Almost three months have passed since we lost our Jed tragically. We had trusted an invisible fence to his and our lab’s safety. The possibility of deer running through the yard is our best guess as to why he ran through it. Somehow, he managed to cross the busy road out in front of our home to yet reach a major highway. He never knew what hit him is my only solace. As I was on the phone with police, the dispatcher received a call that a dog fitting Jed’s description had been struck and killed.
Jed was very cautious and suspect of us. He had a cropped tail by way of an accident when he was a much younger puppy. He had no black on him, but a deep reddish saddle with a small white stamp on his bum, red ears, and head with a bright white underbelly and the goldest eyes we had ever seen. His head was one big wrinkle, he looked old. Very wary of us, he reluctantly came out of his kennel. My husband picked him up and low and behold, he was ours.
Jed did get to go back to the ADK a few times to rabbit hunt and train with another Beagle, Oscar. But there was something else so special about him. You could see how much heart he had by the way he ran with Kona or the balls he would chase. Not to mention he gave our rooster a run for his money. Jed was way too quick for that rooster. Kona and Jed would tag team him. When Jed would get his full sprint on I used to call him Underdog. He had the ‘speed of lighting, roar of thunder”, you remember the theme song. He was so cool to watch when he ran. Kona would wait by a bush to try to surprise attack him but he was too quick for her. There is a patch of dirt where grass once was that was called the wrestling ring. The two of them would wrestle together in that patch of dirt. They’d come out all dirty, especially Jed. He was notorious for biting at Kona’s legs because they were the only thing he could reach.I am now working on his memory box.
I want you to know what kind of dog Jed was, so you will understand how much our hearts were broken when we lost this little guy. My husband had always wanted a Beagle, grew up with them. I finally caved after having Black Labs the past 30 years. It was a cold day in the Adirondacks. We had arrived at our cabin just north of Utica, New York. Snow had recently blanketed the area and the temperature was in the teens. A good friend of ours from the area had lined up a Beagle for us, well, for my husband. As a matter of fact, our friend had been working on the breeder for a while convincing him that the dog would be going to a great guy, hunter, and overall outdoorsman. On January 1, 2016, we met Jed’s current owner. Nice man, tall, weathered face with bright blue eyes. With a handshake and a short conversation, Jed was ours. The breeder had named him Jed and we saw no point in changing it since he was already 6 months old.
Inside when we couldn’t find him we just had to look on our bed. There behind the pillows was Mr. Jed curled up in the middle of all the pillows. When we would catch him, he would just stare at us and not move! He had his spots in the house and even the cats respected that. When I would be working from home most days he would let me know when it was time for a ball break. He’d jump up on his hind legs against the left side of my desk and walk down with just his front feet to the edge of it all the while wiggling his butt. He especially loved tennis balls. The memory buckets that I give out at shows always had a brand-new tennis ball and whenever I was preparing for a show, he would sniff out the balls and of course I would have to give him one or two to play with, he wouldn’t leave me alone until I did.Well this little guy wiggled his way into all our hearts. He took over immediately and I mean the sofa, our bed, Kona’s bed, the cat’s bed my desk chair, the wood pile, my garden as well. He was finally home. No more cold nights out in a kennel. One day when the snow was gone, I couldn’t see him in the yard. I panicked but then I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He was laying on top of the stacked wood pile on the deck laying like a piece of wood. Him being the same color he was camouflaged no wonder I didn’t see him. Another time I was cleaning the floor in the kitchen and took the three dog beds and piled them on the patio table. Again, I looked and couldn’t see him. Then I saw something move on the table of dog beds. It was Jed in the middle of them. He had billy-goated his way up on the table via the chairs and snuggled his way into the middle of the beds.
He was our Snugglebug, our Wiggleworm, always happy to see us. He gave us so much love and so many memories in those short ten months. A lifetime of memories. His loss was so devastating to me that I didn’t want to do Froodle anymore. I was so heartbroken, nothing could comfort me. I couldn’t look at his photos without a complete meltdown. And they still bring me to tears. I ordered all sorts of items, a photobook, a neckless, calendar, pillow and an ornament for the tree. What I still must do is create a memory box, it’s just been so hard to do. It will be so permanent and he was so young, not fair I say. But that is the business I’m in, right? This is supposed to help me through the loss, right? When the calendar is used and the ornament is off the tree, and the photo book is closed, the neckless has no pic, just outline of a Beagle with a cropped tail and the date we got him, I will need his memory box that will host my favorite pic of him, his collars, tags, a Kong, tennis ball and I will probably put his ornament in there as well. There he will sit on the shelf between Buca and Max as he currently does outside. We buried him between them so they could protect him. I visit him and am comforted knowing where he is and that he is probably running rabbits with my father-in-law in Heaven. I know that one day, we will see him again and I that makes me smile.
It’s been tough though looking at his pics and trying to decide which one to put in his box, because they’re all great! I know the tears will come and my heart will ache, but I must remember all the joy he gave us while he was here. Dogs don’t come with expiration or use by dates but they do come packed with love and for that we are thankful. Don’t wait to take pictures of your pets, take them while they are full of life and not when they are old, tired or sick. We need to remember them when they were at their best, their strongest and their most vibrant. I will post Jed's Memory Box as soon as I finish it and the tears are wiped from it.