Jubilee Turns 14!!!!
My old girl turned 14 on July 19th, 2012. I never thought she’d make it because she is steadily deteriorating. I’m afraid she’ll soon tell me that her arthritis is just too painful. She still barks and sings when it’s time to play, so the time is not yet. I took these photos a couple of days after she turned 14. Some were taken on a evening when it finally began to cool off. The rest were taken the next morning before it began heating up again. Jubilee doesn’t play much, and it’s nearly always at a slow walk, but she still loves her two favorite toys, a Kong-on-a-Rope and a big Jolly Ball.
Jubilee is fourteen. Amazing for a German Shepherd. In all my years of German Shepherds, I’ve had two who made it to 14–Shawni (back in the 80’s) and Caz, though Caz spent the last 2 years of his life protecting a friend who was being stalked so he wasn’t here for me to take care of. I’ve been remembering back all these fourteen years with Jubilee. I drove all the way to Toronto to breed her mother to a high-powered German import, paid a huge stud fee, and only got one pup. She was such a character I decided to keep her, and since she was obviously a party girl, I named her Jubilee. It was 1998, and another reason I named her that was that the world was all wrapped up in the coming millennium with all the worries that crop up every time there’s a big date change. Of course I was working for the Church at that time and we were involved for two years preparing for the traditional big Jubilee year of 2000. Strange to remember all those doomsday predictions that had so many people upset.
I x-rayed Glory a couple of days before her due date and the vet said he thought she had 2 puppies. After all the expense, I was disappointed but two was definitely better than none. Glory went into labor right on time and after some effort popped out a BIG pup. Then she said she was finished and settled down to admiring her baby. I, of course, said no we aren’t, but she was adamant, so I finally hauled her back to the vet for another x-ray. Sure enough, she was done. He said Jubilee must have been stretched out so long in the uterus that she looked like 2 pups. I have always thought that was SO typical of her. She has always celebrated life and sung her way through it at every chance. She still can’t wake up in the morning and head outside to potty without singing her joy. She really has a party every time I get home, or if she goes in the car, every time I return to the car. It’s loud and often embarrassing–and she has no “off” switch. I just have to let her run down.
She was in great shape until early February 2011, when all of a sudden I began to notice both mental and physical decline. She’s slightly senile now, seems to be able to see and hear less, and gets tired very easily. Her nose isn’t working as well either. She keeps losing her Kong when I throw it, so I’ve had to mow everywhere we play in the mornings so her Kong will bounce, attract her attention, and stay in sight. She also sets it down and wanders off to sniff and sometimes can’t remember where she left it. She still enjoys her playtimes, just wants them short and easy, and of course we sing all the way out to the play area.
She continues to really enjoy her meals and all the treats she can talk out of me, so I constantly fight her to keep her weight down so it doesn’t aggravate the two places of bridging in her spine. Because of the bridging and arthritis, she continues to become weaker in her rear but she can still lope a little when she heads after her Kong of Jolly Ball, and she still enjoys life.
In her younger years she was a superb athlete—probably the reason for the bridging in her back since she was too quick for me to stop many of her antics. She would jump up into my arms at the slightest opportunity—it’s a wonder I never hit the ground at those times. She was also well known for jumping into the bed of a big ¾ ton 4×4 pickup from the side when I was unloading it. She was a great tracking dog and agility dog until the bridging in her back caused me to retire her.
What a girl! I hope her kids and grandkids have as long and as happy lives as she has had and continues to have. She had the “J” litter, sired by Droll; the “M” & “Q” litters, sired by Search & Rescue dog Comanche (My Quinta is from the Q litter); the “N” litter, sired by Caz; and the “V” litter, sired by Mem’ry (Chaos’ half brother). She is grandmother to the X, Y, AA, CC (My Lively is from the CC Litter), the EE litter and great-grandmother of the FF litter (Lively bred to Chaos).