It’s a sad day in our house today as we are recovering from the news that our dear doggie has died. I chose Jesse from a shelter when he was around 6 months old and I was around 6 months in Israel. We were both struggling. He was flea infested and his ginger hair was a mass of dreadlocks, I was sunburnt and culture shocked. He had a nice face, was quiet and waited to leave his kennel before doing his business, I was already house trained.
I wanted a spaniel as that’s what I’d had as I was growing up and Jesse was the nearest thing, half spaniel, half golden retriever (or so the vet told us). Over the first few months Jess and I were inseparable, I was not working, in a new country and pretty much friendless and Jesse was a reason to get out of bed in the morning. The sun was still a novelty to me so we went on gigantic walks in the boiling heat, hanging out on beaches and parks, drinking water from fountains and collapsing in the air conditioning when we got home.
Jesse was not allowed in the bedroom or on the furniture, in fact for the first few weeks he slept on the balcony, but as time went on and the more attached I became Jess learnt to push the boundaries and would sit on the doorway of the bedroom, half in, half out. A few months later he was sleeping on the end of our bed and much to my husband’s chagrin that became his unofficial place.
When number 1 son arrived Jess became depressed, he had been the spoilt only child for so long, his wet nose was well and truly pushed out of joint. The walks were shorter and the attention not so centred on his floppy ears. We lived in an apartment in Tel Aviv with no lift and no parking space so every morning before work I took baby and dog down, found the car on a side street, took the pram out of the boot, put baby in pram, walked 20 minutes, took baby out of pram, put pram back in the car boot, climbed the 3 flights of stairs with dog and baby to put dog in the flat and then went back down to strap baby in the car to head off to work via the nanny. Phew, hot work. In the heat of mid summer I used to leave the pram and the baby in the corner shop opposite whilst I ran the dog upstairs (we knew the shopkeepers very well!). Then we discovered I was pregnant with twins.
Apartment, no parking space, no lift, a 2-year-old, twin babies and a dog and then my brother-in-law told us they were going to get a rescue dog… Hmmm. At this stage we were pretty much set on returning to the UK and so after a lot of soul-searching we decided that to give Jesse to a good home where we could visit all the time and where there wouldn’t be 3 small children bugging him would be the best for everyone. It also meant that if we were to leave we wouldn’t need to give him to a stranger. So with heavy hearts and some relief Jesse moved to a new home. We also moved, to suburbia and life became a whirl of nappies and baby equipment. We saw Jess regularly and he was certainly happy in his new child free home.
Fast forward a couple of years and Jess became a regularly guest chez nous. The kids adored him and his visits would prompt long beach walks and daily fights as to who held his lead. He slept on the floor next to number 1 son. His last stay was only a week ago, his death quick and surprising. We can rest assured that he had a good life. Adults and children alike adored him, he was patted by everyone who passed him. He may have been ill at the very end but I like to think he is chasing waves on a beach in doggie heaven now Rest in Peace baby dog. We love you.