thank you Harley .. I'm struggling with my grief and came across this website in my 'favourites' .. it's been a great help and I've spent most of yesterday and this morning looking at other members and all the beautiful dogs, so loved and so admired. I've also discovered three friends, who are breeders, who I met via other dog lovers and we exchange messages on facebook. But here, on this website, I feel as if I'll find the support I'm needing at this time ..
..as I'm still in shock because I thought Jasper was young, and vibrant .. after I changed his diet early in 2014 to all natural his energy rocketed, he slimmed down and he perked up spiritually. He was owned by my partner since birth but when Mike suddenly decided (in 2012) to retire to Nepal to build an orphanage I had to fight hell on earth to adopt Jasper, and I bought a new home (fences & yard) and changed my lifestyle.
It was all so worthwhile. Jasper struggled with anxiety, missing Mike, for a couple of years but Jasper and I had instant love the moment I met him at 9 years of age so he realized pretty soon that "I was it" and rewarded me with all the love and happiness. I could take him anywhere .. even to work on the odd occasion I would go in to the office .. and to clients.
Pretty soon people knew that we were a pair .. never one without the other. Jasper even came on duty with me at St Peter's Cathedral when I was rostered on as a Welcomer.
So my feelings are that he could have had another 2 or even 3 good years .. but an unexpected seizure in January, then an unexplained ear bleed .. and events were taking over. Vet did tests but nothing showed so he was treated for deep ear canal infection but when a huge lump appeared behind the ear, Jasper began to feel pain, then break-through pain and by then it was too late.
On Wednesday morning, April 22nd he woke me with his usual "huff" in my face .. scooted the carpet for a minute but was happy to lie at my feet while I worked. Early afternoon he tapped me on the leg with an expression on his face that said "Oh Mum, what have I done ?"
Jasper was about 80 percent blind so the big collar was cruel, as he'd bump, bump, bump the walls .. and never get out his doggie door to pee in the yard. So the lump behind his ear was securely, but comfortably bandaged. I think he must have got that back claw hooked at the edge, and, when I thought he was sleeping in the other room, snoring loudly, he got to work and ripped the skin away to reveal a huge, red raw mass. Our vet was out of town. His assistant insisted I bring Jasper in. For some reason I took his favourite blankee because the night was cool ? I don't know.
At 6 pm I carried his warm, lifeless body out to the car and drove home. I felt like I had no insides.
The next morning I cleaned his body with lavender water, and wrapped him in his special Yak wool blankee. That afternoon I buried Jasper on a bed of rosemary, in a beautiful secluded spot on a friend's property.
Today, six weeks later, I still feel in shock .. it was all so sudden .. we were alone together not quite three years .. and I thought we had a few more.
Now, all I can go on is an assumption that this was a fast growing tumour .. but I will never know now.