2012
Inger-M

So sorry for your loss of this beautiful, faithful companion! You have experienced so much sorrow lately, and my heart goes out to you both.

5 03 2012
Louise

Thanks Inger-Marie, yes we are still in sorrow but there are also shafts of light that break through and bring us encouragement and hope. Thank you.

5 03 2012
Leanova Designs

you really have a gift of bringing the reader into your heart. This is so sad and depressing…

7 03 2012
Jan Timmons

That’s it, precisely, Louise! Too soon, too late? How can I/one/we decide? What if I erred with my own lovable Lab. I’m so sorry for your loss, and for having to decide the ‘when’. Leaves such a hole. Will we mourn the requisite two years, as suggested for people?

7 03 2012
Louise

Yes – I will fly in the face of society’s rolling eyeballs and mourn the loss of my beloved furry friend for as long as it takes. I’ve felt the loss acutely and miss her more than I’ve missed some people. I know you know what I mean. The unconditional love of our pets is so special, especially when they have shown us such a beautiful picture of love, loyalty, trust and hope. People have offered me only glimpses of the whole hearted affection she freely lavished on me every single day. Thanks Jan. I hope you’re doing okay too.

18 03 2012
Lynne Ayers

My heart goes out to you – we just marked the anniversary of the loss of our beloved Jaxxon and it was so very difficult. Perhaps it is the decision that haunts us so much.

18 03 2012
Louise

Thanks Lynne, yes it’s a really tough and awful decision process to go through. Sorry to hear about Jaxxon, I hope you’re starting to find some peace and healing.

24 03 2012
frizztext (@frizztext)

my condolences – and you’ve written a heart touching tribute, unforgettable!

25 03 2012
Louise

Thank you, she is sorely missed.

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