Archives for May 2016

I Am Jack — On My Knee

Even though he sat upright waiting to lock eyes with me first thing in the morning, I knew. Even though his ears perked up and he made that cute “oh boy she’s bringing me something yummy” face as I made his breakfast , I knew.  He even layed down in a relaxed position and crossed his front paws like he does when he wants to show me he’s a good boy–still, I knew.

Despite being less and less able to hold himself up on all 4 legs, the Vet gave me hope with her examination back on May 12th.  It would be a long haul, but he could recover.  It would mean a minimum of 4 weeks of total bed rest and lots of drugs.  I agreed to try it.  And then my dear friend Lynn convinced me a “go-fund-me” campaign would rally scores of people to help, which would make it possible for Jack to get the surgery he needs so badly.  After only 12 days into the medication program, he has shown a whole new set of serious problems complicating his condition.

I’ve been trying my best to hang onto hope with Jack. I need my boy. But today was clearly different.   As I went to him first thing this morning, I was met with an all too familiar smell.  It brought me back to my beloved Buddy’s final hours.  That sad, familiar smell.  He looked into my eyes and shifted to sit up straighter.  “Yes, Jack, you are a good, good boy!”

I knew.

Still, I pushed the thought away. I called my friend to come over and help me with him. I called the vet for advice on changing his meds.  I reached out in frantic denial and selfish inability to let go, and I did my best to not accept the inevitable.  I needed to be heard and have him be seen.  He has way too much life in his eyes to not get better.   I tore apart our little fenced in yard and was able to drive Paula’s son’s mini-van right up to my camper, close to where Jack lay watching me.

So we took Jack back to the Vet.OnMyKnee1

My friend drove, while I rode in back with Jack. Throughout that long drive into town in the mini-van, I knew.  As he lay trembling on the soft comforter and sheets we placed in the back of the van, he laid his head on my knee. He looked up at me with both apprehension and trust. For a moment I thought that perhaps…he knew, too.

Or he was simply looking at his human with the love and devotion that he’s shown me since the day he came into my life-one and one half years ago.

OnMyKnee2We have so much more to do together. So many more hunts to go on. We’ve only just gotten started.  I filled my mind with scenarios where Lynn would call and announce the go-fund-me campaign exceeded our expectations and Jack would be able to get the surgery.  The Vet would tell me we can get Jack back on track in a matter of days.   She would tell me he was looking better than she expected.  She would tell me his situation looked hopeful. But when she walked into the exam room and looked at him, we all knew.  His original diagnosis of degenerating disk disease was bad enough, but the complications now were insurmountable. Even if we could afford to do surgery today, the recovery potential just wasn’t there.  It wasn’t a matter of making the “right” decision.  It was a matter of admitting the “only” decision to make.

Thank the gods my friend was there with us.

I gave Jack treats, and he laid his head on my knee, looking up at me expectedly. I whispered into his ear “sweet boy” and he nuzzled my cheek.  I kissed and pet his silky soft head and ears as they injected him with the sedative.  OnMyKnee3He relaxed instantly.  Clearly it was the best he’d felt in a very long time.

I told him how important he was to me.  I thanked him for letting me be his human.  I told him I’d see him again soon, and we would go hunt the birds again.

I told him I was sorry……”so sorry my baby boy”…

With his head on my knee, we continued to lock eyes. “I see you, baby.  I’m with you. I love you.”  I could feel the comfort of my friends caring arms around me, holding me tight as I held Jack.

In the quiet exam room of Dr. Nina’s Veterinary Clinic in Sarasota Florida, on Tuesday May 24th at 2:30 pm, my sweet boy Jack took his last breath of life, looking into my heart with his head resting on my knee.



Go find some birds for us, little man. See you again soon.


I am very grateful for all the help that we received from people who stepped up out of nowhere in our most desperate hours. You have no idea what an impact your support made on me. I’m humbled by your kindness.  Even in the midst of the most unlikely and darkest times, somehow new bright friendships can be formed.  So grateful for that, Miss Dixie, Paula, and everyone else who was there for us!

I Am Jack — Glory Days

Hello humans, I am Jack and I am a good boy! I know I have been gone a long time.  We have been so busy, I never could get my paws to the keyboard and tell you about it.  But I have all day today.

Lately I’ve been thinking back to this past fall. It was so wonderful.  I spent many days in the fields, running, searching, finding the birds!  My Human is the best! Every day, she brought me to a new place to hunt.  We even hunted with the human I used to live with.  That was great, too, although I did sort of get away from them for a few minutes in the tall grass one time.

Oh, how I miss hunting the birds with my human. How I miss running in the fields.  I think about it all the time.  I miss the excitement of finding a bird. I miss hearing her call out “fetch it!”.   I miss seeing the look she gives me when I bring the bird to her. I miss sitting at her side with our quarry, taking proud pictures.  I miss curling up on her reclining chair with her at the end of the day, resting from our big adventure.

Our hunting season ended so quickly.

Before I knew it she was packing everything up to go back to the land with all the lizards. We didn’t stay in the same place as before.  This time, there were more people there, and a great big dog called Styx.  When we arrived we stayed in the home on wheels.  It was very cramped and not fun at all the first month while we waited to see where we would be moving to.  I didn’t get to go out much unless we went away in the car.  Styx attacked me for no reason one day when I was sitting in the car.  He really scared me, but I didn’t let on.   My human made absolutely sure it never happened again, and kept him away from me and the two little hairy dogs.  She built us a wonderful yard to play in all winter.

I had a big job all winter. I went to work with my human many days. My big job was to run around on the farm and make sure everything was safe.  I checked high and low, and everything was always safe.  My next job was to point the lizards.  THAT was a full time job!  My best job was to greet all the humans that came to visit the farm.  They were always so nice!  I would make sure they knew I was a good boy and an excellent hunter.  They always said I was a sweet boy.  Yes, I am that, too.  My favorite visitors were the little humans.  Sometimes there would be so many of them I would be surrounded.  I liked that.  They were always so gentle and would look into my eyes with love.  I like the little humans a lot.

This winter I was taunted once again with those big fat birds that walk around the farm. And they were at our home on wheels, too.  I am an excellent hunter, and I know I could get one of those birds for my human if she would just let me.  I tried and tried to put a sneak on them, but would get scolded every time.  I will never understand that!  But it sure is exciting to think about it, and to try.

Then things changed.

Something happened I can’t explain. I started feeling uncomfortable.  My back hurt.  A lot.  I started to limp a little, and it wasn’t as easy to go get the ball.  One time when I was running across the yard I tripped and it hurt so bad I cried out and tumbled and couldn’t get back up.  My human came running to me, got all excited, and brought me to the Doctor.  They looked at me and poked and prodded and put me into a machine and took pictures of me.

They said nothing was broke but I’m old and my back was degenerating. What did that mean?  I want to run like the wind and stand at my humans side and have great adventures together because I am a good boy and we are a great team.  I am Jack!   The Doctor said it was a condition that would just get worse, but I should take a Previcox every day and could go get massages every day to make my back feel better.  My human started to cry.  She could not afford pills and $50 a day for massages.  She talked to my former human.  I could not tell what they said, but she cried and cried after they talked.  She massaged me, and so did many visitors that came to the farm.  I started taking one Previcox every day.

But it still got harder and harder to move my back legs. Every day I lost more movement.  I couldn’t lift my leg to pee without support.  Then it got so hard to move that I couldn’t go up and down the stairs to our home on wheels without help.  I couldn’t get in and out of the truck without help. And then, I couldn’t do it at all, even with help.  My human started carrying me in and out.  This became very hard for her when I kept getting worse because then she got very sick, too.  So I tried my best to pull myself up on solid ground and take a few steps. I am a strong boy, and I was able to pull myself up for days!  Then, I wasn’t sure if my back legs were still back there or not. I would pull them behind me, thinking “come on, legs, work for me!” But they would not.  I would just fold in half. I couldn’t go with her to work any more.  She could barely get there herself.

I know we are trying to go home to the house with the big fenced in yard. But my human is very sick, and now here I am, like this.  She is so sick she cannot pick me up and take me outside anymore.  So now I stay outside all the time.  I am sad and ashamed to be this way.  I see the look on my humans face.  She tries to not let me see her cry.  She cries a lot.  I heard her say she was so tired of losing everything important to her. I heard her talking to someone about free help for me, but she didn’t qualify because we aren’t Florida residents.  Two humans came over and looked at me and said I should be put down.  Put down?  What is that?  I already am down.

Styx’s human gave her money for another Doctor visit. My human took me to a new Doctor.  They told her more than the first one.  I have Hansen Type 2 Disk Disease.  It’s been going on for a long time, long before I came to live with her.  It’s why my back made so much noise when I wagged my tail.  One thing that might fix me is surgery.  That isn’t an option.  The other is medication.

So here I am, on my 6th day of medication. Robaxin and Tramadol and Rantidine and Carafate and Prednisone.  The new Doctor said this would go on for 21 days.  I don’t really know how long that is, but it already seems like forever and I am not happy.  I know I’m a burden.  I know these pills are not going to fix me and today I tried to not take them. GloryDaysI watch her watching me. She is frustrated and trying to hide those pills in sliced turkey.  I don’t know why my human is trying so hard to make me better.  She can’t.  I am an excellent hunter and a good boy, but I am tired of laying here helpless.  We need to go home.

Oh, how I miss hunting the birds with my human. How I miss running in the fields.  I miss the excitement of finding a bird. I miss hearing her call out “fetch it!”.  I miss seeing the look she gives me when I bring the bird to her. I miss sitting at her side with our quarry, taking proud pictures.  I miss curling up on her reclining chair with her at the end of the day resting from our big adventure.  I will never forget the day she brought me home and let me lay on her cozy comfortable couches and chairs.  She is the best human!  We went on walks and played ball, and she brought me to fancy places where many humans sat around eating food, and some brought me food and water in special bowls and everyone there would tell me how sweet and special I was.

Oh, how I miss those glory days.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. You can read all about the adventures me and my new human PR are having together in the outdoors… I will write lots of stories under “I AM JACK” in her blog category, “Words From The Wild”. I will be careful not to have many typos.  I am a good boy!  If you like what you see, please let her know by “liking” her website. (She says it’s important to get “likes”, whatever that means. I know I like her lots!) You can even join her tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. Please feel free to share with others who may find meaning and value in our journey together, and PR Brady AdVentures. Thanks again,  Jack.