In Honor of Java Joe (Adopted in 2000 - 8/21/2010)

Java Joe




I lost a great friend and companion today. Java Joe suddenly developed some breathing problems last night. About 5:00 this morning we took him to the emergency vet as he couldn't even stand or really respond much to us. Tests showed lots of fluid around his heart, likely from a tumorous mass. Rather than have him suffer through lots of procedures, surgery, pain, and fear, we decided to end his life peacefully with Susan and I there loving and comforting him.

Before Joe (and Tabasco), I hadn't lived with a dog since I was probably three years old. When I was falling in love with Susan, I was quite nervous about what I was getting into - True about a number of things then! But here was this big, black, fear aggressive rescue dog that I was going to have to come to terms about how to handle if my relationship with Susan was going to work. So one day, this was when Susan was living at her mom's house, I ignorantly stepped over the baby gate holding Joe in and just sat on the floor hoping to get to know him. Little did I know that Susan was silently freaking out when she saw what I did. Instead of attacking the "invader" in his territory, Joe sniffed me a bit, let me pet him, and laid down next to me. I can't say that was the day I adopted him...but I think that was the day he adopted me! That kind of describes our relationship, he wasn't really "my" dog, but I was his person.

My new family soon moved in with me. There was some adapting I had to do to get used to the new situation. Although, I guess it was good exercise chasing him through the neighborhood the times he would rush past me at the door until I learned how to block him properly. The best investment I ever made for all of our sakes was to fence in the backyard!

When I would come home after work, Joe would greet me in a very cat-like way. This big black dog making serpentine figures around and through my legs. It's funny... I can feel it now as I sit here typing this. He was very protective of me. He could be rooms away, but if I sneezed even once, Joe would come running, shaking like a leaf, trying to crawl into my lap to make sure I was OK. Trying to use a step ladder around the house was always an adventure. He would get up on the bottom step and try to pull me down with his paws. But it was a two-way street. His safe spot was always under my legs if he was scared. It might be a thunderstorm or the monthly flea medicine event when Susan would chase him around the house until he ended up under my legs. I would pet him, Susan would apply the medicine and he would be fine, looking for his treat of course.

I always knew that Joe was a big dog. Now I feel the even bigger place he had in my life and in my heart. I don't know if I am, or ever will be, a real "dog person". But I was Joe's person and I miss him....a lot!

Be at peace, Joey... I love you and will miss you... You will be remembered always

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak and pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done, for this -- the last battle -- can't be won.
You will be sad I understand, but don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest, your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years, you wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go. Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end. And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see. I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me. Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved. Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.