In January 1994 a wet, bedraggled Jack Russell turned up on my doorstep. That was the start of my companionship with a very special dog.
I was devastated when he died in July 2002 and wrote this partly in his memory and partly to help me to come to terms with the loss of such a special friend.
“I Did It Dear Jack Because I Loved You So”
I want you to know that I’ll never forget,
I recall every day the moment we met.
A wet, bedraggled bundle of fur,
“I can’t find my mummy or daddy no more”
We dried you off and cleaned you up,
What could we feed a hungry pup?
No doggy food, what would we do?
I know – it’s daddy’s tuna for you!
It wasn’t so good that very first night,
You were barking, and trembling with fright.
But you got lots of strokes and slept in the end,
After lots of cuddles from your newest friend.
The very next day the dog warden came,
And took you away in her little white van.
You looked out the back as she drove away,
And seemed to be saying “but I wanted to stay”.
We thought about you that whole long week,
How would you be, did you eat, did you sleep?
And then on Thursday the telephone rang,
“nobody’s claimed him” - bring him back in your van!
We bought you a basket, collar and lead,
We stocked up with dog food, things we thought you would need.
Then back you came in the van with the warden,
“Can I stay with you, I won’t be a burden?”
About a week later, before you settled down,
You went for a walk, just a wander around.
We searched and searched with heavy hearts,
You were new to the place, didn’t know these parts.
We managed to find you in the end,
You’d run off to the gypsies, thought they were your friends.
But then you jumped straight in to my arms,
Pleased to be back, and come to no harm.
After that you settled down,
Didn’t need to wander around.
We had great times together, you and me,
Your favourite place was on my knee.
Do you remember the visiting cat?
He came to visit and sat on my lap!
You cuddled up with him on the chair,
And made a fuss and licked his hair.
You were the friendliest pup around,
Always happy and never a frown.
You’d tug a rope and play with a ball,
Chasing it up and down the hall.
Then came those years of sorrow and doubt,
We stuck together and we sorted it out.
You moved with daddy into a flat,
You discovered stairs – don’t know about that!
Then six months looking for a new home,
With a nice garden for you to roam.
A place where we could settle down,
And you could explore and run around.
Your eye sight was fading, your hearing was gone,
Your little heart wasn’t beating so strong.
But you were a fighter and you loved your new home
So now daddy helped you, you weren’t on your own.
You’d look at daddy, with those eyes that were fading,
And I’d know straight away what you were craving.
It might be a bikky, some loves or a walk,
And daddy would know, didn’t need to talk.
We’d still go walking, though you couldn’t see,
You’d follow your nose at the end of a lead.
With your eye sight dimming and your hearing gone
It was daddy’s turn to help you along.
I will always remember our very last day,
Its memory will never fade away.
I had chicken for dinner and gave you some scraps,
Then we settled down to try and relax.
And then that dreadful moment came,
You looked at me, I knew you were in pain.
“Daddy, you’ve always helped me before,
Please daddy I need your help once more”.
But this time my darling there was nothing to do,
We rushed to the vet, and he said so too.
Daddy had to decide what was best for his mate,
A terrible burden, to decide your fate.
You couldn’t see, you couldn’t hear,
You were OK while your mind was clear.
But now your little mind had gone
And you couldn’t tell what was going on.
So I put you where you loved to be,
On my lap, your head on my knee.
And there you gently went to sleep,
While I stayed behind to grieve, and weep.
You wouldn’t play on earth again,
In the sun or in the rain.
I had no choice my faithful friend,
At least we shared that dreadful end.
Now and then I look to see,
Where my little shadow used to be.
But you’re no longer there, you had to go,
And I’m on my own, missing you so.
Do you remember, at the end of each day,
How I’d kiss you goodnight and then I would say
“I love you zillions my baby, sleep tight,
Sweet dreams, hope the bed bugs don’t bite.”
I still do that now, silly to say,
But still I think of you every day.
You were ever faithful, ever loving,
You gave so much, and demanded nothing.
Do you remember that day, so long ago,
When you came to my door and said “I’ve nowhere to go”?
Well there’s other dogs like that as well,
No mummies, no daddies their lives can be hell.
I’ll never forget you, I love you so much,
I can never replace you, you were my special pup.
But if you don’t mind, I’ll remember you,
By trying to help another dog too.
Where you are now you’ll live for ever,
I only wish we could still be together.
Thank you for being my very best friend,
We had great times together right up to the end.
Each night I promise I’ll send you a kiss,
But please promise me you’ll understand this.
I didn’t say goodbye because I wanted you to go,
I did it dear Jack because I loved you so.