Jessie, our beloved and somewhat spoiled dog, passed away this week at the age of 14.
Born in a pig barn on a Montana ranch, Jessie was soon adopted by Robin, who celebrated the occasion by sticking the pup in the bathroom sink to scrub away the pig smell. Jessie didn’t care for that or any other bath, although certain skunk encounters necessitated them.
Jessie was a quiet, undemanding dog who loved walks, rides in the truck, scratches on her tummy, and food—especially people food. She also liked to haul home various pieces and parts of decayed carrion or rotten afterbirth, always depositing them on the front lawn before chewing them up.
Blue heelers are notorious for aggressively protecting their home and family; however, Jessie was an exception. A sweet soul who never bit anyone, she even served as a much-loved therapy dog at a women’s prison for a time.
Blue heelers are also known for their cattle herding prowess, but Jessie preferred to herd horses, rabbits and neighbor cats. The only cow work she volunteered for was accompanying Hubby in the tractor while he fed round bales. And one winter when Hubby calved out of a breezy cabin heated only by an old cookstove, Jessie kept him from freezing to death by cuddling next to him on the bed.
Also known as Jessie Pig and Jessie Pooh Bear (in reference to her ravenous appetite and subsequent stature), Jessie’s only vice was stealing food from the other pets, which she did up to the day before she died.
Jessie is survived by a big brother, Zach Lentsch; her parents, Marcus and Robin; her buddy, Bodie; and the cat, Smokey. A tough but sometimes unwise dog, Jessie herself survived quite a few unfortunate events: torn ACLs from rabbit chasing, poisoning from the neighbor’s antifreeze, over-sedation from a recent veterinary school grad, several near-drownings in irrigation systems, and a vicious attack by a protective mama Angus.
Jessie was buried in the place of highest honor on the ranch, Robin’s rose bed, where two special rose bushes will be planted next spring. She is sorely missed.
In lieu of flowers, memorials, or casseroles, just remember that life is short, especially for dogs, so don’t pass up a chance to share a table scrap, a pat, or a ride in the truck.
“In His hand is the life of every creature….”