I crossed the rainbow bridge early this week when my physical body failed me.
My people wept as they wished me godspeed. I was already focused on the road ahead, so I barely noticed the vet who so gently helped me on my way.
I had been in ill health for several months. I had good days, not so good days, and awful days.
There was much hand wringing and hushed conversations about what to do for me. Imagine all that fuss over an old dog like me.
At one point Ash pulled me aside and asked me if I was going to die.
“We’re all going to die Ash,” I said. “It’s just that I am going to die sooner than you.”
“I don’t want you to die, Jack,” Ash said.
His lip quivered as he spoke and I knew he was near tears. Ever since he lost his beloved Codie, Ash has struggled with death.
“Where will you go, Jack?” Ash asked.
“I don’t know exactly,” I said. “This life has been a strange and wonderful journey that brought me to Asherpark. We were meant to be pals, Ash. I will see you someday on the other side.”
As I prepared to leave this world, visions of my life played like a movie in front of my eyes. There were scenes from my puppy days when I was taken from my mother far too soon. Days of hunger when I was gaunt and my eyes were gooey with infection because nobody took care of me.
Then the police came and took me to the dog jail. I spent five months in a kennel at the animal control prison while the woman who owned me debated whether I was worth saving or not.
In January 2010 my life changed forever when Old Dog Haven found me a home at Asherpark. I was overcome with gratitude but helpless to express what I felt. Instead of being a gracious guest, I tried to intimidate Ash and marked constantly for weekss until my scent obliterated every other scent in the house.
One day our mom put me and Ash in the car and drove off with us. I thought for sure I was on my way back to jail because of my bad behavior. As I started to cry Ash licked my big snout and told me everything would be okay.
Ash told me we were going to the grocery store to get doggie ice cream. And so we were.
While I waited nervously in the car, mom ran into the grocery store and came out with boxes of doggie ice cream. We raced home before the ice cream could melt.
Mom pulled the lids off two containers and tossed them to Ash and Tess. They ran off to the backyard to enjoy their treats.
When Mom opened my ice cream and held it by my nose, I grabbed it and tried to swallow it whole. She laughed and patiently showed me how to lick the ice cream without eating the paper.
That first ice cream was the best thing I ever tasted in my whole life. Later I learned how to eat the ice cream by myself.
As I lay dying my heart was filled with gratitude. Out of thousands of old discarded dogs, I was a lucky one given a second chance when Old Dog Haven agreed to find a home for me.
When you remember me, remember how happy I was at Asherpark. If you want to honor my life, please consider making a small donation to Old Dog Haven in my name so another scared old dog can have a second chance.