Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rest in Peace, Sweet Jessie

My sweet Jessie passed away on Thursday, June 9, 2011.  I was able to be there with her as she slipped peacefully through the veil leaving behind her frailty, pain and suffering.  I will always count Jessie as one of the greatest blessings ever bestowed upon my family.

She came to us at a very sad time, when my children needed someone to love and someone to love them as well as fill a void.  My wonderful mother arrived at our home in Ohio with two adorable puppies!  She said she bought them both and wanted us to have one.  They were a boy and a girl from the same litter of boxer/pit puppies.  The children chose the girl and named her Jessie.

Caught on the bed!
In her youth, Jessie was a playful and energetic puppy.  I know she gave my children many hours of playfulness and so very much love.  I had strict rules for her:  No table food.  No jumping up on the furniture.  No sleeping on the beds.  I know that Jessie convinced the children to allow all of those things when I wasn't looking!
Hiking in the Adirondacks

Even as she grew older, Jessie loved to play and romp, especially outside.  We used to go for long walks along the West Canada Creek.  She enjoyed running through the trees and tall grass and sniffing the ground as any good dog does.  She always left cats alone and completely ignored other dogs.  But, when it came to birds.... they were a temptation beyond resistance!  One time, on a walk, we passed a small farm.  Jessie took off running toward a flock of chickens.  Before she could be caught, she made it into the hen house where she was dragged out with feathers in her mouth!  Thereafter, she was dubbed the "Chicken-Chaser!"

Jessie and Ben

Jessie with her best pal, Butter.
She was also loyal and loving.  Jessie absolutely HATED water!  Bathing her was a huge challenge.  She never, ever went swimming.  She even walked around puddles.  She loved a wild, rambunctious pup named Butter.  Being a Lab, Butter loved water and often jumped in the West Canada for a swim.  Jessie would not even get close to the edge.  One day, the current was too strong and Butter was having a difficult time getting back to shore.  Jessie saw her struggling and actually came down to the water and stood with both front paws in while we tried to reach out and pull Butter to safety.  Once on dry ground, Jessie ran after Butter growling and barking at her in such a way that we just knew she was giving Butter a good scolding!
In the sweater I made her.

She REALLY hated her picture taken!
Although she didn't have puppies of her own, she was a nurturing and protective mother.  One night, my teenage children decided to sneak out for an adventure in the middle of the night.  Jessie stood at my bedside whining until I got up to let her out.  Once I opened the door, she refused to go out.  She just looked at me and whined.  I finally woke up enough to realize she was trying to tell me something was wrong.  I went to check on the children and... well, they were gone.... BUSTED!

In our favorite place on the West Canada.
In our last days together, she was my only companion, faithful and loyal.  She slept by my bed, laid at my feet and walked by my side.  Although she became weak and tired easily, she made every effort to continue to be the loving companion she's always been.  She's been sick for a long time now, but just kept going.  Finally, she just could not continue... she stopped eating and I knew that I had to do a most difficult thing.  Because I love her, because she does not deserve to suffer even for a second, because she would not choose it on her own.... I made the choice to give her peace and rest.  I think that my mother, who gave her to us and my father, who was a dog lover, met her on the other side.  Now, she has a Heavenly home with them where she once again romps and plays in the grass and chases chickens to her heart's content.

Rest in peace, my sweet Jessie.  You have perfectly fulfilled the great measure of your creation.  I will see you on the other side.....

April 14, 1996 - June 9, 2011

1 comment:

  1. So sorry Billie Jean. We know how much a pet can mean. They come to make our lives better and richer. There is something about "man's best friend". I am always amazed at their ability to love us instantly and totally in all circumstances. You were lucky to have found Jesse and Jesse was lucky to have you too! Be good to yourself these next few weeks.
    Affectionately, Catherine
    Looking forward to working with you at Girls Camp!