I’m not sure Jax wasn’t a human in a leopard dog suit. He seemed to understand everything we said to him, and he loved with a love that was more than a love. He hardly ever barked, but spoke so much with his eyes – one brown and one blue – that it wasn’t difficult to know what was on his mind. He had perfected the look which mothers often use, to make you feel guilty, for not paying more attention to him.
But he greeted everyone who came to visit with unapologetic jumping-for-joy enthusiasm, and loved nothing more than to be petted, and petted, and petted. Once someone started that activity, Jax shamelessly refused to release the human from it, usually putting his head under the dropped hand as if to demonstrate how it was to be done. In his younger years he would often forego his food, even letting another dog eat it, if only he could be petted instead.
What he liked second best was to go for a walk, and he understood the word no matter in what context it was spoken or in how quiet a whisper. His ears perked up and he became animated, ran and jumped around, and made noises of anticipation like a little kid might, until you took him out.
Jax made two granddaughters giggle - some of the first laughs ever to come out of their infant mouths – at the sight of him and at the sound of his noises. He was as loyal a friend as you could have, and his twelve years went by much too fast.
It’s been almost three weeks since Jax took his last walk and had his humans pet him until he took his last breath, on the day of the Worm Moon, when the earth begins to soften -- a full moon, in the month of two of them. I miss him and still can’t believe he’s gone, but Jax was a good old soul who taught me, and no doubt others, some things about love, and his spirit lives on.