Junie B. Jensen
July 21, 2007 (Gotcha day 3/4 years old)- June 29, 2017
AKA: My littlest. Bo-bittlest. The littlest, bo-bittlest of the bo-bittlest clan. Mick’s Widdle Waddle. Bug. Buggest. Beagle butt
I got you almost 10 years ago from people who couldn’t see past your anxiety to understand your value. But I did. I saw the soul in your eyes. I knew you belonged with me. You ran out of their house and saw me and peed on their porch mat. I laughed and you jumped into my arms. You never looked back. I took you home and woke up the next day to find you’d destroyed every pair of shoes in my closet and a couch cushion.
It’s no surprise that as I mellowed these past five or six years so did you. Before that we both left a trail of destruction in our wake. We taught each other commitment, patience, and unconditional acceptance. Together we learned to be still. To be. We made our way through the darkness together and then we rested and just enjoyed each other’s company.
How I enjoyed it! When you were younger we’d walk for hours and I’d laugh at your insolent refusal to be decent on a leash. You hated being constrained, stuck, or held back. (We are twin souls.) I laughed chasing you when you’d talk me into taking off your leash. You always had to test the limits. You were just so naughty and defiant. You knew what you wanted to do and didn’t care what I thought you should do. (Again, we are soulmates.)
You accepted every dog you met. You never resented all the dogs in and out of our house. You welcomed them, excited, and then taught them all how to Dog.
A wise woman told me earlier this week you were holding emotional space for me. You felt like you could move on now – I’m okay. You’re not going to be part of my next chapter here. You’ve got some other work to do somewhere else.
Your little body struggled so much these past few years. Finally, the pain was too much and at 14 years old, you told me today it was time for your story here to end. What a story it was!
I still remember the day I came home from work to find you sitting in the middle of the kitchen counter. You’d pulled the kitchen chair to the counter and climbed up. You opened every door in the kitchen. Had you not still been up there I might have thought a poltergeist had visited. You scattered plastic containers. Cereal boxes and spices lay on the ground. You looked so perplexed sitting there. I was so angry but then I saw the look in your eyes. Your anxiety was so uncontrollable you couldn’t understand what you’d done. I realized you were not so different from me and I picked you up and held you on my lap. You shook and whimpered. I cried too. We were both so self-destructive. Somehow, our own way, we managed to pull it together.
You were all DOG. I remember the time I tried to stop you from eating that gecko you caught and swallowed alive when I tried to take it from your mouth. Then you climbed on my lap with your sad, Bette Davis eyes as it wiggled in your tummy. I told you I wouldn’t feel sorry for you but you still insisted on stretching out across my lap, on your back, and I rubbed your tummy for you.
Thank you for all the mice, snakes, birds, and geckos you brought me as gifts. I love you too, even though you were not a vegan.
I’m sorry for the times I yelled at you for eating my books. I’d let you eat all my books if I you didn’t need to go now. It’s so silly the things we get worked up about. Anger is so silly.
Junie, I don’t know what this planet is because it can be awful. Being born and growing old and hurting along the way is stupid. There must be a better way to exist and I know that is where you’ve gone. I’m upset you must go without me because I know that scares you. I know you feel better when we are together. I do too.
I guess it’s time for us let go of our separation anxiety and surrender to this transition. I’ll always carry you in my heart. I know I’ll be in yours.
I will miss sharing my watermelon with you. Your snores. Your beagle bay – which shakes the windows and rattles the pictures. I will miss the tiny cries you offer when you see me after you’ve not seen me in a while. I’ll miss my driving co-pilot, best friend, and teacher.
I will miss your beautiful presence. Your energy filled up my life for 10 years and I am so lucky I got you.
Today you were in so much pain. You knew what was happening in the end and you peacefully settled. You kissed me and then rest your head in my hand. Then, just as we thought you were going, you lunged to me and kissed me and I felt your last breath on my face. Everyone gasped because they knew what you’d done. You told me it was okay, thanked me, and made sure the very last thing you did while you could was love me. It was like you said, “Oh, wait… not yet! Hold on! One more time…” Your heart wouldn’t stop beating until I whispered it was okay to let go.
I’m sure you’ve already found Scully & Penelope. Keep them safe until we are all together again. Play. Run. Kiss. Snuggle.
Until I’m ready to join you, Junie B. Jensen, I will never go a day without thinking of you.
“And she’ll tease you, she’ll unease you
All the better just to please you
She’s precocious, and she knows just
What it takes to make a pro blush
She got Greta Garbo’s standoff sighs, she’s got Bette Davis eyes” ~ Bette Davis Eyes