October 1995-November 2009
14 years old and 1 month
Where to start, I guess I can start with how Jabu came into our lives- my husband-Brian- was playing softball in December of 1995 at Hobb Good Park in Woodstock, GA. While he was there with a friend- he noticed a man was playing with two puppies- one being Jabu.
When the man left with the other dog- Jabu ran up to my husband and his friend. It was sleeting and cold. Brian’s friend could not take him (he had 2 kids and 2 dogs already). So, Brian took Jabu home. Brian called me on my cell and told me about finding a dog. I was not real thrilled about this. Never really wanted a dog. My dog- Puffy- died while I was in college and I never wanted to go through that again.
I told Brian we’ll see. When I got home, Brian let Jabu out of the house and he ran around the car and jumped on my lap. I accused Brian of training him to do this. (Brian said he did not) We checked local vets and missing dog fliers around the park that following week. No one claimed or left messages about missing a dog.
As they say- the rest is history. We kept Jabu (got his name from Jogger and Booboo- 2 bears and combined them). For 14 years he was the center of our hearts. He brought sunshine, happiness, laughter, some tears and of course moans to our life. But all of it was worth it.
Jabu ended up being my dog. He followed me everywhere at home. Went up stairs to sit with me by the computer. And when he could not climb the stairs any more- he sat at the end of the stairs down stairs. When he could- he ran with me. We took Daddy € naps in the afternoons on the weekends. Jabu watched out the window for me to return home from work or a trip. He would bark loud. Brian recorded his greeting for me to hear all of it one day. He was excited to see me. But not as much as I was to see him.
Jabu also greeted Brian just as loud. Brian and Jabu would play ball, tug of war with a sock or sleep on the couch. But the biggest thing Jabu did with Brian was watch him eat. Jabu would put his head on the table, Brian’s lap, anywhere to see what he was eating. He wanted a piece of it- and nine out of ten times- Jabu got some food.
Another thing Jabu did- before he could not jump anymore was get on Daddy’s side of the bed and fight Brian to sleep there. Sometimes Jabu would move between us and stay there most of the night. If he did not do this- Brian sometimes slept on the couch or in the guest bed.
I could on forever about Jabu. He had a lot of character and personality. He was Jabu dog. He was part of this family. He went with us to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. Jabu also went on trips with us to see Grandma at St. Simon’s Island. He loved the beach. He loved just about everything but shots.
Jabu loved his biscuits. I gave him biscuits for anything he did- eat, poop, smile, etc. Brian was afraid I would make him fat. Jabu was a little heavy- but he lost weight as he got older. He also lost his loud voice, but he still barked. Jabu helped (supervise) handing out Halloween candy, cleaning the house, putting up the Christmas tree, making the beds, dinner, etc. He especially supervised the giving of his food and water. He watched everything.
Jabu was my baby. Putting him down was the hardest decision I ever made. And Brian’s also. I just wish I can hold him one more time. Tell him that I love him one more time. I have the memories of Jabu. I have the pictures of Jabu, but the most important thing I have is the knowledge that I knew him.
Sandra Dubro Ballingall
Brian R. Ballingall