5 years ago today, we heard a big ‘WOOF!’ come from the living room. Our 110 lb, elderly Great Pyrenees, Jojo, had just come home a few days earlier from a surgery to have part of his paw removed to try and stop a cancer that was spreading. It turned out that surgery wasn’t going to stop the cancer so he was basically on hospice.
Hearing that ‘WOOF!’ we realized the kitten wasn’t with us and went running to the living room, not sure of what we would find. This is what we found.
Jojo, staring out the window, probably thinking about all the times his mom had thrown him a ball or taken him on a ride and contemplating the end of his journey. And then Sticky. Not old enough to know what he had been through but surely knowing it had been horrifying and deciding his safest place for him would be cozied up to the biggest creature in this new world he had landed in. That was Jojo.
We didn’t move Sticky after Jojo called us and we found this. Over the next few weeks, Jojo would call us occasionally and we would come running to find some version of this. We eventually realized he just wanted us to see what was happening and stopped running. The only time we moved Sticky was when we found him trying to nurse on Jojo; essentially an 85 year old, dying man. Jojo was a gentle giant but even he had his limits.
Jojo would pass away a month or so after that first photo was taken and while he would call us to come see what ‘this kid was doing to him’ from time to time, he never seemed to mind very much. He would even move a little (which wasn't easy for him after his surgery) to make room for the kid. They became each others buddy.
What it really was, was an old gentle soul, who I am sure knew they were leaving this world and a new, scared little soul just starting its own journey, giving each other a little comfort when they really needed it the most. It was really cool to watch.
Jojo passed away a few feet away from where this photo was taken, laying in his mommas lap. His mom had seen it in his eyes earlier that night and even asked him if it was time to go. He decided it was indeed time a few hours after that conversation.
Our other two dogs were sniffing him and seemed a bit confused as he slipped away but Sticky was sitting off to the side, just calmly watching like he and Jojo had already discussed it and he knew what was happening. Like a passing of the torch had already happened, earlier in the evening.
Sticky has gone on to be a lot of peoples comfort when they really needed it the most and the comfort to a lot of animals that have shown up, scared and hurt at our house. This big old dog is who taught him how to do that.
We sure miss you Joseph!