Thursday, January 18, 2007

Woke up this morning with the cold water

My dad's dog Jester died on Tuesday.

His "real" name (from the breeder) was Runlow's Majestic Jester. He was a big, friendly, goofy Chocolate Lab. He was fifteen years old, which is pretty damn old for a Lab, but it was sad news just the same. He had gotten quite debilitated in recent months, had a big lipoma on his ear and was slow getting up and lying down, but my dad said he still seemed to be enjoying life - he liked to eat, he liked whizzing in the grass, he still got excited about treats.

Then he developed a really bad sore on his side that started leaking serosanguinal fluid, so Dad and Ann took him to the vet. The vet was all, "Well, we can perform this surgery and then put him on a course of antiobiotics..." and they just said no. He was too old and had been through too much. So they had him put to sleep.

My dad called to tell me Tuesday night, and I could tell he was trying to keep it together and not cry, but he was obviously having a hard time and was trying to cut the conversation short. I wanted to tell him that it would be okay if he cried, that it wasn't the end of the world if he cried about his dog dying - he'd been my dad's companion for fifteen years and was a member of the family, so it's only natural.

But I didn't say that. I guess Dad was raised in that long-ago time when it was decreed that men must not cry, and he didn't want to show any weakness. So I said the usual things you say when a beloved pet dies - that he had a good life, that he was a good pet, you took great care of him, he loved you, all that stuff. Which was all true.

I'm glad we got to see him one more time - we visited at the end of September last year. Nolan was very fond of sucking his thumb while stroking Jester's soft silky ears.

They're going to have him cremated and bury his ashes under a tree out in the yard.

He was a good old dog.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Electric Mayhem said...

Awwww Joy, I'm so sorry!! Poor Dr. Jack. I remember you mentioning Jester many times. He sounded like such a sweet, happy lab. Those photos of Nolan with him are so cute. It's nice that you had some time with him just before he was put down. He's up in doggie heaven chasing balls and eating treats.