Saturday, May 28, 2022

A Life Well-Lived-Jay "RJ" Springer

 I like starting my blog posts like we're already in a conversation, but let's be real, I haven't blogged in QUITE a while. *grin* I have been DEEP in thought lately. I think that happens in mid-life. *grin* Yes, I'm now in mid-life numbers. However, we won't dwell on that. I recently lost a dear friend, and that is the point of this post. *grin*

My Best Friend (also my furry kid), Jay has crossed over to the rainbow bridge. This has been a new experience for me. When I was a kid, we had dogs but they were always given away because we had to move. Jay was the first dog I've had from a youngster (1.5 years old) until 14.5 years old. I was in the room when he breathed his last breath, and tears ran down my face. That being said, he lived his life very well. *giggle* He was a Pomeranian Chihuahua with a little bit of Corgi in him. He was SOOO cute!

Some friends from church had adopted this cute furry kid and I spent the weekend watching their kids that March. I took him out every 30 minutes after he ate, and he was limited to the kitchen floor while he was being house-trained. He was SUCH a cute puppy and I remember the first time I saw him and I understood love at-first-sight. I hadn't had a dog look at me the way he did. Yeah, we were meant to be together. At that time, his name was Rocco. *grin* 

My friends house-trained him and crate trained him and were going to re-home him. So they asked me if I wanted him. When I would go over to their house before I adopted him, he would go nuts in his crate the moment he saw me. It was love for sure. One night my friend and I were talking late into the night and Rocco fell asleep in my arms. *grin* He was special to me his whole life. 

I moved to KC in 2009, and one week after I moved here, I adopted him. I had never had an indoor dog before of my own, so we both had some learning to do initially. I was blessed that he was already house trained and crate trained. We were buddies from the start.

That first night, he acted like he'd been here before, and didn't appear nervous at all. His name had been Rocco but I had always wanted a dog named "Jay". I told the family that gave him to me that, and while they were bummed, they said it was okay. That family had 6 kids, but they knew I was fine if they wanted to call him Rocco. They called him "RJ", so I thought that was neat. *grin* 

I remember struggling a little with him on the leash the first night I had him. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to do it. Fortunately, that doubt was short lived and we walked regularly. Kids were always drawn to him when we went on walks since he was a cute little guy. 

He became my best friend over the years. He knew when I was upset and would put his head on my shoulder, or just lay beside me. It always amazes me how dogs know our emotions without even saying a word. *grin* At the same time, he knew when things were good and all I had to say was "Jay, do you want to go for a walk?" or "Jay, you want to go for a car ride?" He loved both of those activities. *grin* I loved asking him those two questions because his little tail would wag super fast and he would run around the house. It was super cute. 

He was very smart. He came to me house trained, crate trained, and was trained to eat a treat that had been laid in front of him on command. It was super cute. He could also catch food in his mouth. Popcorn was a favorite. *grin* 

I taught him shake, wait, and how to sleep on top of the bed at night. The only thing I couldn't teach him was "fetch." He would run to the object but didn't bring it back. I would joke that he was Learning Disabled in the area of playing Fetch. *giggle* Perhaps that only makes sense to the teachers reading this post. *giggle*

On April 11 I took him to the vet because he had a sore on his paw that he kept licking. I had waited a week because I was hoping it would clear itself up. I was wrong. So I was sent home with meds and he was back in the cone. I hated the cone more than he did. He seemed fine with it. Throughout April he started eating less and less. He also refused his medications, which was a red flag for me. He loved the Greenies Pill Pockets. He gradually got to be less and less like the Jay I had had before he got the sore on his paw. 

On May 9 I took him to the vet and discussed with the vet and his wife about the lack of eating and refusing medications. The vet suggested running blood work and said he could come home with me since he was still peeing and such. The next day the vet called. His blood work showed difficulties with his kidney's and pancreas. My heart broke but I was glad there was a reason for the red flags all at the same time. We decided to do a three-day flush.  I took Jay to the vet that Tuesday and he stayed through Friday. When I picked him up Friday, the vet encouraged me to bring him home and love on him. So, that's what I did. I canceled all plans and he was beside me almost the entire weekend. If he wasn't by me, he was asleep back on our bed. I honestly regretted bringing him home at first, he was SICK. But over the weekend he got a smidge better. I thought he might make a come back but by Thursday I could tell it was time to put him down. On Thursday I should have done it, but I just couldn't do it. We went for a SHORT walk, but he didn't sniff things like usual, and he wasn't himself. I knew what I had to do.

I woke up at 4am on Friday and spent time with him. He woke me up by walking on my face, which wasn't him at all. So, I was hoping to put him down before I went to work so I could be around friends that could support me. I called the vet and it turned out that he would have it done at 5pm. I put him in the back of my mind all day. I left school at 4pm, came and got him, and we went to the vet. When I came home to get him, he didn't get up from where he was sitting. He didn't act happy to see me. (He hadn't all week) I knew it was time.

We drove to the vet and he slept in the passenger seat. I knew it was time. I just pet him as I drove. I prayed in my head for strength but gosh I didn't want to do it. When we got there, he DID NOT want to go in. I had to pick him up and carry him in. They had a room set up for us, and it was beautiful. They let me talk to him for a little while, then they took him back to get him set. He was brought back in to me with the vet, and his wife. We talked briefly about what was going to happen. I kept holding him in my hands. I talked to him with tears in my eyes. The vet injected him with the medicine and then let me hold him while he monitored his heart rate. Then he said, "He's now at the big basketball court in the sky." That made me smile, as I knew he said that since he knows I love college basketball. He then told me I could stay as long as I wanted with him. I stayed about ten minutes and then left. 

That was 8 days ago and I've pondered him A LOT since then. He really did live an exceptional life. He also had a spoiled life too. I mean, what dog gets both Birthday and Christmas gifts on the same day from my family?  *grin*

More than that though, he was truly my best friend. I could tell him everything and he'd listen. We never argued. *giggle* I was his world and he was mine. I didn't feel alone because he was always nearby, and he loved me perfectly. 

Everyday it gets a little easier to not have him here. He was SO sick that I know that putting him down was the right thing to do. I miss him, but it's getting easier. *grin*

I have been blown away by the texts, emails, and various posts of support. I have also received greeting cards too. It's been mind-blowing to me. 

I'll get a new dog after camp. I think it would be mean to adopt one and then leave for a week. *grin*

Jay was one of a kind and I'm so glad he was mine for almost 13 years. 

Fly high, Jay. I miss you gobs, but am glad you're not sick now. I'll love ya forever. *grin* 


Anonymous said...

You have me tearing up over here reading about your last days and memories with Jay ❤️ You are so much on my heart. Thanks for sharing . Much love to you dear Shannon ✝️

Anonymous said...

Shannon I’ve been thinking about you and Jay a lot. My 💔. You were a great dog Mom. He was so lucky. Hugs.