Friday, May 27, 2011
Each morning, we go to the beach for Bud. We've been doing training, like "stay" and "come" and "wait" (when he's in motion) - advanced commands. He is doing really well. One of the commands I do a lot is "Stand", which means that when I'm on the ground, he comes to me and I use him as a bench: I grad him from his shoulders to his hindquarters and pull myself up from my knees (my 125 pounds) to standing. It's funny when he still has puppy energy not drained, this command tickles him, he thinks I'm playing, so he'll roll around on the ground, legs up with silliness, because he's still a puppy. This makes me stop and laugh with him. Everyday, when I'm on the ground at the beach, a loose dog will come up to me and give me kisses. Today it was a black Golden-Doodle. A neighbor asked me where Jetta was today, he didn't know that she's in heaven. When I told him, we hugged. My community's loving me and my dogs has really helped in the process of grieving. I love Cayucos more than ever.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I have been spending more time training with Bud at our beach since Jetta left us, it keeps me busy. Bud has more puppy energy since he is three years old. I love training him. We train and play, train and play, train and play. Bud loves showing off his skills at the beach. Bud loves the best his favorite treat after a good training day. I let him clean out the ice cream carton. As you see he is very much into ice cream...I leave just a little for my good boy.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I get up and out, for Bud. He has so much more energy it seems to me. For the first 4 days after Jetta left us, Bud and I spent 6-7 hours at our beach each day. I see Jetta in every black Lab that runs by me. It seems as if they are happy to see me out on the beach. I remember Jetta young and pulling me up the sand dunes and running for the ball. The other day an old black Lab greeted me while I sat sobbing over Jetta. I hugged him. The owner said that his days were at an end because of old age. He was 11 years old. That day I had two balls with me. He saw the ball and I said, "Do you want this ball sweetheart?" With effort he opened his mouth and held the ball in his mouth. I whispered, "Jetta is waiting." Then he climbed up the stairs with his person. Another ball thief.
Friday, May 13, 2011
In Memory of my beloved Service Dog, Jetta, who went to heaven on May 11, 2011, on a beautiful sunny day after an hour on our beach. She got to say goodbye to all her human and canine friends. She did not suffer. When Jetta took her last breath, my arms wrapped around her, heart to heart where she always longed to be. I kissed her beautiful delicious jowls as I did every day of her life as my tears fell on her face. She as left peacefully as she lived. Bud and I will miss her forever until we’re together again.
She leaves me in the capable paws of Bud, her young yellow Lab successor. Jetta was the author of Jetta's Journey: My Life as a Service Dog. Bud is now writing his own memoirs and Jetta’s sequel.
The photo shows Jetta swimming with Bud in her favorite warm therapy pool two days before her death. Yes, that is a ball in her mouth. She knew how to have fun.
Excerpts from my dad’s favorite poem:
Jetta says, “I’m at the end of my trail. Thank you, Mom, for setting my spirit free. God trusted me to you; I took care of you and you took care of me. Miss me a little, but not too long, and remember the love we shared. Miss me but let me go. Why cry for a soul set free.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Bud is a party animal. This is Bud's two year party. Jetta's birthday is chapter 15 from Jetta's Journey. You can read about Bud's birthday story in Jetta's sequel. Bud says, "Come on guy party on! Bring on the dog cake." Dog cake recipe is 1 lb of ground turkey, 1 egg 1 cup of oatmeal 1 cup of Barbue sauce. Bake in cake pan.When meat loaf is cool frost with mashed potatoes. The dogs LOVE their cake.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Mom Gets a Stroller for Me
I’m tired. I still want to be with Mom on the beach, but I get tired easily. Mom is worried. She calls my vet more often because she feels sad that I can’t breathe when we take long walks. Mom has her helper, Charlie, carry me up the beach steps. I like it. I feel special. Mom tells me I am her special girl.
She says, “Jetta, it’s my turn to take care of you in your golden years. You worked for men full time for a decade. Now I am your Service Person.”
We are enjoying our beach walk, but we’ve walked far and I’m breathing hard. I need to sit down to rest. Mom stops and finds a rock so we can sit in the shade. I sit right down on the sand. Mom strokes my head. Mom, you know I love butte rubs; go to the other end. She is sad. She is such a good girl.
“Jetta, she says, the vet told that your throat is old and you have to work harder to get air in your lungs.”
“Oh Jetta, you’re a trooper, but I think I let you walk too far this morning. Let’s sit here against this big boulder and enjoy the cool sand,” she says.
Okay Mom. At home, I trick her into giving me goodies for coming in from the cold. She is easy for at least two little treats. You can make it up to me in food, Mom. She gives me a drink of water. She still won’t let me get fat. Thanks, Mom. I guess it’s better than nothing. I close my eyes for a little nap. I love it when Mom rubs me.
She gets so concerned. Mom, don’t worry, I’m fine. I just need a little nap.
I wake up when I hear Mom talking to Charlie. Bud rests, too, but then wants more play.
Moms says, “Charlie, would you mind going to get your car, so Jetta doesn’t have to walk home?”
He leaves to get his car. Mom is very quiet. Don’t be sac, Mom. I am happy. We are on the beach! I love everyday with you and Knuclehead Bud. Mom watches me and rubs my ears. Yes. That’s great. Keep it up.
Charlie comes back. I get up and walk with Mom and Charlie and Bud.
Mom stops and says, “Okay, Jetta, you get to go up the stairs with Charlie, and I will come home with Bud before you know it.”
I leave towards the stairs with Charlie. He picks me up and carries me to the top of the steep stairs. He so strong. I like being carried up the stairs. I look back and see Mom watching us.
Back home, Charlie cleans me up with luke-warm water from the hose. He sprays nice and gentle, not like Mom; she blasts me with water. I wait for her in the yard. Finally she comes through our front gate. Hi, Mom. I’m so happy to see you. I can still wiggle when I see her. We I have such joyful reunions.
“Hi, Jetta. Oh, I missed you so much. You’re the prettiest Lab I have ever seen. “
I bury my head in her lap.
Mom says, “It’s my turn to help you. We’re going to get you a doggy stroller, so I can push you when you’re tired. Darling Jetta, we are two old girls growing old together. It’s the least I can do for you since you’ve devoted most of your life to helping me. We will yet have more fun adventures together.
Oh Mom, you are such a good girl.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
On Saturday, our pack went to sit in front of Albertson's in Morro Bay. I sold the three books that I had with me and passed out many many cards. One of the women who bought a book told me that she would send the book to a soldier who lost his leg in Iraq. I am so happy! The soldier is going to get a service dog from Canines for Independence in Santa Rosa, CA, which is where my trainer learned how to train service dogs. One of the goals for writing the book was to share with the world how fabulous service dogs are and how much they help us in our daily lives. Many new friends will be reading the blog, hopefully. Get back to me with any questions or comments that you might have.