Those unfortunate enough to have been born without the love of animals in their souls would wonder how a person could have their heart broken by a 12 pound bit of fluff that was Jessie Jane, the Yorkie. I'll tell you how.
She came into my life just before Thanksgiving six years ago. The first eight years of her life had been spent as a breeder at a kennel that sold Yorkies. Her owner was one who took good care of her dogs, seeing to it that they had regular vet visits, good food, a clean kennel and run. This was not a puppy mill operation, but a reputable dog breeder.
What Jessie Jane did not have then was the attention she craved. Nor was she around people other than her owner. She lived in her kennel and had puppies. And when she was too old to breed any more, I received a call asking me to please give her a home. She was the third Yorkie that this same kennel owner had entrusted to my care.
She was shy. She scared easily. She didn't trust people because she had never seen more than one in her entire life. So we went to work.
We sat on the stoop outside my building so she could become accustomed to the sights and sounds of her new neighborhood. Then we went for walks. Short ones at first and then longer ones, to the park and along the river. It didn't take long before she was greeting everyone she met. She considered everyone her friend.
We sat on the couch and snuggled. She helped me in the kitchen, making sure that no piece of food dropped ever stayed on the floor for more than three seconds. She discovered treats and developed a bouncing up and down, turning in circles dance to get one. And she smiled. She looked like a demented chipmunk when she smiled, but she smiled.
She grumbled when I would not share my spaghetti with her. If I made the mistake of setting a bag of kitchen trash next to my apartment door while I went to put on my shoes, it was a given that I would find her buried up to her back legs in the bag when I returned, her little stump of a tail wagging madly as she joyously explored the contents. She was smart and naughty and willful and funny. She made me laugh. She was affectionate, pestering me until I picked her up and gave her some pets and belly rubs.
Some would say that I did a good thing by taking her in and giving her a good life. But truth be known, I believe she gave to me more happiness than I could have possibly given to her.
Rest in peace, Jessie Jane. You were well loved.
Abandoned bridge and rail line at Sharples, Alberta
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