In late September, our beloved dog Jackson suddenly died from a ruptured spleen. We rushed him into surgery, but his heart didn’t survive the blood loss. While he was “just a dog,” this ten year old rescue was my true heart friend.
A small example – when I fell ill in March, Jack wouldn’t leave my side, sleeping next to me every night while I was on oxygen. When I’d wake in the darkness unable to breath, I could reach down and feel him there, calm and warm.
I can longer do that.
I process by writing, so here is the first of two pieces I wrote around the loss of Jax. It was written the morning after he died.
This speaks to the gift and the pain of holding him as he died.
I will always miss him.
He will always be my bright and shining boy.
just a dog I prayed to the gods of several heavens to permit me to bring him home, to give us some time - a day an hour, a moment of peace before parting. but the gods are either deaf or dumb or dead. he’d always been so warm, his soft black fur a perfect place to bury a face. but here, he was so very cold. I'd promised to keep him safe but I failed. they said he couldn’t hear us, that he wasn’t conscious. yet as we held him, stroked his velvet ears and repeated our familiar words of praise and love, his agitated, damaged heart slowed by a third, and then more. his heart stopped and then mine. the indifferent gods only let us bring his collar home.
I’ve written before of the privilege of loving this old dog –