dog on a walk

Best Performance Review Ever

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Red miniature poodle
Jazz thought his name was Jazz…Good Boy. True enough.

All my pets have a job to do. Having a purpose helps everyone, and pets are no exception. Some pets need an assigned purpose, while others know their job from the moment they enter the household. Jazz was like that. He reported his job to me, not the other way around.

red miniature poodle; brindle mastiff; big and little dogs
Jazz was also pack leader, despite our mastiffs being much larger.

His job was to love my husband and I so much, unconditionally, that we understood that we were loveable and could love ourselves. It was a huge task.

dog on a walk
Heading to a new adventure.

At the veterinarian’s office yesterday to administer the Final Kindness and relief from the melanoma that had ravaged his body, I realized that the more I grieved and was upset, the more anxious he was.

dog in bed
Jazz last month, sick, old, and looking vulnerable. A good friend nonetheless.

I thought about what he needed and took a few deep breaths. I wanted to focus on love, comfort him, and show my gratitude. And without thought, I found myself giving him his final performance review.

red miniature poodle
Strutting his stuff!

“You were the BEST EVER, Jazz. You could have not possibly done better. You were perfect from the word go, and we are more loving people as a result. Thank you. OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE. ” He relaxed in my arms, settled and ready. His work was done; he could go.

red miniature poodle in meadow
Performance Review 2003-2019: Outstanding

“Be proud, Jazz. You were wonderful, my best friend. Good job.” I didn’t say, “good dog,” because I don’t think of him that way any more. He was my best friend, which is not limited to species.

Jazz with me a couple of months ago
Dog kissing woman
Good kisser.


        1. It’s so hard to know what to do here. So many are afraid to show their grief because they don’t want to sound negative. I can’t stop how I feel, though, and I think it’s wrong to try and sound up-beat and casual. It isn’t a casual thing at all. It is profound and has strong ramifications. I am closer to my pets than most of my relatives; they sleep with me and are my constant companions. It is hard to say good-bye, and even harder to comfort them as I feel my own loss in the wings. There was time for my grief later; it is clear I needed to comfort him more than myself. So hard.


          1. I think it’s wrong to sound upbeat and casual, too, but I understand everyone’s experience and way of coping is different. Our pain is our pain. We sleep with our dog, too, and I have dogs in all my stories (so far).

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Thanks for understanding and reminding me that everyone copes differently. My biggest lack is in understanding how/what they are thinking to cope that way. I wish I understood others more. Blogging helps me there, usually, but not in this instance.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh mee Cat Miss Karel wee not ree-alize Jazz poochie was goin…wee thott you just rote a nice post fore him! Pleese fore-give us!
    Wee are FURRY sorry that Jazz had to go to PurrLand. Hee was one kewl poochie, May all yore photoess an memoreess comfort you now an fur-ever.
    Run free ‘angel’ Jazz…mee hopes yore with ‘angel’ Unkell Siddhartha now…
    ***purrsss*** BellaDharma an {{{huggiesss}}} LadyMew ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you BellaDharma and Sherri-Ellen. Jazz has many on the other side to greet him, I’m sure. He has outlived so many of our pack/flock/pride. He was my best friend, and I will cherish that always.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. Today is the one year anniversary of the passing of my sweet kitty DJ and I still miss him terribly everyday. It’s wonderful you have these great photos. Memories are everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have so few photos of any pets until I married a man with a good camera 23 years ago. I make sure to get plenty of pictures now. They are some comfort. I’m sorry to hear about TJ. Our pets are definitely the family we get to choose.


  3. It was melanoma that took our Lexi, too. How brave you were to be able to collect yourself enough to help Jazz calmly cross the bridge. I know your heart’s are broken and will keep “Jazz’ Mom and Dad” in prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s very hard. In Dec 2014, we lost Kyla-also to melanoma. She was a rescue-they’re the best because they don’t feel entitled.

    She is still with us whereever we go because she’s on both our vehicles.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww, sweet little guy 😔 We had a deaf shepherd when I was little and with my own deafness, I have always had an affinity for these doggies with special needs. And they are always so loving. 🐾🐶🐾

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, they are. We worked hard to accommodate his deafness, and later his blindness. He handled the deafness well, but being blind made him anxious (understandably so). He followed me everywhere I went, not because I’m so wonderful, but because he found it hard to find me again. So I learned to make sure he knew when I changed rooms and were I went so that he could follow. With his arthritis, he had a comfy bed in each room I went to, so he could lounge while I cooked, did laundry, etc. I tried to make it less anxious for him. Luckily, his nose still worked like a champ!


  5. I am so sorry. One of my cats passed in December. We were at an emergency vet and I wasn’t prepared. I also noticed that the more I weeped the more upset she got so I tried to pull it together for her. RIP sweet Jazz. You will be missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sad to hear of Jazz’s passing, but it was your duty to ensure Jazz didn’t suffer.

    It’s never easy letting go……..especially good friends.

    But it was your kindest reward for his loyalty and friendship…..knowing when to say Goodbye.

    Liked by 1 person

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