The week of Papa Theron’s funeral, we had gathered with the whole Cook family at his house to go over arrangements for visitation. Justin loaded up Jeb and June like he usually does. We let the dogs run around and play with each other while we’re around. Unfortunately, one or both of them started chasing my SIL Amanda’s chickens and we penned them up in the trailer they use to haul goats. A few hours later, I pestered Justin to go let them out to run. We hopped on the golf cart and crossed the paved road to let them out. Jeb and June followed along behind us, happy to be free. As we were turning onto the paved road, a truck was coming in the opposite direction. Jeb tried to chase it down and got run over by one of the vehicles tires. I screamed at Justin to stop the cart and to turn back to help him. He was so calm in the face of my hysteria.
He loaded Jeb up in his truck and took him to Dr. Katz’s office. When I was able to load June up in my car, I dropped her back off at our house and flew into town to meet Justin at the vet’s office. Jeb sustained a broken pelvis and faced potential amputation of his rear leg. Faced with such a tough decision, Dr. Katz took a chest x-ray and delivered the bad news that he sustained a serious chest injury and wouldn’t be able to undergo the necessary surgery. Holding Jeb in my arms and rubbing his ears, we pet and loved on him as we made the tough decision to have him put down.
He was a good dog and Wyatt’s buddy. Telling Wyatt about a second significant loss in one week just about ripped my heart out. I explained to him that Jeb would be in Heaven too like PawPaw. Out of the mouths of babes, I swear God gives you what you need to hear. Wyatt said, “It’s okay, Mama. Jeb is in Heaven with PawPaw and PawPaw is building them a farm with horses and chickens and donkeys with lots of biscuits. Jeb is gonna chase lots of chickens.” I thought someone might have told him that story to calm him down, but he came up with it completely on his own.
So go on, good dog, to your farm with PawPaw in Heaven. Hope you don’t chase too many chickens and eat too many biscuits.