IN MEMORY OF JUST-IN
“A TRUE FRIEND, FAITHFUL AND LOYAL COMPANION”
The cover photo of the last issue of this journal had a picture of Curlee’s Just-In who passed peacefully with the help of our vet not long after that issue came out. The prognosis back in December 2005 was that Just-In had only 2 to 6 weeks left, so we are thankful for the 5 months Just-In gave us to adjust.
Just-In was as true a faithful and loyal companion a person could ever have. We mourn his passing but take great pride in his being.
Just-In, as is all our pups, was regarded as a full-fledged member of the family, and was quite sure he was a human, not an animal. He went everywhere with us and if they would have issued him a frequent flyer card he would likely have more frequent flyer miles than the average human.
He brought us all unabashed joy and happiness and instilled a pride that we have not experienced before or expect to experience anytime soon. Just-In was also loving and would eventually win over the most reluctant person.
My spouse, Michelle, calls Just-In the King of All Dogs, and for good reason. He was a truly magnificent dog, with such character, intensity, drive and an aristocratic bearing. He was a certified alpha male; no therapy needed. All this is accurately reflected in the cover photo of last month’s issue.
Just-In left long before his time. His death is incredibly hard and wrenching. Recovery will be painfully slow, but forgetfulness will not be part of it. I have lots of stories and will try to remember them and record them, including the time he saved my life.
I choose the words of Senator George Vest, circa 1870, to commemorate the passing of Just-In:
“The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son and daughter that he has reared with loving care may become ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith.
The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him when he may need it most. Man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees and do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his DOG. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing and reputation falls to pieces, he is as content in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast into the cold, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard him against danger, and to fight against his enemies. When the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws and his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”
Just-In was just such a dog -- as true a faithful and loyal companion a person could ever have.