My post last weekend about Sonia's sweet Flora brought back memories of the dog that stole my heart - Jessie, the German Shepherd that came into my life back in 1991. Oh what grand adventures we had in those days, hiking, camping, canoeing, exploring! She died in 2004, having spent more than 13 years making me a better person and this world a better place. Truly! What an amazing dog she was - gentle and wise. I swear she could read my mind, and her vocabulary comprehension exceeded that of a toddler.
I wasn't as familiar with dog rescue in those days, and I found Jess at a farm out in the country that bred German Shepherds. They just had two adult dogs in addition to the litter of pups, and all looked very well cared for. I had decided ahead of time that the new puppy's name would be either Darcy or Luka (with Sophie a distant 3rd place), but when I met her, all those carefully selected names fell by the wayside. It was "Jessie" that fit.
When I first met baby Jessie, she was annoying the heck out of her dad, a huge black and tan shepherd trying (unsuccessfully) to get some peace and quiet behind patio furniture on the porch. The old farmer reached down, scooped her up and held her out to me. And looking back, I guess that's the moment it all started. When I held that ball of fluff and puppy breath in my arms for the first time, I was smitten. But I had no idea how strong that relationship would be.
Everyone loved Jessie. I joked later that Jessie had friends from one end of this country to the other and received more sympathy cards when she passed than my parents did! The sadness of saying goodbye has receded with time, leaving behind the gift of 13 years of great memories. Today is her birthday, and since she never got to be a part of this blog, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite photos today in her memory.
Far too many of them include me, but it can't be helped! I never could get Jess to "smile" for photos - she would always look so serious and grim when I took her picture. It was as if posing for a photo was a dreadful task to be endured obediently, but certainly not to be enjoyed. But if the two of us were together doing something, with someone else taking the photo, then I could often get her normal happy look.
The photo below is one of my favorites. I'd just raked up a big pile of leaves, and couldn't resist playing with Jessie for a moment in the middle of the pile before doing the responsible thing and getting them all to the curb. It was our last fall together, although I had no way of knowing that at the time. Those days though, I knew she was getting up there in years, and I treasured every moment we had together.
Happy Birthday Jess! I still say you're the greatest dog that ever lived.