July 24 2011
and today, January 28, 2013
The first thing I did when I met Jazz, on the day she was brought home from the shelter*, was clean up her vomit. I told AuntMurble something like, “I don’t need to bond with her. YOU need to bond with her. Get her some water and show her, her yard. I’ll do the gross distancing tasks.” and very nearly the second thing I did was say, “You didn’t get a calm old dog. This dog is dying.” and it was true, she wouldn’t eat, she had a systemic infection, multiple teeth were broken, her legs will never work properly because she was hit by a car when she was a pup. She has tremors and it has been a constant battle to keep her from biting, scratching and licking herself out of existence.
For weeks AuntMurble would look at Jazz and say,
"What have I done?" and I would say,
"you saved a dog that really needed to be saved. Not many people would have been able to afford to save her or just wouldn’t have because a younger healthier dog is easier." and I had doubts and so did the vet but Jazz did get better.
I didn’t take her for a walk for a year. For months I would say, ‘Your dog needs to go outside.’ , ‘Your dog needs a treatball, she’s bored.’ , ‘she needs to be played with. walked. calmed.’ Giving them space to learn that they were eachother’s. But of course Jazz and I bonded. She knows I’ll take her outside, when no one else is paying attention, she knows that I am paying attention. She knows I’ll feed her when no one else is around and she knows that my room is the comfiest quietest coziest place for a nap. She doesn’t need me or anyone really, but she takes great comfort in me. And she gave me an important gift, the knowledge that she is not Cowboy, she’s no Champion, she is not my side-kick attuned to my every move, she will never be concerned with trying to grant my every wish and command. Because what Cowboy and I had was rare and maybe once in a lifetime.
I fell in love with Jazz (her name was, Jezebel, at the time) the instant I saw her, as I gave her a cold guarded pat on the head and said, ‘hi pup, you sure are pretty.’ and walked away from her to go clean up her vomit.
"She was the only dog not barking at the shelter." -AuntMurble
Jazz’s favorite, and really only, hobby is barking.
I was just going to post these two pictures and then all these words happened. sorry.
*not the day pictured. I don’t know if I mentioned Jazz at first. I tried not to for a long time.