I had a post almost ready to put up yesterday, I was in the final editing and tweaking process... and then something terrible happened - our beloved family dog, Jack, was struck and killed by a vehicle outside our yard yesterday afternoon.
The kids and I were getting ready to go for a walk, and I had just ran inside the house for a minute to grab our sunscreen, when I heard my neighbour shouting for me. When I got outside, the poor guy had been struck, and had managed to crawl about 10 feet back to our lawn before collapsing. I immediately called my husband at work, and he left right away to come home. I stayed by Jack's side until he passed... unfortunately Mike didn't make it in time.
The woman who hit him was driving up our road, preparing to pick her grandson up from school (the elementary school is right across the street from us), and - I'm assuming - my daughter threw his ball and it bounced into the road, at just the wrong moment. The ball was on the other side of the road when I got outside.
Gratefully, since Ruby is only just 3 years old, she doesn't really comprehend what she saw. My neighbours were awesome enough to take her inside and away from the scene. She has been asking questions since, which we have been answering honestly (though painfully!) and she seems to be taking things well, though, as her first experience with death, I imagine she just doesn't understand the whole concept of it.
Jack was a gift to me from my hubby on my 25th birthday, exactly three months before we got married. I always joked that it was a birthday present to himself, because I'd never mentioned wanting a dog, and it was pretty clear right from the beginning that they were two peas in a pod. Jack was a Border Collie mix, and was just four months old when we got him. Everywhere Mike went, Jack went.
Jack was a total frisbee dog. He'd chase frisbees all day, doing flips and backflips in the air, showing off. And he'd chase balls, sticks, you name it. He was so focused on his 'catching mission' that he'd literally make himself sick before he stopped for a rest!
Shortly after we got married, Mike got really sick and had to take almost a full year off work to recover. I had to take over all the financial burden of the house, which meant working looooots of long hours and really late nights (I was the manager of a Bar and Pool Hall at the time), and of course, I was constantly worried about leaving Mike alone. Emotionally, Mike was a wreck. But after I left for work, Jack would jump on our bed, and literally not leave Mike's side the entire day... not even to eat or go pee. He'd wait until I got home, and then he knew he was off the clock and I would take over. That's when the two of them really bonded.
Then along came Ruby... when I was pregnant we were naturally concerned about how Jack would react to the new baby. We really shouldn't have worried at all - he welcomed that baby like it was his own. As soon as Ruby could start moving and interacting with him, they were best pals. He was incredibly protective of her. And her first word, after Mama and Dada, was 'Dog.'
Jack was the type of dog that all the neighbourhood kids just loved. Because he knew all the tricks - shake a paw, roll over, high five, etc - and he would chase a ball/frisbee/stick and return it right to their feet, and also because he was just so gentle and smart.
I'm not going to go into detail, but the extent of his injuries are a pretty strong indication that the driver was speeding. Which upsets me in a whole other way, because like I mentioned at the beginning, we live across the street from an elementary school - which means the speed limit should be a maximum of 30 km/hr. This happened just after school had let out, and there were children all over the sides of the street, walking home from school. I just thank God that luckily it wasn't a child that was injured.
So, goodbye old pal! You will be missed greatly, loved dearly, and remembered very very fondly.