Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jewel (Pam's Perspective)

    As promised, here is Pam’s perspective of what Jewel meant to her.  She wrote this the day we lost Jewel, and to be honest with you, I haven’t been able to read it until a few days ago.  It sums up both of our feelings:
   How do you portray in words your love for an animal?  After all, they are not a real person; they’re not related to you and you don’t share a genealogy or a last name.  But the love for an animal is a direct result of their ability to show their love and faithfulness.  They depend on you for their very survival --- and that not only includes their daily ration of Alpo or their annual check-up at the vet, but their survival depends on your attention and hugs and kisses.
     My Jewel was the best dog ever!  I’ll never forget riding home with her when we picked her up at 8 weeks old.  Swaddled in a towel, I held her close to my heart so she would be soothed.  And like a child, whenever she was scared of the needle at the vet’s office, or insecure due to the lightning and thunder, or afraid of being in trouble with her “Dad” (during those chew-everything-in-sight puppy days), she would lean against me as hard as she could, knowing I would protect her.
     But get a gun out in her presence and her genteel, sweet, soft personality changed to a serious hunter.  She loved hunting with Mark more than anything in her life.  (In reality, I was jealous of that relationship, and thought she no longer was attached to me, until Mark suggested that I go get the shotgun and see her reaction.  Suddenly, I was “the favored one” again!)
     Mark was so proud of her; often reciting the excessive amounts of money he was offered for the famous “pointing Lab”.  But no amount of money will replace our Jewel.
     The time has come to say good-bye.  Mark had to go to Arizona to photograph … it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  But he would give it up to be here with her at the end.  I will load her into the truck on a comfortable pallet I’ve made her in the back seat, and take her to Doc Simmons, who will end her suffering.
     The end has not been easy or pretty, and she let me know this morning that it was time.  While it’s so damned hard to see her like this, I’m glad Mark doesn’t have to feel this intense pain.  I know he’d rather be here, and is feeling the pain of being so far away, but the pain of witnessing her downhill slide is excruciating and I will take this on for both of us.
     Mark just called, minutes before we’ll leave for Austin, and his last words, spoken in muffled sobs was “Tell my dog I love her.”  And that’s what it comes down to in the end…. Just simple, but all-encompassing love.
     We love you, Jewel, and will miss you for the rest of our lives. 
     I’ll be gone tomorrow and back at the blog on Monday.  Look for something a little more upbeat.  I’m just keepin’ it real! 

All content and images © Mark Kohler Studio.


  1. Now I'm REALLY choked up! I will always remember that day too. Thank goodness for sweet Doc Simmons. Why can't our dogs live as long as we do??



    PS -- Love all the great photos!

  2. These last 2 posts nearly did me in! But thank you for sharing them just the same. I truly believe the events in our lives that effect us dramatically (usually the extremely rough ones) passionately find their way into our art, making our creative work more powerful.

  3. Mark and Pam, my heart goes out to you both. Have had my share of final goodbyes. Had the privilege of meeting Jewel during one of your workshops in Montana. At that time, she was graying around the muzzle but was still able to show her playful side. A noble old girl. Happy Hunting Jewel! You've left some big paw prints to fill.

  4. Pam and I are so glad that our feelings for Jewel are recognized as valid. We really appreciate ALL your comments.