What a day!

When JayJay was first diagnosed with cancer in early July I spent a whole day snuggled on the couch with her, crying myself silly, overwrought with grief. As the weeks passed we were able to come to grips with the fact that she was slowly dying, and in essence slipping away from us ever so slowly. It was impossible for a single day to pass that we didn’t mention the missing that would accompany her loss. And yet even then, not even that could prepare us for today.

After a weekend of watching our sweet girl lose her appetite, her thirst, and even her desire to move around, we knew it was time to say goodbye. So many thoughts ran through my head: how I would help B cope with the loss of his sweet friend and playmate, how I could make this easier for my beau to bear the loss and grief from so far away, how I could possibly say goodbye to the sweet boxer that had forever touched our lives.

When Brooks first laid eyes on JayJay he just knew she was perfect for us, and we for her. I had my concerns. JayJay would growl if you approached her kennel at the stray facility and I was sure she would prove to be aggressive and unpredictable. Brooks correctly discerned that all JayJay was was scared, nothing more.

He was right.

Overtime, and with a lot of assistance from D.Brooks, JayJay and Nya became fast friends, inseparable even. Little B and JayJay quickly became the best of friends and B was always quick to point out that JayJay was his dog and he was her boy. Those two were sweet together; the love they exuded for one another was a beautiful thing to watch. Brooks loved JayJay through and through, and JayJay made deployments easier to bear for his boy. She licked him and cuddled with him when he was reduced to tears over missing his Daddy. And Little B surely doted on her as much as any one could.

This morning Little B approached me about being in the room with JayJay when she passed. I didn’t think it was a good idea and had previously told him he’d have to wait outside. But then he came to me, calmly and resolutely, to tell me why he wished to be with her when she passed, and it was hard to say no.

I am incredibly thankful to the vet and technicians at the Vet Clinic on post. They made one of our hardest days so much easier to bear. They were incredibly compassionate, patient, and kind. They loved on our JayJay and allowed us to grieve without constraints, no hurry, no rush. The vet spoke with B kindly, explaining the process, what to expect, and that he too had had to put his beloved pet down when he was Brooks’s age. As JayJay slipped away from us, she was surrounded by love, by many loving hands and voices of love and affection.

And now we adjust to life without her. Poor Nya is confused by her companion’s absence. Brooksy found it hard to fall asleep without his girl by his side. And I keep wanting to pet her and miss her continually, as she was constantly under foot.

The hardest thing for me today was how incredibly difficult this must be for Brooks. To be so far from her and from us right now must have been incredibly hard, and I wasn’t able to make it better for him. It’s hard to see my boys having a rough go at it. I’m a fixer, and I can’t fix this, no matter how hard I try or what I say.

So, we’ll focus on the positives, on the time we had with her, on the fact that when we adopted her we gave her a second chance, on the amazing sweet girl that she was.

Life remains sweet, regardless of the circumstances.