Your Pet Tributes

'Handsome Jack'

by Gina
(Redmond, OR)

To my Handsome Jack,

When I first saw you at the shelter, I was reminded of a bird that tries to fly with a broken wing yet goes round and round in circles as if unable to break free. One can’t help but want to pick up the little bird, wrap in a warm soft blanket, and take it home to care for and keep safe from further harm - to save from a sometimes cruel world.

I wanted to save you. I was not even sure where to start, but knew I wanted to wrap you in a blanket and make everything right again for you. I wanted to end the pain and fear that filled your little body for so long. I wanted to help you forget about all the injustice you suffered. You were so fragile and scared and your spirit so quiet and broken - just like the bird with a broken wing.

Everyone that met you fell in love with your soft brown eyes and gentle, tender ways. Everyone knew how special you were to me. You were a very special little Jack. And I loved you so.

I am so sorry… I had you for only 479 days and I wanted you so much longer, I wanted to keep you forever. My future without you seems empty just as my heart feels so empty. You were my little friend and I wanted all the pain and sadness of your life to heal. I wanted to make you a happy puppy again filled with love, joy, and energy. I tried Jack and feel I let you down in the end.

I am sorry I didn’t understand the seriousness of your health emergency. I misunderstood what the vets were telling me. I keep thinking if I had done something sooner you would still be here with me. Please forgive me, my friend. I thought I just needed to bring you home like in the past and everything would be ok. I didn’t want to leave you in the hands of strangers in a scary place. I didn’t think anyone could take care of you better than me. Please forgive me… I didn’t think you would die…

People keep reminding me of how you are no longer in pain and I know they are right, and yet I feel my pain will never end. I miss you so much… I wonder what you thought as I turned and walked away from you in the hospital. I am so sorry I didn’t know it would be goodbye or I would have never left you.

I am haunted by your eyes looking back at me through the plastic oxygen cage. Even at that point, I thought you would pull through and come home and we would continue our journey to healing. I thought I just needed to go home and have patience. I am so sorry I was not there for you in the end to comfort you and hold you and keep you safe. When the vet called me in the morning and said you were gone, I felt my heart shatter into a million pieces… It is still broken… Please forgive me Jack… Please forgive me…

I miss your soft skin, and gentle eyes, and goofy/playful nature. I miss the way you could just surrender to everything around you and how you trusted and forgave the world in spite of how the world had treated you. I miss how you used to lick my nose and smuggle up next to me to stay warm and feel safe. I miss seeing you sitting at the foot of the bed waiting for me to lift you up to your favorite place. I miss sharing my pillow and petting your soft wrinkled bald head and your ears while you slept. I miss gently waking you up from a bad dream and feeling for you to be sure you were covered up and warm.

I miss the excitement you showed when it was dinner time or company came over to visit or I took you into work or had a special treat for you… It warmed my heart so to see you happy. I miss sharing my popcorn with you and you sleeping on my lap while I typed at the computer or sat in the chair reading. I miss talking to you and playing with you and rubbing your tummy. I miss seeing your tale wag and feet prance. I miss how you looked trying to get the sweaters off I tried to put on you and after a while I gave up and you won no more sweaters!

I miss playing fetch and watching you play with your squeaky toys. I miss watching you get stronger and happier and even hairier! I miss your expressions that I totally understood and the sighs you sometimes let out as you settled in sleep. Most of all I miss wrapping you in the softest blanket I could find and holding you until you fell asleep… knowing that for a least that little while you could feel the peace, safety, and love I wanted for you.

I would give everything I earthly have to have you with me now sleeping on my lap as I sit here and type this to you… my heart is so broken and the pain is so great.

You awakened and deepened my soul and changed my life just by your gentle spirit and bravery. You reminded me of all that is right, good and perfect in this world just by looking at the softness and forgiveness in your eyes.

They say as long as I keep you in my heart, you will not be gone from me… so my sweet little Handsome Jack, I will forever hold you in the softest blanket of my heart where you are warm, safe, and so loved. I love and miss you so much my little friend…

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