Jay, our Great Pyrenees, has died.
He was 16-years-old, or 112 in dog years. He lived much longer than his breed is expected. I believe it was love that kept him alive.
I came home from work on Tuesday, July 9 and Debbie met me at the garage door. She took my hand and we walked over to where he lay. I had no idea until that moment. The tears started to flow.
We went in the house and took time to reflect. Later that evening, while doing outdoor chores, we took time again to reflect on Jay and his impact on our lives. Once again the tears flowed freely.
We knew his time was short. He was having a hard time getting up. You think you’re prepared for this, but it’s hard. It’s still a shock!
Jay was a faithful and loving companion and part of the family.
He would stay up at night barking at the stars, or some critter roaming through our yard. His barking protected our miniature horses. He didn’t like fireworks or thunderstorms.
Originally, a family member bought Jay to herd goats on the family farm across the road from our house. He sometimes would leave his herd and sneak over to our house to see what was going on. One late January evening, I was gilling outside by the garage. It was a nice evening for a January winter day.
Jay showed up and wasted little time finding several boxes in the garage to do his business on. I got upset and hollered at him. I sent him packing.
It took one look at his sad face as he walked down our driveway to pull at my heartstrings. I knew I was in the wrong.
“Jay, Jay, Jay,” I called out. He turned and I motioned for him to come back. He quickly walked up the driveway. I must have apologized 100 times. I gave him a treat and petted him. I think everything was alright from then on.
For those who stopped at our house, he always welcomed them. Some people who stopped by might have been concerned at first, but they soon found out that he was a lovable gentle giant. The Schwans man always had a treat or two for Jay. And often times, he barked to let us know that the UPS man had stopped to drop off a package.
Some years ago, we took a stray kitty cat in. We named him Gizmo and at first would let him roam in the yard.
He was so little. Debbie and I were in the yard one Sunday afternoon and Gizmo was in the driveway under our van. He popped his little head out and Jay caught sight of him.
We watched as the two inched toward each other. Gizmo wasn’t scared at all. The two touched noses and both of their tails stood straight up. It touched our hearts. It was one of those moments!
I would come home sometimes and stop to pet Jay. He would put one of his big paws on one of my feet and rub up next to me. I would pet him and give him a belly and neck rub. He would jump up and put his paws on me and dance around.
Debbie always had extra treats for Jay. And when we had leftovers, Jay shared them with our other dog, Rex.
He was too big for a regular dog house, so we used a lawn mower shed that I bought at Sears some years ago. He loved his home and we took extra time making sure he had straw, water, food and extra love.
Jay loved to roam and on more than one occasion, found his way to Lake Ponderosa. Some of the homeowners gave him treats.
“He was a sweet dog known by the people at the lake as, “Snowball,” wrote a friend on Facebook about Jay.
That best sums up our feelings and time with Jay on this earth. He was precious. He was part of our family.
I think another Great Pyrenees may soon find a home at the Parkers.
Have a great week and take care of yourself, my friends. And always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.