Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dear Jera

(Originally posted at twentysixcats.com)

Dear Jera,

I remember the last time I saw you. You were so cute - laying there in the grass, watching the world go by. I actually had picked up the camera to get a picture of you when the garbage truck came. Now, I wish I had run out to hold you, to assure you that it was okay. But I didn’t realize how scared you would be. To me, the garbage truck was just an annoyingly noisy thing that would soon pass. To you, it was a danger that must be avoided at all costs. That was the last I saw of you.

Joanna and Jera

I hope you know that we tried our best to look for you. We searched everywhere, delaying our trip back to Atlanta until we just had to leave. I signed up for every lost dog website, and we called all the people we could think of. We even came back up to Nashville to look for you again. At first we thought we’d found you! We were very excited until we saw the dog running around - another beagle who looked like you, but definitely not you. We were crushed. It was hard to keep going, keep searching. I know I have to come to grips with the fact that I may never see you again. That makes me sad.

Jera hiding

We’ve only known you 7 1/2 months, but you were such a part of our lives. It wasn’t always easy - there were times I hoped you would run away because I was so fed up! You definitely tried our patience, but you were getting better. Or maybe we were getting to be better dog owners, I don’t know. Probably both. I must say that despite all of it, you were a joy to know.

The Dog Park

One of my favorite memories of you is when I would take you on our daily walks at lunch around the neighborhood. You would find a pine cone, pick it up, and then prance around with it in your mouth. You would greet anyone who passed by, and not everyone particularly liked dogs! You didn’t care. You wanted to be friends with everyone. You had such a sweet disposition. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer, sweeter, more wonderful puppy. You were adorable, especially when you would lay your head on our legs at night as we sat on the floor of the living room.

Paul and Jera

I enjoyed taking you to the dog park every week. I loved watching you run and play. I loved it when everyone came to praise you, how cute and sweet you were. I was so proud to be your owner, your mommy. I loved it when you would wear yourself out and you would just sleep in the car on the way home. Sometimes you’d be so tired you couldn’t even jump into the car!

Running in the dog park

I didn’t realize how much of my mornings were spent taking care of you. We had our own little time then, didn’t we? I’m not a morning person, but I loved getting you out of your crate and taking you outside. You would stretch, as if it was so hard to wake up! Then you’d wag your tail, looking up at me with love. As I sat there and watched you eat your breakfast, you would keep wagging your tail. And if I started rubbing your back, that tail would just go crazy! It would always make me smile. Everyone should start off their mornings like that.

Amy and Jera

Camping with you is another special memory we have together - especially that first trip. You were so excited to sleep on the sleeping bag with me! And when you’d wake up in the morning you’d come and lick my face. You were adorable, and I immediately forgave you for waking me up. I also loved hiking with you. I don’t know how you had all that energy! I was so exhausted but you were just as bouncy and as excited as always. I was looking forward to many camping trips with you. As it was, we only had three together.

Jera in the living room

I’m sorry for all my shortcomings as your mommy. I was trying to be a better cuddler - that’s why those last few weeks I would lay on the floor and cuddle with you. I wanted you to know how much I loved you and how special you were to me, even if it was hard for me to show it. I wanted you to know that you never had to worry about me leaving you - that I was committed to you for life.

Jera graduates!

We are going to be packing up your things in the next few days, Jera. It makes me sad to see them empty, without you. Your toys and your bones - they all remind me of you, as if you were really here and will be back in a minute. I really really wish you were coming back for sure. I hope you DO come back. I hope wherever you are, that someone finds you and turns you in. All they have to do is scan your microchip and you are home free. I will rejoice if that day comes, but I need to realize that it may not. I would have loved to have been your mommy for the next 15 years. I hope I get to be, but I know it’s up to God now. We’ve done all we can - we tried hard, Jera. God knows where you are and He’ll bring you back if He wants to. I am praying that He does that. In the meantime, I’ll try to move on so that my heart can grieve for you and begin to heal again. Who knows, maybe you’ll turn up again after 6 years just like my cat Yum Yum?

Jera helping Paul

So, dear Jera, stay safe wherever you are, and please come home. We love you so much. I hope you always remember that.

Your mommy forever,
Ashley

Close up of Jera

7 comments:

Mrs.B said...

Oh Ashley....I'm in tears right now after reading that heart-wrenching tribute to you sweet Jera. I hope and pray that she returns to you safe and sound.

I know your heart must hurt so much....

{{{HUGS}}}
~Mrs.B

Mrs.B said...

Ashley,

I linked to this post from Happy Tails and I used the top photo (giving credit to you-of course), from your post, because I thought it was so precious. I know I probably should have asked before using the photo but I couldn't find an e-mail address for you. If you'd rather I didn't use the photo let me know and I'll be more than happy to take it down.

Blessings and Hugs,
~Mrs.B

ashley@twentysixcats said...

Oh that is COMPLETELY fine, Mrs. B!

AnneK said...

Hi Ashley,

I came here from Mrs. B's Happy Tails. I just want to say I understand your pain. I went through the loss of our Buddy recently. I had gotten so attached to him in a short time. If it's the Lord's will I pray that Jera may come home to you.

ashley@twentysixcats said...

Thanks Anne K.... I appreciate it!

Robert said...

Your story broke my heart! I will be praying for Jera's safe return. I wish I had more to offer than that.

Porkchop's mommy said...

Oh no! I followed some links on Mrs. B's blog after following someone elses blog. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Jera. I hope that someone will find her and take her in to get scanned. I have two beagles myself and I know the love and energy you mentioned in your letter to her.

Hopefully someone has her and is just being lazy about getting her scanned. I used to work in a hotel and I live in Central Florida. A few years ago when we had those three hurricanes all very close together a cat showed up in the hotel parking lot. She was very friendly and seemed to be pretty laid back. She showed up the day of of the hurricanes were supposed to hit so we took her home. She gets along with our beagles!? :) she will even get into the kennel with them and sleep. We had her for about 6 months or more before we finaly got around to taking her to the pound to be scanned. Ufortunetaly she does not have a chip but we were able to 100% sure make sure she was fixed (they had to shave her to check)

The hotel shares a parking lot with a gas station so I truely think that someone stopped to get gas and she got out of the car. I left word with the gas station and the other area hotels and never heard from them. So Larry (Loretta) I guess is now ours. We didn't really neeeed a thrid cat but I cannot imagine sending her to the pound to possibly be put to sleep.