The strange part about all this is that him getting sick was the biggest blessing and gift I could have received. I know that sounds extremely weird right!? But it was. Just about the same time as my dad was getting progressively sick so was my Bernese Mountain Dog Jack, except we had no idea. The symptoms seem to point to a somewhat harmless water born bug that could be cleared up with antibiotics.
My dad... yah, he pulled through albeit slowly. My dog... not so much. I landed in Canada on Monday June 16th and 5 days later, Jack was gone. Just like that... Life turned upside down, heart broken and massive void created in a matter of seconds. He was my "big" little boy. For the non dog owners, I don't expect you to understand at all. Jack came into my life 6 years ago as a result of my partner's desire to get a Bernese Mountain Dog. I had never even heard of that breed but had had dogs most of my adult life. I truly had no idea what we were in for... ;)
He arrived and immediately had a profound effect on all of us. He was an old soul from day one. The most expressive and hilarious dog I have ever been fortunate to have in my life. It is as a result of getting Jack that I started writing again. The joy, turbulations, adventures, stories and absolutely everything Jack brought to our lives was fantastic.
Was.... Man, what a fucking hard word to use/type. Was... past tense. I've only spent 5 days without him in my life and it already feels like a lifetime. Each day does get a bit easier but there are moments like hanging a wool sock on the clothesline and finding a big clump of his hair stuck to it. A chuckle, a good cry. Walking by the freezer in the basement and fully expecting to see him stretched out there, startled awake hair all screwed up because he was snoring and didn't hear me... another chuckle, another couple of tears and snot bubbles... :)
Something else I have learned from all of this, another blessing so to speak... Even though I was away for 50 days AND tried 355 whiskies I am NOT an alcoholic. Yah, another weird and strange blessing, hehehe. I didn't NEED a whisky to cope with Jack's death. As a matter of fact it was the last thing I wanted to put to my lips. A few days later, a hot bath, some good music and a whisky. Nothing since then, just coping, healing and helping the other lovely Berner in my life get through this as he's never known life without Jack.
Next Monday, the 30th, will be another rough day as we will receive Jack's ashes. The finality of it all will truly set in but one thing is for sure, I'll be raising a very special dram that day to a very special dog. The interesting part of that is finding what dram will be suitable. How does one toast a dog who was stubborn, hilarious, loving, dedicated, a bit of a couch potato (literally), sweet, inspiring, soft and truly a personality like no other. Jack marched to his own drum at his own sweet time at all times from day one...
I'll figure it out and I know I'll find the perfect dram because through it all he was the perfect dog for our family.
Here's to Jack, my sweet "big" little boy. May my memories of you bring me years of joy & laughter... I will miss you always.
With so much love...