Tuesday, May 13, 2014

JED the Dog. 1999 - 2014

We got Jed as a puppy in Warrnambool around October in 1999 (our landlord suggested we get a dog after our house was robbed). The guy who owned them asked me to sit down while he went and got the puppies to let me pick one. As soon as he opened the gate they all ran inside and straight past me,  except for one that jumped into my lap. The guy said 'that's the one I wanted to give you.'

We took him home to Footscray and all moved to Cockatoo a few years later.  My partner left and took our daughter to Sydney but left me the dog. I got a bit mixed up and moved around a lot after that. Jed was a consistent thing in my life which my young daughter needed to see when she visited.

He would sleep on the floor of the bedroom, going to bed when she did, which made her feel safe. I remember one sad day when he went through the house looking for her after she had gone home to Sydney.

I also remember him being very patient with her when she would do things like, tie him to her bike and try to get him to pull it. One day he walked up to me with paint all over him. After a bit I realised it was make-up she had put on him from a kids make-up kit.

He's in this film with Garry. The barking and growling are sound effects added in later.

I was considering using him in Hanging at Picnic Rock but decided against it as filming a death scene for a dog might be a bit too complicated. He is in this video on our locations scouting though. More towards the end.

He was a pretty constant part of my life. I could take him travelling, camping, to parties and art openings. A lot of people got to know him.

In 2010 he was beginning to have problems walking, by 2014 I decided to put him down. It was an awful experience and there seems to be no way around the guilt. I took him to the Avonsleigh vet, as he was still on their files from Cockatoo, and, on Jan 23rd, I buried him in the Dandenong ranges where we spent a lot of time.

Sonnet, my daughter, called me up on the day and wanted constant updates. She was back in Sydney but had built him a little shrine.

I put a little tribute on Facebook and a lot of people said some very nice things. I was very surprised at how many people new him.

I will probably get another dog one day but now is not a good time. I don't think I can really replace him though. He was around for a lot of big changes in my life that I'd rather not go through again. At times it made things hard, to have a dog to look after, but also it gave me an anchor and a focus on something other than my own problems. Life was simple for Jed. I will try and remember and learn from that.

But for me it is an end of an age. My shadow is gone and I will miss him.

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