Note: Janey was a mill mom, adopted by Judy and her husband years ago from JRTRO. As a mill dog, she had to have all her teeth removed due to infection. Janey lived a lovely, full life with her forever family. Within a few days of her passing, her best friend Baxter also crossed the Rainbow Bridge. A lot for one family to absorb and grieve for at one time. This is a letter sent to JRTRO from Janey’s mom and is reprinted with permission.
I love you so very much.
I look around and remember you everywhere.
You came into our lives and showed us so much love. How a little one could be so loving after seeing such a cruel side of life is beyond my comprehension. You were used and unloved for the first years of your life, and came to us a scared soul who clung to my side from day one. I miss you being beside me more than words can express. Watching me from the couch in the living room as I worked in the kitchen, lying in the cool grass as I worked in the garden, lying on me or beside me as I watched tv ….always there.
Your eyes were always fixed on anyone that had food…..waiting for something to drop. Every morning we would share my bowl of cereal, you waiting patiently for that last few drips of milk. I always think of you when I get to the bottom of the bowl, and there is no one to share it with. I still curl my feet up in bed to leave you a space to sleep by the fan. You were free with your kisses, and making sure your family was clean.
You loved to explore behind the garage, and going out front to sniff the big rock in the neighbour’s yard. Most of all you loved your home and your family. If you did go away from home your favorite thing was a car ride. Both you and Baxter would get more excited over the words “car ride” rather than “let’s go for a walk”. You loved to stick your nose out the window and feel the breeze. If the trip included going to the dump (where the attendant always had biscuits!) or timmies (where you would bark at the screen like you were placing your order) it just made your day. You also loved when I would take out the basket of dog toys and tip it over on the rug. You would crawl inside to find your treasured toys. Jumping up and down, and shaking them. A few Easters we found some box treats included a little stuffed animal that would cluck…..we called them your cluck clucks. You would go crazy when you heard that noise.
I will even miss you jumping off the bed in the morning to go outside for a pee, the moment you thought someone was awake. The whole reason for this was to get a treat. You would come in and look at the treats and look at us….back and forth….as if you were saying there they are I went outside now its treat time lol. When you first came to us getting you to go outside for a pee could be a challenge, so we used treats when you actually did. We finally got it down to just one in the morning which you never let us forget. When you came to us we were unsure about leaving you free to roam the house when we had to go out. So we tried crate training….that was a challenge. We would come home to find you covered in poop. I think being left in a crate reminded you too much of the puppy mill, and caused you to always poop. Since you lived in one for so long walking in your poop didn’t bother you. You probably never had a clean cage in the past, so we would come home to find you covered! I tried a diaper….but you would get it off…..tried a baby onsie over the diaper (hahahaha) but you got out of that too. After bathing you every time we got back home we finally gave in and thought cleaning up any accidents after we got home would be easier than bathing you each time. Plus we never really liked putting you in a crate knowing where you came from. You had your accidents, but they got fewer. For long periods of time there would be nothing, then they would start up again for a bit. Your greatest talent was being able to pee in people’s shoes! There would be no sign this had happened anywhere around the shoes…..till someone put their shoes on lol. You hadn’t done it for a long time but on your last day with us you managed to get one of my shoes. It took a while for me to actually clean it up…… If you ever got accidentally closed in a room we would usually find you had pooped, being trapped somewhere always stressed you out. Even though you felt safe with us, there were still times we could see the effect the puppy mill had on you.
I loved when I would be walking home and someone would let you out to greet me. You would come tearing down the driveway, and sometimes this lead to playing a game of catch me as you tore around the back yard. Such a difference from a girl that was so uncoordinated with running when you first came to us. You ran awkwardly, over jumped when trying to get on the couch. Thank goodness for your brother Baxter who taught you so much about being a free dog, even though you did pee squatting with one leg raised a little ☺ Sometimes he would start to bark and you would bark too looking around as if to say I don’t know why we are barking, but I guess that’s what I’m supposed to do. You loved to help me load the dishwasher, you were the prewash. Then when we were finished Baxter would bark and bark when I closed it up and turned it on. Just one of the many things he barked at hahaha.
I think meal time was one of your favorite times of day. It took a while to figure out the whole meal time thing, but we finally got it down. You got your wet food with some homemade food on top (brown rice with ground meat, and whatever veg and fruit I could come up with. Always included some frozen spinach and a jar of homemade apple sauce) Baxter had his kibble with the same homemade topping. You had a mat in our bedroom and you ate there, and Baxter had his dish in the kitchen. You would bounce up and down as the food was being carried to your mat. When he was done you always had to check he hadn’t left any kibble behind. We didn’t like you having too much kibble because you would occasionally get a cough, and we were not sure if they were contributing to it.
You had such a bad mouth/sinus infection when you were rescued by your angels at JRTRO that the vet had to pull your teeth. This did not hold you back at all. Your gums got very strong! We knew that this problem would lead to you leaving us before your full life expectancy (even though we never knew your true age, we figured, as well as our vet, that you were 5 or 6 when you came to us) Your cough always concerned us, especially the times it caused you to fall over. The vet could not hear any murmur, but we knew your loving heart was probably damaged, and would fail you in the end. The love between us all I believe helped keep you going for the 7 ½ years you were with us.
You were so afraid of men when you first came to us, even threatening to “bite” your daddies nose when he came to close when we were snuggling. It took close to a year for you to totally warm up to him. He showed you lots of love, and never any hint of being mean toward you, so finally he won your love. You loved to clean his neck, ears, and feet. Even though you were Mommies girl you walked so much better when Daddy walked you. I think he made you feel safe when you were away from the house. I remember trying to walk you one of the first times, and we came across some work men in orange vests working on the road….you froze…..I scooped you up and carried you home. Another time when we were out we walked by a car and a dog lunged barking at the car window that he was in. You freaked out and pulled backward on your leash making the collar come right off your neck. You started running home, with me running behind you begging you to stop. You were not stopping till you made it home….where you felt safe. Home was always your safe place. You loved it here, being on your perch on the top of the couch surveying the neighbourhood.
I have so many pictures of you and Baxter cuddling sleeping. Even though he could be grumpy with you sometimes, he loved you. I loved watching as he would gently clean your eyes.
If Mommy wasn’t home to follow or cuddle with you would turn to Daddy or Katie, even Sara when she was around. We all miss you so very much. Then there was your boyfriend Roscoe It was so cute to see you together. Roscoe at 90lbs and you around 20. You would lie together as he would chew on the hard dog bones and soften them….then it was your turn at them. Even though Roscoe does not like other dogs he loved you….and let Baxter be the boss ☺ He seemed lost the first few times he came over and you were not here.
With your cough and falling over I was always afraid of you dying alone….that I would not be here. On your last day I left for work and you were happy outside walking around with Daddy and great grandpa (who was giving you a treat) Looking back you had been a lot more tired the last few weeks, falling deeply asleep when outside with me in the garden. I had to stay a bit longer at work, and I got a message from your Daddy that I should get home asap. When I came home you were lying on the bed your breathing labored. You would not eat or drink (even though you did take a couple sips of milk your favorite thing, then not even that) You were so uncomfortable, and found it hard to find a position that was comfortable. Your pads were getting so cold I stayed beside you carrying you outside for a while then back in to the couch. When it was just you and I I sang you are my sunshine to you, and talked to you about how much I love you. It as a Saturday evening and our vets were not open. You looked at me with a look that said Momma please help me. I knew then I would have to make the trip to the emergency vet in Cambridge. Daddy gave you a final kiss and hug, and stayed home to be with Baxter. Katie sat in the back with you all wrapped in a quilt. Katie was afraid you were not going to make it to the vets. When we got there you could not even stand anymore. The kind vet asked if she could put you in oxygen while we talked. She said without xrays and blood work she could not say for absolute sure what it was, but from her years of being a vet she could tell it was end stage heart failure. My heart was broken. I called your Daddy and we agreed that we needed to end your pain. You came back in a lot less stressed from having been in the oxygen. I told you how much I loved you, and gave you lots of hugs (Katie did too) I held and kissed you as you slipped peacefully away. I knew I could not leave you there so we started the trip home.
When we got in the car the song Photograph by Ed Sheran came on “You keep your love in a photograph” I have so many photos of you my sweet Janey. The last line is “wait for me to come home” if only you could. I tear up whenever that song comes on.
Dear Janey your life was one that gave a face to people of dogs from puppy mills. People usually would say “how cute look at her tongue hanging out” This usually opened up us telling your story. People were shocked when we said you were used for breeding in a puppy mill, about why you lost her teeth, how you threw up sawdust and carrots when you were rescued (probably what you lived on), and how you and the two others rescued with you were going to be shot if not picked up. We told people of the importance of knowing where your dogs come from, and about all the dogs that are looking for a forever home through rescue organizations. You were like a poster girl against puppy mills, and you were a calendar girl for JRTRO. I am so happy your daddy found you online. I am so thankful for Cathy Chambers and the JRTRO for getting you out of that horrible situation and bringing you to us. One day we will look to them for another loving fur baby, not to replace you…..that could never happen…..but to bring some life and love back to our quiet home.
Words cannot describe how much I love and miss you. No dog has ever affected me as deeply as you. I told you that I will carry you will in my heart forever …….that is where you will always be……
Miss you babygirl
Janey with our grandkids. Recently when Riley was over he was sitting on the couch and just out of the blue said “Why did Janey have to die”…..why indeed.
Our granddaughter Norah was just getting to know Janey. Norah was fascinated with her. I think they would have been good friends.
– lovingly written by Janey’s mom, Judy. Thanks for giving her such a wonderful life…