Sometimes in a breeders’ life there comes shock out so of the blue that it just takes your breath away – and you cannot, for a while, find the words to describe the overwhelming grief that you feel.
Such a moment came this spring, when Louise Grant (of Maltcairn Goldens) tearfully called to tell me that Jester had suddenly left us – that he had been the victim of a senseless accident, that his time had been cut short. Although technically “an old dog” he obviously still had had lots of life left in him.
Jester had stayed with me a few weeks before and he had been so amazingly strong. I had been in awe over how easily he had climbed our stairs at almost 13 years of age. True to stubborn form he wanted to always be at my side, when he came for visits. He insisted on sleeping right by the side of my bed – just like he always did in his home with Dave and Louise Grant.
Jester was an unusual golden in that he was extremely loyal. He was passive in nature and not really named all that well, since our Jester was not a particular joker, but instead a thinker, a dog of astonishing independent intelligence.
He also only gave his heart sparingly and only to a few people: I was one of those lucky ones that he just chose to love. I saw the same light in his eyes when he was with Louise. And I always then knew that I had placed him wisely; in this the best of possible co-ownership homes.
On this particular day Jester was out for his usual stroll, happily and politely walking along the side of a private residential lane. This is a walk he made every morning with another couple of dogs, under the watchful eye of his owner Dave Grant. But then, in a second of a moment, the whole world was changed for the Grant family and for our beloved Jester. A young inexperienced boy was driving too fast, taking a short-cut to make it to work on time – and with the sun in his eyes he saw Jester too late… He lost control of his vehicle and ploughed the car into our most wonderful old dog.
Jester was grievously hurt, with internal bleeding… The point eventually came when it was obvious that he had to be allowed to move on… Thankfully this is the gift we can give our dogs: when it is hopeless to fix things; we have to offer a very peaceful exit-devoid of any more suffering.
Thank you Diane Roman (of Zyzygy goldens) for bringing your wonderful Winnie to our stud-dog Trouper, all those years ago. From that union you chose the best possible stud fee pup for us.
Jester grew up become a multi BIS winning stud-dog, who made a significant impact on the breed. We are so proud of him and his many accomplishments!
We grieve with Louise and Dave Grant over this sad loss of a truly great dog. It’s still a heartbreak for us all, trying to come to terms with such devastating news.