Missing my Golden Retriever

My beautiful dog Jazz. 6/14/2000 – 8/9/2011

Such a heavy heart this week. My beautiful puppy dog Jazz passed away Tuesday morning with her head in my lap. This was something totally unexpected. Yes, she was 11 so we knew her time left with us was limited. But she was a very healthy dog until this past Saturday. It wasn’t but two months ago that we were fishing and she came running full throttle down the dirt road when it was time to go home.

She loved to go fishing. She knew we were going before we even said it out loud. When we’d go out to get things ready she would bark in an angry tone that said, “Don’t you even think about not taking me, too!”

She had such different relationships with everyone in the family. My husband was the lap she could still sit on and the tosser of her favorite snack – popcorn. My daughter, who picked her out at the state fair 11 years ago, was the one she would lay her head on her lap just inches (sometimes less) from her dinner plate and beg with those soft brown eyes. My son was the one she ran and hid from when we first brought him home as a baby, but he soon became a favorite person to play “toss the sock” with. I can’t tell you how many good pairs of socks had holes in them from Jazz, she absolutely loved socks. And to me, she was my constant companion.

I was the one she knew would get up and let her out at any time of the day or night, she never even asked anyone else to do it. She slept beside me most nights by the side of the bed and every morning I’d have to check where it was safe to put my feet so I didn’t step on her. I’d go downstairs and within a few minutes she would follow and our day together would begin. Oh how I loved to pet her head and feel that soft fur under my fingers. I was never allowed to get by without a handshake, or three or four. She would lay beside me in my office always and join us all in the living room at night.  In her later years, when she would go outside to go potty she would bark to come back in as soon as she was done. She considered herself one of us and didn’t want to spend any more time away than necessary it seems. We used to laugh at her on a morning when there was dew in the grass. This dog who would go out of her way to splash in a puddle or hop in the lake, really didn’t like to step on the grass when it was wet – go figure.

She didn’t make much noise, so it’s hard to explain how it feels so quiet around here now. I guess it’s that her constant presence is gone and you realize how she was there in everything that you did. I missed not seeing her there when I got out of bed yesterday morning, not being right beside me when I opened a loaf of bread to make a sandwich (she loved the heels and knew they were hers), not having her come over for a the first pet of the day and then laying down beside me. Oddly enough, I know I heard her collar tags shake yesterday morning. I think it was her way of letting me know she is still here beside me.

We buried her in the middle of my flower garden with her belly facing the sun. She loved to lay there and sun herself, relaxing as only a dog can. My daughter, who is away at college, chose not to come home to see her before we laid her to rest. Choosing instead to remember her the way she was. My eight year old son, through his tears, asked me, “Maybe this year at the state fair we could pick out another one.” I’m not sure if we’ll be ready for that a month from now. But why do I get the sneaking suspicion that somewhere down the road when he is in college we will be repeating this whole process.

I love you Jazz. I hope you are exploring by a lake up in heaven right now. Thank you for all the years of love and joy you brought into our lives.

By , @Writing2Day

One Response to “Missing my Golden Retriever”

  1. Kay Willows says:

    Our four legged family members are most adept at making their homes in their human family members’ hearts. And we human family members are most willing to make room in our hearts for them.

    Jazz had a wonderful life with you. Her collar tags jingle especially in your heart always.

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