Words can’t express my gratitude to these incredibly kind-hearted people who took the time to draw my sweetheart Jocky. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you! When you have time, make sure you stop by their social media. I have it linked below.
As I write this, the house is quiet, all that I can hear is the sounds of me typing away on the keyboard, the tap dripping and the clock. Everyone has gone out to celebrate the start of a new year, 2018. A new year can be seen as a brand new notebook ready to be written in. New year, new me as the saying goes.
Letting go of what no longer serves you. Letting go? Is that something that comes easily to you? Holding onto the past can make you feel stuck, but the thing is I never want to forget the past. In particular, I never want to forget the most important part of my life.
Rewind back to December 30, 2017, it felt like any other day. I greeted Jocky my dog by patting him on the head while saying ”morning, sweetheart” followed by waving and saying hello to the rest of my family members. For someone who isn’t a morning person then a routine makes the mornings a bit easier to handle when I know what to expect. At least I thought I knew what to expect.
As I make my way to the dining room table to have my usual toast with beefy Bovril spread on it and Tab to drink which tastes like coke, but healthier because it doesn’t have caffeine or sugar, but it still is a soda at the end of the day no matter how I try to justify it being ”healthy”
I’m getting a bit sidetrack here in sharing the reason for this blog post, maybe because it is easier to talk about my everyday routine than sharing something that leaves me with a heavy heart and uncontrollable tears. There are times I wish this was all just a horrible dream I would wake up from or some twisted person pulling a prank on me.
I don’t know how elegantly to put this, but this isn’t an elegant subject. As much as people in my life say he is in a better place, it still doesn’t help this empty feeling in the pit in my stomach. My baby, my best friend, my love and my companion that never left my side, my dog Jocky is gone.
From the moment Jocky was born he proved his strength! The day his mom gave birth to him he fought his way up to the top of the pillow. He survived while the other 3 puppies didn’t make it. Jocky was an exceptional animal and a dog everyone should have. I believe with Jocky’s willpower, strength, stubbornness and the love of myself and my family helped him to make it to 16 years. Not many dogs are able to experience that. Jocky wasn’t like any dogs, he was remarkable!
Looking around the house isn’t the same, nothing will be the same. I would have held on for dear life if I could have more time with him. There were moments Jocky seemed to be improving. He gave me glimpses of hope. When he and I were in the backyard of my home and I threw the ball where he jumped up as high as he could in the air chasing to get the ball, shaking his tail when seeing me, then the time we went for our usual walk and Jocky impressed me as he ran down the road and I followed with.
The good moments blurred the bad times, but it started to be harder than expected. It tested how far my love for Jocky could go. From September when he experienced his first seizure, then since then to the day he was alive I was constantly paranoid, never fully relaxed. Whenever I got into the shower I always thought I heard Jocky crying out the same way he did when experiencing a seizure, but it was the sound of the old coffee table that squeaks.
When someone in my home used to call my name in a tone that wasn’t their normal way of calling me I immediately assumed something was wrong with my dog. I raced down the stairs every time! That behavior I was going through wasn’t how a person should live their life, but I was willing to go through it to take care of Jocky. I never wanted him to feel alone. Besides, he was going through a much challenging time than me, so regardless of my emotions it didn’t matter, he came first.
It was becoming a challenge giving him his heart tablet and water pill as his appetite fluctuated. I felt like a mother when she hides vegetables in her child’s food in order for them to eat it, but this method was instead tablets in different foods in hopes he doesn’t discover it inside. Jocky caught on and spat out the tablets while eating the actual food he wanted and other times being disinterested in eating altogether.
It plays on my mind if I made the right decision by putting Jocky to sleep or should I have waited for him to get better? In all honesty, I wasn’t the one who came to that ultimate final decision. The vet said his organs were shutting down.
A family member tried to lighten the sorrow by saying Jocky left his mark indicating feces at the vet shop. I knew he couldn’t control it anymore, but I went with ”leaving his mark” as that was Jocky would do to show who was boss.
The thing is, he never got better. Jocky was a fighter, but why did he have to suffer every day to be alive? He couldn’t eat, and when he did manage to get something inside of him to eat then he would go outside and have runny stools, or vomit it out which brought on the seizures and sometimes unable to control his bladder that lead him to urinate all on himself. Jocky was anxious, whining a lot to get comfortable at night, he drank an excessive amount of water and sometimes he was disinterest to drink anything at all.
I’m not sure if Jocky had vestibular disease, but from what I gathered via googling he had the signs of it. Head tilting either the left or right side unable to move it up, loss of balance and abnormal eye moments. This happened for what felt the longest 3 days! When he got better I saw it as another miracle from God that if he could get through this, he can get through anything!
My mindset was that Jocky was able to survive all these things, he was unstoppable! Putting a dog that is this much of a fighter down seemed like the coward’s way to go. I remember arguing with my family members because they said this isn’t the life Jocky should have. I went above and beyond for Jocky by cleaning up his runny stools or urine inside and outside the home, wiped away his vomit, feed him, gave water, given his heart tablets, water tablets, wiped his eyes from discharge, his buttocks, helped him up the stairs and I would have continued helping him with problems that came his way in order to keep him alive and not feel alone.
Looking back now I knew how selfish I was. Jocky was suffering. I couldn’t handle the reality, I would have held on as long as possible. Death wasn’t an option, I wouldn’t accept it. I still find myself looking around the house waiting for Jocky to come walking down the stairs and I can hear his voice replaying in my mind.
How do you say goodbye to a pet? Is it easier to be in the known of when death would happen? Or be surprised? I think most people would opt for finding out because that could prepare themselves to make the most out of their life. As much as that makes sense, I wanted to be lost in my own belief that life never would come to an end for my beloved Jocky. In my mind, he was above that. He faced death in the eyes before and showed it that he can conquer it all.
The loss of a pet is heartbreaking to experience even if it is a natural way of life. Jocky was with me every stage of my journey on earth! From childhood, awkward teenage stage, becoming an adult and in my 20’s. He surpassed his own mother’s age, and in my eyes, he was a warrior!
Jocky was part of my life and one of the family members. He might be gone in physical form, but the stories of him and the memories will be kept alive every day until the day I hopefully get to be with him.
Anyone reading this who has experienced a loss of a pet I am deeply sorry for your loss. No amount of saying sorry would help, I know that. Take comfort in knowing their spirit is with you. You are allowed to talk about your pet to someone you trust, there isn’t a time frame when you never talk about your pet again. He or she was part of your life, carry them with you in your human journey.
Seeing their stuff around the house might overwhelm you, but keep it. I have Jocky’s collar, lead, water bowl, food bowl, pictures of him in a photo album and on my phone that I would keep forever. I won’t be getting another dog again, Jocky was the last one. I have my pet tortoise, but that isn’t the same. The affection I felt for Jocky and still do was more than I have ever experienced with an animal before.
Jocky was magnificent and wherever he is now, he will always be one of a kind. Jocky, may you rest in peace and show those other dogs what a beautifully powerful force you are. Gone, but never forgotten!
Video of Jocky I uploaded on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdtuu4CHXbg&feature=youtu.be