A Bit of a Tribute

Saying goodbye is never easy. Whether it’s to someone we love, or a pet, saying goodbye hurts.

At Layton Retrievers, we said goodbay to LR’s Precious Jewell.

That was her registered name, but we called her Jewell. There was nothing special about Jewell. She never ran a hunt test, she barely went hunting, and she could at times be the biggest pain there ever was.

Jewell came to us as pup. 8 days early to be exact. Her mother Scout, had problems with the pregnancy. Due to the complications, all pups were lost, except Jewell and her sister.

We kept Jewell, hoping to use for breeding (she had a tremendous bloodline) but the Vet told us later that due to her being born that early some parts of her never formed and she was unable to have pups. We kept her anyway, because amid all the frustration, and pain that she had a tendency to cause, she loved everyone and everything.

One of her favorites was cats. I caught her once with one of our cats in her mouth. She wasn’t going to hurt it, just carry it around awhile. I had to do the Granny thing from Sylvester and Tweetie, “Drop it, Drop it” to finally get her to put the cat down. The poor cat never trusted that dog again after that. She was just that way, she loved cats, especially  in her mouth. Problem was she never wanted to let them go. 

When Jewell was two, we sold her to a gentleman up north, who was looking for labrador retrievers to train as bomb and drug dogs.

Thinking this would be a great calling for her, we all said our goodbyes, shed a few tears, and watch and listened as they drove off. As was her custom, she hated to be in a crate and started barking, and barked, and barked, and barked.

A few days later, we received a phone call asking if we wanted her back.

She couldn’t settle down long enough to pay attention and working off a lead was impossible. Not to mention the whole crate/kennel thing. The gentleman did say that she had one of the best noses he every saw, and that it was a shame it wouldn’t work out, because she would be a great one!

At the end of Jewell’s life, we moved out to our current location, and Jewell was finally in her element.

I remember when she first got out of our Expedition bringing her here. She hit the ground running and made a beeline for the pond. Old age, bad shoulder and arthritis didn’t stop her from running the whole way and straight into that pond for a couple of laps. The one thing she really loved above all else was swimming. It didn’t matter if it was a pond or a puddle, she got in it. She got to walk a lot, which was hard for her due to her age and some old injuries, but she had a daily routine of visiting our neighbors, exploring what was new, and of course going down to the pond.

In her last days, swimming became impossible, but it didn’t stop her from going down there every morning, and sitting by the pond to daydream about the days she could.

Jewell came into the world and left us on a Friday. As usual, she did it on her terms. No trip to the Vet, no long goodbyes – she did it her way. I miss her. Oh, she could be aggravating and annoying, but I miss going out to the garage and seeing her on her bed. I miss the walks with her, and mostly I miss her wanting to be everywhere I was.

We buried her, of course, down by the pond; I’ll go by her favorite spot and think I’ll still see her sitting there.

She’s with her mother now at the Rainbow Bridge. And whatever water that Bridge crosses, I know Jewell will be in it, swimming to her hearts content. Goodbye my friend. Me, Mom, Blake, Alyssa & Jace, and not to mention Jet, Shug and of course your brother Max, will all miss you very much.

Swim hard and fast, my Precious Jewell. You will live in our memories forever!