On Wednesday 17 October 2018 we had to say goodbye to our beautiful and loyal Jemma. The first time we set eyes on her she was just 10 days old and when we said goodbye she was nearly 17 years old.
Jemma was our constant companion and such an important part of our family. When we went on holidays, Jemma usually came with us as we stayed at farm stays or in pet friendly accommodation. In her younger days Jemma could outrun a greyhound and on bush walks would leap up steps and hills and wait at the top while we mere humans caught up to her. If Jemma couldn’t come away with us, she stayed with my parents at Coogee. I remember one year my mother and father proudly showing us some photos of Jemma spending her Christmas vacation at the seaside and on a swing at the park. My father is now in a nursing home and for the last two years I have taken Jemma every time I visit. Not only does my father love to see her but a dozen or so residents all give Jemma a cuddle and a pat and their eyes light up when they see her. Jemma always remained patient the whole time. Whenever my husband was in the backyard mowing and gardening, Jemma was always right there with him. She would come in hours later, exhausted after a day in the sun. It was so hard last Sunday when she wasn’t there to help him.
While you normally saw me at the vet, Jemma was really my daughter Laura’s buddy. Laura and Jemma were inseparable. Laura was a beautiful dancer and Jemma’s best party trick was to stand on her back legs and dance along with Laura. As most of you know Laura passed away in September 2016 and Jemma was right there with her, snuggled under Laura’s arm. Poor Jemma would look for Laura and would often be found sitting near the front door waiting so patiently for Laura to walk in.
We have all tried so hard to look after Jemma in her older years. I arranged all my days around her care and never left her alone. If I had to go out, she would visit Margot. If we went to lunch or dinner at friend’s homes, Jemma was a welcome guest. My neighbours would often mind her. One of those neighbours, Joe, had been sick for some time and Jemma was the only one that could bring a smile to his face. Joe passed away only 5 days before Jemma and one of his last requests was to see Jemma, and Jemma was only too glad to visit.
Thank you to everyone at Vet HQ for looking after Jemma so beautifully. A special thank you to Geoff & Caryn. Thank you to all the nursing and reception staff. Thank you to Mariko & Amy for being so gentle with Jemma when making her look so beautiful. Thank you to Tony who helped Jemma at the end and gave me as much time as I needed to be with Jemma one more time so I could tell her how much I loved her, how much she meant to me and to say thank you to her for looking after and loving Laura so much.