Monday, September 14, 2009

my best friend


Professor Jiggs
Dunkirk Lord Bothel
1 January 1996 - 14 September 2009


He loved the beach. Everything about it.


Playing in the surf. The birds. The smells.


I had thought of moving to the Oregon coast years ago -- just for him. But we lived an hour away, and we could go whenever we had the time and it suited our fancy.


I should say, if it suited my fancy.


Jiggs was a dog. He did whatever I wanted to do. What he did not know is that I often chose to do things for his sake -- knowing he would enjoy them.


And enjoy he did. He was one of the most wilful of dogs. But that is what made him such a good friend.


It started early. I brought him home when he was three months old. One of his favorite haunts was the Oregon Archives Park.


On one outing when he was no more than four months old, he grabbed the retriever toy I was using to teach him how to -- retrieve. With it firmly gripped in his teeth, he turned around and headed for home at a slow walk. I started to run after him. He ran. Between the park and our house is a very busy road. And it was busy that day.


But drivers saw what was happening. They stopped. While the little golden dog, with the charmed life, kept right on going. When I covered the two blocks home, I found him sitting at the back gate -- as proud as any dog could be.


It was just the start. But every test of wills ended in a greater bond between the two of us.


Readers of this blog know that I struggled with the idea of bringing him to Mexico. I did not believe that he would live long enough to make the trip.


But he came through a series of serious incidents -- each one accompanied by the soft thrum of death's wings.


I came home in December of 2007 to discover that he was having trouble walking on his left rear leg. It was the start of a process that eventually involved both legs. And, eventually, his ability to breathe.


On Sunday, I spent most of the day driving around Melaque and Barra to provide air conditioning for him. It was not enough.


He died lying next to me on my bed this morning around 2:30.


When I retired in April, a colleague gave me a farewell couplet: lyrics from a song. They sum up much of what I feel about my best friend, Professor Jiggs, and how I remember him:



Take wing
Fly to glory
Dance, sing
Tell your story
You bring such joy to those you've known
Take flight, take wing

We're going to miss you, Jiggs.

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

Professor Jiggs was so fortunate to have such a wonderful friend as Steve Cotton. I have enjoyed reading and learning so much about you both through your daily blogs. It is 2:00 am and I couldn't sleep so I tuned into your blog just in time for the sad news. Mr. Jiggs had a dream life and was a most lucky dog to have had such a wonderful life. We'll always remember Proffesor Jiggs and what he taught us all about life.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry, Steve
min

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- Thanks. I could not have said it better myself.

Min -- Thank you. These last few days were very tough on him.

Anonymous said...

How lucky you both were to have each other! All of your adventures...and to have moved to Mexico - a GRAND adventure - together. Two lucky, lucky boys.

To pass from this life to the next in bed, sleeping....I call that drawing The Mercy Card. How fortunate he got to be right there with you, and you with him.

Inherent in any love relationship is a broken heart - one of us will grieve when the other goes. Yet it is the depth of that love that is the source of sorrow later.

I hope you felt God and the angels that were with you during those hours (and these). I know you grieve mightily, and hope your heart knows peace again soon. It's so hard losing a beloved friend.

Barbara

Steve Cotton said...

Barbara -- I am doing fine. I will certainly miss him, but he had a very joyous life -- and I with him.

simplycomplex said...

I happen to come across your blog and read this post. I'm sorry about your dog. But even though he passed away, I know he would be with you through your life's journey. God bless!

Steve Cotton said...

Simplycomplex -- Thank you very much for your kindness. I appreciate it. He was a great dog.

Jackie said...

OH, I am so sorry to read this.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Jackie.

norm said...

Sorry about your dog.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Norm.

Vanya said...

Im sorry Steve.

Steve Cotton said...

Thank you, Vanya. When you have time, I need to talk to you about some house issues.

JJ said...

Oh Steve I am so sorry to read this. What a good dog and best friend to have had throughout so many years. Thanks to you he lived a full life full of play and happiness and love. My heart goes out to you. Take care and remember he was always happy.

Anonymous said...

I both weep and feel joy for you Steve. Of course weep for the loss of your dear partner but feel joy for the years of beautiful shared life.

While he suffers no more he left you with the gift of wonderful memories.

Pat in Cotton

1st Mate said...

Steve - I'm glad you were there with him in his last moments, and not off in Oregon. He deserved to have you with him for that important event. Maybe one of the reasons our beloved dogs don't live as long as we do is so we learn to love and lose and let go without bitterness. He was a very lucky dog.

Brenda said...

I am so sorry Steve.

Steve Cotton said...

JJ -- I cannot say he was pure joy, but he certainly offered me one of the best relationships I ever had with a dog.

Pat -- No need to weep. Jiggs is now free from the body that was causing him so much grief. And I have lots of memories. Better, he is simply part of who I now am.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Professor Jiggs was a great dog and will live on in all our memories because of you. I'm glad he made it to Mexico and sad that the heat was too much for him.
The story about the him at 4 months old retrieving the toy by taking it home made his personality so clear.
Take it easy.
regards,
Theresa

Steve Cotton said...

1st Mate -- The one thing that worried me about the trip was watching Jiggs decline. I was positive he would die while I was gone. I agree with you; it was better that I was here for him.

Brenda -- Thanks. I am sorry you did not get to meet him when we came down.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Theresa. The hardest part now is to deal with his body. I am on my way to Manzanillo.

Tulum Living said...

I am so sorry for your loss Steve. It is clear from reading your blog these past few months how special Prof. Jiggs was to you. I am so glad for you both that you got to experience so many wonderful moments together.

DanaJ said...

You would make a great husband.

Steve Cotton said...

DanaJ -- Naw. Just a good dog owner.

Tom and Debi said...

Steve

So sorry for your sadness and loss. We, your blog community will certainly miss yor Prof posts, but look forward to see what you get yourself in to next. Take peace in all that he was, what he gave you, what you gave him, all that you were together.
abrazos
Debi

Anonymous said...

Steve, I am so sorry. I lost my Lucy 15 months ago, she was 15. We were so lucky to have such wonderful dogs. I'm happy for you going to Oregon this week and I think you will feel a real comfort when you get back to the beach. Kindest Regards, Joan

Julian in SC said...

Everyone has already said what I feel... I went through this with my cat, Sam, who lived 8 lives and passed away at age 13 last year. It is really tough and I feel for you....

Julian

Lady Toronto said...

I am truly sorry for your loss. Each day, I looked forward to hearing about you and Prof. Jiggs, and the wonderful bond you shared. As I write this, my 13-year-old Maltese-Poodle lies beside - she has severe cataracts which have robbed her of most of her sight, a neuro-muscular disorder in one hip which causes incessant shaking, and seems to be panting more than usual despite the cool weather. Thus said, I truly believe she is happy, has quality of life, and is loved more than many people. I know her day is coming, but I pray that I am with her and she passes peacefully in her sleep.

When my grandfather died, someone sent me this poem. I would like to share it with you.

I am with you still - I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the sweet uplifting rush,
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft starts that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone -
I am with you still in each new dawn.

Professor Jiggs, Rest in Peace.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

We are truly sorry. I left you a private note, but I have to restate what was said above. He was joyed to have been able to come south with you, and to be at your side when the time came.

Larry

Billie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I understand your heartbreak. I think you will still find him by your side. I know I still feel Taylor close by many times a day.

Sandra said...

You will surely miss him Steve. A friend once wrote....

"When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead - young and whole once more. "Godspeed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again."

Take good care.

Todd said...

So sorry for your loss

I would like to share with you the Rainbow bridge.

Rainbow Bridge - Author unknown

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....



Todd

Anonymous said...

We should all be as lucky as Jiggs was to have enjoyed a carefree life thoroughly loved. It doesn't get any better.

Rick

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Aw, Steve, I am SO sorry. They just don't live long enough. . .on the other hand, it allows us to be blessed with many of them in our lives. It's so hard, I lost my old dog Rosie this summer too.
Prof Jiggs lives on.
Best,
-MT

Anonymous said...

I just began reading your block a few months ago..and through your stories, felt as though I had gotten to know Jiggs personally. My deepest sympathy goes out to you. He had a great life, with a great friend. I am so very sorry for your loss.

Irene said...

You were lucky to have such a friend as Professor Jiggs and he was lucky to have you. I am glad his ending was peaceful.

pnuts1_2 said...

Steve, I'm so sorry to read about Professor Jiggs, I know you will be fine. Long Time reader. Tom

Anonymous said...

Steve,
I am very sorry to read that Prof. Jiggs has passed away. I've said it before, but I believe you were both lucky to find each other.
Sincerely,
Francisco

garydenness said...

Steve - my most sincere condolences. It's been a pleasure reading of the adventures of Jiggs. Inevitable ending, inevitably sad. There's no such thing as a happy ending to a tale such as this, but it sounds as perfect as could have been.

He'll be hard to replace. I do have some turtles in need of adoption though! With their 30 to 40 year life span they, at the very least, are likely to say goodbye to you, and save you more heartbreak.

Best wishes.

Nancy said...

Steve, Our dog Angus died a few years ago after six short years, and it took me a long time to recover from the experience. After sharing your life with Jiggs for 13 years, it will take a long time, too, I believe.

It's hard.

Take care, Nancy & Paul

Anonymous said...

Steve, I've been a thief of information from your blog the past year and loving all the tidbits of data I gather from your and others adventures. I'm saddened by your loss. Jiggs was a lucky dog indeed to have someone of your caliber and you to have someone of his. Godspeed, Jiggs.

Jim in WA

Christine said...

He could not have wished for a better companion than you. You did good. Christine

peachland said...

I am so sorry Steve,I am sure Jiggs arranged it that you would be there and then fly off to be busy for awhile.Is that puppy Jiggs below?

Mexico Cooks! said...

God bless you both, Steve. You were both lucky to have had one another. My deepest condolences.

barrasally said...

I think for dogs, the joy of their life is being with us. It's so nice that Jiggs had this time in Mexico with you, and that you were with him when he said goodbye.

Go with God Jiggs. You'll be missed by more people than you know.

maria luz said...

Steve,

We are so sorry about Jiggs.

I have always had a dog or two in my life and losing them is painful and at the same time a relief. We can hardly bear to see our best friends in pain or miserable. And somehow, I think they would prefer to have us see them as they were in their younger years.

So, when they take that trip to the Rainbow Bridge I am sure they are sending us the gift of memories. Their love showers us beams of white light to help us overcome our grief. Even in death, they continue to serve us, their "hoomins". The love never ends and their joy is always there in the memories. Their devotion is never forgotten and know that they will always have your best interest in their heart.

Our hearts go out to you and please know that you are in our prayers. Jerry says he is sorry to hear this and wishes that you are better soon.

Big hug,
ml

Anonymous said...

Steve: I am so sorry about Professor Jiggs. He was a very good dog (and I think he must have had some cat in him given the many great lives he got to live with you over the years). BJPR

Anonymous said...

Steve: I am so sorry for your loss and also, I agree with DanaJ.

Sincerely, Susan from Litchfield, CT

Laurie Vaughan said...

Steve, I'm so sorry to hear about Jiggs. What a terrible loss for you. I was looking forward to meeting him when I come down to La Manzanilla in December. I just lost my best friend -- my sister Jill -- a few weeks ago, and I cried a few tears for both of them when I read your blog today.
Laurie Vaughan
Menlo Park, Ca.

Anonymous said...

Steve, sorry to read about the Professor. Your writing glowed with the love you had for him. Judy

Mic said...

Wishing Happy Memories to us all.

Thanks for sharing him.

summergirl said...

Steve,
How utterly saddned I was to hear about Prof. Jiggs. You and the Prof. have become a huge part of my household with your many antics in Mexico. I know he will be deepely missed by you,but also the rest of us who read of your new life.
God bless, and keep you.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

Steve - I like Todd's Rainbow Bridge and I hope you find comfort in reading it.

Larry Prater said...

Since mine is the 44th comment, Jiggs was loved by many of your readers. When I die, I want to come back as your dog.
One of my neighbors, a lady from Missoula, Montana, has rescued about 26 dogs from the streets here in Tepoztlán and tries to place them for adoption. She finds it much easier to take them in than to find appropriate placements for them, so she gets "stuck" with many of them. She loves them all. I am sure you could find your next dog among the ones she has available.
Professor Jiggs was extremely lucky to have had you as his companion all these years.

lavachickie said...

I find myself conflicted; joyful at the touching peaceful end that has brought Jiggs to this Earthly conclusion, but openly sobbing as I reach down to touch my own two furkids because I've been through it three times myself.

You seem very well grounded in the unavoidable realities of life, Steve, but I will still say bless you both.

mcm said...

I'm sniffling as I write this...but am SO GLAD that Jiggs was safe with you when he went. And glad he went in his own time.
AND got to spend quality time on the Mexican coast! Lucky dog. Lucky Steve.

Constantino said...

It was nice to see that both of you contributed to the happiness of life for each other. I know the sadness of loosing ones closest friend. Remember that great times. They are truly God's gift to humans.....

Islagringo said...

I didn't want to read this today, but I had to. Even though I knew what to expect, your telling of this tragic heartbreak had me reading it through tears. We all love you and loved P.Jiggs maybe even more! We all share a little of your pain and I hope that helps.

I wonder if all of my former pets will be waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. What a delightful thought.

glorv1 said...

Steve, I haven't been on my blog this morning and just got home a few minutes ago and your post caught my attention right away. Ay Jiggs, how he will be missed. To be lying next to you must have brought him all the comfort he needed. Chorizo died in my arms too. I only need to say to you that The Professer will always be at your side, the loss is great, but the memories will help the healing process. My heart feels your pain and my thoughts are with you and Mr. Jiggs. Rest in peace beautiful angel, you will be thought about immensely by complete strangers. God bless you Steve for being such a wonderful father to Mr. Jiggs and God bless Mr. Jiggs for just being who he was, your soulmate.

terri said...

On the same day Prof. Jiggs left your side, I brought a stray kitty into my home to foster. My only wish is that she finds a new home where she'll receive the same love and attention you gave to Prof. Jiggs.

God bless you and the Professor.

Terri in K.C.

P.S. I'll be in big trouble if I have to know the names of all my pets when I see them again the Rainbow Bridge.

Alan said...

My memory of PJ is and will remain the playful "pup" running on the beach at Salishan. Hopefully you will remember the blessings of his life and his peaceful passing. I suspect most of us over 60 will wish to go in this manner, and hopefully with the love of our life holding us as you did Prof Jiggs. Rest in peace Dunkirk Lord Bothel. Alan

YayaOrchid said...

I just found out through Gloria about Mr. Jiggs. I had to stop by and say how sorry I am for your great loss. You were one of the fortunate few who found such a good and noble friend in life, and Mr. Jiggs was surely blessed to have you as a caretaker.

As dog lovers, we only pray that God has created a better place for our furry friends than what they had on Earth. And in faith, we sense and pray that they are happily romping in the fields of Heaven.

mdoneil said...

I will miss Jiggs.

Best to you.

Glenn said...

I'm sorry about Jiggs.

Cindy said...

Steve - My boyfriend and I traveled recently to Barra de Navidad and I found your blog upon our return. I've been reading it every day since. I'm so sorry for your loss of Professor Jiggs. Having a dog myself, I can only begin to imagine your grief. Jiggs was lucky to have you in his life and you were likewise lucky. May your grief be erased with the wonderful, lifetime memories you have or your friend and companion. Fly Jiggs Fly.

Cindy Hawthorne
New Orleans LA

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve,

It's so tough to lose a family member, and indeed that's what Jiggs was. By your side, playful and fun, and at times willful, I'm sure he showed you things you otherwise never would have seen, warned you of dangers not yet perceived. He also showed you joy and love, and was never stressed out about work. Dogs show us the essential and help us to be more human.

It's a sad day, but would have been ever so much sadder had he died while you were back in Oregon.

Truth be told, I had worried a bit about you leaving him behind in his current state. It sounds like he had a very peaceful passing-on, at your side where he belonged.

You have my sincerest condolences, and I'll miss Jiggs' adventures in your blog.

Fond regards,

Kim G
Boston, MA

Laurie said...

Oh Steve. It's a sad day. Like someone else said, glad you were together, and you were not away for this event. Now you can take comfort in your friends in the US when you take some time away.

Joe S. said...

Thanks again for sharing Steve.

tineke said...

i am so sorry.

i guess it is simply the prize you pay for loving.

and, of course, worth it.

i will be thinking of you.

tineke

Arnie B said...

How many cool dog owners take their pets to another country?

Not many, I think. The Professor was a bonafide international traveller and when he gets up to doggie heaven he will be able hold court and tell all the other doggies about all of his adventures up and down the Pacific coast.

I lost my German Shepherd three months ago to Degenerative Myelopathy. He just could not move anymore. Only 7 years old. I feel your pain, there is a big hole there however it does get better.

I am sorry for your loss. Be at peace, amigo.

Anonymous said...

Steve, how fortunate that you and Prof Jiggs found each other all those years ago. I enjoy your blog everyday but I have to admit, the days when Jiggs is front and centre are my favourites. He was quite a character and I am so thankful the two of you were together when it was time for him to go. Take care.
MMG

Marcia said...

Dear Steve,

I am the woman from Missoula, MT., mentioned by Larry in comment 44. I read your blog every now and then and follow mainly Profesoor Jiggs, his health and happiness in Melaque with you. Yes, I now have 28 dogs, but losing any one of them is terrible, just terrible. I am thinking of you and your best friend and crying as I write. My deepest sympathy goes out to you.

Marcia Hass

Christine said...

There must be a doggie heaven!

Anonymous said...

Godspeed Mr Jiggs. Warm and wonderful memories for you, Steve. Kathe

BoBo's Mom said...

I am very sorry for your loss. I will miss him, even though I have never met him. I am lost with words right now. Please take care of yourself. It is what Jiggs would want you to do.

Steve Cotton said...

Thank you all for your comments. You cannot know how much each one has meant to me. Knowing how much each of you loved my dog does my heart a lot of good. I go to bed now knowing that your prayers and your thoughts are with me.

I don't think I ended the story for you. I drove Jiggs's body to Manzanillo to discuss options with his veterinarian. He is going to bury Jiggs's remains behind his house. Jiggs loved staying there. It is a very fitting final resting place for him.

Croft said...

So sorry Steve! He will be running on his favorite beaches forever with no more sore legs! He was lucky to have experienced Mexico with you.

Karen said...

I have tears in my eyes for your amazing friend. I loved reading about Jiggs. Your tribute was beautiful. I am so glad you made the decision to bring him to Mexico he loved his new home, my thoughts are with you and Jiggs.

Tina said...

Hi Steve,
Though I've followed your blog, I've never commented until now...

I can't even imagine how difficult this loss is for you. He looked like a great dog, and I especially love his "puppy picture" on this blog.

We are also from Oregon, living part-time in San Miguel de Allende. My husband Ron is legally blind and has a yellow lab guide dog named Rusty. We frequently broach the topic of "how will we ever get through it" regarding his eventual departure from our lives. He will be 9 in November. It is beyond imagining how painful our "someday" will be.

We also say Rusty will be the first 40 year old lab, as if wishing hard enough could make it so.
It's hard to love someone so much, as you do Professor Jiggs--knowing someday you'll have to day good-bye. I sincerely hope there is comfort in all of your memories of your life together, and that you were with him to the end. He was lucky, and so were you.

We wish you healing strength and comfort as you as you move through the grief of your loss. At least you know many are thinking of you both. I hope this helps in some small measure.

Inmigrante Rentista said...

Woof, woof, Prof Jiggs .....

DanaJ said...

I'd like to see how you do at fatherhood, now American Daddy in Mexico, the blog.

Lori said...

What an extraordinarily special life Jiggs had! I'm sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing a little bit of his history with us. I have a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. Take care.

Evan said...

I didn't know him, and you for only the briefest of time. But those of us that have cared for dogs know this is the hardest time. Sky passed away 2 months ago and there isn't a day that I don't thing about him. His spirit is timeless to me and I shall treasure that forever. Love, and hugs, from far away, but really I'm right there, with you. Evan

VisitLaManzanilla said...

Steve, I was so very sorry to hear about Jiggs. How lucky he was to have you. I hope you can find it in your heart to befriend a Mexican dog, I know there are tons who would love to have you as their best friend.

Cory said...

We are also sorry about your loss Steve, The Professor will be missed by all.

Canadiangrl said...

Steve, I am so sorry to hear this sad news!
The special ones never leave our heart and the heart remembers best what it has loved the most...thinking of you - canandiangrl

Calypso said...

Steve - Amigo- Losing a best friend is a difficult part of life. I had a dog for 11 years and some months before she died quite unexpectedly one night.

At three in the morning after a number of hours of the vet and me trying to get the dog's stomach flipped she simply needed to be let go. As you might imagine not an easy thing - I understand your pain.

I called the pastor of my church right then (we were friends so it was sort of OK) - I needed to know whether there were dogs in heaven.

He read some verses and assured me there were in fact dogs in heaven - I would see her again one day - very comforting.

There is nothing easy about losing a special friend - nothing one can say to ease the pain.

I wish there were some way all the people that have commented could take some of that pain away - but truly they can't.

You can probably imagine how happy I was by the assurance of my friend and pastor at that moment and since - trust that.

Joanne said...

Steve, I am so sorry to hear of Jigg's death, but am glad that it was so peaceful and at your side. I am sorry that I am so late posting this, but we were without power for 27 hours and are finally back up and running.

He sounded like a wonderful dog and what a great life he had!

steveincalif. said...

when my pal Toby died a good friend told me that when you get to heaven all your pets will be there to greet you. i really like that thought...take care

Liz said...

Surely the Rainbow Bridge exists.
I am so glad Todd posted that.
I know that you are missing Prof Jiggs in every fiber of your being, but you WILL run the beaches together again one day at "The Bridge".
I will hug my furkids a little tighter tonight, and I hope when their time comes that their passing is as peaceful and serene as Jiggs' was.
Got lots of little "stinkers" waiting for me at the "Rainbow Bridge" both canine and feline. And I HAVE TO believe that I will see them all again one day, running to greet me to pass over to a better place together.
Much Love, Sympathy and Peace to your and Jiggs' soul.
Mata ne
Liz

Steve Cotton said...

I want to thank each of you for your comments. I read them through tear-filed eyes realizing how much each of you enjoyed my dog. I intend to do an update in the next day or so. But I wanted you to know how much I appreciate each of these notes.

CancunCanuck said...

Steve, I am so so sorry, my heart fell when I saw this post. We all got to know Jiggs, at least a little bit but we certainly know how strong your love was for him. May he dance on the beach of eternity and may you find peace and remember him for a lifetime. My heart is with you my friend.

Stan said...

Hello Steve - I began reading your blog over a year ago, as I also contemplated a move to Mexico. After a long gap, I recently checked on you, and soon realized that Jiggs was gone. It was not until today that I had the nerve to find the place where this event unfolded.

As I write this my beloved 14 year old girl lies a few feet away on her blue cushion. We had a nice long walk this morning. I have decided I am not going to Mexico until she is gone, which I know is likely to be within a year or so.

I want to thank you for the dignity with which you faced the world with your loss. I loved hearing of your time with Jiggs, and the experience of observing this inevitable closing chapter has helped me shift some of my grieving to the present, as I gratefuly spend these remaining months with my Mdog. It's been a great 13 years since her adoption from a shelter where she was abandoned.

Best of luck to you with your exploration and life in Mexico - perhaps we will cross paths one day.

-Stan