I’ve had dogs in my life. Not many…but a few. I wasn’t allow to have a dog growing up so we only had cats. This probably contributed to my absolute loathing of cats as an adult. But anyway, I always longed for a dog. They just have such big personalities, they are loyal and loving and protective. So when I got older I acquired some dogs in some of my relationships. I loved them and I slowly found myself becoming a real dog person. But it wasn’t until Eric and Jackson came into my life that I fully understood what the unconditional love of an animal is like.
I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that Jackson is an exceptionally well behaved dog in the first place. He learns fast, he doesn’t bark or jump, he doesn’t get on the furniture unless invited to do so. I attribute all of his greatness to the fact that the oh-so-calm Eric Craig was the only influence in his life for his first year. Perhaps I should think about that when Eric and I eventually run into differing ideas about parenting. ha. Anyway, the point is that Eric is a calm soul, so is Jackson.
Eric and I used go out on the weekends and get a little tipsy and come home and just sit and marvel at how awesome our dog was. We would go on and on and sometimes get a bit emotional about him. He would just sit there and look at us like “why are you guys staring at me and crying?” ha. I guess we can be sappy drunks.
Never in my life have I had a dog that was truly mine. My mom and her ex husband got a dog that I loved, that I spent the majority of time with and was attached to…but mom’s ex got her in the divorce then gave her away 😦 My mom has a dog but everyone that knows Leo knows that dog belongs ONLY to my mom – and we are just fine with that arrangement. I’ve had dogs with my ex’s but they went with them when we broke up. Everything changed with Eric and Jackson. With the sense of knowing that Eric and I were “forever,” I also came to know that Jackson and I are forever. And with that knowing came a deeper love and dedication to this little furry, squishy faced thing. I worry about him so much that I can only imagine what I’m going to be like with a human child. We are all Jackson knows. We are his family, his pack, his playmates, his source of food and shelter and health…we are his protectors. He lives for the second we wake up in the morning and the second we get home from work. Every time he sees us it’s like we’ve been away for months when it’s only been a few hours. He could care less about anything else, even food, as long as we are loving on him.
I know the day will come when he won’t be with us any more. He’s already beginning to turn gray around his eyes and he will be FIVE next month! Given that boxers have shorter lifespans this makes my heart ache soooo bad. I want Ritter to have memories with Jackson and I so hope they have the opportunity to bond for a very long time. Eric and I have often talked about what life without Jackson would be like and I honestly don’t think we could ever love another dog the way we love him. I don’t think we’ll ever be so lucky as to have another dog as GOOD as he is. I’m sure we’ll have other dogs, but Jackson’s temperament and personality are irreplaceable.
With the baby coming I guess I felt this need to write down these thoughts and feelings. To remember all of these wonderful things about him before we added another one to our pack. Because as wonderful as it is going to be, it won’t ever be just the 3 of us again. And when Jackson is no longer here I want to remember every little detail about his hilarious and quirky self. The way he teases you with a toy and tries to play keep away even though he wants you to grab it and throw it. The way he stares intently at the things he wants… whether it be a toy or the door to go outside or the piece of broccoli on your plate. He LOVES broccoli by the way. The way his ears flop forward when he’s looking down at something. The way he will do anything to be next to us and touching us in some way. The way one ear goes back and one goes forward when he’s perplexed or annoyed about something. The way he whines in the morning for you to get out of bed because he just wants everyone in the house to be awake if HE’S awake. But the whine is so intense that you’re certain he is about to pee on himself or he’s in horrible pain…but then you get up and he’s just fine and just wants to play. The way he is protective of this house and growls at strangers then licks them obsessively once they are inside and he realizes they are okay. The way he loves to eat his dinner then come rub his face full of dog food crumbs all over your pants. The way he loves to stand over your foot when your legs are crossed so you’ll rub his belly with your toes. That sweet sweet look on his face when he’s curled up sleeping. The way he comes and buries his face into you when he wants to cuddle….
I could go on and on but I’ll stop there. I truly believe there is a little piece of god and heaven in all dogs. I consider myself blessed to have been touched by Jackson’s life. He has made me better in so many ways. I know not all people are “dog people” and even some people who have dogs don’t feel this way about theirs. But some of you will get this and know how intense and special that bond is!