On Monday, we had to say goodbye to Jack, our loyal Jack Russell terrier. My parents and I bought him as a birthday gift for Bill in 1998. He was, as we liked to fondly call him, “the worst birthday present ever.” Being a Jack Russell, he liked to bark at anything and everything. To be expected, but so annoying! As a bonus, for his first few months with us, he peed in the house and would not stop, culminating with an incident during a move from one house to another when he peed on our bed right before we fell into it, exhausted. Believe it or not, he survived that night, and that was the last time he ever peed in the house until his final illness.
He turned into a pretty good dog, though, and we loved him a lot. He was our only dog when we moved here to Tennessee in 2005. He adapted from city dog to farm dog quite well – he LOVED it here. His favorite place, other than on the couch in the air-conditioned house, was the barn. He had a thing for horse apples and hoof trimmings.
Last January we took him to the vet because we were afraid the Buddha belly he’d developed was more than just fat. Alas, we were right. It was fluid buildup due to liver failure. The vet thought he probably had liver cancer. We started him on diuretic medication to make him more comfortable and began to wait for the inevitable.
A year later, he was still plugging along, but he had developed diarrhea and started peeing in the house. Took him back to the vet and discovered that he was now also in kidney failure. We put him on SQ fluids and a special diet and waited for the inevitable.
The diuretic stopped working a couple of months later so we stopped giving it. His breathing got to be more labored but the tough little dog hung in there. He started having problems eating too, and after a really tough couple of weeks, he virtually stopped eating altogether last week. We reluctantly agreed that the time had come. So on Monday, July 25, we had to say goodbye for good. Jack was 14 years old and we’d had him for more than 13 years. Wow, was that hard. Knowing it’s coming doesn’t make it any easier.
RIP little Jack buddy. We’ll miss you.