Home > Animal Rescue, Jasper, Pet Ponderings > Love the ones you’re with (while you still have them)

Love the ones you’re with (while you still have them)

Last week I wrote about my dog Jasper and the intensity in which he attacks everything in his life.

My friend Amy left the following comment “Buster has a lot of the same energy as Jasper, but now that he’s approaching is 5th birthday, he seems to be settling down a bit. There are more moments of calm between the craziness and, while I thought it was what I wanted, it makes me feel a little sad. It means he’s getting older and I’m not so excited about that.” I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness, because I knew what she meant. It won’t be that long before Jasper will be slowing down too. I so love his intensity. I love that he is naughty sometimes. I love that he keeps me on my toes and is always making me think. Slow down? I don’t want to even consider it.


Then later that week, I got word that a family who had been involved in the search for Lady had lost their beloved dog, Xander. They had adopted Xander from Minnesota Sheltie Rescue after his original owner died. Being the big-hearted people they are I have no doubt that Xander was showered with love for the five wonderful years they had him. I couldn’t help but be reminded that my time with Jasper (and Daisy and Lady) is short.

Even at his most exasperating, I know that one day I will be missing Jasper, like Xander is being missed right now.

I know that one day I am going to miss the fact that he has to go back outside 3 minutes after he gets back in because he forgot to go to the bathroom while he was out the first time. I will miss him attacking the outside water dish every time I empty it out to put fresh water in. I will miss him staring at me, waiting for me to throw his ball. I will miss his need to herd me, the cat, Daisy and Lady. I will even miss him chasing runners at the park.

Hearing about Xander and reading Amy’s comment made me realize that I need to appreciate all of my moments with my dogs – the good, the bad and the frustrating. Because, someday, I will miss each and every one of them.

My condolences to the Gilbert family on the loss of their boy. I know it must be heartbreaking to not have him there with them. I just hope they find some comfort in knowing they gave him such a wonderful life. One filled with love and happy memories.

  1. April 11, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear about Xander’s passing. I’ll be hugging my boys extra tight tonight – grateful for the goof-balls that they are. =)

    • Mel
      April 12, 2012 at 7:05 AM

      I’m grateful for my goofballs too Amy. 🙂

  2. Jen
    April 12, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    We love our dogs so much, and they’re with us for so little time 😦

    Thanks for the reminder! Our time is precious.

    • Mel
      April 12, 2012 at 7:04 AM

      That’s the hard part isn’t it? Their time with us is so short.

  3. April 12, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I’ve been thinking about this kind of thing a lot lately myself. Shiva’s third adoption anniversary is this weekend, which means she is now roughly four years old. While in some ways these past three years have felt like ten, in others they have felt like five seconds. If I even think about her getting old or slowing down, well… I just don’t want to think about it. Like you and Amy, it used to be what I dreamed of but now the thought of a mellow Shiva just makes me sad.

    • Mel
      April 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Kristine – Jasper and Shiva are about the same age. He turns four in July. I adopted him 3 years ago this month. I don’t dream about him slowing down and mellowing out anymore.

  4. April 12, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    All moments should be gathered and treasured. : )

    • Mel
      April 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Amen to that!

      • April 12, 2012 at 9:37 PM

        : ) Life is too short not to gather them up!

      • Mel
        April 12, 2012 at 10:28 PM

        So agree!

  5. April 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    This sounds very much like my own rambling and bawling not too long ago. It’s hard not to think about it. Their lives are really so short. Sigh sigh sigh.

  6. Mary
    April 12, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Thank you so much for these beautiful words, Mel! What you wrote could not be more true.

    Even though our Xander was nearing 12 years old, he was still our puppy! We could never imagine life without our little BeBop….he was a member of our family – He was on all of our family Christmas photo cards.

    When it came to planning family vacations we would leave one us back home to stay with him if it meant Xander would have to stay at a kennel…knowing he didn’t like to leave our house.

    After Xander would not eat & do his lttle “food dance” last Thursday morning…our vet referred us to take him to a specialty clinic. My two children and I drove him to the emergency vet hospital in Eden Priaire in the afternoon,. Xander sat so adorable in the back seat of our Explorer. We told him that he was being such a good boy we were going to give him a Frosty Paw treat when we got home from his visit. We never ever thought that a few hours later we would be heading back home without our little boy. He had a fast growing cancerous cyst in his liver,it had grown to the size of a human head, he was suffering, and had a few days to live.

    We have cried so many tears since we lost Xander. Our hearts have been broken, we miss our Xander Adair terribly. Enjoy every minute with your pups! They truly are blessings!! ❤

    • Mel
      April 12, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Oh Mary. Your comment moved me to tears. I am so sorry for your loss of dear, dear Xander.

  7. julesmelfi
    April 12, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    These stories really break my heart, especially since Cali turned 13 this year. She still acts so puppy like, and I just can’t imagine that sweet face not staring back at me every day. 😦 My heart goes out to Xander’s family. Thanks for reminding us all that every moment we get to spend with them is precious. Now I’m off to hug my baby girl . .

    • Mel
      April 12, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      They break my heart too Jules. It’s always so hard when they start to get older isn’t it? Daisy and Lady are only eight, but I still am very aware that my time with them is getting shorter and shorter. I’m lucky that Jasper is only going to be four in a few months. Poop! I’m going to go hug my babies too!

  8. April 13, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    It makes me so sad. Sampson is beginning to go white in his face and it terrifies me. I think I might need therapy when I lose that dog.

    I noticed this morning my darling, challenging Delilah has a couple of white hairs on her face. She has had a little white around the chin for a while.

    Whatever will we do without them?

  9. wantmorepuppies
    April 13, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear about Xander. 😦

    I know what you mean… Bella’s around 10 (maybe even 11) now. I was looking at photos the other day, and it really hit me how different she looks now. It makes me so sad sometimes when I think about how she won’t always be here. (Like right now. When I’m crying. Dang.)

    • Mel
      April 17, 2012 at 6:18 AM

      Sorry AJ. Didn’t mean to make you cry. I know what you mean though. The older Daisy gets the more I think about how I will handle her not being here any more. I don’t like imagining my life without her. She’s so special to me.

      • wantmorepuppies
        April 18, 2012 at 8:40 AM

        It’s okay. 🙂 I cry about everything, so if it hadn’t been you, it would have been something else!

  10. April 13, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    BJ is 12 and even though his combined breeds have a long life expectancy, I’ve been thinking about his age more often. I can’t love him more that I do. I can be more patient.

    When I take him for HIS walk, i sometimes rush him along as he sniffs at everything and pees at every post. Recently, I began telling myself that, “This is his walk and I should let him do what he does and have a good time.” It’s been working; I’ve stopped pulling him along and now let him do what he does.

  11. May 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Part of enjoying every moment with our dogs includes cherishing the aging process. Yes, it was sad to see Agatha going blind and deaf. But we became so much closer as she needed me more. And because her sister didn’t live as long as she did.

    Having a senior dog is precious too. And as Daisy, Jasper, and Lady age, you’ll find all kinds of special things about them.

    And, of course, the only way to have a dog that never gets old is if you lose them early. So aging is definitely the preferable option.

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