Patch & Wishbone

The day I ventured to look his way. Those big brown eyes and wagging tail of excitement stole my heart away from the moment I saw him. I had to have him. He brightened my world from the very beginning…At 7 weeks of age, he and his brother were ready to take on the world, as Jack Russells that was a tall order. You see, Jack Russells are a very special breed, and they know it. Known as the biggest dog there is in a small body. Weighing in at 29 pounds, there wasn’t a Pit Bull, Doberman, or Shepherd he wasn’t ready to take on. Bred for hunting by an Englishman by the name of Reverend Jack Russell, they were created with the tenacity of the fighting pit bull, and the intelligence and perseverance of the beagle, all wrapped up in one tight ball of force. Patch was first in the litter, Wishbone last, and their personalities reflected such that he was the older brother, reserved, proud, regal, and protective of his younger brother, Wishbone, and even me, his dad. He was in his mind, the leader of the pack.

Once arriving in their new homes, they quickly set the perimeters, and code of expectations. As the evening wore into the night, they climbed to my chest, one to the left, and one to the right. Like children, I could hear their hearts beat full of life, waiting for the next moment to chase something, or just play catch with the tennis ball. I had many dogs over the years, but none like this. My researched showed an ability of cognitive thinking only known to one other dog, the Border Collie, and an IQ equivalent to a 5 year old child. They soon became my closest friend, confidante, and bearer of all my secrets for it was they, and only they that gave love unconditionally.

As life is, difficult to say the least, I always had Patch there to count on no matter what. He loved me through the bad, the ugly, and the happy times. No matter what, if I was not there, at the door he sat and waited for the sound of the exhaust, ready to be the first to greet me, and smother me with kisses, he and his brother coming at me all at once. That moment, all my troubles from the day, left my mind, for they had quickly erased them from my mind, and showed me what really mattered, and what was important, a treasure to behold, for it was precious, and now I have learned temporary too.

I can’t begin to list the joys, the successes, and the trials too, that we faced along the way, those 15 years of routines, and habits, that made it all worth it. His need to always be closest to me, touching me when he slept in the bed, arm over me, and many times, when I opened my eyes, there he was looking right at me or was it right through me. Either one, I knew he loved me no matter what, with all my faults, and good traits too. That’s the meaning of unconditional love, so desperately needed in today’s society. What runs through the mind today is so many things, so many times, and so many moments. I remember after the plane went in above my head in 9/11, and as I picked my self up off the ground, I had to find away to communicate to doggy day care, I was alive, and watch out for the “boys”. I think about the trust fund set up for their care if anything ever happened too many. It was the least I could do for 2 beings that loved me unconditionally everyday and night, and asked in return that I love them too. I remember the 10 spinal fusions, the bodycast, the loneliness it brought, and the kissing and licking of my face when I came home from the hospital. The many days in lying in bed with them at my side making the days bearable. I remember all the walks, the times they scared me to death after they waited patiently day in and out, for that one moment to escape and give the chase of my life worrying to death about a passing car in the chase. I remember all the rides in the trucks and cars, by my side, sometimes asleep on my lap after the vet.

Patch was such a well mannered, regally sculptured being, proud when he walked and even when he sat. He trusted me and not many others. He was and his brother too, always had this keen ability of knowing who was good, and who they didn’t want near me. So many times they fought over being the closest, on my lap, and in the bed, too many times to count. I loved the way he looked at his brother when he would try and steal his food, as if to say, no problem, Dad will give me more. I must say, I have yet to meet someone of his caliber, the truth, the honor, the loyalty, and the love, all wrapped up in one, never failing. Always prayed with them each night, and thanked God for the angels he bestowed upon me. They taught me so much about people, ourselves, the type of love to seek, and what not to chase. We had our moments of terror too, quickly avoided with the mad dash to Dr. Goodnow, every time with Wishbone on my lap waiting for him to recover. The two, you see were inseparable, never apart, so when the “vet” stay was needed, we made sure we knew when the visiting hours were. One day of absence, was enough but 2 Wishbone would start to make known his displeasure, as would Patch in reverse. 15 years seems like a lifetime, each day, and every day, but I assure you, it is not. Your heart hurts so bad, you can’t sleep, can’t eat, and forget about thinking. Quite simply, if you loved your best friend as he loved you, you are simply a huge mess.

I can remember the hiking in the mountains, them diving into the waves to pull out the huge Horseshow crabs on the beach, the simple mornings and evenings cuddled up against each other between my legs, on the couch as we hunkered down for another day in the rat race. I remember watching his 2nd generation brother together in the movie “my Dog Skip’, and me hugging them with tears, and telling them they had to live forever. I remember all the lunches made for doggy day care, the toys, the coats, and the Coach collars, nothing but the best for my best friends in the world. Certainly God’s angels bestowed upon me, only temporarily, but me never believing anything but forever. I remember the snow and the swimming pool too. The rides on the pool raft, and the chasing of those tennis balls too. Everyday filled with adventured, me always wondering what the night would bring. I remember the nights when they refused to sleep in their own queen sized bed, instead, having to be in the other bedroom too, with my other half. I remember the times when some tried to force me to make a choice, and without hesitation, it was goodbye, and let’s start over boys…

There are so many stories to be told, too many for the small number of pages here, for they were my life, my kids, and my best, best friends, so perhaps another day, in another way, I will attempt to cover everything they conveyed. For now I will just say, it was the last adventure we sought, finally our dream come true, the beaches, and the sun everyday. The new home, the new life, and the happy weather all year, so we could take advantage of the remaining years left. For life along the way does as it always does, leave scars from battles, aches and pains too, for age is never kind to the things we still want to do. So we began the project, and started to pack. We were headed out of here, last winter we will see. For now my boys and I were going to make the most of what was left. The national project I worked on for over a year, was now coming into fold, the partners, and investors too. The place was perfect, everything all planned precisely, so nothing could go wrong. I believed as I have always, I covered everything.

Unfortunately, 2 weeks before we were going to leave, Patch fell to the ground, and as usual I rushed in carrying him out the door, and to the vet for another miracle once again. We waited in the waiting room, as the X-rays came back, the doctor this time, came out slowly, with a look of distress.

Both Wishbone and I said it couldn’t be so, not our Patch, NO, NO, NO! The doctor called us in, and with the pictures on the screen, and he said, “he may have cancer here in his hip”. No, No, No, not my Patch. Something is wrong, it just can’t be. Go back in the files, and take another look see. Away we went home that day, and waited for his real Doc, Dr. Goodnow to follow up. As the days past, the tears got heavier as did the heart. I now gave Patch the prescribed Ramidyl medication produced by Pfizer, to alleviate the arthritic pain as such. This time, I did as I had never, I didn’t go and research the drug as I did always before. Day 3 came, and no call, the tears were all day now, but Patch didn’t fall. On day four, the phone rang, it was the doctor, as I took a deep breath, and he began talk about everything but Patch. While he spoke, my mind wondered off, “what about my Patch, what about my Patch”. Finally I interrupted, and said, What about my Patch? Oh don’t worry about Patch, it isn’t cancer, and he will live a lot longer, to play a lot more. My heart felt suddenly into a prayer of grace. I picked up Patch, hugs and kisses for all. I won another battle once and for all!

Our excitement grew as the days came near, but then something strange seemed to occur. I continued with the med as told, Ramidyl, as recommended and prescribed. Patch at times seemed to swagger, and possibly fall. I was told don’t worry, it would take time. So I continued to carry him in and out, up and down, and into and out of the bed each as called. Wishbone too, started to hang his head low; while I hurried it all hoping the warm weather would take care of it all…

With the vehicle all set, the magnificent beds made, in the back seats, and front passenger too. The boys would be comfortable like kings all the way down. Each night, a planned stay at the nicest motel would occur, for nothing but the best for my boys, they deserved it all. The trip went well, and even at times, driving in the night, I felt Patch’s eyes fixed upon me, and when I turned on the interior light, I found this to be true. The look of all looks, just looking at me, and saying I love, or was he worried. Was he worried for me, worried for his brother, if he was not here? Was he wondering who would protect all 3 of us? Would I be able to handle his loss, would I collapse to my knees and poor Wishbone too? Was he wondering and saying I cannot leave yet, they both just aren’t ready for it yet. I decided to pull over once again, to get another night rest. It was 1:30 am, and hoped we wouldn’t be turned away because of some rule calling them dogs not allowed. Tired, I stumbled in, the manager was a woman, and looked wide awake. I said to her, ‘Mam, we are tired, us all, my 2 Jack Russells, and I, and we need a place to sleep for the night. At that moment I believed it was God, for she pulled out her cell phone and low and behold, she said, I have 2, myself, and they look just like yours. We spoke a long time, as all proud Jack Russell owners do, and then the boys opened the door, and she went to the floor, lots of hugs and kisses for all. We talked and talked, and finally to the room to retire. The boys had a blast, 2 queen size beds, and a bath. Feeling like movie stars as always was the case, whenever they were in public.

Finally, we arrived, that evening, the Realtor at the door. Our excitement was too great to measure, for finally we were here. Our dreams come true. The beach, the war weather, the better way of living.. As we were shown around, almost shock to my dismay, what’s that on the floor all along the walls, we asked. I have my 2 buddy’s and they cannot fall prey to some poison left out in such disarray.. ”Oh no”’ said the Realtor, just sand, nothing to worry about at all…”These are my babies you know, my best friends of all!”… “No worry at all” said the Realtor

In we went, the Boys all excited, checking every room, and following me about. I saw such happiness in both of them, and realized what this was all about. It was for them too, their best years would be now be enjoyed, no more snow, no more cold winters. Everyday would be a dog day summer. The night grew later, but the excitement too.. As I went from the car in the new garage to inside with their blankets in hand, I saw Patch and Wishbone too out and about…The excitement was rising, so off we went to the Supermarket, to gather up our celebration breakfast for in the morning, to celebrate and thank God for his blessing. For a moment I thought I saw Patch where he shouldn’t.

It was now late, the bed all made, the “boys” real excited, because that is most important to them to sleep. So together we all went, to bed for the night, to prepare for tomorrow, and celebrate with that promised walk on the beach, the very first day. It was late into the night, suddenly the cries rang out, held in my arms as we slept, like always, Patch cried, and shook…I jumped awake, with him in my arms, held tightly, I could see him crying, and gasp for air. I said, “I love Patch, hold on, be strong”, We rushed and rushed with Patch wrapped in towels to the closest Animal hospital, with Patch’s head shaking violently, I cried, as did Wishbone too. Finally in the hospital, we sat; the vet rushed in the catheter, and ran the tests. I was already decided, we will keep him here today, on IV, get him whatever he needs, he is our life. Then I called his Doctor in New York too. I had them all on the phone. Another miracle indeed was needed, no expense mattered. This was my rock, my foundation. My true example of motivation and symbol of strength, and everything that was right.

The test results came back, and the doctor was dumbfounded and confused. Something he never saw before, it just didn’t make sense, until I research what Ramidyl has been doing to thousands. It was too late. I held him in my arms, and we prayed. I begged God for everything, in return I even offered me to bear the weight of all the world’s sins, when I die, but NO. NO. NO. NO. Not now, we were going to walk on the beach today, and set up the house, and go for a walk, and then lie in bed, and just love each other unconditionally. Unfortunately, it was too late, as I held my “bitty bum” in my arms, and said “I love you more than there are stars in the sky’, please don’t leave me just yet”. He did as Patch always did, he licked away my tears as I cried, and soon then fell asleep.

I will never get over you my beloved Patch, you were my life, you were my strength when I couldn’t go on, and you were my symbol of what is right and all that is wrong. You taught me love comes before anything else, you taught me love is unyielding, never absent, never betraying, always loyal, unconditional, and what it takes to make the world right. You taught me to never compromise my values, we are who we are, be proud, strong, and fight to the death when it is worth fighting for. You taught me how to understand why things are so screwed up now, and why it is so dangerous having those, who lead our country now. You made me realize these people do not believe what we believe, do not feel what we feel, and do not act as we do, with others, and with this true, they act without conscience, without guilt, and certainly without remorse.

I now understand what is meant by the perfect Manchurian Candidate. That puppet must not feel what we do, he must not believe what we do, and he must not feel what we do. I understand the grooming had to be without the “home country’, the family values and morals, as well as the belief in God and each other. I understand now the need to groom a generation without the above was the most important agenda of all, in order to fixate them on a false prophet, and forget about our faith, founders, and Constitution.

Yes, my beloved Patch, you taught me all that. Though the pain is immeasurable from your loss, it has brought me to my knees, and caused me even to question. Wishbone too, cries every night on his side of the bed too, waiting still for the vet to let you come home soon. It will take time, and love, I am sure you knew, to watch over your brother once the fight was ended. You will remain in our hearts forever, your ashes in a blessed Urn; will be with us too, until that day we all join up again in God’s heaven, to live without all the pains we shared here. Let it be known that is written, your ashes as well as Wishbone’s will follow me too, into my very casket for the trip into the blue. I feel robbed, and even angered, for the stealing away of my best friend, and the best night of our new life, and adventures. But today, the 6th day, I must recover, for what must go forward, was motivated by you and Wishbone’s never quit attitudes. You kept me going all those years, after all the surgeries, and the crisis, your unconditional love, and never quit attitude. It was your attributes and qualities that fight until the death personality that is borne into the battle we will soon face, to save our country, and our beliefs. I know there will be much I have missed, when I walk away from this, the 15 years was as fulfilled as it could it have been, but now with you gone, there is so much more I wish we had done anyway. “I love you, bitty bum”, more there are stars in the heavens, always, God Bless You…..Wishbone too…

— Ricki from Navarre, FL