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Still Missing Jackie


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A year ago today, my beautiful cocker spaniel, Jackie, died suddenly in her sleep. We had had her for 10 happy years; she came to us as a wedding gift when she was just a few weeks old.

I've had many furry children and loved them all. But I had and still have an extra-strong bond with Jackie and her stepsister Josie (a lhasapoo who's still with me). Jackie especially was like an extension of me; we both had the same temperaments, funniness, similar health problems, similar tastes in food, etc. She was uncommonly pretty and intelligent, so much so that we called her "the princess." Though my husband loved her too, she was always her mommy's girl.

I was unconsolable when she died. Maybe because she was a wedding present, I thought we'd have her for many more years. She meant so much to me. All these months later, I still can't talk about her without tearing up.

Several times this past year, my husband asked me if it was time to get another dog, a buddy for Josie. "No, it isn't," I always answered. I'm not over losing Jackie and maybe never will be. And now that my husband has passed too, all my friends and family are telling me a new dog might help.

Sorry, but I'm still not ready. I love my Josie with all my heart, and maybe someday I'll give her a new playmate. But I don't feel the time is right. A new pet won't replace Jackie, and certainly won't make me feel Bill's loss any less.

Jackie, I still love you and always will. We'll be together again someday.

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Thanks, Marty. Your article did help. I probably will have another pet one day; I believe that when it's time, he or she will find me.

This may sound strange, but in addition to lighting a candle for Jackie today, Josie and I are going to eat ham for dinner tonight. This will commemorate one of the funniest things Jackie ever did.

Jackie's back was a little broad. One day, while I was fixing myself a ham sandwich she nudged me and begged for a taste. I took a slice of ham and tossed it to her, thinking she'd catch it. Instead, it landed on her back. The poor baby panicked, twisting and turning and rolling her eyes like she was trying to say, "My ham! Where's my ham? Where did it go? Help me!"

If only I had had a video camera. I laughed for hours afterwards, and I still chuckle when I remember it. By the way - I did give Jackie her ham. She earned it!

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