April 24th 2010 9:57 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]
Jamaica was our first dog as a married couple. And, yes, learn from her we did.
We had been married for a year and had just moved into our house a month before Jamaica came into our lives. Mistakes, indeed, were made with her upbringing pretty much from day one. Jamaica was not socialized. Jamaica was not trained. Jamaica had issues. Since we had her from 8 weeks old, there is no one to blame but ourselves.
We learned from Jamaica that not all dogs are born friendly. Jamaica was born to an Australian Shepherd mom. Her dad was a neighbor’s Chow Chow. So basically she was part of an oopsie litter. I did have a little nagging of doubt when checking out this litter of pups. Not one of them wanted to come investigate the humans. So, we picked a pup by choosing the one who broke from the pack to chase a cat. In essence, the one with the highest prey drive!
But think about it, Aussie/Chow mixes, they were THE CUTEST pups one will ever find. Pepper has NOTHING on Jamaica in the puppy cuteness department.
Jamaica did a pretty good job relaying her life in the last diary entry. I am just going to fill in a couple of gaps, as Jamaica said, before the details get too fuzzy.
Jamaica was a sweet, funny, loving, gentle girl. She was also aloof, protective, insecure, skittish and downright aggressive to strange dogs and people. Basically if she didn’t know you as a pup you weren’t part of her pack and she didn’t like or trust non pack members.
Jamaica was very stoic. She never whimpered, she never cried in fear or sadness. She was deathly afraid of thunder, and most loud noises, but she never whined or reacted destructively. Instead she would hide and cower. She was a quiet girl especially when she was scared.
If I had known I would end up pregnant a month after getting this pup we would probably not have taken her on. The prior year we had a pregnancy that ended due to lack of a fetal heartbeat. I thought we were in for some tough fertility times ahead. It turned out we had a new pup on our hands and a new baby on the way.
Looking back I think Jamaica was a good dog for this stage of our life. She did stress a bit when we first brought our son home. But once she got used to him she had a certain calm, gentle disinterest in him. The boy had to come first and her aloof stoicism made it easier on all of us, I think, I hope.
Jamaica, hope I’m not embarrassing her there at the Bridge, had a special fondness for dryer sheets. We called her our static free dog. If there was a basket of clean laundry sitting around she would manage to find the dryer sheet and get it out. She would then roll on it like it was a dead moose carcass. She did all this very discreetly. As though it was bad and she would get in trouble. Or maybe she just did not like us laughing at her. We learned to watch her out of the corner of our eye so as to not stop her fun, and ours.
She would bark in happiness when asked, in an excited voice, if she was “ready to go for a walk!?” She would then prance and dance in anticipation. These days, Pepper just looks at me like I am nuts. A walk is nice enough but nothing to get excited about. Fetchin’ is Pepper’s thing.
Jamaica was a very dignified, ethical dog. She never dumpster dived. She never took food off the table or counter. She never drank out of the toilet. She always waited her turn for a treat.
She had her issues. I was disappointed to have a dog children could not pet. That was not something I expected. There were times I wondered if we had made a mistake picking out one of those timid, unfriendly pups. But now I know the real mistake was in not helping her to be a more confident, socialized dog. The mistake was in not even knowing we could help her. The mistake was ignorance.
Jamaica was a dog we needed at a time we needed her. She was our stand in child before our son was born and a big fur sister to him after. She was our living, loving family member for 12 years.
Sweet Jamaica, we love you dearly and we miss you greatly.
Mom & Dad
Leave A Comment | 3 people already have
thank you for this beautiful tribute; it is exquisitely written.
i will look for Jamaica when i get to rainbow bridge.
*note for dog owners: click for dangers of drier sheets
Thanks for the kind words. And for the information. I guess we can add one more to the list of mistakes made with Jamaica! Luckily Pep has no interest in dryer sheets.
Jamaica & Pep's mom
What a wonderful entry. Sometimes mom wishes I was more "dignified" and didn't dumpster dive - good luck with that mom!