We have a very empty house. My youngest son’s companion of more than twelve years left us very unexpectedly last week. Her departure has left us with a very large hole in our hearts. While she loved each and every one of us, she loved Tim the most, with her entire heart and soul — and he loved her back just exactly the same. Her death is very surreal and difficult for all of us to accept. We keep walking into the house or a room and looking for her. After all, for her whole life and a good chunk of ours, she was around. It took me a long while to decide whether or not to write this post. I didn’t want to share our grief, our very, very personal sadness with the world. I was being selfish, because honestly I didn’t want to have to field all the “I’m sorrys” as heartfelt as they were, because they couldn’t help to make the sadness in our hearts go away. In thinking about it, long and hard, I realized that I was wrong. Jinx was a good dog – no, she was a great dog — and she deserves a proper eulogy. So here goes….
She came into our lives an energetic and adorable black lab puppy. She grew up with Tim and the two of them shared so many good times and so much snuggling and cuddling. He wanted desperately, as a tiny guy to have her be “his dog” and there is absolutely no question that she was. She loved him with every ounce of her being and he gave the same huge amount of love back to him. If there could be such a thing as a “perfect” death, she had it. She died in his arms and his face was the last one she saw. Tom and I swear that she waited for him, although don’t get me wrong, we had no idea that she was going to die. She had been asleep on the couch in my office, as she usually was during a “work day” and he came home early from school because of testing, anxious to share a beautiful day by taking her for a swim which is something she adored. They never made the swim, in fact, they never made it out the door. She collapsed and died just a few minutes later, within minutes of his arrival home. She was a smart dog, she kept us on schedule for dinner (6 p.m. was the time she decided dinner should be served) and she was always quick to let us know what she wanted and what she didn’t. If she was being pesky and we thought she had to go out, she was quick to back up and lay down when we tried to open the door and let her out telling us we had gotten it wrong. She had Tom and I on a schedule, our lunch was always the time for her snack. She would patiently wait for us to finish eating and then “urge” us to get up and give her a well deserved (in her opinion of course) snack. She loved cucumber almost as much as meat and you couldn’t break out anything crunchy without her coming running from across the house to share it with you. If we left her outside too long, she would come and stand at the window in the living room, staring at us, until we let her back inside. I’m sure that if she could figure out how to open the door herself, she would have done that as well. She enjoyed trips to the transfer station or any outing in the car and she loved being boarded at Wundrland, she would go crazy, whining and crying, when we mentioned the name. She loved all of us but would go absolutely crazy when Tim got home from a trip, especially last summer when he was gone for weeks at a time. She was my work buddy and lived for “let’s go to work” where she would promptly follow me into my office and take her place on the couch while I worked. She loved keeping the chipmunks that live around the house on the their toes and would run after the squeaking noise the second she heard it. She loved, loved, loved frisbee and swimming with Tim as well as anytime that she was able to snuggle up with him. She was very special to us and can never be replaced. In addition to the obvious, one of the things that always strikes me about death, is the words that will cease to be spoken. I remember when my dad died since that day, no one has every referred to me as “baby” or “my little girl”. Those words died along with my dad, never to be spoken again. Similarly, there are words that will never be uttered again in this house “jinxy dawg”,”let’s go to work”, “back up the truck” or “beep, beep, beep” when she used to try to go backwards around the coffee table. I hope that with these words and pictures, I have done her justice. We gave her a good home and she gave us a lifetime of love. What more can either of us ask for? Rest in peace, puppy dog — you deserve it.