I have been a little overwhelmed at the number of emails I have had regarding the loss of Jess..people I don't even know have posted to say how much they enjoyed seeing us together running as a team. I know she will be missed by many more than just our family.
She really wasn't 'just a dog'..and its not all her achievements in agility/obedience that made her so special. It was the fact that she had such amazing communication skills..she really could understand exactly what we were saying, and we also found it very easy to understand her! She always knew when you were talking about her, even if she was lying a distance away, and she would look at you and prick up her ears.
She knew so many words..we had to spell words like 'B-A-T-H' and 'W-A-L-K' if we didnt want to her to know what we were saying.
She knew a lot of tricks, and Mum's favourite show-off to visitors was to ask Jess 'what can you do?' and she would start offering tricks..if you said 'what else?' she would keep doing different ones. She loved the beach and always went right into the waves, sometimes getting dumped, sometimes body surfing them out. She always used to swim with us in the pool, jumping in on 'ready set GO' from the edge to grab the creepy crawly.
She was the most tolerant dog I have EVER met in general life..lots of border collie bitches are 'bitchy' but never Jess. She was amazing at the vets- I never had to sedate her to do anything, including canulating her anal glands!
She definitely had a playful side..at the end of runs when she thought she had done particularly well she would grab my shoe laces and tug them,I would walk off and she would stay attached, looking like a toddler chucking a tantrum!
Terra was her 'puppy' and she would play with her for ages, right up until she got sick, although this play was never extended to other dogs (unless it was a big handsome male border collie!)
She was always very family oriented- being a very good looking dog people wanted to pat her in the park, and would bend over and call her to them. She would walk straight past, not at all interested (a bit embarrassing actually!)- she loved her family but not really other people.
She was incredibly brave and such a fighter- she had 2 major heart surgeries and pulled through, and lived for 3 months longer than most dogs when diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis. It feels so unfair that she had to cope with so many heart diseases..as if being born with a congenital heriditory condition wasn't enough, to then get another really rare heart disease..I feel cheated out of the last 4 or so years of her life.
I was very upset we weren't there when she died early Saturday morning, but as someone very wise said to me, Jess probably wanted it that way. You come into this world alone, and you leave it alone. And if you are like Jess, you leave an immense amount of good memories and love behind, to help sustain the people that have to carry on without you.
Run free Jessabess- you are the best.