Our sweet, velvet-bellied whippet Jada died last night. She was fourteen or so and had congestive heart failure, but was in pretty decent shape until the past day or so, when her system just seemed to shut down. Last night we made a bed for her on the floor in the living room and took turns sleeping next to her. When JM woke up and didn't hear her rattly breathing, he knew she was gone. She was still warm when we wrapped her in a sheet and put her in the back of our car.
At left, she is pictured at a lake in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, listening to a loon.
When my niece and nephew were little kids, they gave her the giggly nickname "Jada Potato," and it stuck. She made all these crazy moves with me, as our two expanded to five--from State College (where I brought her after I rescued her), to Champaign, where our friends sweetly (and mostly) indulged her love for licking human skin, to Pittsburgh, where she would race JM to the top of Frick Park's stairs, (back) to Urbana, where we acquired Tillie, with whom she begrudgingly learned to share us, and then back to State College, where she loved to lie on the chaise longue in the morning sun.
She kept me company through two books, countless articles, and now three revisions of the textbook. She would always lie around while I read dissertations (see here, here, and the photo at right, with her beloved octopus).
When I was very pregnant--even in early labor at home--she quite literally propped me up on my side, tucked in behind me, warm and firm.
When we brought the baby home, Jada took one lick, scooped up the octopus, and began pacing around with excitement. She surprised us by making it through the first year of baby Bean's life, the past few months exchanging her gentle licks for bean's (mostly gentle) practice pats and subsisting on the tasty morsels of meat, macaroni, and peas that Bean cast off her tray, and even sometimes taking food right from her hand--always gently, eyes wide with pleasure.
So long, J. Potay. Our lives were fuller and happier with your company.