Friday, October 10, 2014

For Jagger.

It's a devastating day for our family. We've lost Jagger. I find myself needing to write, as if writing is therapy for this therapist. We've lost a member of our family, and my brother has lost his best companion. Jagger seems like more than a dog today, and I feel the need to honor his place in our lives over the past 4 years. Four years seems way too short, but there's comfort in knowing that dogs live in the moment; and the moments Jagger had with Casey have been wonderful.

People who have dogs (and have lost dogs) will understand the magnitude of what today means. My heart breaks for my brother, who has raised and trained this dog from a puppy. Jagger was Casey's very best friend, especially when life was terrible and confusing. Jagger was the constant. What is hardest is the sudden and tragic loss of this great dog. Jagger was hit by a car last night but managed to walk back to the front steps of Casey's house to pass away. It speaks so much to how dogs, like humans, need to go home and to a safe place in times of pain. It also speaks to the inseparable bond Jagger had with Casey to get to him one last time.

Jagger was a beautiful, stunning German Shepherd. Watching him run and play was a truly gorgeous sight.

He loved his orange ball, and there was hardly a moment when he didn't have it in his mouth. 

Jagger howled at any siren that passed by the house. His inner wolf definitely came out. 

Jaggy did not like the lake. We took him once, and he was not a fan of being in that water. He crawled and climbed up Casey every time we jumped in.

He was gentle enough to play with toddlers, and Bella grew up playing alongside him. 

He was obedient. He loved to please my brother. 
Jagger was extremely intelligent. He was trained easily and quickly. He was the first dog I had ever seen sit in the yard for 30 minutes until Casey said he was free. He was impressive.

Jagger patiently and graciously played with his cousin, Benson, for the past 9 months. A sign of a truly amazing dog is to put up with a puppy literally hanging from your fur with his teeth and never snap or attack. 

Jagger loved my brother. If you have a pet, you know this bond. They wrestled, played, walked, rode, fetched, chilled, trained, and enjoyed life together. The love of a dog is unconditional and free of judgment. Jagger's place in Casey's life has been indescribable and necessary over the past 4 years. 

When we lost our best friend, Keely, in 2009, the pastor at the funeral asked about animals being in heaven. He proposed that if there was, Keely would be taking care of them. In my last words to Jagger this morning, I said if there's anybody I'd want to take care of him now, it's Keely Ann. He's in capable and gentle hands and is now loved on both heaven and earth.

Our family hurts today. I can count the times I've seen my dad cry on one hand, and today is one of them. We're asking why. We're confused. We're hurt. We're sad. We've got that gut-wrenching pain and sorrow in our hearts of not understanding why this had to happen. We appreciate your prayers and warm thoughts, especially for my brother who lost his dear friend and is experiencing a whirlwind of emotions today.

What a special and meaningful gift you have been the past 4 years. Who knew when you came in as a little, black furball that you would grow into such a loving, beautiful dog. You loved my brother unconditionally and always sought out to please him. You loved my dog and played with him, even when he stole your ball and got on your nerves. You took care of and protected someone very precious to me for over 4 years, and for that, I am truly thankful. More present than anyone else in his life, even friends and family, you were there for him. Our family will miss you and cherish your memory forever, and we will take care of Casey. There will never be a dog who can take your place. We will never forget you. Thank you for these few years, teaching me about patience, obedience, hope, and unconditional love. I am so grateful that God created you and allowed us the time we had together.

Love you, Jagger.

im thankful.
carrie anne

One of my favorite videos: So God Made a Dog