7/19/98 – 11/20/12
Jubilee made it to 14 years and 4 months, an amazing age for a German Shepherd, but the last several months showed a steady decline both mentally and physically.She began waking me up during the night, needing to go out to potty. Thankfully, the last month a new pain med stopped that and she would sleep the night through. The arthritis in her spine from the two places of bridging between discs was gradually making her hind legs weaker. She compensated by using her front more, but was getting arthritis in those toes and joints. I hurt me to see her going downhill but until the very end her spirit was still strong.
She still loved her morning playtime, even though she no longer ran and hardly ever made it into a trot. The last couple of months, as she grew feebler, consisted of me throwing one of her Kongs-on-a-Rope a few feet, walking to where she dropped the other, picking it up and throwing it a little ways so that she moved around and got some exercise. She wasn’t returning it to me anymore–too much work I guess. But she loved to sniff the “daily newspaper” and wandered around happily as long as I was there.
It’s hard to get used to not needing to schedule my activities so that she is happy. She would cry when she was in her crate and I was elsewhere, working on the computer for instance. She just felt more comfortable, as she declined, knowing I was there for her. I would try to schedule my computer time when it was her turn to be out of her crate, so she could lie on the dog bed in my little office and we could visit while I worked. I’d frequently stop typing and give her a massage or just pet her. When it was her turn in her crate I’d try to spend some of the time reading on the bed – her crate was right beside the bed.
Those old ones sure tear a jagged hole in your heart when you lose them. She was a big part of my life for so long. I keep thinking I’m missing a bowl when I dish up meals and go looking for it, only to finally remember. And when I count out treats, I now come up with too many. For a good two weeks, Bunny seemed a little lost as they were always together during the day when I was at work. Quinta kept looking for her at playtime. Lively, who often spent the day in the house with Bunny & Jubilee while I was at work, kept looking around for her grandmother. Tikvah, who thought Jubilee was her great-grandmother, really missed her. She truly was a matriarch, and it will take all of us a long time to get used to her being gone.
Goodbye, my beautiful girl. Hopefully you are running and playing in heaven with your mother, Glory, and daughter, Quinta. I see you jumping and barking and enjoying life – so wait for me. We’ll be together again one of these days.