On Sunday we had to say goodbye to our perfect little Jasper Bear. I can’t quite believe he has gone. We love and miss him so very much
~ We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan. ~ Irving Townsend
Jasper ~ I fell in love with those beautiful big eyes and that gorgeous white paw and every other little bit of him.
I just wish I could reach into the photo for a moment and give him one more last hug.
As those who have followed his story will know, Jasper came to us one New Year’s Eve, about 20 months ago, aged 12 years old. He was meant to be an Oldies Club emergency foster, just for a few days, but it turned out that we were as rubbish at fostering as we suspected, and we fell for him about as soon as we put him in our car. So he stayed. He fitted into our little family perfectly. He was meant to come here, we truly believe that. Things conspired to send him to us and we are so thankfulIf you are new to Jasper’s story, you can put Jasper into the Search box and read previous posts about him.
Jasper had a wonderful almost-first-year with us and then suffered his first stroke about a week before Christmas. We rushed him to the vet and seriously thought we were going to lose him. Thankfully he was a determined soul and with vet advice, Reiki, homeopathy and much love he made a great recovery. Sadly that was to be the first of several episodes and then more recently he started to suffer heart problems too. He had a heart murmur when he came to us, but hadn’t required any treatment initially, but we did put him on a number of heart meds within the last few months. Then he was diagnosed with a tumourIn agreement with several vets, we decided it was not in Jasper’s best interest to put him through surgery.
On Saturday evening, after the sunny weather had cooled a little, I took Jasper for a stroll around our village. We walked more slowly than we once did, but he was very keen to go out and did a little jump at the door. He enjoyed some tuna cake as we walked around and we stopped to say hello to the chickens and then some sheep. I remember saying to him that walking just before Dr Who started, was obviously a good time for some peace and quiet. I talked to him a lot on our walks – and in general – as I have done all my dogs.
We had a nice evening and the dogs enjoyed some free range chicken. Jasper had lost his appetite at times and so we had tried all sorts of things to encourage him to eat. Mackerel in tomato sauce was a strong favourite – as was free range, freshly cooked chicken. Oh and chips, but he didn’t get quite so many of those!
On Sunday, my husband had to go out for a few hours. I opted to stay at home with the dogs. Jasper had seemed ok in the morning. He had got out of bed when I came down and taken himself outside to toilet, then come in and lay on the dog duvet in the kitchen, like he always did when he hoped for food. He had had a few bits of free range chicken, but when I offered him his breakfast, he didn’t want it. We have been through a fair bit of this over the past months but generally over the course of the day he would eat enough. We would just offer him food at different times and quite often I had ended up feeding him by teaspoon.
He later fell asleep on the rug by the front door while I was at the computer. He seemed peaceful. Sadly he later suffered what appeared to be another stroke and I helped him into bed and my husband arrived home not long after. I’m not sure what was different this time, but we both felt he had had enough and we made that horrible, devastating decision to make that final call to the vet. Our wonderful vet was on duty and knew if we had decided it was time, that we had made the right call. He said he would be with us as soon as he could.
Not so long after that, Jasper started slipping away. Jasper passed away peacefully, with my husband and I by his side, as I gave him Reiki, before the vet arrived. Then my husband and I cried. A lot. I have never seen a dog pass naturally before. For the first time, when losing a beloved member of our little family, we don’t have to worry about whether we made the right call at the right time. We just know that it hurts like hell that he has gone.
Yesterday we went to the local pet crematorium to make “arrangements”. We are having a special Oak box made up with our own message on and hope to pick up Jasper’s ashes this week. A strange thing happened at the crematorium. As we were leaving, I got into the front passenger seat of our car (having traveled on the back seat on the way over). I looked into the footwell and noticed the logo of the pet crematorium looking up at me. I thought my husband must have dropped one of their business cards into the footwell and went to pick it up. Then I realised it was an invoice. From the pet crematorium. For the service they had provided over a year ago when we lost our beloved Cassie. That invoice can not possibly have been sat there all that time, because a) my husband does (infrequently) clear out the car and b) I would have noticed it during one of the many times I’ve sat in that seat in the past year. And yet there it was, peering up at me, right outside the pet crematorium. I do believe it was a message from Cassie to say Mum, don’t worry, I’ve got him now.
So Jasper, my darling boy, you are now at peace. No more worry about your heart, it’s ours which are suffering now. I have stayed up late with you so many nights, I’m not sure how I have managed to stay awake during the day, yet now I struggle to sleep. No more needing to remember to give you your heart medication, though of course I keep reminding myself anyway. No more sitting with you in the kitchen and trying to tempt you with all sorts of goodies – you were very good at staring at the fridge to let me know what you wanted was in there. No more changing your bedding each morning to make sure you were all fresh for the day. Everytime I open the cupboard your medication and supplements jump out at me and you’re not here to take them.
I can’t bring myself to walk to the post box yet because that was our little walk. I will have to choose another of the dogs to accompany me now. I can’t do it alone. You loved your little walks through the village, didn’t you. You were a great sniffer, which was a blessing when you weren’t able to do the long walks in the fields, because we could make a stroll around the village a fulfilling experience for you.
Now we have to remember to cut the leftovers of our meals for one less dog. A simple act which can reduce me to tears. I will always be reminded of your higgledy piggledy bottom, front teeth (goodness knows what had happened to them) because you bent my favourite fork taking a chip. Your bowl is still out, because I can’t bear to put it away. Your harness reminds me of all the wonderful walks we shared – and the canvas photo on the wall shows you at your very happiest and healthiest, running through the fields with a big grin on your face.
Oh Jasper our sweet, perfect, wonderful boy. How thankful we are that you came into our lives. We wish you could have stayed longer, but we feel so incredibly blessed that you became a part of our family. Our brave and cheeky little boy. Run free, my love – and give Cassie a big kiss from us. We love you. We miss you. Always. Thank you.
Jasper and his Daddy, on our last walk in the woods with him, about a week before Jasper passed away.
My sincere thanks to the vet who was asked to put Jasper down just before NYE 2009, but instead contacted Oldies Club for help; to Lynne, who very kindly drove Jasper up the motorway to meet us on NYE 2009; to Oldies Club for agreeing to help Jasper and for all the wonderful work for oldies; to our lovely conventional vets and the wonderful Nick T; to Jo, the Distant Healing Network and each kind person who has sent good thoughts to Jasper; to everyone who has followed Jasper’s story; and most of all, to my wonderful husband who embraces my devotion to dogs and does all he can to support it and be the best Daddy ever, which has included the recent shopping for and cooking of much free-range chicken. Thank you all.