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Comanche Trace

Jackson Clifton

Posted by Stephanie on August 1, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Jackson, our 14-year-old Border Collie, has taught me three valuable life lessons: Be happy and smile, life is an adventure, and never give up.

There were many times when we thought we had lost him. Once we had to rescue him from the Dallas County SPCA after he escaped from my sister’s backyard. One of her neighbors caught him and persuaded the Petsmart she frequented to board him overnight. After many phone calls, it was well into the next day before we found him. There was also the time he went joy riding on a lake in East Texas. Some boaters picked him up near my mother’s property and thought he belonged to their friend from Houston. I posted a “Lost” sign at the local grocery store. Jackson’s new found friends, who took him for a boat ride, returned him smiling later that day. For Jackson, life is an adventure and he does greet everyone with a smile.

When we decided to add a new furry member to the family, we knew it would ultimately be Jackson’s decision. Once Jackson established that he would be the alpha dog, he and Bruno have been best buds. We’ve had Bruno three years now and Jackson is still teaching his buddy the three life lessons.

It’s that same determination that came through earlier this year when his hip socket collapsed. Our vet, Dr. McBride, recommended a replacement. Jackson was in pain, so my husband, Tom, and I made the decision to proceed with the recommended treatment. The day of the surgery I received a call from Tom.

“Jackson is ok but his leg broke, we have 15 minutes to decide to amputate or repair it.” Amputation was not an option for me if there was the slightest chance his leg could be saved.

Two weeks after the surgery, infection set in. We noticed he was lethargic and depressed. We thought this was the moment we didn’t want to face. Is it time to make an end of life decision for him? I held back tears and with a big lump in my throat, I told Dr. Mc Bride, “I’m not giving up on Jackson.” I haven’t regretted that decision, even after many sleepless nights with him.

From day one after we brought him home, he was determined to walk the same distance on his daily walk as if he had never had surgery. I’m still amazed at his determination, still smiling during a difficult situation and looking for his next adventure. These are life lessons I hope my children, Emily and Davis, learn from Jackson too.

Stephanie

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