Jessie was my heart dog.
She was a surprise Mothers Day gift back in 2002. I was taken to a house, asked to close my eyes, and then walked to the back yard where there was a pen filled with Golden Retriever puppies aged 5 weeks. I was then told that one of them was for me, and I picked my Jessie. Her Kennel name was MomentSoGold Softee and she was the softest, sweetest girl. 

My nickname for her was Boobala, which when spelt correctly means sweetheart. She showed no interest in fetching balls or other toys, her mad passion was rocks, just a small one, not too small. She'd never chew on them, just carry them. She would bring them in the house all the time, every time she went outside, she'd come back in with a little rock. It would be dropped on the floor for you to tread on when barefoot, making you yelp in pain and whine, "Oh Jessie, you and your rocks!" If outside, she would bring you a rock and you had to throw it for her. She would just race off and fetch it, bring it back and drop it at your feet, then get poised, ready to go again. In a river, if you threw a rock into shallow water, she'd immerse her whole head in and grab that rock from the bottom, and even if there were other rocks there, she'd ONLY pick the rock you'd thrown. She could destuff a teddy bear in no time. The eyes and nose would go first, then the rest of the innards, leaving stuffing all over the floor and the hollow teddy bear fur next to it. She was so proud of herself.

She loved the water. I remember her climbing onto a boogie board and riding the wave into shore when we were at Rainbow Beach. She was my Golden Gidget. When I was sad, she was there to comfort me with her soft brown eyes. She had a gorgeous tooshie, her rear end was soft and fluffy. Next to her silky ears, her tooshie was my favourite spot on her to stroke. My partner Paul loved to take her walking each morning and evening. She had the BEST nose for picking up scents, and while sometimes a little aloof when it came to strangers, if those strangers had treats, they were her new best friends! 

She slowed down a bit in the last 12 months of her life. Her joints a little stiff, she was a bit slow to get up and moving, but she still enjoyed her walks, even if sometimes she tried to cut them short. And stiff joints or not, she still did a little dance on her back legs, bouncing up and down when it was dinner time. Her last day with us started normally. She was up just after 5.30 am for potty, and shortly after that enjoyed a walk with Paul and her 'brother' Shadow. [also a Golden Retriever]. On arrival back home she did her usual begging for treats which was the norm after a walk. An hour and a half after she begged for that treat, at 8.25 am on Sunday morning 6th December, she collapsed in the hallway. We rushed her to the vets where they gave her IV fluids and oxygen and for a brief time she seemed to rally, trying to sit up. Unfortunately about an hour or so later she collapsed again, her heart stopping. The vet managed to revive her but her heart stopped again, and despite their best efforts, my beautiful Jessie passed away a few months shy of her 14th birthday.

24 hours later and the tears are still flowing here. I woke up this morning thinking yesterday had been just a bad dream, but alas, it was horribly real. Breakfast time with me always meant cutting off some crust to give to the Goldens. Jessie especially, would be watching every mouthful I ate, knowing she'd get her bit of toast when I finished. This morning as always, I cut off some crust and called her name............forgetting she wasn't there. Everyone has a 'heart dog', that special dog who holds a very special place in the heart. For me Jessie was my heart dog. I will always love her, and will always hold her memory in my heart.  Run free at the Rainbow Bridge sweet boobala Jessie.  One day we will meet again.

The photos show a young Jessie, aged 12 weeks, and a special photo taken last year of her. Both show her beauty.