When Jess, my 19 year old daughter, was two and a half she came home with a tiny six week old puppy that barely filled her arms, innocently she asked, “Please can I keep her?”
I was not happy with my brother and his wife for the extra mouth to feed… Adding to the dozen fan tail pigeons, the aviary with finches and pheasants, the six bunnies, two gold fish, pair of brown house snakes, Russian dwarf hamster, white cockatiel and dog we already had.
After extracting a promise from Jess that she would feed her puppy and ensure she had water to drink and was properly house trained, and that she would bath, love and care for the tiny puppy… Jess enthusiastically named her Jasmine after her favourite fictional character from Aladdin. *Smile*
Although Jess could think of a dozen reasons to procrastinate cleaning her room, and cleaning up after Jasmine…. Jasmine was always fed, initially more than she could consume in a week never mind at one meal, although our Boerbol Jag was happy to help… given her daily water, ensuring she didn’t need a bath… ever for her first few months of life…. and loved more than I imagined possible.
I gave up all my long standing rules and principles …as Jasmine went from sleeping in her soft comfortable bed (for the few minutes it took me to walk out the bedroom and down the passageway) and onto Jesses bed and then into the bed…. I don’t know how she wasn’t smothered. *Smile*
Since Jasmine grew much quicker than Jess did, she was fully grown and fully sized, by three months. Still small, however a substantial armful for little Jess who carried Jasmine everywhere until her arms were too tired, then Jasmine was pushed in the baby pram, swung on the swing or willingly followed Jess wherever she went.
When Dave went to do errands from the first time Jess climbed into the car and into her car seat, when Jazzy was big enough, she climbed into the car and went with, to the bank (before internet banking), to the shops, to fetch the boys from school, and to do deliveries.
There was one time that Jasmine escaped from the car and was lost… and though traumatising, there was no doubt that we would find her… and we did!
A very kind stranger found Jasmine and kept her cared for and safe until Dave and Jess went to rescue Jasmine and bring her home safely.
Until Jess went to school, Jasmine was her constant companion… Following Jess everywhere… Sitting in the bathroom while Jess bathed… At the foot of the tree while Jess sat up in the tree chatting to her caterpillar… that then became a chrysalis… that then became an empty cocoon causing floods of tears, that Jasmine happily licked as Jess shared her heartbreak… until I showed Jess the gorgeous butterfly that was waiting for her to notice.
As Jess laughed with happiness, Jazzy expressed her joy wagging her whole body as her tail wagged.
I’m not privy to all their adventures and imaginary friends….. or secret conversations… however, I was included in there circle of love and friendship, their happiness and joy, as nearly everyone who knew them was.
Jess was a healthy child…. only having chicken pox which she got from her brother… and then measles before she was six, Jazzy comforting and keeping her entertained during the days and weeks of sequestration at home.
Jasmine always seemed to know when Jess was about to arrive home from school, no matter what extra activities she had… going to the front door, or the gate to wait, ten minutes before Jess arrived home, no matter what time of day it was.
Jess and Jasmine shared 11 years of health… without any illness, barely even a cold, lots of happiness and joyful moments.
In 2012, when Jess was very ill… with a tummy bug, and then a cold, and then flu, and then another tummy bug, and then another cold and flu… and then bronchitis, and another tummy bug…. it was Jasmine, despite her maturing years and her aged body that stayed close to Jess all the time snuggled in close, as I worked at my desk and watched over Jess as she rested and slept on the couch.
They read books together, watched movies together, took naps together. They walked in the garden, explored nature and when Jess was sad, frustrated and experiencing the drama of being a teenager with her friends (that I have little patience with) it was Jazzy who loved her, supported and accepted her unconditionally with enthusiastic loyalty.
In November 2012, when Jess was diagnosed with Graves Disease, a severe thyroid condition… with the worst treatment options I have ever encountered…. Surgery to remove the thyroid, or radiation treatment to “zap” the thyroid into submission, both with unacceptable side-effects for a teenage girl… sterility and lifelong hormone replacement….. we chose a different, although much longer and difficult treatment with the guidance from our specialist doctor.
During five months of bed rest, when Jess slept nearly 20 to 23 hours a day, as a “firestorm” raged in her body and the medication “neutralized” the life threatening effects…. Jasmine was with Jess constantly, even sitting in the bathroom when Jess went to the loo or showered.
Almost in empathy, Jasmine developed breast cancer during July 2013, and as a result of her advancing years. Despite her own illness and physical exhaustion, being ever diligent to her responsibilities….. Jess took Jasmine, with her Dad on one of their last car trips to the vet.
Our vet explained that the very expensive treatment was extremely painful and traumatic and would only lessen the quality and length of time Jazzy still had with us… so Jess, decided against any treatment, and that she would make whatever decisions necessary during what time she had with Jasmine.
Despite the growing tumour on her breast, Jazzy was just as loving and loyal… she just slept more. Even though her hearing was almost gone, her teeth just little stubs and her eyesight had faded until she was nearly blind, at the slightest sound from our other dogs…. Jazzy could still high jump from the back of the couch to the floor and take off at zero to 1000 kilo metres in seconds with the other dogs… barking just as madly and loudly at whatever had taken their fancy or provoked them.
Although Jasmine has gone through times of thinness and lethargy, and we have wondered with concern if her time was near during the last 12 months… she has always rallied, eating and gaining weight, and this year her hair has regrown and despite her advanced years her energy increased… until Monday evening, when she developed heart problems.
During Tuesday morning while Jess was out, Jasmine snuggled in my arms obviously aware and content, although no longer comfortable.
I prayed for divine guidance and comfort, seeking heavenly help for Jasmine, and strength, courage and comfort for Jess, and felt inspired that Jess could have one more day to say good-bye to her loyal and trusted friend.
Jess, of her own choice, made an appointment at the vet for 5pm on Wednesday, 27th August 2014. Jess with Jasmine in her arms, took their last car trip together with her dad.
Jess having never let go, held Jasmine in her arms, where she died peacefully while in the waiting room before seeing the vet.
Dr Odendaal, gently examined Jasmine and confirmed her passing, Dave and Jess holding Jasmine one last time as they said their last good-bye.
Although a long and expensive process we have decided to have Jasmine cremated, and her ashes returned. An honourable gift for an honourable and exemplary loyal, loving and trusted best friend.
Jasmine born sometime in June to July 1997, lived well and happy…. Died on 27th August 2014, deeply missed, will always be loved.
After three days of tears, I find my heart unexpectedly broken at the loss of this special little dog, and for my daughter…. even though I know that Jazzy is now running happily, chasing butterflies in fields of daisies with our other loyal and trusted animal friends…. Chelsea, Shandy, Jag, Bullet… Bunny Boo and Gray… And so many more.
They bring us joy and fill our hearts… They share our happiness and enliven our memories. They brighten our days, protect us at night… never question our decisions, or judge our moods and actions. They are unquestionably loyal, unwaveringly faithful, and unconditionally accepting and loving.
They teach us how to be the human beings we should be.
Thank-you Jasmine, you will be remembered always and loved forever!
Written ~ Thursday, 28th August 2014.
Published ~ Thursday, 13th November 2014