Sunday, February 10, 2019

An Ode to my Jack-A-Poo

Last Monday, around 0615, my sweet old man crossed the Rainbow Bridge. 

Right after Halloween last year, his health started to decline.  I had taken him into the vet because we thought he was having a reaction to the grain-free food my sister had given us after her dog passed.  But no. The heart disease that we knew he had was rearing its ugly head.  He slowed down.  He felt the cold more.  His paws were swollen.   He was on 2 different heart meds, plus a water pill.  His weight dropped 10 pounds in those couple months.  He still loved to eat, tho!  I'd wrap his meds in lunchmeat or cheese and he'd eat them right up.  We'd been giving him canned food and he loved that, but wasn't interested too much in the hard food anymore, so we'd leave that down for him for whenever he chose to grab a nugget or two. 

He really went downhill last weekend.  I took him outside as usual Saturday morning and noticed he was panting.  I kept an eye on him and his breathing seemed labored.  The vet had told us to watch for that and to call them if it did. 

Sunday we'd let him outside and he'd just stand and stare across the yard.  And since his hearing had gone a year or so ago, we'd have to get his attention and beckon to him to come.  Randy and I stood out there and watched him for a while and talked about considering making a decision that we hadn't wanted to make.  It was probably time.  Either way, I was calling the vet first thing when they opened Monday morning. 

He only did minimal mooching during the SuperBowl.  He enjoyed some kielbasa and mini corn dogs, then went and laid down in the hallway, being his usual speedbump self.  He was really restless Sunday night.  He kept moving from the pile of dirty clothes at the foot of our bed, to the bare floor, to the bathroom rug, to his crate in the living room.  I laid in bed and watched him for a while.  He was laying outside of our bathroom with his head up but looking the other way, toward the bedroom door. After a long time, he finally put this head down and sighed - his usual sign of going to sleep.  

Monday I got up and we went outside like usual.  He took a pee and I noticed (it was barely 6am so I wasn't completely awake yet) he was a bit stumbly as he wandered off toward the back of the yard.  I looked up at the tree branches like I always do, taking deep breaths of the cold air.  Then I looked back down, it looked like he was laying in the yard.  I thought maybe he'd fallen over while trying to poo again, so I went out to rescue him.  As soon as the light from my phone washed over him, he looked up at me and then his head lolled back.  I freaked and called Randy who was still in bed.  By the time Randy got some sweats on and came outside, I had carried him up to the back porch, but he was already gone.

A coworker had told me about a neighbor of her mom's who had a Beagle puppy that they wanted to get rid of.  Their Great Dane was "using him as a chew toy" and asked if we'd be interested.  I called Randy, who always had Beagles while growing up, and he immediately said yes.  
This was December 2004.
This toy didn't last long.  He happily destroyed almost every toy we ever got for him. 
Clearly not a fan of that snow!

The people we got him from *claimed* he was purebred Beagle but conveniently couldn't find his papers due to moving.  I didn't care about that - I wanted his medical records, which also happened to be lost.  I learned soon after that, he most likely had no medical records.

A month after we'd brought him home, I had him at the vet. I don't remember his exact symptoms, but he was sick.  He was supposed to stay overnight at the vet, but they called me later saying I needed to take him to the animal emergency room NOW because he had parvo.  I put him in the front seat of my car and while I was driving, he managed to weasel himself (and the cone he was wearing) across my lap.  He already knew I was his mommy. 

He spent 3 days in isolation at the emergency vet and we went to go see him every day.  We had to wear paper gowns over our clothes and step into a bleach bath when we left the room.   Happily - he survived (obviously!!) and we brought him home a couple days before Christmas.  He was still on meds and Randy and I had to learn how to give him fluids using an IV.  That was not fun at all. 

The Christmas rolled around.  He manged to get into our Christmas stockings and the little shit ate over a pound of chocolate!  With him still recovering from parvo, we knew we had to do something quickly.  Randy looked online and learned that hydrogen peroxide will induce vomiting in dogs.  So I held him over the kitchen sink and Randy poured a couple tablespoons-ful into his mouth and BAM.  We didn't have long to wait.   After he'd emptied his tummy, I sat on the floor and Jack buried his head under my arm and hid for a while. 
People always asked if he was named after Jack Sparrow with his 'eye liner'.
He had the most wonderfully expressive eyes. 
He loved to tear up tennis balls!
Sometimes we wondered if he thought he was a cat, since we had 2 when we brought him home. 
He loved to go for walks!
Tired after a case of the Zoomies at Aunt Laurie's house. 
Quit taking pics and let's go for a walk!
He always 'helped' me set up for Halloween.
This is one of my favorite pictures, my 'pack' of Beagles.  
One of his favorite places on earth was Laurie's house. 

 The first time he met one of the horses was so cute!  I'd taken him to the barn with me and opened Captain (the gray horse)'s stall.  Being a typical Beagle, he had his nose to the ground and followed me into the stall.  He stopped when he ran into a hoof and sniffed it.  I watched him stop and just stare at that huge hoof, then his eyes slowly travel up Captain's leg and finally at Captain who had his head down, looking.  When Jack realized he was looking at a really big animal, he yelped and ran out of the stall.  It was so funny!  So I picked him up and carried him back to meet Captain from a less scary angle.  After that, he was never afraid of the horses and would happily go into their stalls and roam around under them, grabbing the occasional "snack" and cleaning up any spilled grain. 

I'm so glad the horses were used to him, because when he got older and his hearing went, he wasn't as careful as to where he was, but they watched for him and would go around him when he was laying in the middle of the barn. 
He will always be my baby boy. 
 It looks like him & Rusty are both judging me.   
I probably had food. 
All the dogs had been banished from the kitchen at Thanksgiving - but this way he could be sure not to miss any food particles that may have hit the floor. 
 I got him his coat this past fall.  He got a lot of use out of it!
We had that darn Polar Vortex come thru recently and it was so cold in our house!  
Here, he's sharing his blanket with Rusty. 

I could share 1000 more stories about going for walks, getting into trouble, chasing squirrels, going up north, etc.  We all loved him so much. 

After he passed, I called this place called Faithful Companion which is a pet cremation place.  These people were so nice!  From the very gentle sounding man on the phone who helped us make the arrangements, to the retired K9 policeman who came to our house (Randy says he got a police escort) to pick him up and gave us all the time we needed to say goodbye, to the nice man who brought him back home to us the next day (and tried not to laugh at Rusty checking out the bag holding the urn) - they all made this situation a little less painful.   
 This beautiful cherrywood box is what is what is currently holding his ashes.  
This spring, we're going to spread some in our back yard and some up in Laurie's pasture where her dogs Morgan and Barney (as well as horses Captain and Princess) are buried. 
This frame now holds photos of all of our angel babies. 


💗💗 RIP 💗💗 


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet pup. It sounds like you gave him a really nice life and he loved you just as much as you loved him. Sending you peace.


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