|Jared at fourteen|
Many of our animals live well beyond normal life expectancy, and I need to remind myself of this, particularly when I announce their passings.
Jared was adopted by us in 2001 from a local shelter about an hour before he was to be euthanized. At the time, he was a fairly neurotic purebred Siberian Husky who ,as a puppy, had lived in a truck and had eaten primarily from a Wendy's Drive Thru window. He wasn't at all sure he was a dog. He didn't wish to live outside with a new dog house, and for a time, he couldn't sleep anywhere but in a moving car. He may have been our most challenging canine rescue. Jared would also howl at night. The howling created quite a problem with one of our neighbors, and ,at the time, we were living on ninety acres !
It took a long time, but eventually Jared became acclimated to our original farm, to our other dogs and to our alpacas. Jared needed a lot of play time outside, and had an unfortunate habit of taking off for his own personal Iditarod run almost every year. He may have had a big and loving heart, but he had a poor sense of direction. He easily became lost when he entered the woods. He also could travel very great distances and then would be unable to find his way home. I once invested thirty hours looking for him. I papered the area with his picture and drove the car in circles for miles looking for people who may have seen him. That time, he was located in a farm about eight miles from here. He wouldn't let anyone catch him, but ran right up to me when they called me having seen the ad, and I came to get him. Our eldest son perfected some tracking skills when the time for the personal Iditarod would come for Jared. Although all of our kids loved Jared, our son Daniel was especially fond of him. When Daniel died, Jared was clearly saddened. Much later, when we adopted a young teen boy, I was privately very pleased that he liked Jared, and spent time walking him. Jared had found another boy to love in his own remaining time on Earth.
Old age clearly came to Jared in the last couple of years. He had gastrointestinal issues which necessitated ongoing medications. A half a ranitidine in food per day would keep him eating. When he wouldn't eat his regular food, we would get something from the Wendy's window (yes fifty miles from here usually while running another errand.) We would chop the Wendy's burger into small pieces, place it on his canned food, and he would eat it all. He had some challenging illnesses in the last couple of years, but we cared for him carefully and he always came through.
We knew that Jared's remaining days were few. Lately his musculature had been diminishing and his back legs were weakening. His balance wasn't good especially when we walked on rolling hills on the farm, which we did twice daily. At night, sometimes he would become confused and sometimes frightened. We knew it would soon be time for him to go.
Jared passed this morning on a beautiful sunny day here at the farm. A small part of me is relieved that his old bones will not endure a coming Winter. Before he passed, we had a chance to tell him how much he meant to us all during his almost seventeen year lifespan. I know that I have nothing to complain about, having loved this gorgeous creature in my life for such a long time. Still, today there are tears and sorrow. I know Daniel and my father will enjoy him and keep him busy, just as much as we have. Spend some extra time with a dog you love today. Both their lives and ours pass too quickly, a bit like a Summer season.
These are prior posts concerning Jared: