My Buddy – RIP

Susan had always wanted a golden retriever ever since she had read Dean Koontz book called “Watchers”.  So when we moved into our own house we found a breeder and picked out Lexi who we were going to bring home just before Christmas.  A couple of days before we were to bring Lexi home we went over to visit her.  While the kids and Susan played with the puppy I sat down on their couch when this little black lab mix came out of no where.  He crawled up on the  couch and put his head in my lap to the amazement of the breeder/rescuer. 

As the story goes they had found/recovered Jett from a dog fighting ring.  Jett had been used to train the other dogs and would always have scars from it.  He was also afraid of people.  According to the breeder he would just run and hide and wouldn’t have much to do with anyone including them.  About the only exception were the puppies which he would stand guard over as if he was going to make sure nothing bad happened to them too.  But for whatever reason he came to me, we’ve always believed that he just knew that’s where he was suppose to go.  I tried to play it off but on the way home Susan and I discussed it and decided that we would be taking two dogs home the next day.

Jett and Lexi had a great time together and slowly but surely Jett came out of his shell.  If Jett had been part of wolf pack he would have never been the Alpha even though he was the oldest.  But he would always be the caregiver.  Whenever someone was sick he would be right there at your side trying to take care of you.  It didn’t matter if you were a human, dog, cat, ferret, baby tiger, possum, bird . . . it was his job to watch out for them. Jett wouldn’t have hurt a fly and we always joked that if someone was to break into our house Jett would be in the closet but then one day a friend came over and was playing with Katrina acting like he was going to get her.  Next thing we know Jett’s in front of Katrina all haunced up and was not going to let the guy near her.  Then one day Lexi suddenly died in our back yard while playing with Jett, I always felt that Jett thought it was his fault but it was the heart worms that caused it.

We asked the vet who we worked with us to cut out Lexi’s 4 canine teeth which I made into jewelry for the family. We assumed we were going to be a 1 dog family at that point.  But a friend was working with PAWS and took in another black lab mix who was missing all four baby canine teeth.  We figured it was a sign and took her in.  Our friend said that she reminded her of Jett so she named her Jetta.  About two days latter Susan called the breeder we got Lexi from to let them know what happened, well they had just rescued another golden that they didn’t have space for so now we had three dogs.  We named the golden Travis Jackson and now we had 3 and they were all great friends.

Travis became Susan’s service dog and took great joy in helping her.  He was a goof but the minute you put his harness on him he was all business.  Jetta turned out to be a Lab/Newfoundland mix and was Katrina’s protector.  She had a bark that scared people a half a block away. Of course Jett was my buddy and best friend. And some where in there we acquired D’artagnan Le’Bark another black lab mix which the other three dogs tolerated while he always tried to prove himself to the other three.

Jett and I always had a special connection.  When I was forced to work in Dallas for 13 months without my family. Susan says that Jett always knew when I was coming home.  He would go and sit by the front window usually within 30 minutes of me pulling into the driveway for the weekend.  He just knew when I was close.  If I had a bad day or was in a mental funk Jett would always be waiting for me at the door. He somehow knew it was a bad day and was ready to give me unconditional love to make me feel better.  How a dog could go through what he did as a puppy and turn out like this I will never understand.

Last October we lost Travis.   Jett, Jetta and Dart were upset of course.  Then Jett lost me when I moved into my own place and couldn’t have a dog.  On Labor Day Susan was away from the house when Jetta decided it was time to go.  One of the other dogs who I assume was Jett dragged the cushions off the couch to make Jetta comfortable.  When Susan came home Jetta was gone but Jett wouldn’t leave her side laying next to her with head on her watching over the body.  Ever since Jett has been depressed and not eating.  We took Jett to the vet this morning with a 105 fever.  They gave him meds and fluids.  They ran blood work and found an infection in his system so we thought he was going to be ok.  Then after about an hour he took a turn for a worse. His fever spiked again, he lost the use of his back legs and was in pain.  It was clear there wasn’t anything we were going to be able to do.  But I think he was more upset that he was going to have to leave us  then scared  about having to go.

I held him as they gave him the shot. I hope he knew I would have done anything for him and thought this was the best thing we could do.

He was my buddy, my best friend, protector and confidant.  I don’t know what I’m going to do without him.

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