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Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

"It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..."

Hermann Hesse

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Each Day is a Gift

This is Elissa, with her Tibetan Terrier puppy, Jetsun. Just five months old, Jetsun is a product of Elissa's first breeding attempt, using her adult girl, Lotus. Lotus produced three pretty puppies. Elissa wasn't planning to keep any of them...we all know that story!

Two weeks ago today, I met Jetsun for the first time. She was introduced at our monthly dog club meeting. Elissa's dog, Lotus, trains with Denali in the Show Novice class. Interestingly, the two girls seem to really like each other, and they're about the same size, so we often pair up for class exercises. Lotus is clearly a well-loved dog, sweet and beautifully-trained.

At the Club meeting Elissa introduced Jetsun. She started to talk about her attempts to place Jetsun and why it didn't work, and she ended up keeping her. As she talked, her words became garbled, and at a point, she really wasn't making much sense. I realized that I'd stopped listening to what she was saying, but was simply looking at her face and seeing a woman holding a Heart Dog. It was so evident that Jetsun wasn't meant for anyone else. This was a bond that had happened virtually immediately, not to be broken.

But this morning I received some terrible news from Elissa. This past Sunday, Father's Day, she had to euthanize Jetsun. Her Heart Puppy had a rare congenital kidney condition and had gone into complete renal failure. There was nothing that could be done.

There were symptoms early on, but they were overlooked by the vet, due to the dog's young age. When tests showed severe renal failure on Saturday, the vet was amazed that Jetsun was still alive. Based on the results, she should not have been.

But a bonded dog, doesn't let go easily. By rights, this should have been discovered within the first couple months. Jetsun has been living on borrowed time for quite awhile. There is no question that Elissa's strong connection gave this puppy a few extra months and a tiny bit of a real life before it was time to go.

Jetsun left this world resting in Elissa's arms, comfortably at home. She was able to find a vet kind enough to make a house call on Sunday.

As you might imagine, Elissa is in shock, and completely devastated. Any and all prayers and good thoughts for her, and her sweet puppy, now on the other side of the Bridge, are welcome.

Rest well Jetsun! Every Day was a Gift!


Joanna said...

Oh no! I am SO sorry. I'm going to hug my dogs now.

manymuddypaws said...

oh my! how awful. I can't imagine.

Traci said...

oh how sad!!!! My heart breaks for Elissa! :( Please give her my warmest sympathies on her deep loss :(