A picture of Jai, a white dog looking happily at the camera

As some of you are aware, my dog Jai (rhymes with Sky) passed away on Halloween. Saying he was an important part of my life doesn't begin to describe him, so I wanted to post about him here.

I got Jai from some good friends of mine. I'd known him his whole life. He was a happy little dog, never more than 12 pounds. His original owner left him, changing him forever. He was always anxious until he started on Prozac (a word that would send him running, excited for the cheese that came with his daily pills).

Eight years ago, when Jai was nine years old, my friends were moving, and none of them could take him. They came to me to ask if I could take him. I was just about to move into my own place for the first time, and I didn't know if I could handle caring for a dog and a four year old. I was ready to say no, until I got to their house and said yes.

That day, the 19th of October 2015, Jai became a part of my family.

He was a funny dog. He loved to be near me, and often settled in next to me on the couch. He was so photogenic, I have over 500 pictures of him. He learned to recognize that hearing my phone go off near dinner time meant it was time to see Grandma and Grandpa. He'd run around, then jump up on their couch and sit in my mom's spot, or run into the kitchen to help with dinner.

Jai helping Grandma with dinner Grandma, is that for me?

When I got sick, he'd sit with me to make sure I was okay. When I was sad, he'd lick me until I felt better. He loved giving everyone dog kisses. Anyone he recognized was greeted like they were the most important person in the world. And he always got excited to see me, no matter what. If I was excited, so was he. Even if there were times I was pretty sure he thought he was smarter than me.

Jai helping me work Jai helping me work

He was 17 when he passed away. He went quietly, with his head snuggled up next to me. I did my best for him, and I'm glad I could be with him in the end, so he knew just how much he was loved.

Jai in a bowtie Jai in a bowtie

I'll be posting some poems about him as I work through my grief, all under the #JaiPoem tag. While I always try to be a beacon of light and hope, we all need time to grieve and process our negative feelings. Please remember that when you go through hard times.

Thank you for reading this.

Jai happily waiting to go outside

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