Sunday, November 25, 2007

RIP: Princess Jasmine 1995-2007

Had our neighbors been peeking into our yard tonight they may have thought BassMan and I were up to no good.

Earlier in the day BassMan dug a hole. A large one.

This morning, Princess Jasmine Amedea Leroyce Bass, our 12-year-old collie, who's been ailing for several days, let us know today would be her last. We made her comfortable on her sleeping pad, massaged and petted her, nestled and nurtured her. She drifted to sleep and by nightfall she was gone.

So there we were, patio torch blazing over the hole dug and ready, laying deep our Princess in the waning moon. Should the sheriff come a'knocking we'll have a story to tell. It begins here.

Princess was the most gentle of dogs, as smart as Lassie, and loyal to the end. We got Princess from a man whose aging breeding pair of collies produced a surprise litter of two pups. The first pup died, but Princess survived. Her mother wasn't able to produce milk, so the owner bottle-fed Princess. The owner was getting on in years himself and didn't have the energy to keep a collie puppy around, but he didn't want to see Princess on the dog market. When Princess was four-months-old, he advertized for a special family to adopt her, listing criteria that would have made the Ellen DeGeneres rescue center proud. We passed the test and this generous man gave Princess to us. His only charge: that we love and care for her.

Several things come to mind when I remember Princess. It was tradition for our kids to name the pets. On the way to our interview with Princess's breeding owner, we discussed what we would name her. Elisabeth (then eight) and Jonathan (then six) were unanimous that she should be called Princess. In tribute to one of their favorite Disney princesses, they insisted she be Princess Jasmine. On top of that, they insisted on each of their middle names tagged on. She would be Princess Jasmine Amedea Leroyce Bass. Divine synchronicity would have it that ever since the day she was born her owner had been calling her Princess.

We live in a region I call "wind alley." When Santa Ana winds blow in from the high desert we are usually hit with a double blast. Several times through the years the wind would pick up while we were gone and I'd drive up to find the gate blown wide open. The first time this happened, I panicked at the thought of Princess running away in the wind. I jumped from the van and ran through the backyard calling for her. She was nowhere. I rushed back to the front and began looking up and down the street. Elisabeth and Jonathan called me from the front porch. My heart broke wide open to see Princess laying unruffled on our front doorstep awaiting our return.

This year we sent our youngest child to college 1,500 miles away. Our oldest is planning for grad school in NY and London. We did this only a few months ago and here we are at the pet cemetary again. Life changes, we change, but love grows.

BassMan and I are going to plant an avocado tree over Princess.


Devon Ellington said...

My deepest condolences for the loss of your loving and lovely family member. My heart breaks for you.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Carolyn, I'm so sorry to hear about Princess--a beautiful and loyal family member.

Amy Hunter said...

It's so hard to lose them--they never live nearly long enough, do they? Princess had a wonderful life, though, with the family she was meant to be with.

Ewoh Nairb said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Princess's passing. I remember her from the time you had us over for a visit and dinner. She was such a kind dog and so good with my young daughters. But knowing you I am vary sure that she had the best life a dog could ever want. She will be missed but she will live on in the lives of everyone she touched. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Julee Ann said...

Sorry to hear about your beloved collie.

You commented a while back on a post of mine and I sincerely appreciated your encouragement.

Maybe my latest post will give you a smile, today.
Check out Christmas Decorating No No No's.

Carry on.

bellevoce said...

You know, it didn't really hit me that she was gone until today when I went and stood at her grave in the overcast morning. I do miss her.

Jody Reale said...

Even the best dogs end up making us cry at some point. Lucky you for knowing dog royalty. Peace, Jasmine.