Jasper is a dog. Our dog. A pain-in-the-arse dog. A definitely outside only dog.
We have guestimated that Jasper is about 12 years old. He is a red heeler cross with some miscellaneous breed and should look like this:
In reality, Jasper looks like this:
About 10 years ago, when Tim and I had only two kids, we lived in a somewhat dodgy area of Melbourne's east. Despite having built a beautiful house, we lived in a crappy suburb with crappy neighbours. One of our neighbours owned a dog. Jasper.
|Jass never let me photograph him on his 'lumpy' side. Diva.|
From the outside, our neighbours were just like us - a young family starting out in a new estate. On the inside, it was different.
The young mum asked us one day if we could help her find a place for Jasper to live. She told us that Jasper needed to go far away. She told us not to tell her husband. She told us that her husband would kick Jasper, and she believed that if she stayed there with her daughter her husband would start hitting them. Jasper moved to my family home where my sister would doggy sit him until my young neighbour and her daughter found somewhere to live. That was 10 years ago. And that was the last time we saw or heard from her.
|This is a few years ago when his lump started growing on his side|
When Tim and I bought the family home and got out of that crappy suburb, we also gained Jasper. Jasper had issues and I had issues about having a dog with issues near my young children. But Jasper was an outside dog. A kick to his bladder made him wee where he walked, sat and stood.
Jasper was an odd looking dog - not an ugly dog, but not a pretty dog either. He had a crooked tail, fat creases over his bum and back, crooked teeth and what looked like a goiter on his side. Over the years, the lump grew bigger but never really seemed to bother him. Our vet said it was probably a fatty mass and we could leave it. So we did.
Two weeks ago, for a totally unrelated problem, I took Jasper to the vet. I asked about the lump and as Jasper's heart was remarkably strong for his age, we decided then that we would have the lump removed. A 2 kilogram fatty mass was removed along with the cancer that was evident during the surgery.
He was given a special cone to wear to stop him biting the stitches.
Unfortunately for Jasper, the fleas really enjoyed the time without him scratching properly and would have driven him insane with their movement. We decided that while the flea treatments were beginning to work and it was still quite hot, he could be shaved from bum to neck. Unfortunately, our record breaking Melbourne heatwave stopped that night.
This is where I get angry.Jasper has two old wounds on his back in the form of a cross and about the size of shovel blades. He did not acquire these grooves from just doing doggy things. This old scar tissue was man-made and with considerable force. How Jasper was able to walk after that is nothing more than amazing.
I want to find this man - my old neighbour - and show him my shovel.