It has been a crazy, devastating couple of days. My ex-wife and my daughter Bella left for Europe on Monday. Jack, our 16 year old pug that lives with my ex-wife was put in a kennel because of my recent injuries and impending surgery on Thursday. I was quite bummed to say the least, that I missed the trip. However, everything truly happens for a reason and I am so glad today I did not go to Europe.
Jack wasn’t just a dog, or a pug for that matter, he was truly a touched little being. My ex-wife and I got him randomly 6 weeks before our wedding. We were at the vets with our other two dogs, and in came a bustling of noise….a wicker basket filled with six pug puppies. I spotted Jackson, immediately, and asked the man with the basket if I could hold him. It was love at first sight, but it was a whole lot more than that…I was divinely drawn to Jack specifically. They all looked basically the same, but oh how different was he. My ex-wife immediately said no. With two dogs already and a huge destination wedding of our own in six weeks, we had absolutely no business getting or even looking at this mercurial puppy. I quickly tossed him upon her shoulder, and she too was instantly taken. After finding out Jack was available, we rushed to the bank to get the 1,500 dollars and rushed back to the breeder’s to pick up our special delivery.
The “Jack” stories are endless but I have already written a complete 6 page story on the infamous, Jackson Roch Britton. It needs to be edited and hopefully will get posted here and a couple of other places tomorrow. Suffice it to say, Jack was truly and I candidly openly admitted, my best friend. The reasons are so many, and they will follow in the much fuller story. Today is about utter grief, and joyous celebration.
I will share when I got sick many years ago, and was confined to a bed, Jack was with me the entire time. He did not leave me to eat, he plain just did not leave me. He was an epic source of comfort, and loving kindness. Not an ounce of guile in this little being’s body. His soul so deep and rich, it was impossible not to seek him out in times of sorrow or despair, and shed your tears upon his fur. We all shed are tears upon Jack, and Jack never asked; never wanted a thing in return.
Since my divorce, I have obviously seen lots of Jack, with my own little being, Julia Bleu. I have missed him though and in the last few years as he reached 16 years, he succumbed to blindness as well as deafness. His saving grace, was his nose. He never lost his olfactory senses, so he was always able to recognize me by my smell. Just at Easter, as my ex-wife and I talked putting Jack down in the fall, I scooped him up, and he immediately wagged his tail. It would be the last time I saw Jack wag is tail.
My ex-wife dropped Jack off at the kennel this past Monday before heading to Europe. Because of my injuries, my multi-level house, and surgery on Thursday I was unable to take him. I promised my ex-wife I would check on him, and I was put on as the emergency contact. I called the kennel late Tuesday afternoon, and the report was not good, Jack was not eating like he had eaten on Monday, and his appetite has never been an issue before. I called my ex-wife in Europe to inform her of the situation. I was scheduled for surgery on my leg on Thursday, so I had a lot of running around to do. Thursday came and off to the hospital I went to have a plate and screws put in my leg. By Thursday night, I was just getting home, and my Stephanie was with me to help me out. Between a casted hand and arm and a newly repaired leg, I was a hurting unit. My phone started blowing up around 9 pm. It was my ex-wife. Things were detoriatatig quickly with Jack, and an emergency vet appointment was scheduled for Friday afternoon. Okay, I would figure out a way to have Stephanie take me to the kennel and drive me to the vet, and then we would drop Jack back off at the kennel. Well that never quite happened.
We picked Jack up, and I barely steadied myself without falling over. He was not Jack. He was hacking, he couldn’t breath, and I knew knowing him, he was completely stressed out. We got to the car, and got Jack situated on my lap. We opened the car windows, and turned on the AC. Gradually he knew it was me, and he began to breath easier and was coming a bit back to himself. We got to the vet, and they immediately grabbed him, stating he needed oxygen NOW! I had already figured out that the kennel was stressing him out, without knowing whatelse was going on. I phoned my ex-wife in Europe and told her the news. Jackson couldn’t stay at the kennel. I would talk to the vet, get him a sedative, bring him back to the kennel for one night, because my house was not proofed for a blind and deaf pooch. “NO” said my ex-wife adamantly. “You need to go back to the kennel, pick up his things, pay the bill, and you NEED to bring him to your house. He is only going to relax if he is with you.” “Okay,” I said, “I will call you later once we are back at the house.” I was a bit flustered not knowing how I could take care of Jack with my own set of njuries. We met with the vet and we were told there was a chance Jack might not make it through the night. My veils went cold with ice chips. This really can’t be happening I thought. We got back out to the car, with tons of medication and began to make our long journey home.
We got home, got settled, and Jack was doing alright. We put his bed in my bedroom, turned on the AC, and tried to get some rest. In the morning we would go out to the stores and get baby gates for all my stairs, and everything else we needed. I sat with Jack, and told him that it was my time to take care of him. I have never meant anything as much as I did those words to Jack.
We woke up yesterday morning, after a hard night, as I kept jumping up because I didn’t think Jack was breathing. To make matters worse my leg was killing me. We got the dogs fed, Jack seemed a lot better. We took him out and everything was fine. We lastly gave him his sedative, and put his bed by my computer desk and got him comfortable. I was feeling quite good about things, We returned from shopping, and Jack was sleeping really soundly…..he tended to be a bit restless in his old age but the medication was definitely working. Stephanie and I had to make one more trip to get an additional medication. We quickly proofed the house and set out to hurry back home.
We got back to the house and Jack was still in his bed right beside my desk. I slumped down, hurting and tired, but feeling good. I was doing right by my best friend. I sat for awhile and think I blogged. I typed with one hand and petted Jack with my other hand. All was calming down, I was finally able to take a pain pill, and begin to relax. I pondered the next week ahead. I knew it would be difficult but I reminded myself it was my time to be there for Jack.
I decided to feed him and get him outside, while the sun was still shining and the air rather warm. He was so happy to eat. He actually seemed like he could have eaten more. “Okay Jack,” I said as I put on his collar and leash. We got him outside and the moment was perfect. The sun was shining, and the new spring grass was plentiful. Jackson sniffed, and took his time like old times. After about 20 minutes or so, we brought him back in and I gently placed him on his bed. He settled right down, and without a thought, I extended my hand and began to pet him. I was basking in this perfect moment. The running around had stopped, and Jack had had a great day. I felt so good and lost all my worries….
Suddenly I turned from the computer. I was instantly filled with frozen vile….no it couldn’t be, it really couldn’t be true! “Jack” I wailed, as I push and prodded, “Jack come on buddy, wake up! Oh my god your gone Jack” I cried from a place of angst I didn’t know. Yes, Jack had died. He had the perfect day, and left us forever. I cry once again from a place I do not know. The rest is just sadness, and filled with pain. I called Europe and wailed,” I am so sorry! Jack died! I tried so hard to keep him well” Crying, Camie said in her never wavering voice, “You gave Jack the best, I am so grateful to you.” “But I failed him, I don’t know what happened,” I wailed into the phone. The rest is just a blur. I lit two candles for Jack, and petted him while my tears rinsed away his pain. I prayed out loud, to whomever was listening, “Please receive Jack and please tell him I am sorry.” I spent the night just petting Jack in his bed. I was stunned and so sad, I could barely breathe. The hours passed by with me in a daze, unable to comprehend the loss of my very best friend.
No matter what the tragedy I often feel there is always divinely inspired moment of humor. Stephanie is a dentist and got called into the office this morning. Yes, leaving me with my dead dog in his bed, and no ride to the vet. So I did what I needed to do for Jack. I called a car service, and said, “My dog is very sick, I need to drop him at the vet. He is so sick, he is not moving, he shouldn’t be a problem.” Up shows the driver, who helps me get my “ailing” no really dead dog in his car. The driver doesn’t know that he drove my dead friend, to his last trip ever in a car to the vet. Yes I did laugh, it was truly funny, but I wept in silence all the way back home. We have made the arrangements,” Yes three urns please.” All with different engraved plates. The candles have been lit, from Dover to Prague, my life is not the same without my best dawg…..RIP Jackson Roch Britton. You were a once in a lifetime soul, and with the help of Instagram, hunfreds of people are a bit saddened today. My daughter is shattered, she is planning his service…my ex-wife is so distraught she can’t bear the thought of another train, so she hired a private driver from Prague to Vienna. Me, I just have one more reason to be lost…this is a hard time….it will never be quiete the same; a beautiful soul has been lost . ..
BORN THIS WAY-2016