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Suburban Island

Jesse Departs
Saturday Oct. 02, 2004, 11:45 a.m.

QUESTION: What happened to Jesse?

WHAT I LEARNED: There's not always time to say goodbye.

I had a lot of interesting things to write about that I thought very amusing but I will have to save these for another day so I can write about my friend and his dog, Jesse. Jesse got hit by a car yesterday morning. It was one of those things that happens in a flash Ė one minute the dog is up on the porch and on its way back into the house and the next moment a random squirrel happens upon the scene and everything changes. The dog sees the squirrel. The squirrel sees the dog. The squirrel scampers away as fast as it can scamper. The dog shots after it like a bullet. And in between the two was the street and that street sees a good amount of traffic. In the thrill of the chase Jesse didnít see the car coming and the driver didnít see Jesse flash across the street until it was too late to stop. Jesse died in my friendís arms on the way to the vet. The driver that hit the dog following along to help in any way she could. She was crying too. The vet tried to resuscitate Jesse but it was too late. Jesse was truly and undeniably gone forever when just an hour earlier she had been happily enjoying her family and the morning activities of the household.

Pets are amazing things. They know us better than anybody else because they see us in our most natural and vulnerable states. They spend the quality and quantity time with us and they love us in the way that only animals can love Ė with no rules, no judgment, and no equivocation. Losing a pet is devastating because we lose a best friend, a constant companion, and a living ever-present reminder of the importance of the value of love above all things.

My friend call me on the phone to tell me about Jesse and his sorrow reminded me of how suddenly we can lose what we love, how important it is to live everyday mindful of the good things we have and not just the troubles we bear, and how we must never forget to communicate how much we care to those we care about every day as we go about the daily business of life.

My friend will never be able to replace Jesse. Thereís not going to be another dog exactly like her Ė not with that precise mix of attributes and virtues and quirks and appearance that makes each of us so perfectly remarkable and unique. I know he is going to want to bring another dog into his life though exactly because Jesse was so remarkable and made his life a little better every day just by being a member of his household. My friend tells me it's very lonely without Jesse - the house seems suddenly empty without her happy presence. When things settle down and the sharpest edge of grief is done, I think he will find another dog to invite into his home and heart that will be just as special in its own way as Jesse was. What a wonderful way to honor Jesseís memory. I am sure it will make for a little heavenly tail wagging somewhere out there in the green fields of doggy heaven. If I know one thing about Jesse, I know that she would not want her best friend to be without the comfort and companionship that a dear pet brings for too long.

Goodbye Jesse. You were a good dog and a faithful companion. Iím glad I knew you.

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