Pet Sitting By Jan

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Jan Bart



Bainbridge Island



Poulsbo & Suquamish

(Limited Area)


All Endings Have a Beginning

By Karen Langston

My name is Bart. I want to tell you my story.

As humans have a hard time dealing with the death of a loved one, so do we in the animal world. I had a wonderful home with my two masters. One day one of my masters became very ill and didn’t seem to get any better. It wasn’t long until he died. My other master was very sad and cried. I was very sad also. We both missed our friend.

After several months, my remaining master started to show signs of the same illness. I began to worry. I loved my master. What was I going to do? We used to play a lot; I love the water, so often we would go to the beach and take long walks. But now, all we could do was sit together. Sometimes my master would let me crawl up beside him on the bed and he would stroke my head. This was awkward for I am a very large dog, but neither of us minded.

My master’s body became thinner with each passing day. He had purple marks all over. I know some humans say I can only see things in black and white, but I know they were purple. My master would come home from going to the store and tell me how it felt to have other humans staring at him because of his purple sores. He said it was because he was sick with something called AIDS. I didn’t know what they meant, but it didn’t make any difference to me. I loved my master. I loved having his hand, even though covered with those purple sores, caress my ears and rub my muzzle.

One day there were several humans around my master’s bed. As he lay there a woman friend asked him, "Have you made arrangements for Bart?" I perked up my ears as I heard my name. I saw tears in my master’s eyes as he answered, "I thought I had more time." All his friends were softly crying. Oh no! Was this master going away too?
What was I going to do? I was no longer the cute little puppy everyone liked to pet. I was nearly 8 years old. Gray was beginning to show along my muzzle.

I still liked to play and run after my toys, but now I tired sooner. What was I going to do without my beloved master? We had been together so long and had been through so much. We had shared happiness and the terrible loneliness when his life partner and our friend died.

I glanced anxiously between my master and his friend as she looked down into his tearful face. She bent down and hugged my special human. My master cried all the more and said, "Bart is my baby, I love him so." "Don’t worry," she said, "Bart will come live with us." I looked into this new human’s eyes as she said these words about me. She looked across the room at another woman, also with tears in her eyes. The other woman smiled and nodded. She gazed down at me and I could see the love in her eyes. Even though we hadn’t all known each other very long, we shared a special bond.

The next day my new friends took me to see a doctor. My ear had been bothering me, but my master was so ill I hadn’t told him. After the doctor, we went to the beach. It felt so good to get my feet wet and look for that special piece of wood I could drag into the water.

The following day my new friend took me to visit her house. She let me explore each room and meet her cats and another old dog, Niki. She told me Niki was 17 years old and that I needed to be careful so that I wouldn’t knock her down when I wagged my tail.

We went back home. I was very glad to see my master. I wanted to tell him about meeting my new friends but he was too tired to talk. He patted the bed for me to climb up near him, but before I could, he fell asleep. So I laid down on the floor beside him. My two new friends bent down to kiss my master and tell him they loved him and that having known him was a gift they would always treasure. I watched as the tears rolled down their cheeks and dropped on the bedding. I had watched this scene repeated many times with others who loved my master. His friends had become his family—along with me. He finally received telephone calls from his natural family who lived far away and had not contacted him in years. He told each one he loved them. But in the end it was his friends who comforted him.

Later that night as I lay beside my master’s bed, I looked up to see my master was asleep again, but this time he looked different. He looked more peaceful and there was a special quiet aura around him. Two friends who had been sitting with him were crying. One picked up the telephone and told someone my master had "gone home." I looked anxiously at the bed and I could see that he was still there. I nudged his hand but it did not move. I looked into his eyes, but they no longer held the sparkle I remembered. I guessed whatever had made my master laugh and cry and be the man he was had gone away.

Soon I heard a car drive up. I ran to the door; there stood my new friend.

She came into the room where my master lay and kissed him good-bye. I kept my eyes on her as she gathered my toys and dishes. She looked down at me, still with tears in her eyes, and said, "Come Bart, let’s go home." I turned for one final look at my master, and with my heart full of love and hurting all at the same time, I said good-bye.

My new friend and I walked out the door together. We arrived shortly at the house I had visited. When the door opened there was my other new friend. She gave me a hug and said "welcome." It was very late so I lay down beside the bed. I felt terribly lonely so I put my head on the bed. My new friend reached over and stroked my muzzle.

I heard her say, "Bart, do you need a hug?" With that she patted the bed and I climbed up. I stretched out alongside my friend and she put her arm around me. I lay there quietly. I began to feel the love that was now to be mine but

I also felt the loss of my master. But even in my grief I knew life was to be filled again with the love and laughter that I had left behind. The end of one love had been so painful. But now was the beginning of a new love.

We were blessed with Bart's love and companionship for five years before he went to join his beloved Bruce.


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