color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Our Miss Java

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our Miss Java

Back in 1999, the family made a decision to get its first dog. I was working from home, the oldest children were out of the house and there was just Noah, so we said, "OK, what the heck... it won't hurt to look. We went to the local animal shelter in NY on a cold and blustery spring day JUST TO LOOK. In the second cement-floored cage, sat this pretty little soaking wet collie-shepherd mix... about 16 months old. She didn't bark or claw at us as most of the dogs did, but she approached the wire gate with her tail wagging all the rest of her and reached her snout through the wire and licked DH's hand. That was it. We were in love and Java was added to the family that day. We have never regretted it a single day.

We quickly discovered that she loved to run wildly in circles and be chased -- we called it "WILD DOGGIE!!!" And until her health and eyesight began to fail -- even after she had blown out both her knees and her hips deteriorated to constant clicking sounds -- she never refused an opportunity if someone said, "Wanna play WILD DOGGIE! WILD DOGGIE!!"

She loved the snow. She would sit out in the snow for hours. She would run in the snow, roll in the snow, jump through the snow. The more snow there was, the more she liked it!! Java never met a lake, pond, stream or muddy puddle that she didn't like either!! Once we were walking around the grounds at West Point and she took a great leap right off the top of a huge boulder to the lake 20 feet below to try and catch some ducks as they flew by us!! (It was difficult explaining to the MP why we hadn't yet gotten the dog OUT of the lake... she was having too much fun -- and I wasn't going in after her!) Java would not have hurt the ducks (if she'd managed to catch them) because she saw every creature as a gift from God as someone to play with! Squirrel, gopher, coyote, dog or cat... she just wanted to play!

And we learned through the years that Java did not have a mean bone in her body. She never growled, nipped or bit anyone -- ever. Even if you stepped on her tail or bumped into her or took her bone or her toys. She lived to give love. And even though we loved this dog more than any pet we ever had, we still got more love than we gave -- and she was happy in loving us. I knew how lucky we were to have her in our family and every day I would get down next to her and rub her ears (Jave LOVED having her ears rubbed) and I would say, "Have I told you today how happy I am that you came to live with us and how how happy you make us?" And I meant it.

Today, I lay on the floor snuggled right up next to her on her favorite blanket in the vet's office and talked softly and cried and stroked her ears and her chest and told her how much we loved her and how happy she made us... and I told her about all the family's favorite dogs that would be waiting to jump and play with her... and she sighed a deep sigh and pressed her nose to my neck... and I asked her to wait for me at the Rainbow Bridge...

Rainbow Bridge


JAVA, February 14, 1998 - May 21, 2009

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 that 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. Her bright eyes are intent; her eager body quivers. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her 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....



At 5/21/2009 5:50 PM , Blogger Army Wife said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear about this....what a sweet puppy.

At 5/22/2009 4:00 PM , Blogger liberal army wife said...

I'm so sorry. you gave her that last gift.. and she's just gonna sit and wait, and chase a few squirrels while she's just hanging around....


At 5/23/2009 8:40 PM , Blogger Maggie45 said...

Carla, I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am. What a beautiful, beautiful girl. How blessed you were to have had each other. And will again.... Until then, the wonderful memories.

At 5/25/2009 7:36 PM , Blogger Guard Wife said...

I'm so sorry I am only now reading this! My injured computer being at the Geek Squad has cramped my surfing style.

We, too, only went to look back in December of '93 when we found Oscar who licked my then DH's ear & the decision was made. We lost him in May too. It still hurts like yesterday and I call Henry "Oscar" about three times a day.

It does my heart good, though, to know that another wonderfully beautiful, long living shelter dog has joined my boy. He can bark his infamous "squirrel alert!" for your Miss Java to chase. :)

Big hugs via the 'net til I can squeeze you in person.

At 6/02/2009 7:00 PM , Blogger Jen said...

Oh man I have tears falling down my face...anyone who has lost a truly beloved pet can relate to this and feel your loss. What an amazing dog

At 6/04/2009 6:51 AM , Blogger kbug said...

Oh my gosh, this just tore my heart out. It brought back memories of a day a few years back. I sat in the floor at the vet's office with Bear's head in my lap...crying, saying my goodbyes, caressing his face, telling him how much he was he took his last breath. It's such a hard thing. My heart goes out to you.

At 6/26/2009 4:31 PM , Blogger Lavine said...

OH SSM, Hugs, hugs and more hugs. I lost my beloved pet in March and know exactly what you are feeling. even after 3 months have passed I think of him daily, remembering the smallest details of his 12 years with me, sometime with tears, but always with a smile of something funny he did. you honored Java so beautifully. What wonderful memories we have to keep with us forever.


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