This is the hardest post I think I have ever had to write… but I wanted to share with everyone… and many of you know… Jude’s story:
My angel first rescued me in 2002 – when I found him hours from euthanasia at a kill shelter: a sweltering, filthy, shack in the middle of nowhere. He was scared, alone, and covered in fleas… he was slumped in the corner… and he looked at me with green eyes – the same color as my mother’s. He was somewhere around the age of 10 or 12 weeks. His brother was adopted, and he was left to die. He wasn’t the dog I went there to adopt… but it was my luck to take him home.
Admittedly, I was not a very good momma to him in the early weeks. I am the least patient person I know… and I’ve had guilt about that since then… so I tried to make up for it in his senior years. But I have to say that no matter what, he always gave more than what he received. And people say I rescued him… he was lucky… NO… anyone that thinks that, has it backwards. He rescued me… many, many times… I was blessed to be given that beautiful little soul to care for… the best I could.
I always called him “My Angel”… and now he’s everyone’s angel… to know him was to love him. He was happy, gentle, and wanted nothing more than to please everyone. In fact, my British family that met him years ago dubbed him, “The James Bond of Dogs”…. Bond, Jude Bond…. And it really was a moniker that suited him… if you met him, you’d know this.
Jude loved the water… whether it was in the pool, at the beach, or Lake Tarpon… he floated, he swam, he boated, and he jet skied. He was a protector.. he didn’t like it if he thought anyone was fighting.. even if it was in jest… in his earlier years, he chased off “bad kitty” when it came around to pick a fight with his feline sister (who raised him), Cookie… and even in his last year, on chemo… he jumped between his sister, Pearl, and another dog that was beating the crap out of her… he protected everyone if he thought they needed it. He never picked a fight, but he NEVER back down either… whether it was another dog, or cancer.
He was my treasure…
And in all of this we were so blessed to have loving friends to encourage us in this fight for the last 15 mos… and to have caregivers.. the best (after a rough start).. from his regular vet. Dr. Romero (and staff)… a kind and gentle man who gave his time to care and research the best treatments (taking over Jude’s care from a lunatic) and kept him going for the first several months of this fight… to his positive, upbeat, and knowledgeable, and honest oncologist, Dr. Kane (and staff)… who kept us going when there was hope, and was honest enough to tell us that there was no hope left… to the couple at Sarasota Pet Crematory who helped us at such a painful and crucial stage.
Many times, we thought we were at Jude’s last day… but he always rallied…
but In preparation of the inevitable over the past several months, we contacted several vets who do “in-home euthanasia”… we didn’t want it done in an exam room… we wanted him to feel safe and in familiar surroundings… but as time went on, we realized that this could be a logistical issue if we needed something to be done at the drop of a hat… I then got the idea that if we had to let him go before a vet could arrive, perhaps we could put him in his jeep (one of his favorite places… he loved riding in the back of that jeep… it was fun, safe, and familiar to him). My thought was that perhaps once we got him to an ER vet, they would come out and do what had to be done right in the jeep… and then we could go directly to the crematory. The more Ed and I discussed this option, the more it seemed like the best solution as long as we could get the vet to agree. Last week, I called our regular vet… and he was more than willing to do this when the time came. And… that’s what happened when the time came:
This past Friday morning, January 6, 2017, the decision was made that no more was to be done… Jude let us know he was ready… he finally just couldn’t do it any more…I am so grateful to Ed for helping me make this decision and for walking thru this ordeal with me… He was a tower… An appointment was set with Dr. Romero for 4:45pm… Ed came home early from work… and we sat and watched the clock…Ed took Jude’s bed out to the jeep… I got up to get ready to leave, while Ed took Jude outside for the last time. Jude never left the yard so it was not unusual for him to be outside by himself. So Ed came back in to make sure I was ready to go… and as we walked out the door toward the jeep… I looked over and saw Jude, standing at the back of the jeep… looking over at us as if to say “come on, let’s roll”… he had no reason to really know we were going anywhere, yet he knew… I was stopped in my tracks and went to pieces right then and there… we heard later that I scared the neighbors! Once I recovered enough, Ed lifted him into the back onto a sheet he had put on his bed (his bed had never been in the jeep before, but I wanted him to be comfy), and I crawled into the back with him – something I’d never done… as we drove, even though hew as deaf, I talked to him.. thanked him for everything, told him I hoped he knew how much he was loved…. And to look for his Grandma Sylvia (Ed’s mom, who adored Jude), his Aunt Pat and Grandpa Tracy (who never knew him, but would have loved him), and his feline sister, Cookie. I have felt all along that they were all with us that day because so many things could have gone so wrong, but as this process goes… everything fell into place – more so than I can detail here – as I’ve already written too much.
I called Dr. Romero’s office manager, Stephanie, to let her know we were on our way – she said that she wanted to be with us because the staff had known Jude for so many years… we pulled in behind the building where it as more private, and Stephanie was waiting for us… we backed up right to the back door of the office… and opened the back door of the jeep… which was usually when Jude would get up to jump out… he didn’t make a move… he stayed lying down, with his paws curled up in front of him… as his sister, Cookie, had shown him to do… and he waited… we waited… finally, Dr. Romero appeared… and treated Jude for the very last time. Once Jude was unbelievably gone, of course, I fell apart again… we thanked Dr. Romero and Stephanie – thank you was not enough… and we took off for the crematory – the owner, Scott, was waiting for us… During the short but forever drive, I took a clipping of the fur at the back of Jude’s neck – the softest part, and I clipped off the little white tip of his tail…
When we finally arrived at the crematory, Scott was waiting for us… I kept hugging and kissing Jude…Scot was so kind and gentle…he wrapped Jude up in the sheet Ed had placed under Jude on the bed… so that only Jude’s beautiful little face showed… he took him into the back and gave me time to say my last goodbyes…Jude was still warm as toast… I hugged and kissed him… and told him to fly on Angel wings to be with Grandmas Sylvia and Pat, and Grandpa Tracy – that they were waiting for him over the Rainbow Bridge… and that I would love him forever and always…. Because he rescued me and gave me LAUGHTER AND LOVE -EVERY SINGLE DAY OF HIS LIFE.
At some point, I/we will be taking some of his ashes to be scattered in the Gulf – at his favorite beach in St. Pete where I began taking him as a puppy, and also at Lake Tarpon… two places of true joy for him.
Mind you.. I don’t have the heart to go thru and proofread this right now… I can hardly see what I’m typing for the tears… so please excuse any errors…
And if Jude ever touched your heart in any way… PLEASE consider donations to those listed above in my cover photo… or if you prefer to your local Humane Society or Rescue Group.
I love you all… thank you for indulging me in my writing of this tribute to one immensely beautiful soul… with the biggest heart. I am not sure him being gone will ever feel real.
This Candle Will Burn Until:
Thank You Contributors:
L McGugan $200.00
Terry Long $25.00
On 2019-09-03 Paul Ben wrote
what a beautiful tribute to jude ....I hope that the hole in your heart has healed a little since his passing.........bless you ..lynette from long island ny 09/02/19