Gentleman Jockey

Mar 26, 2008 - I got a call from Animal Control today, that a woman had turned in a 14 year old Cairn, because "I don't have time for him anymore." I went in to meet him, take a picture, and ID him as a Cairn. He's a Cairn all right-his tail wags his butt, he's a kisser, clipped way down, with those senile warts, and loads of energy. I get him tomorrow, and take him (and his new blankie) to the kennel, and after he's vetted, take him home for B&B, until his foster home is available. The Animal Control volunteers are so angry at that woman! I just hope she brought his vet information with her. On the way to get him released, I'm going to pick him up a jazzy collar and leash! Welcome Gentleman Jockey!

April 6, 2008 - This boy just loves it outside, maybe because he's spent a lot of time there, and maybe because he gets lonesome in his kitchen apartment. He loves to nap in the bed with his blanket, and at night, goes right into his crate (with the blanket), and goes night-night. The bottom picture is him looking for a small piece of cookie. He is a sweet old boy, and loves to be petted or rubbed, and he puts his paws on your lap for some attention.

April 8, 2008 - Jockey seems to prefer to not poop in the dog run. Yesterday, my niece stopped by, and took him for a walk, and he produced. We just got back from a 4 block trot and lope (He trotted and loped; I rode my scooter at a medium speed.) He went right alongside the scooter, grinning all the way, happy as a clam, and peed, and pooped (brought poop bags to collect). He's now taking a well-deserved nap. What a great old guy he is!

May 8, 2008 - jockey here. tunit, i had mi dinr, wif pumkin an yogert, an i lef tu peesez ob kible for mi fren toddy. wen fpsser mom opend mi partment gate aftr dinr, i stud bak an wated for mi yung fren toddy, tu kum get th speshul peesez i savd for her. am i not a jentleman?
jockey in walnt krek

May 16, 2008 - I need some prayers for my foster, Jockey. He spent the day at the vet, getting a dental, and having 2 growths removed. I just went in to pick him up, and speak to the vet. When Dr. Rothe came in, he said, "I wish I had better news for you. I did the dental, and when I was removing one of the growths, by his butt, I saw a tumor on an anal gland. I did an ultrasound, and the lymph nodes are swollen. It's what will take him in a couple months. I'm so sorry-he doesn't deserve that. Because of his outcome, I pretty much cut my charges in 1\2. I'm so sorry." This old guy, dumped because he was too much trouble, and now this. Please say some prayers, and send good thoughts, that he will have a longer than expected , painless time, whatever he has left. Thanks.

May 21, 2008 - Last night, about 9:00, Jockey gave a couple barks, and I put him on the bed, and he rolled around, rubbed his back, licked my hand, and went to sleep. I woke up this morning, opened my eyes, and who was sharing my pillow, facing me, was the Jock. In the morning, he usually barks and barks-also at night. Now, I know why he was barking-he was lonesome. Now, have to work on a ramp or stairs!:-) He doesn't have a clue he's sick, and I'm not telling him!

May 25, 2008 - You just want to blow little raspberries on that belly. I did one on Jockey's belly last night, and he just wiggled all over!:-)

June 3, 2008 - Jockey got this sweater from his Auntie Colleen, and looks super in it--needs less face fur, though. If you have a spare prayer, he hasn't been interested in food yesterday and today. He may just be off his feed, or....

June 6, 2008 - I just don't understand, but last night, when it was time to go to bed, I got some training treats (little bits of goodies), and led the 3 pups to the bedroom. All of them barked, and ALL of them sat for them, including Jockey. When he got on the bed, he rolled around, and rubbed his head, and kicked, like he did before. He actually played with a toy for a bit, and licked my hand. This morning, when we got up, he barked with the girls for breakfast, and I gave them biscuits (no raw meat, or cheese, or...), and he sat for his. I'm wondering if he had something like a little stroke, and is coming out of it. He doesn't seem confused any more. Scared the h*** out of me!

June 8, 2008 - sins i kant jump up on th bed bi miself, antee susan sent me this wunnerful ramp, an i kan git up bi miself, now. fosser mom wantd tu send a pikshur ob me on th ramp, but i wuz undr th wethr, so itz late. thank yu, antee susan. i lobs it. if th grils ar gud, tha kan use it, tu.
gentleman jockey

June 13, 2008 - Carol just called. Jockey has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, quickly and quietly. The tumor had grown to 20x the initial size. Carol is very upset and needs your prayers for Jockey and herself. I told her to be open to all the love and prayers she would be getting from you wonderful people. If you can, please light a candle for Jockey as he makes his way.

Lois in CA
June 13, 2008 - Thank you all so much for the love, prayers, hugs and words, on Gentleman Jockey's last day. I guess I'm amazed that I feel so badly about this loss. We only had him for 3 months. He was a true gentleman. He would take food from my hand so gently and politely, so unlike any of my boys, who'd take at least one of my fingers with his tidbit. When I first took him for a walk with my scooter, I was shocked when he ran alongside, not a bit breathless. We were told he didn't get along with dogs, but he did. Oh, he really did, and learned to play from his teacher, my magic Toddy. When I went to pick him up at the vet's a month ago, after his dental and removal of fatty cysts, and saw tears in the vet's eyes, when he told me what he'd found, and said he probably had a few months. I was going to start teaching him to swim this weekend now that the pool is warm enough, and he was going to strengthen those back legs. He was going to go for more long runs alongside my scooter. This morning, he got up to go potty, and then came back into the bedroom. I was going to get up and start the day, but instead, he got up on the bed, snuggled, then stretched out, rolling around and rubbing his head on the comforter. I'm glad I did not get up just then! Our lives are better for having met him, and loved him. He's now running across the Bridge, gathering friends to play with, young, and healthy, and hardy.He will always be our Gentleman Jockey.
Carol, Beamer and Toddy

What do we do when our loving pets face the last leg of the race? We do all we can to help them finish well, of course. We take time to read the unspoken needs of the friends we've come to know so well. We give the simple reassurance of a loving touch when the old boy seems confused for no reason. We groom them faithfully, but more gently, as age brings muscle wasting, and the arthritic bones aren't so well padded.

We learn to slow down for their sake, as they enjoy the scent of the wind, or track a visitor's trail across their yard. We expect to be inconvenienced, and aren't angry when it happens. We watch for pain and treat it, watch for changes in vision and hearing and do what we can to help preserve those precious senses for as long as possible. We take care of their teeth, and make sure their food is a manageable texture for them. We remind them of the need for a potty walk when they seem to forget.

We remember the little rewards. We scratch the graying ears and tummy, and go for car rides together. When the pet we love has an unexplained need for comfort, we give it freely. When infirmities bring a sense of vulnerability, we become our old guardian's protector. We watch their deepest slumbers, when dreams take them running across long-forgotten fields, and we remember those fields too. When they cannot stand alone, we lift them. When their steps are uncertain, we steady them.

And if their health fails, it falls to us to make the choice that will gently put them to rest. But until that is absolutely necessary, we pause to let the autumn sun warm our old friend's bones. And we realize, autumn is not a bad time of year at all. Old age is not a disease or a reason to give up. It is a stage of life that brings its own changes.

Autumn can be a beautiful time of harvest. And, sometimes, the harvest is love.

author-- Christy Caballero