For one crazy moment in late winter of last year, I had a total lapse of judgement. In that brief spot of time, I found a dog for our family to adopt….after swearing that we would never again be a family with a dog. What is more, this dog was an ‘indoor’ dog. The kind that shares your carpets and furniture with you. Oh, so risky! (At least, thats what my insides were telling me as I contemplated bringing home said doggy.)
This dog was an eight year old Jack Russell Terrier. Insert horror story here:________________. Everyone I met told me that they were full of energy and had simply nightmarish stories to share. But did it dissuade me? No. In that crazy moment (which, looking back, seems more like a couple of days now that I think about it) I decided to surprise the family with the new Jack Russell. Her name? Jersey. We brought her home much to the surprise and delight of the kids. She immediately made herself one of the family, despite the attempts by her to eat another one of our family members, Gringo the parakeet. Every day that dog would stand at attention and look at old Gringo in his cage, salivate, bark and wag her tail as if she just KNEW how tasty a little bite of parakeet would be.
Oh, we experienced both the joys and sorrows of dog ownership. Sorry carpet! Sorry upholstery! Sorry nose! (It was sometime last month I finally came to the realization that I was allergic to Jersey. Uh oh!) We loved taking her for walks and runs. Even the occasional bike ride where she doubled as the slave dog and pulled us along. She loved us. She loved Luke and would happily sleep with him at night, the two of them curling up together. Buddies on his bed.
Jersey loved to be scratched and rubbed anywhere it was convenient–and inconvenient! If I sat with my legs crossed she would strategically place herself in the absolute closest proximity to my foot so it would have easy access to her belly (aka. straddling my foot.) Then she would patiently wait. Some days it paid off for her. Some days it didn’t. She was never one to turn down a free belly rub, whether it be a pity rub or not!
She was a jumper! A bounder! A barker when the doorbell rang! A friend! A companion! She was ready to guard our home and could sound like a vicious guard dog. But she was a lover. She loved her people.
In March, we lost our Jersey Girl. In a mishap that couldn’t be re-constructed if we tried, Jersey ran headlong into the wheel of a moving vehicle. Lucas saw it happen. He scooped her up and ran home with her in his arms. When he reached our house and sat on the couch with her, she was already gone and our hearts were broken. Jason made her a casket and we all decorated it with sharpies–drawing pictures, writing messages and stories and trying to fill every space on the outside of that box with all of the love we felt for our little companion. She was buried in my parent’s backyard, along with every other family pet that has passed since the early 60’s. We didn’t want her to be alone and so, there she is planted among the other loves that have come and gone before her.
We only speak of her every so often, as her passing is still tender, but we can all feel that she is missing. When the house is quiet and the kids are at school, I miss her, keeping me company and trying to beg a belly rub here and there. She was my pal; my little shadow. She kept me on my toes.
As we go on and life keeps coming at us, we will forget the pain and remember Jersey as the spunky, loveable dog that left an impression on our little family. No other dog can take her place which is why we probably will never get another family dog again. Famous last words.
We love you dearly, Jersey Girl!