What can you possibly say about a dog you loved as much as life itself?
He was adopted as a rescue from Northern California Golden Retriever Rescue. He had been found in the Bay Area with no chip, collar, or tags. When he wasn’t claimed, the rescue was contacted. I was on their waiting list and my name was next. Kismet.
He loved tennis balls, and his special orange ball, and really, any ball he came into contact with. He had “Ball Time” every afternoon of his life. We would sit and throw the ball and he would retrieve it … again and again. When he was young this was a vigorous, long game. When he was old, he “rested” between throws.
In his younger years we lived in the mountains of the Sierra, Nevada City. There he learned to play in the snow, swim in creeks and lakes, and take long hikes on rural roads. No leash laws in the country. When we moved back to Orange County he quickly became a “city dog” and adjusted to swimming at Dog Beaches, hiking the Back Bay and playing ball on the Greenbelt.
In the city we were quickly indoctrinated into the “politics of poop.” No need for poop bags or leashes in the country … those dirt roads were a dog’s dream. Plus, some deer and other creatures to chase kept them happy. We were part of a regular dog-walking group that met in front of the Firehouse three days a week. It was quite a pack: Shepherds, Goldens, lots of Chihuahuas, mutts, an Airedale, a Rottweiller. Did you know that packs of dogs “school” each other? Our pack, which ranged from six to 20 on any given day, behaved perfectly.
Jackson basically wore out his body and his big paws. On the day he could no longer get up by himself we knew it was time.
If you have ever loved a dog, you know our hearts are breaking.
Dixie Redfearn is editor of the Sun News.