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The end of a journey

By DOUG DAVISON, Houston Herald

It’s undeniably true that all good things come to an end, and Jamie’s life journey ended last week.

To me, how and why he’s gone isn’t as pertinent as the way he lived, and I’ve definitely focused more on that over the past several days. He did it with gusto and a yearning for experience, and it was me who was the lucky one in our relationship.

A lot of people love their dogs, and they become more a part of the family than a pet. Jamie was certainly a member of our family, and he knew it, too, and didn’t for a moment take that for granted.

He would often make a point of stopping me from doing whatever I was doing, so I would crouch down and he could stand on his hind legs for a huge Big Lug hug. You could see the gratitude in his eyes, and he would sometimes make little woofing or rumbling sounds as if trying to verbalize his thanks.

I know Jamie knew the feeling was mutual, too. He had a knack for making me – and others around him – smile without even trying. His mere presence was enough to invoke joy and even laughter, and when I bent over to pet him and say “you’re such a good boy,” his expression made it clear he understood he was appreciated.

Jamie was such a character.

I miss hearing his nails clicking on the hardwood floor as he slowly and deliberately approached the kitchen early in the morning. I miss seeing his short little legs sticking up in the air as he napped on his back in the living room. I miss watching him run, I miss feeding him dinner, and I miss hearing him snore.

And I really miss the anticipation the Big Man often displayed for what was going to happen next.

But I’ll never forget the good times, and I’m so very thankful that God allowed him to be a part of my life (and my family members’ lives).

What fun it was to have him sitting next to me in the front seat of the truck as we headed out for an adventure. What a pleasure it was to have him at the end of a leash while we walked around in a place neither of us had ever before been.

How nice it was to rub his belly, stroke his ears or brush his back. And what a blessing it was to simply squeeze him.

It was all awesome.

I received an email the other day that had an attachment entitled “Just a dog.” I don’t know where it originated, (and it doesn’t matter, anyway), but it described how dogs can go beyond their status as a quadruped canine mammal (and how not everyone understands that). Tears came to my eyes as I read so many sentences I completely related to.

Jamie wasn’t just a 35-pound Pembroke Welsh Corgi, he was much more than that. He was a comedian, a companion and a reliable, trusted friend. He was something wonderful to be occupied with, and something to look forward to.

From the moment I first laid eyes on him behind a chain link gate at an animal shelter in Oceanside, Calif., I knew Jamie was something special. When I saw him willingly (even excitedly) jump in the truck to “go home” to Missouri as if it had been his destiny forever, I knew then that it really was.

When I saw he and our youngest daughter (in her mid-teens at the time) running at full speed up and down a deserted freeway onramp on a starlit night in the middle of New Mexico, I knew there were great times in store with him.

Jamie was indeed far more than “just a dog.”

He was an inspiration, a sight to behold and even a business partner. And he was an incredible example of God’s creativity.

It was great while it lasted, but the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Thank you, Lord, for such a fine gift.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Jamie was a big ol’ Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Email ddavison@houstonherald.com.

Jamie; Aug. 18, 2006 – Feb. 28, 2014.

Jamie; Aug. 18, 2006 – Feb. 28, 2014.

Jamie smiles during one of his last Journeys in the Jillikins, a walk through Texas County pasture on a warm February afternoon.

Jamie smiles during one of his last Journeys in the Jillikins, a walk through Texas County pasture on a warm February afternoon.

Jamie.

Jamie.

Jamie.

Jamie.

Jamie and his leash-handler Doug Davison hang out next to a rearing pond full of rainbow trout at Montauk State Park.

Jamie and his leash-handler Doug Davison hang out next to a rearing pond full of rainbow trout at Montauk State Park.

Jamie hangs out with his sidekick amongst some of the ancient exposed granite that makes up Elephant Rocks State Park in Iron County, Mo.

Jamie hangs out with his sidekick amongst some of the ancient exposed granite that makes up Elephant Rocks State Park in Iron County, Mo.

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