Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jackson's Birthday Story

Jackson @ 3-years
Three years ago today we blessed to have Jackson become a member of our family. This scraggly little guy would fit easily into the palm of my hand. His ears were badly misshapen with no hair on his ears, tail or his bottom from a flea infestation. His little tummy was distended from parasites.

Apparently, he was the puppy of a stray and had gotten too weak to keep up with his mother. Some precious lady with a kind heart found this tiny pile of wrinkled skin and bones covered with very dry, thin hair on her lawn and surrendered him to our vet, who checked him over, got rid of all the parasites and declared this half-pound bundle ready for adoption.

Jackson @ 4-weeks
Rick happened by the vet’s office a couple of days later to pick up allergy meds for our Bichon and became aware of the puppy scoop—well, the rest quickly became history. Jackson was adopted on the spot.

My heart simply melted at first sight. I am not sure which touched me most—my husband’s keen perception that I needed that puppy in my life at that particular time or that this puppy needed someone to love and nurture him to good health. Jackson came into my life as I was watching my mother’s life draw closer to its end, feeling impotent to make things better. I knew I could make a difference in this little fellow’s life.

We fed our newcomer around the clock every three hours for the first four weeks. He primarily ate and slept. I took him to work with me every day in his little blue carrier that matched his teeny little harness and leash. The day he opened his carrier and popped out, I knew he was going to be alright.

When he awakened, he really awakened, not taking us long to learn that our lovable and extremely curious terrier mix had a mind of his own and was going to be a challenge. First, it was the newspaper—any type of paper for the most part, but especially the newspaper. Then, ball point pens caught his attention. One morning I could feel his little paws on my leg; I looked down and right there on the front of my gown were Jackson’s paw prints—in ink.

The smaller house plants apparently look like “salad” to him, taking a bite every time he passed one, when meant having to move most of my plants up to at least waist high. That first fall, when I first brought my large pot of pepper plants in from outside, Jackson jumped into the pot with all four feet and began his first (of many) excavation projects, immediately emptying a gallon or more of dirt into the middle of the hallway.

Trying out freshly washed sheets.
With plants and paper out of harms way, Jackson turned his attention to my underwear on the drying rack in the utility room. He likes to drag all of it, but especially my bras, off the rack and into the kitchen, den or wherever. In a weak attempt to thwart his ever growing curiosity, we started closing the door to the utility room and put a baby gate across the opening to the hallway. Jackson and his two siblings could have the run of the kitchen when we are not at home with little left to get into. Problem solved? Wrong!

Jackson learned to open the cabinet doors under the sink. You can only imagine the mess with garbage and torn paper scattered all over the kitchen. Our solution to abate Jackson’s inquisitiveness was to simply set the garbage can on top of the cabinet when we had to be gone. When he then started dragging out the scrubbing brushes among other things, I decided more drastic steps were in order for his safety and my sanity. Child-proof locks—that would do the trick and no more worries

Big mistake! Since he could no longer open the cabinet, he decided he would surprise “mommy” by starting the kitchen project a little early. He stripped the white laminate right off the entire cabinet door and tore it into little pieces. And, he was right; I definitely was surprised.

As he matured, he began to settle down. The paper shredding stopped, for the most part. I haven’t had to have the ear pieces to my glasses replaced in over a year now. Although Jackson is a daddy’s boy, he still likes to sleep with mommy.

When I awakened this morning with his little head lying on my shoulder, cuddled in so close, I said prayer of thanks for bringing this mischievous, now 22 pounder, into our lives three years ago today. Our lives are so much richer (and busier) because of Jackson. He gives unconditional love and joy, assuming the best of humanity.

We cannot save all of the Jacksons who come along, but we did save one and probably will again. I think that it is very appropriate to write Jackson’s Story in honor of Mother’s Day.

We celebrate the day we adopted him as his birthday. So, Happy Birthday to our dear Jackson!!!

Epilogue: Today, May 7, 2012 turns four! So blessed to have such a sweet boy in our lives.  He stills sleeps with his head on my should every night under the cover with me.

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