Back in the late 1990s, a mate of mine gave a home to a poor abandoned little girl, who’d been left alone in a suburban Adelaide backyard after her family of droogs migrated elsewhere. A kelpie cross-something that frankly, was a bit insane. She was named Jessie.
Jess loved baths, sprinklers, showers, water, water, WATER! *snap* *snap* *bite* *bite*
…that and ‘walkies’, and damn, she could pick up on more than just the keywords, sneaky girl.
She wasn’t so fond of other dogs, at least not until she’d had time to acclimatise. Cats weren’t an issue though, Jess having grown up with black cat Clive and her bastard half-brother, son of a cat. (Clive was a nice old mother cat, but her son was a capricious little furball of selfishness, claws and inbreeding).
Normally, Jess was a gentle, kind, caring creature, capable quite untrained and quite unprompted, of sookish concern for members of other species normally designated the role of potential food source. Winded pigeons? Poor little things, you gotta help ’em! Awww! Awww! Sniff! *Whimper*
This altruism didn’t extend to sharing a bed with humans, which she’d beg for in fits of separation anxiety. If you ever let this girl onto your bed, you’d roll away from being pinioned, only to find yourself pinioned again, eventually either to the point of being pinned to the wall with a snoring dog rolled up against your back, or your being pushed off, out onto the floor.
And all the times she used to try sitting on people! She was pestering me while I was laying down on the floor once, in my mate’s place back at Dernancourt, so I told her to sit. She tried sitting on my face, and she wore this damned proud, knowing grin after the thankfully failed attempt.
Jess is the last of a generation of dogs, which includes my own late buddy Joe, who spent time with us then angsty youth, putting up with mild drunkenness, pizza nights, late night movies played off of VHS, patiently chewing plastic lids from the humans’ bottles of mixer drinks, leaving them spent and gnarled all over the lounge room rug. The last of a generation of dogs taken on long, long walks on long, long post-recession days.
I suspect the last BBQ I went to with Jessie’s family was back in the day. Jessie, last of the youthful BBQ dogs, last dog of our youth.
Jess passed away this year, fighting an illness made easier by nice meds and a supportive family. Near the end, she was still happy and able enough to jump up on a visitor, which I was more than privileged to experience during our last day together.
More than a couple of lives were made better by Jessie being around, and she’ll be missed. Goodbye, crazy little girl.