Last week I was on holidays, I stayed at my Mum & Dad’s and like every other time I visit, I took my dog for a walk. He turns 11 in March, is starting to sprout a few grey hairs and is getting a bit slow in his old age. He’s as handsome as ever.
JD was last pup born into a litter of 8, we kept a few and sold the rest to friends and people who were interested in their breeding. We had a theme of that litter, Mum & I were on a bit of a pirates of the Caribbean kick so he had a sister named Keira, another named Orlando & he was JD – short for Johnny Depp. I picked him from the beginning, later, on one of his last trips to our place before he passed away, my Pop picked him as ‘the best in the litter’. Pop wasn’t wrong.
JD raced under the name “Macconville” which was a wink at a tall story that Pop used to tell my cousin Amelia and I when we were little. He had a bit of success but developed some bad habits racing; like stepping before he jumped out of the boxes, and doing a left turn to wipe out half the field. We tried a few things but Dad retired him after a bit of deliberation.
JD’s mother was a bitch we had since she was a pup, GC (Short for Golden Child..another inside joke that wasn’t ours) she lived to the ripe age of 16, gave us a lifetime of happiness, and two pups that we kept as pets when they finished racing, Jd, and his sister Arizona.
It’s no secret that I love my big moronic black and white dog for many reasons, but it’s because of his heart that I love him most.
GC passed in 2012, and only about 8 months later, Arizona passed away too. She was only about seven and my dad loved that dog as much as me, I mean, when she got pregnant, dad built her a new brick kennel, just because it was Arizona.
JD had gone from living with his mum & sister, to just his sister and now he was alone and it really hit him hard. He went from acting like a giant puppy– big smile, massive appetite & would nearly knock himself out to be around people, to a dog with the world on his shoulders, when I’d call out to him or go to see him, he’d barely lift his head up from the bed.
It was pretty heartbreaking to see to be quite honest. I’d just moved back to the hunter after a brief stint living in Melbourne which didn’t work out, due to complications with my job in Melbourne, the position I had lined up in Newcastle fell through & I was unemployed. Seeing my baby who was always the sunshine of my life like this sucked. Thankfully, I had a lot of spare time on my hands, I went down to his little yard & kennel pretty frequently and he would barely get up to see me.
I used to walk him a lot when I was in high school and didn’t work full time & I admit I’d gotten really slack in the past few years. I chucked his lead and muzzle on and took him for a trip around the block, not too far because although his breed means he’s trim, he’s a fatty who has lost a lot of fitness in his retirement (he deserves it).
He got a bit spooked when a truck drove past but other than that the whole time he was wide eyed and kept rubbing his head either against the back of my knee (concussion of the kneecaps as my dad calls it) or on the grass. He kept looking up at me with his big smile like he couldn’t believe how lucky of a boy he was. Even as a puppy he would drop to the ground to roll in the grass, but I hadn’t seen him do it in so long. It was beautiful to see him happy again. As the weeks went on, I kept walking him every day, going a bit further each time, I threw him in the back of the car and took him for drives to the park & let him explore new places. Gradually his mood came back to the beautiful boy he used to be.
It’s probably arrogant to think that humans are the only ones capable of emotional damage cause by grief and how much a small act can pull someone out of a deep depression, I know he’s a dog, but that’s essentially what this was.
In 2014, another dog of ours Katie, broke her toe racing. She could have continued racing after it healed but Dad decided that he would love a friend for JD and that day my little boy met his soul mate. As a proud dog Mum, this makes me happier than I ever was watching him win races.
Below is a picture that I considered not posting anywhere because I’m breaking out, in ‘house clothes’ and I’m pulling a weird face, but then I remembered that JD loves me no matter how I look, just like I love him no matter how he feels