Friday, January 05, 2007

A Tribute To Jay

This is an email I got from my friend Greg about his neighbor's dog Jay. Jay succumbed to the ravages of doggie old age this past weekend, he was about 18. Mary is a girlfriend of David's. Rest in peace Jay. ~ Pato

A Tribute to Baby Jay

Although all outward appearances would lead one to believe that Jay was a dog, those of us who were blessed to have the chance to spend time with him remember him as a human.. a loving companion.. a fierce ally in battle.. a loyal friend.. and as stubborn as they come. He was a protector, the ruler of the roost, and absolutely devoted to his daddy and Bobby. Yet when he wasn't busy protecting his fort or family, he was patiently waiting for food.. whether it was the ritual leftovers given to him on a plate after a meal, stray crumbs on the floor, Nutter Butters that left his mouth watering as soon as the package was opened, or the simple, yet obvious motion of laying down in front of his food bowl to let you know that it was time for you to feed him.. Pigs ears would disappear within seconds, though unlike the rest of the food that was given to him, he would actually chew on as opposed to swallowing whole. And not to mention the LIVE variety of tasty treats for Jay.. snakes, possums, rodents, and the occasional cat or two. Very few cats consider themselves lucky to have known Jay..and those are the ones that he liked and allowed to live.

He was the leader of the pack in the neighborhood. Walking him was often time consuming, for he had to sniff out each blade of grass that another dog left his mark on for what seemed like hours, as if he was deciphering the other dog's DNA, their personal history, criminal convictions, etc...and of course, he would HAVE to leave his own mark.. slowly making his way around the block.. back to the house..(but not before leaving a present in a neighbor's yard, which of course HE was never yelled at for...). After such rigorous exercise, Jay would have to rest...mostly in the spots that YOU wanted to rest in..and he would lay there, flat on his back, arms and legs sprawled out. Bedtime was always an experience, and I would usually end up smashed against the wall, with one of his legs or arms digging into my side..and he had to have his "warmies"... in other words, he was under the blanket with us as well, nudging my bare skin with his enormous, cold, wet nose from time to time, stretching his legs and arms across me, as if to let me know that I was taking up "HIS" space..but when we finally decided that three was a crowd in bed (which took MUCH pleading and begging to David on that note..) and he was left to sleep on his bed on the floor, he would make sure to let us know that "JAY" and "SLEEP" and "FLOOR" was not acceptable... we would beg him off the bed with food, sell our souls to the devil, whatever it took..he would pretend to be in a "coma", unresponsive to our pleas..or mine, at least.. and when he would finally roll off the bed as if it was killing him to move, he would then flash his "puppy dog eyes" to elicit a sympathetic response.

Jay was one of a kind.. I can picture him now.. lying out in the front yard or on the sidewalk, watching the world go by, as if contemplating the deeper meaning of life. Many feared him, but those who knew him realize what a truly amazing and special dog he was. I was always waiting for him to start talking, for if any dog could manage that, it would have been Baby Jay. He never ceased to amaze me, and the stories David would tell about his earlier years reaffirm the fact that he was special from the beginning. My only comfort now is knowing that he is off in his "heaven", young and vibrant, chasing anything smaller than him that moves..and I'm sure he has an unlimited supply Nutter Butters.. and a king sized bed.. and he knows that he is loved by so many. I will miss you Jay. Love, Mary

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