It is with deep sadness and regret that I must announce that my best friend and constant companion Jenna (our family dog) has passed away. I know that there are some that might say, “It’s just a dog, what’s the fuss?” but those people never knew Jenna. For those who knew her or for those who have been in my shoes, you know exactly the type of sadness I’m talking about.
I met Jenna for the very first time when she was a mere 5 weeks old and it was a perfect match from the very start. From the time we brought her home, at 8 weeks of age until last Friday morning at 11:30 am, Jenna was always at my side, the two of us shared a bond that was impossible to break.
(Click Photos to Enlarge)
Jenna and I meeting for the first time.
Those awkward teenage years.
Jenna used to love to be brushed and she would always tell you how happy it made her to be the center of attention.
Always opinionated and never shying away from telling you what was on her mind, Jenna was always vocal.
And on those rare occasions when I had called upon Jenna to go into protection mode, she was always equal to the task.
She knew “playtime was playtime” but when the command came to get serious, she was always ready to step up to the plate.
Throughout the last few years, Jenna was content to spend time “trying” but always failing to catch the resident chipmunk who lived in our woodpile.
And on those cold winter days, you could find both her and I in front of the wood stove, me with a good book and her just happily lying on her rug, hanging out with her buddy.
And even though she was getting on in years, Jenna was always alert and always mindful of her surroundings. Always ready to do her job at a moment’s notice.
Did I spoil her in her later years, of course I did. She always managed to get her favorite treats and I was always happy to reward her for 13 years of loyalty, companionship, protection and for just being my best friend.
“A dog who has an iron will to survive”, were the words that our vet had said to us a number of years ago when describing Jenna. Throughout her life, Jenna had suffered a number of injuries and afflictions that would have buried other dogs. Jenna’s vet had told us three years ago, when Jenna was ten that he’d never seen a dog with such a severe case of spinal arthritis and he couldn’t believe that she was still walking but she was.
That’s our Jenna, never once complaining about her situation, continually forging ahead and beating the odds. Our family and close friends have learned a lot from Jenna’s, “never give up attitude”, it’s something that has set this dog apart from many others. Despite the fact that in the last days either I or our son Matthew had to carry Jenna up and down the stairs and carry her outside and back in again, I always felt that it was the very least we could do for this courageous dog.
But on Friday June 7th, the odds that were stacked against her were too great. At 11:30 am, Jenna’s vet and long time friend Dr. Cole did the only thing he could do, he ended her suffering. My wife Marianne, our son Matthew and I, along with Dr. Cole said our final goodbyes to our dearest friend Jenna…………………….and at that moment, a piece of me died along with her.
To the greatest dog and best friend a man and his family could ever ask for I say; thank you, I love you, I respect you, I admire you and I will never forget you.
March 23/2000 – June 7/2013