Thank You Jada. A Sad Week Of Loss, And Growth

A sad week. Thank you Jada.

We said goodbye to our beloved dog this week. Jada was a rescue dog; abandoned to die in Georgia. We welcomed her into our home six years ago, while we lived in Florida. Emaciated, and so small and thin, she, therefore, had this huge ‘bobble’ head.

She filled a hole in our home that was left when our previous dog, Sahara, passed. It is truly amazing how these beautiful creatures become members of the family. Jada gave us 6 years of happiness and we are all truly saddened by her untimely passing.

I want to focus on my relationship with my dog in this post. Both Jada, and Sahara previously, made me a better person. For a creature to forgive so quickly and to be such a loving presence is remarkable. I was always amazed how she interacted and responded to each member of the family, and friends and strangers, in such different ways. Even just how she reacted differently with my wife and I was interesting. That stated though, she was fiercely loyal and protective. Jada had a bad habit of snapping at strangers, and friends, and even our kids; but I never once feared this would happen to my wife and I. With the kids, you knew it was a warning, and usually because they just don’t know when to stop pestering. While with others, Jada was clearly being protective.

The biggest impact has been, simply, the lack of her presence. Also, the routine around her presence. ‘Phantom noises’ now fill the emptiness. Sometimes you hear the dog scratching to get inside; normally when you would expect to hear it. Every time I walk to the front door from the car I expect to hear barking; this is no longer there. Similarly, she was always in the window to greet me upon returning home. In fact, this was such a gap that we filled that spot with a memento so we could, somewhat, fill that gap. A beautiful orchid in a glass vase now holds vigil in the place where she would normally be (pictured here).

I can’t help but feel that we failed her, but our options ran out and she was not well. No longer eating or drinking, and not able to get comfortable, we made a tough decision.

“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed…”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

We loved Jada. The silence of her absence is deafening. Thank you Jada. Thank you Sahara. You both made me a better person. I have learned and grown from your friendship.

One realizes quickly when an important presence in one’s life departs that it is the little things that make the difference. It is the little things that have the most impact. I implore you to note, and fully experience those little things, and to be present, always. I think that maybe, being present with your loved ones is the greatest gift. Above all, we need to show love. Let those you love know that you do – every day.