Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Letting Go Again -- Good bye Precious Jewel

It was almost exactly one year ago that we said good bye to my dear orange cat Willy. Now we are readying ourselves to say good bye to PJ (Precious Jewel or Puddle Jumper), our mini dauchund. PJ is 16 years old, well 16 and 1/2 Jay informed me. She has lived a very long and happy life. Jay got her as a cute little puppy, oh so adorable from the pictures I've seen.

PJ came into my life 5 years ago, when I began my relationship with her owner, and I was smitten right away (by both of them). I loved how excited she would be to see me, and how much she loved to sit in my lap. Jay would joke about how I was now her best friend and how my lap was the perfect lap. It did seem every time I'd sit down, there she was immediately. Her needs were simple -- her people around her, or being allowed to go with us wherever we might go. Being very small, it was easy to take her with -- to relatives, the store, a drive. She loved to ride, and you guessed it, she rode on my lap.

I discovered she was quite fond of catching whatever morsels might fall while I made dinner or prepared my salad for lunch. She'd come running from wherever she was as soon as she'd hear the chopping, then sit absolutely still, eyes glued to my knife, waiting. A bit of lettuce would fall, no thanks, but drop a piece of carrot, and she was on that in a heartbeat. I took to giving the pretense of peeling the carrots, in the vicinity of the garbage, but allowing the pieces to fall to the ground around the can, where PJ would happily gobble every bit. I discovered she liked more and more of the vegetables I ate and the fruit as well, so morning fruit chopping became another favorite time of day for her, apples and bananas her favorite.

We have taken trips with her, ridden our bikes with her in the basket, given her baths, clipped her diggers, and watched while she practically inhaled pieces of chocolate (yes, she was fed that on a regular basis and she loved it). She woke us up excitedly in the morning, hopping and jumping so happy to see us. She has always been a complete love, giving her love to us so very generously and we have truly enjoyed her companionship.

For my sweetie, this is an especially poignant time. He always knew this would be hard. They have been companions for 16 years. She was the child he never had. I believe he learned a lot about nurturing and care from having her in his life. Together we bless these memories, bless her for being so sweet and count ourselves lucky for having known her and shared some time with her.

She is not well. Walking is near to impossible. Tomorrow will probably be her last day. So as we look back over our memories and muster our courage to say goodbye, I'd like to reflect on my relationship with her in these four questions:

1. What memory am I leaving behind that I will not miss? How she could get stinky when she needed a bath!

2. What memory am I leaving behind that I will miss? Her sitting oh so contented in my lap, admiration and adoration written all over her face. May I provide that for those I love.

3. What PJ characteristic do I want to take with me? Her unstoppable joy. She was joyous at the drop of a hat, and held no grudge.

4. What characteristic of hers do I want to cultivate in my life? Sensory pleasure - the feel of fabrics, rain, grass, carpet, the smell of bar-b-que, chocolate, chipmunks to chase, the taste of my hand, licking my ice cream bowl, M&Ms, the sound of us coming home which made her jump and bark for joy. These little, small but so very rich pleasures of life, made her a happy pup. May I so appreciate all these pleasures in my daily life as well.

Thank you P. We love you so much. As we told you every day, "you are such a good dog".


Carol McClelland said...

Hi Cindie and Jay,

Oh how I feel for what you are experiencing right now...seven years ago May I said goodbye to my nearly 16 year old golden retriever, Sunrise. Sunrise came into my life nine months after my father died. She was the first light on the horizon after a very dark period of grief. Her hugs were magical. You could ask her if she needed a hug or tell her you needed a hug and she would be right there for her hug. Such a sweet girl she was. She almost left us 3 weeks before our wedding, but somehow she hung in there for another year.

Our last day together we shared a last bowl of popcorn, one of her all time favorite treats! (The pop pop pop brought her running every time!) I wrote down my favorite memories of her and celebrated the role she played in my life.

About a week after she died I saw her in a dream, running to me with abandon! She was happy, free, and able to wiggle and run again. That dream the released me from my grief far earlier than I expected!

I now have a 3 year old goldendoodle who brings a whole different energy to our house, is equally loved and adored and has his own habits that bring a smile to my face every day of the week!

Blessings to you both during this poignant time of transition.


Coach Cindie Wilding said...

Thank you Carol for your most sweet share. I love that vision of a sweet last supper! We have been allowing her to lick our plates at the end of dinner for a while now, knowing she was on her way and that might be the highlight of her day. Last night she happily gobbled some pieces of ham. Today she refuses food, so it is time. They do come into our lives when we most need them and seem to be there for a clear reason. I see that. Appreciate your blessings. Hugs,