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Tribute to a Dog

When the kids were little, I (in my infinite wisdom) decided that they needed a dog. My boss at the time just happened to have a lovely yellow Labrador Retriever that was going to have puppies. Long story short, we bought one. Her name is Samantha – Lady Samantha of Leavenworth is her full name, but we just call her Sam or Sammy because we don’t want that title to go to her head.

We decided that it would be a great idea to let Sammy have puppies. The neighbor had a beautiful male purebred Lab, and it just seemed like it was meant to be. So……

Samantha had her first litter of pups at age one. She only had two giant puppies, and one was stillborn. The other was perfect. He came out wet, warm, fuzzy, and fragrant. Such a treasure.

Never could there have been a more spoiled little doggie. You could tell that the kids were just dying to get their hands on him, but respected that he was very small and just needed to be cared for by his momma until he got a little less fragile. They spent hours by the dog bed, watching in fascination as the pup groped around for Samantha’s teat, latching on with fervor before moving on to the next full one. Quickly, he grew fat and content. I guess you would, too, if you had an unlimited supply of food for just yourself and not a care in the world (not to mention a large bed that was all yours).

The day he opened his eyes was a cause for celebration. He was already so cute, and to have him lock his gaze with yours was a joy. He learned to walk, and each day got a little steadier on his feet. Soon, he was bounding around the house and attacking unsuspecting toes with glee.

My youngest daughter, who has always had a way with words and imagination, called him Moto Froppy McPertug. Let’s break that down. Moto = like a motor, constantly in motion. Froppy = for the way his ears flapped up and down when he ran everywhere. McPertug = for the shape of his round, robust little body.

My children wanted to keep him in the worst way. They reasoned that since it was just the one and we were so attached to him already, we should just let him stay with us. We already had Samantha, a precious pit bull named Milo (another ‘best dog ever’, but Lord did he stink), and were also in the process of adopting the neighbor’s sire so that we could raise more pups. That would make four dogs in the house, a bit much if you asked me. But, I was almost ready to cave in, when a lovely couple that I knew as great people asked if they could take the puppy and give him his forever home.

How could I say no? These people were some of the nicest and kindest humans on this earth, and I knew that Moto would be so loved and so well-cared for. I also thought they needed him just as much as he needed them. So, I said yes. Of course.

They picked him up one fine day in September and promptly changed his name to Jaxon.

These people lived just up the road from us, so from time to time Jaxon would come to visit. Every once in a while, we would go see him. And, as it is the way with many things, those visits got less and less frequent as the children grew up and all of our lives got busier.

Sometimes we heard about his latest antics. He was a full-on force to be reckoned with, constantly in motion and impossible to keep down, even when he tore a significant something in one of his rear legs that had to be repaired. It wasn’t funny at the time, but I chuckled when I thought about that poor couple trying to keep the beastie still as he convalesced.

Jaxon lived through kids coming and going, and as far as I have been told, was gentle with babies and children alike. He lived through his masters’ employment changes. He lived through a move to a different area and way of life. He lived through surgeries and medications and sickness. Jaxon was always full of life and according to his owner, had an amazing heart.

Truly, there is NOTHING like the companionship and unconditional love a loyal dog can give. Jaxon was that loyal dog. He was fiercely loved and gave it right back to his family for almost eleven years.

Jaxon was born July 19, 2009. He went to his forever-forever home on June 6, 2020. RIP Jaxon, best boy ever….

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