My sweet Sarah…you’ve been gone for 4 days now and we all miss you so much. Pancreatitis took its toll on your body but you fought that like a champ. Unfortunately liver failure prevailed and it was too hard for your tired body to fight yet another battle. So sadly we had to give you one last gift of peace.
In so many ways it seems like just yesterday that you came to live with us on Christmas Day, 2000. You were so tiny for a Jack Russell. You actually fit in a tea cup. You didn’t start growing until you were a few months old. I used to call you my little “Piggy” because no matter how many baths you got or how many times I brushed you, you were always a mess. Your fuzzy fur just went in every direction. Daddy gave you the nickname “Fuzz Ball” because of your unruly fur.
I really miss the little quirky things you did that I never really thought about until now. You just couldn’t drink water like a normal dog. You would go up to the water dish and always put your left foot into the dish before you would start drinking. Some of your pack mates just hated this and would refuse to drink water after you washed your foot in it. So I was constantly cleaning out the water bowl and adding fresh cold bottled water so the others could drink. We were buying two 5-gallon bottles of water every week because we went through so much of it. Now we’ll get by with just one bottle.
Then there was your very loud snoring. I crocheted you a dog bed and you faithfully slept in it every night. I kept it right next to my side of the bed. At first your snoring kept me awake at night. After a time I found it to be very soothing, almost like the ocean waves crashing on the beach. I’m having a lot of difficulty sleeping now without the constant “purring” of you snoring.
Whenever I sat down at the computer, you were always right there, laying across my feet. It just doesn’t feel right sitting here now without you in your favorite spot.
And of course I can’t forget how you always insisted on washing everyone. You would go to all your pack mates and clean them inside and out with such an obsession. How will they all stay clean now?
You and your sister, Holly, were so bonded right from birth. I know Holly misses you. The first couple of days after you left us, she seemed so lost and would wander around the house aimlessly. I know she was searching for you. Before we laid you to rest on Sunday, we gave her a chance to say goodbye hoping it would give her closure. She walked up to you and started licking your face. It was so hard to watch. But since then she’s been all right. She understands that you’re with Bailey, your mother who always took such good care of both of you. Please watch over Holly and keep her healthy so we can have more time with her.
Well, baby…we will never forget you and we thank you for giving us 15 wonderful years. All those memories will keep us strong in the coming years. And I know that you’re very busy keeping all your friends at the Bridge as clean as they can be.
Sarah’s original story continues below
Sarah and her sister, Holly, are Jack Russell Terriers — sisters from the same litter. Sarah is a longhaired Jack Russell like her mother, and Holly has smooth hair like her father. They really don’t look alike at all, but to watch them one would swear they are joined together by some type of invisible line. They play together, they sleep together, and they even walk around together. If one of them is running across the yard, the other will be running right along side of her.
My daughter, Shelly, is a Jack Russell Terrier breeder and rescuer. Her dog, Bailey, gave birth to eight puppies on November 5, 2000. Mom, John, and I happened to be visiting her the Sunday that the puppies arrived. I don’t think I ever saw that many puppies come out of a dog as small as Bailey. All eight of them seemed to be very healthy but one of them was exceptionally small compared to her siblings. At the time I didn’t think this tiny baby would make it, but Shelly said she would feed her supplemental feedings by bottle until she was stronger.
I didn’t see the pups again until they were about six weeks old. Our local shopping mall was having Pet Night where the pets could come and have their pictures taken with Santa. Shelly brought the eight puppies over in a basket to have their pictures taken and, of course, to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. I’m sure this little fuzzy puppy asked to get bigger. She was not even half the size of her siblings. What she didn’t have in size, she definitely made up for in personality. The other seven puppies were content to stay in their safe basket. The little one insisted on running all over the mall. She was not much bigger than a hamster, and I was worried that someone would step on her. Mom was with us that night at the mall and really bonded with this little one.
On Christmas Eve, Shelly and Nick came to our house for dinner. Mom asked about the little puppy and Shelly told her that it had been sold. Mom was very upset and I was too, a little bit. This is when Shelly brought in our Christmas present. It was a very small box with a little basket inside. On the top of the box was a rolled up scroll which read:
Hello, my name is SARAH
I am in search of a loving home to spend the
rest of my life in. I am small and I need
some extra tender loving care. Won’t you
please take me in and give me a home?
After all, it is Christmas…..
Signed with 2 little paw prints.
Well, little Sarah was given a name, a home, and a family on Christmas Eve. I wonder if that’s what she asked for when she visited Santa a few weeks before.
A week after Sarah came to live with us, Shelly and Nick planned to take a short vacation. All the puppies had gone to new, permanent homes except one. Shelly asked if the pup they named “Noel” could stay with us for a few days. We picked her up and Sarah was very happy to be with her sister once again. The name “Noel” just didn’t seem to work for me. I was constantly finding myself saying “NO, NOEL” or just calling her name with her thinking I was telling her “NO”, so the name “Noel” had to go. I spoke with Shelly on the phone and told her about my dilemma. She said to change it but it had to be a Christmas name because Noel was a Christmas puppy. Nick suggested HOLLY, so Noel’s new name became Holly. At the same time, Holly was given a new, permanent home — our home. We saw how Sarah and Holly interacted with each other, and it would have been cruel to separate them again.
Sarah stayed very small throughout the first 8 months of her life. Then one day she just kind of sprouted. She grew rapidly and actually caught up with Holly. They are now 3 years old and identical in size. All the black coloring has disappeared from Sarah’s face and one would never believe she is actually the same pup who fought for her life as a newborn.
Holly has grown up to be a very elegant Jack Russell. If she were a person, I could actually imagine her sitting with her legs crossed, sipping tea out of a little cup. Actually, neither Sarah nor Holly display the traits of a true Jack Russell Terrier. Rather than bounce off the walls, they prefer to just lie on the sofa and cuddle with whoever is sitting there or just with each other. Either way, they will always be found together.
Sarah and Holly and very important members of our family and I hope to have many more memory-making years with them. After all, what could be better than receiving doggie kisses on both cheeks at the same time?
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Click Below To Read Holly’s Story