by Kristina Plank
In September of 2010 I found my dog soul mate. As the years went by I knew loosing her would be one the hardest things I would ever go through but I never grasped just how hard it really would be.
I'm a RVT and a long time ago I worked at an emergency vet clinic. I had just graduated college and moved out and was in search of a dog. One Sunday as I came in for my shift I saw this beautiful sweet 8-month-old Aussie. She had a broken leg from getting hit by a car and her owners were going to put her down. I felt an instant connection to her and they ended up giving her to me.
Through the years she was with me during all the good, the bad and some of the most important milestones in my life. All the heartache from past relationships, buying a house, different jobs, an abusive relationship, getting engaged. We went almost everywhere together. She LOVED car rides, meeting people, getting treats, attention and love. She made an impact on so many people.
During a period of time in my life for about 3 years I took her to training classes at PetSmart. She became good canine certified. Then we joined a therapy group and we continued training until she was therapy certified. We then went to nursing home and had visits with people who didn't get a lot of visitors.
I was fortunate and my grandpa watched her during the days when I was working. She had so many adventures that I wasn't even apart of. Two to three walks a day, trips to the store, a weekly trip to see a couple that loved her. My grandpa took her everywhere and they were best friends. She even got my grandma, who was never a big fan of dogs, to love her.
In August of 2021 I got engaged. I was 32 and my then fiance was about to turn 40. We decided to not have a wedding party but the one thing that I knew would be perfect was having Jazzmine as my dog of honor and walk down the aisle. We took some engagement pictures with her.
On Saturday, March 5th, 2022 however, one week before our wedding, I woke up to her acting strange. The week before she had been acting a little off; not wanting to eat unless we took the food to her and having trouble pooping. That Saturday morning though she wouldn't eat. She vomited and then just stared at us with this face saying I don't feel good. As the day progressed she started panting and straining to poop. I thought maybe she was constipated so I did a rectal on her and on the right side of her anus it was thick and hard and I immediately thought tumor and freaked.
We took her to that same emergency clinic where I used to work and, thankfully, the same vet that amputated her leg several years earlier was working. By this time Jazzmine was panting pretty hard, groaning in pain, and not walking. The vet took Jazz back and got an x-ray as well as did a rectal herself. The x-ray unfortunately gave bad news. A huge tumor had grown about her colon and was so big it was pinching off her colon not allowing her to poop. The vet also said what I felt in her rectum was probably the same tumor. She said from the history I gave that it was probably a very fast aggressive tumor. That day I did the hardest thing in my life and said goodbye to best dog, the best friend I've ever had.
Throughout the years when people heard my girl's story and how she came into my life they would tell me I saved her. But in reality she saved me.
It's now been 3 weeks since I said goodbye and I still miss her so much. I cried everyday afterwards for a week. Thankfully my wedding day turned out happy. But I never realized how big the grief would be. I think about her everyday. The connection we had was once in a lifetime and I will cherish it forever. There's no evidence that dogs go to heaven but being a believer I pray she's there and that one day we'll be together again.
I also want to say how thankful I am to my now husband. A lot of my past relationships didn't understand the connection I had with her. But he does. He's giving me the time I need and not just saying "it was just a dog." He knows that she was so much more.
Jazzmine was my angel in disguise.
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