Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Well, unfortunately, here we are again, saying good-bye to a very beloved pet. Tomorrow Jasper will be gone. It was a tough decision, this time mine. He can't see or hear very well anymore. He walks into a room and stands there like he forgot what he came in for (a lot like me actually). His hips give him a lot of trouble as he tries to trudge along on a walk or stand in one place for too long.
He has been a good old buddy and a great protector. I will really miss having him along on early morning walks in the dark, but it's time to say good-bye.
Jasper was my first "rescue" dog. He was a stray who followed Gracie and I home from a walk almost exactly 14 years ago. We left him outside the house when we returned home, he was just one of many stray dogs that seemed to find me. Then, two days later, he followed us again, this time it was pouring rain and I just couldn't leave him outside, he was such a tiny thing and soaking wet. So, I brought him in, dried him off, then took him to school to try to get one of the students to adopt him. One did, but, the next day Jasper was running loose again. So, I took him home again, swore I WASN'T going to keep him. Well, we know how that turned out. He was such a rascal, I decided to name him using the term my grandpa used to call naughty kids(according to my mom). So he became Jasper.
Jasper more than lived up to his name. One of the first times I left him home alone, he tore the arm off the sofa.
He was awful on a leash. I got bursitis many times after having to endure his pulling when he spied another dog or a cat. He once dragged my niece Katie across a neighbor's grass about 10 feet in pursuit of a cat.
He didn't like men at all at first, and was very aggressive toward them. When Steve and I first got married, if Steve got home before me, Jasper would refuse to come inside the house for Steve, he would wait in the yard until I got home. Then he would jump through the screen in the back door to get in.
When we moved into our current house, Jasper decided he was an escape artist. First he started jumping over the fence into our neighbor's yard. When we raised the fence, he started digging under it. When we filled all the holes with poop and rocks, he learned a new trick. He began to methodically test each board in the fence one by one. When he found a loose one, he prodded it with his nose until he could open it enough to get out(he was always a skinny dog). The funniest part was, he never ran away, he would walk around to the front porch and wait for us to get home and let him back in.
Despite his bad behavior when he was outside the house, inside the house he was the perfect gentleman. He ate slowly and carefully, sometimes teasing the other three dogs by waiting until they had gobbled up all their food before he even began to eat his. He moved gracefully at all times.
Steve and I each had two dogs when we got married. We were the Brady Bunch of dogs with our four dogs. Jasper was our big dog, as tall as me on his hind legs and weighing 60 pounds. I always felt grateful and safe he was around on the nights when Steve was gone.
Jasper is the last of the original four to go. It was difficult to make this decision, but it is very sad to watch a once regal hound slouch around and look defeated. So bye J-dog. We will miss you.