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Remembering Our Jerry, One Year Later

Snow Day for JerryOutside, snow is falling on your land, Jerry’s Acres. As we watch the mountain peaks turn white and delicate snowflakes swirl all around us, we get the sensation of being tiny ceramic figurines in a snow globe scene. One year ago, this was the last thing we could have imagined.

In the same week that we celebrated your 10th birthday, two days later on October 3rd, our hearts shattered into pieces when we accepted that your time on earth was about to come to an end.

We shared over a decade’s worth of adventures; how could our lives go on without you, sweet Jerry?

During the two years that you valiantly fought cancer, we mourned over the inevitable. But you, in all your wisdom, always understood that life was finite, even before you got sick. Whether we die from premature disease or old age, you tried to show us that death is nothing to fear.

On October 3rd, 2008, under endless Montana skies, behind a waterfall of tears we watched you take your last breath. As we lay over your body to inhale the sweet scent of your pretty fur one last time, we looked skyward, and saw our amazing story ascend into the heavens. Like Dorothy in the tornado, it felt as if our hearts were being sucked into a vortex, right along with it.

Jerry Poses at Devil's TowerNever in a million years did we think we could ever heal after losing you. And honestly, we haven’t completely and likely never will. But we do our best to go on with life, because it’s the right thing to do. We remember all of the lessons you taught us about living in the moment, and know that’s how you want us to be.

But sometimes, when we least expect it, we find our souls aching for the days when our pack roamed the countryside. When we had a soulmate who guided us on our spiritual and physical journeys. A dog who could speak our language without understanding a single word.

Then, reality hits us, and we understand that mourning the past is wrong. Quickly, we pull ourselves back into the present.

Jerry, we’ve taken your lessons to heart, and practice them each day. Sometimes we fail, but we keep trying to get it right. With your memories guiding us, we don’t linger in self-pity for very long, and we do our best to be present and in the moment.

After you went to the Bridge, we searched far and wide to find a piece of land befitting an adventurous dog like you. It had to be a place on earth where we could envision you doing your favorite outdoor things; hiking, swimming, and kicking up dirt. We have finally found Jerry’s Acres, and we know you would love it.

Now, one year after you went to the Bridge, winter is arriving here in Northern Colorado.

Wyatt on walk in the Crystal Lakes woodsSoon, we will hit the road and roam south for the winter. And Wyatt Ray, in all of his silly puppiness, will come along for the ride. How blessed we are to have found a place for him in our life at just the right time.

We know he is not you, and we try not to compare. But watching him discover the joys to be had in attacking snow, jumping into lakes, and chewing up tree branches–just like you did–puts a big smile on our faces. It’s so clear that your adventurous spirit is with him, gently guiding him out of his bullheaded goofiness and into a wise old dog like you were.

Thank you Jerry, for all that you showed us, and for all those things that you conspired to make happen.

You brought together this community of incredible pawrents and Tripawds, and you give them comfort and hope during their darkest hours.

You showed us that animals know how to be fearless in the face of adversity, yet understand when to say when.

And you taught us that the most important things in life are the simple ones, so get out and enjoy them before it’s too late.

As we continue on our journey into the unknown, your wisdom will always guide us through the joys and challenges of this thing called life.

Thank you, Jerry.Jerry in the Badlands

Jerry G. Dawg
Tripawds Founder & CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
October 1, 1998 – October 3, 2008

17 Responses to “Remembering Our Jerry, One Year Later”

  1. I lost my precious GSD girl three days ago. I am broken. Her death was so sudden and there was nothing we could do to save her from what we suspect was a ruptured spleen. If anyone would like to chat, please email me on dodabby(at)gmail.com and perhaps just talking about it will help.

  2. Jerry,
    Your story has helped me put into perspective what has been the most difficult tragities I have had to face. I lost my very dearest and closest freind; Scooter Doopers. She became ill on Sept 30th, 2009 and had to leave me faster than I ever was preparred for. She passed at an animal hospital on Oct 5th, 2009, she was almost six. That was truly my most saddest day. I would have traded years off my life to have been able to say goodbye as your pawents did. What they did with you and how they shared all of your experiences has helped my, especially this post. You would have liked Scooter and she would have liked you, she even resembled your looks a bit. Like you, she was able to make an incredible difference in the short time she was here. I was not able to give her the absolutely incredible time your family was able to spend together. But just knowing that there actually other people who put love and family above all is very, very uplifting. Thank you Jerry and to your family too. You all have made a difference in my life also.
    I would like to share a short tale with you if I may. It is about the final hours my Baby Girls and I spent together, I know that you’ll understand.

    Our Farewell:

    The call came late; I already knew what was to be said. I rushed to you, to bring you back home.

    You were so calm. Seeing you without your light shining bright was so very hard, but I knew.

    As we crossed the desert the road opened up for us. Lying by my side, as always, we traveled slowly and the drive, our last, seemed to linger somehow.

    The night air was cool, and the moon shone brightly through the darkness. The clouds raced by across the sky in unusual patterns. It was like the whole universe knew that you had passed and that your spirit was being taken in. There was not a single sound to be heard, everything was completely still as the soil yielded.

    I laid you down under the grass where we played so often; at the home you were born and we made. At 2:00 am on October 6th, 2009 I said my final goodbye to your body.

    You were my closest companion, my dearest loving friend, and an intricate part of my spirit. I will always love you and miss you.

    Your Greatest Friend.
    .. …. ….

    When you see her please give her a thousand kisses from me, and maybe share some of your love and spend some time with her while I cannot, she would really like that.

    Very Sincerely,
    David

    • Thank you for sharing that beautiful tale David. We are so sorry to hear about Scooter’s sudden end, and wish you the best during this difficult time. You may find additional support in our Coping With Loss discussion forum. Peace.

  3. Beautiful tribute to Jerry—You have taken a tragic loss and turned it into something positive by helping so many other people

  4. This brought a tear to my eye..beautiful tribute

  5. We love you Jerry, Jim and Rene. What a beautiful tribute.

  6. It is true–that part of your heart that deals with loss will never heal because you never ever forget a special Spirit like Jerry and my Dakota. But, somehow the universe works its wonders to bring a new life into your arms, and you can smile and laugh again. Blessings!

  7. Please let us know when (if) you will be near the Tampa Bay area for your road trip. We would love to meet Wyatt and his pawrents… to thank you all in person!!!

    Jake’s Mom

  8. Jerry, are you going to guide your pawrents in this direction when they come south? We have a hot tub waiting for them 🙂

    • Oh you betcha Rhodester. You get to meet Wyatt too. Please show him how to attack palm fronds for me, OK?

      • I don’t know if Wyatt would be okay being left in the unit for a couple of hours alone, but would you guys be interested in going up the Palm Springs Aerial Tram? I can get passes. Don’t know if dogs are allowed – if so, that’d be cool and he can come. If you’re up for it I’ll ask.

      • Better ask. We don’t dare leave him alone, yet!

  9. You are in my thoughts today… What a beautiful legacy Jerry has… He will live on in all our hearts forever!!!!
    Jake’s Mom

  10. So beautiful…You guys are in my thoughts today

  11. So beautifully said…it all rings so true. I didn’t know about Jerry’s Acres or Wyatt Ray!!! I’m so happy you found a great spot to settle on and a new pup to share life with. Many, many blessings to you all~
    love,
    di

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Madison River Mourning of Our Fearless Canine Hero - October 3, 2018

    […] Jerry G. Dawg rocked our world from 1998 to 2008. The last two years we spent on the road as a pack, after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Even as he faced that evil beast, Jerry showed us how to reach beyond our comfort zone and embrace a simpler life. Free from most of our possessions and the idiocy of climbing the ladder of so-called success, that furry Buddha showed us how to make the most of each day. We are forever changed because of his leadership. […]

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