Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye My Jet

I hate to see 2016 go since it has been one of the best years I have had in a while. My clean scans throughout this year have easily made it wonderful. My travels to Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Washington DC, the NC mountains, and Louisiana have made this my most traveled year ever adding to its grandness.

The end of the year was only eight days away when a decision I hated to make, but knew was coming, put a smudge on the month of December. Over the past year my border collie’s health was in decline. For the last many months he was no longer able to go up and down the steps of our home forcing me to carry him in and out—no easy feat since I am 98 pounds and he 50. On December 19th, he no longer could move his back legs making caring for him much more difficult. On the 23rd, my husband and I hesitantly took him to the vet. It is not a fun place feeling like your decision makes you an executioner.

He did not struggle as we waited in the room for the doctor. When the vet entered, my dog comfortably lay beside my husband. I chose to stand. She mentioned his breathing indicated he didn’t have long. She tried to comfort us with, “You are doing the right thing.” It wasn’t necessary. I knew we were.

The days leading up to his euthanization I rationalized the decision saying to myself: he is 14 years and 4 months old; he is not going to get better; he is in pain. My feelings of selfishness remain, though, as I knew my life would be easier as his struggles to get up during the night would no longer awaken me.

His euthanization also begged me to consider how people are often kept alive when the doctors and the patient's loved ones know the person will not recover. There is always that hope, though, that somehow the impossible might occur. I don’t believe in killing human life under any circumstances, but my disease and the extreme measures of which people attempt to keep the inevitable at bay make me question that belief.

My dog, Jet, did almost everything I ever asked of him except “come” on command when a car pulled into our driveway. Chasing a Frisbee, a ball, or even a cat or chicken if given the chance, were his favorite activities. He had some insecurity issues we never completely overcame, try though we did. His ears played tricks on me as they flopped and stood-up finally making their final display of standing erect permanently at around age 4. He was a rescue dog born to a border collie female who gave birth at a shelter where she was dropped off. I took him home at 8 weeks when he weighed 8 pounds. From the day I brought him home I knew he would become my competition agility dog. We trained for 5 years. Every competition I entered him--except one of which I disqualified us--he won 1st place. Those years were such fun.

Goodbye 2016 and goodbye my Jet.

Tire Jump

Weave Poles
See Casper "the friendly ghost" on his side? Casper might have been a good name, but Jet was what I wanted.

3 comments:

  1. A beautiful dog. It is heartbreaking to lose them, but (for me at least) that is far outweighed by the joy they give.
    Cathy S.

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  2. Hi, Lisa. This is Dale.
    I had no idea. You never stop amazing me! I'm so sorry that Jet is gone. I didn't know you did all those things! Everytime I read your blog,I am stunned by your knowledge, your bravery and your strength. I usually don't comment after reading one of your blogs. I feel anything I could say would be the blathering of a fool on the stage of brilliance. Maybe that's why I chose a blog about your losing your dog to chime in on! While heartbreaking, it's not cancer. And on heartbreak, I am qualified to comment. Great job! I always love your writing. And I'll always love you, cuz!

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  3. Love your string of words here especially "the blathering of a fool on the stage of brilliance"-- Nice! Stage of brilliance might be going a bit far, but I will take it. Thank you for commenting on a blog that really doesn't generate a lot of comments from people, so when it happens, it is a nice surprise. Love you too cuz!

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