My host family had to put down their dog Jackson yesterday. I've known Jackson for as long as I've known my host family... which is since I was about 13 years old. He's been a part of this family for so long... I am feeling so lost. Jackson was and is the most loyal dog I have ever met. He's a teddybear looking mutt with a heart of pure gold.
An example of Jackson's loyalty... My host family is a large family, including me there are nine people in the house. Jackson had this thing where at night he would not go upstairs to bed until every last family member was their bedrooms . I always thought that was so amazing that he loved the family so much that he would not go to bed until he was sure everyone in the family was safe. That type of loyalty is so hard to find in our society... When I first moved in I started taking Jackson for short walks around the farms near our house. I will treasure our walks together forever. I probably should have payed Jackson a theapist fee because he pretty much heard about everything going on in my life. He was a loving companion and just plain adorable. I swear Jackson was totally bomb proof... He pretty much helped raise all my host siblings and I know he will always be in all of our hearts.
All I want to do right now is just sit next to him like I used to and stroke the fur right beneath his eyes... I've done my share of crying the past few days... we all knew it was coming. About a month ago we discovered Jackson had cancerous fluid in his lungs. The vets said there was no telling how quickly it would fill up, there was a chance it could fill slowly enough it wouldn't effect him or it could quickly take him.
I prayed so hard... in the end it came quickly. He started have trouble breathing and... well we could all see he was suffering. The hardest part for me was that he was still there. Still so happy to see me I came home from work, tale wagging happily. It just hurts so bad. I loved that dog. I didn't want him to suffer anymore, but selfishly I didn't want to lose him. My host dad gave me the whole, "death is a part of life" speech, but it still doesn't make it any easier.
On the night before Jackson had to be put down, my host dad, my host mom, and two of most host brothers all sat in the living room with Jackson telling stories about him. Many of them I had never heard, about how when Jackson was a puppy he accidently shut himself up in the bathroom while the family was out. When my host family came back he had torn the bathroom apart trying to get out! The bathroom was completely trashed! My host mom told the story of one day when she was pulling out of the driveway, she looked up through the front window to see Jackson standing on top of the dining room table looking out the window watching them pull out! He was no small dog either! haha. That night is so precious to me because we were all together with Jackson laughing and reliving memories with our beloved animal friend.
I just feel so heavy hearted as I write this blog. I'm going to miss that excited face looking out the screen door watching me leave and the even more excited face, with the adorable perky ears and wagging tail greeting me as I come home.
Jackson, I'm going to miss you buddy. I love you.
"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21
I'm so glad God understands how I am feeling right now.
Thanks for the reminder, Logan.