Today I said goodbye to another friend. She was an unwavering companion for the past thirteen and a half years through everything that came her way.
Mama Jazz was a three quarters lab one quarter collie and was named by my six and a half year old daughter Sarah after Princess Jasmine of Aladdin. When we brought her home, she could fit in the palm of my hands. She had two litters including 20 puppies in total. Three of her puppies stayed within our family and two of them are still with my brothers.
She attacked anything that moved including brooms, snow shovels, toboggans (and the feet tucked inside them), rotating bicycle tires and cars. She stopped chasing cars after she got hit... for the second time.
She was a snake killer and would grab and shake them briskly snapping their bodies - instantly dispatching them. I had to teach her how to swim by forcing her into the water because she wouldn't go in no matter what we threw into the lake for her to retrieve.
She was afraid of children, but not of adults.
When we lived on Katepwa Lake in the Qu'Appelle Valley, she would run away in winter so that she could go out on the frozen lake in search of bits of frozen fish detritus leftover from ice fishing. Her breath left a lot to be desired... but we loved her anyway.
She had a big smile on her face the day we saw her coming out of the woods with Duke, (a local purebred lab who was mesmerized by her) when she was supposed to be staying inside while in heat. I was proud to see her give birth to 11 puppies in her first litter and a little shocked to find that she was not all that thrilled to have to feed them as they grew.
Jazz was the mother and lifelong companion to Sako, our dear girl who left us earlier this year after 11 years of friendship and the amazing pleasure and wonder of the simple and unmistakable love one receives from a cherished canine member of the family.
Friendship such as Jazz and Sako shared with us is not always so easy between people - I could use a friend tonight.