a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I don't think anyone had more fun at the LaCamas sheep trial than Jet.  Jet is a showman.  LaCamas is a class act with lots of booths, and spectators along with all of the other dogs and  handlers.  Here I thought Jet had forgotten many of his tricks in his old age.  Way wrong there.  He was just saving them up for a crowd.
Every morning he would walk himself on his leash trotting right over to the breakfast booth knowing I would order him 2 pieces of bacon.  Then he would seek out any little ones that wanted to pet him.  Jet is my only dog ever to love every breathing being.  And, when people would ooo and ahhh over him,  it was showtime! By Saturday most everyone knew Jet by name that had met him for the first time at this trial.

Not a mean bone in Jet's body

Jet sponsored his son, Moses , who was running in the open classes.  When Moses went to the post to work sheep the announcer would say, "14 year old Jet, the father of 6 year old Moses, is sponsoring his son's run here at LaCamas.  The crowd liked that :0)  and, Moses had a very nice run on Saturday. One that his sire could be proud of!

Moses and his father, Jet

Of course, I had to tell the lost in the forest fire and being on David Letterman over and over again.  By Sunday, Jet was signing paw prints!  He was almost a sheepdog legend.  That made him very happy.  He pranced about all weekend looking quite satisfied with himself.

How he loved hiking the fields :)

Oh, how I love this dog.  It makes my heart melt to see him this happy.  He hasn't been this happy in a long time.  For one thing, he just loves the grass.  It is so much nicer on his arthritic toes.  Even at the trial, he would roll in the grass in the sun making all kinds of content noises.  And, he used to limp in California.  Well, he rarely limps in Washington.  He almost prances when he walks here.  Plus, the cooler summer weather agrees with him.  Me, too.  We have yet to see how we both will weather the winter.  Time will tell :0)  Anyway, I am grateful for everyday he feels well and for everyday I have with him.

Jet, the happy traveler.

I wrote this (the above) several weeks ago.  Since then Jet has traveled to Vashon island and Fido's with me enjoying the weather, the walks, and the social part of trialing.  Last night after returning from Fido's all was well until I heard some noise in the living room around 1:30 AM.  I found Jet on the floor in a pool of urine.  He had a hard, terrified eye. He was making some involuntary movements. I figured either seizure or severe vestibular.  I put him on a dog bed and let him sleep until morning.  It was hard to stand him.  He could bare weight;  he just didn't seem to have the energy to stand and walk.  He went outside and peed and pooped.  I was so relieved.  As soon as he came into the house he crumped. Down he went.  I let him sleep.  It was then i noticed the bouquet of brand new crocus in full bloom.  All I could think of was "in with the new and out with the old" :0(


Later, I got him up.  He seemed disoriented.  But, he didn't do any head tilt or tight circling like most bouts of vestibular,  Still thinking vestibular, I went to the store for a sling, meclizine, baby custard, meatballs….anything to entice him to eat and drink.  I placed 3 calls to my Vet without a call back.  So very depressing.  I finally after having to get a bit pissy on the phone talked with the Vet.  She said bring him in.

She confirmed my thoughts.  His gums were grey and his tummy firm and sore.  I let her x-ray him.  It showed fluid in his gut and a large kidney mass.  Jet had been diagnosed with a kidney mass by ultra sound 18 months ago.  I opted for no biopsy or surgery.  My Vet talked to me about "quality of life."  I could have done my Master thesis on quality of life….almost actually did, since it was on advance directives for healthcare :0)  No need for a lecture to me about quality of life :0)

Anyway, I came home and cried my eyes out.  Played old tunes and baby talked with Jet into the wee hours of the night.  My FB friends were ever so supportive.  My Vet gave me a narcotic Fentanyl patch to use on him as needed for pain.  Plus, she will come to the house when necessary.  My very first visit to her was with Jet for that was one of my requests.  I couldn't bring my soulmate into the clinic to be put to sleep.  This dog hasn't taken his eyes off of me since the day he arrived at 6 weeks of age from Redtop kennels.

He had been refusing all food, but I insisted he have his thyroid medicine, Meclizine and Tramadol twice a day.  The Meclizine for the fluid in the gut.  I'm sure that is why he has a lack of appetite.  The Vet felt from the X-ray that he had lots of fluid in his abdomen and that any sub Q fluid would make it worse.  Thankfully, he is drinking water.

He looked pretty bad to me this morning, but as the day went on, he has looked better and better.  Go figure.  He actually ate a little chicken for dinner.  I put a bowl in front of him.  Champ ran over and ate most of it.  I think that pissed Jet off.  I gave Jet a new bowl and he ate it.  I have baby food, Costco chicken, and hamburger for him.  He only took one lick of my vanilla ice-cream last night. :0(

This evening after a little chicken and a nap, he went outside and did his business.  He asked for help on the stairs.  I could see a twinkle in his eye.  I placed those heavy tread stair strips on each step so he could get traction :0)  This afternoon I put out an SOS sob call to the guy who did our excavation asking if he could bring his heavy machinery over to dig a grave.  He thought I meant tonight.  I explained what was going on.  He will be here in the morning.  I have this lovely tree in my garden and I know right where I want to lay Jet to rest.  I had nightmares about that last night.  So know matter if it is tomorrow, next week, or next month, I am going to be prepared.  Plus, Jeanne Boudrieau made him the most beautiful quilt years ago with is name in huge letters.  I will bury him in that quilt along with 6 weave poles.  Jet was a most wonderful sheepdog, but agility was where his heart has always been :0)

Jeanne's JET quilt

And, that my friends, is where I leave off.  The Vet told me it was over for him.  I will wait for him to tell me. The rest is in the Lord's hands and for me to watch him closely.  When he says it is time, I will be ready.  I have already had my major melt down.  Thank-you all for being so caring and thoughtful.  Jet truly is a once in a lifetime dog.


christina davis said...

great news, been looking all day to see how Jet is doing today. Another day is another day, thank you Lord!

Karen said...

You've got me crying again:(
We aren't there with you in person, Suzanne, but you know all your friends, whether we have actually met you or not, are with you in spirit, to the very end. Hugs to both you and Jet.

Prairie Stitcher said...

Well, it's very late, here, and I couldn't sleep, so thought I'd read some blogs from my favorites list. I'm sending you tears, this morning, and thanks, too, for sharing. Anyone in your care is very lucky. We can never quite give up our relationships with our animal friends, can we? They are as dear as our closest loved ones. I dream I will see them again and do more for them, if I possibly can. There's not a day goes by I don't think of my parents, who are gone.....and also my dogs, who patiently bore my time and my love.....who, like the best in my family.....loved me back, unconditionally. Anyone who wants a really close relationship with a dog, will take time to patiently train him. Therein lies the deepest gift of love we can give, creating a bond greater than any other, with them. No wonder your parting with Jet is such a massive experience. I'm so sorry and wish, so much, I could truly be of some confort. Life goes on, but these dear ones are ever with us.