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We’ve had Jazzy since I was 18 years old. She was actually my brother’s dog first, purchased from the pet store in Robinson’s Galleria. I came home one Christmas from the States and there she was, alongside our other puppy, Lilo. (Lilo passed away two years ago due to old age.) Jazzy was and always will be an interesting dog. Unlike her “sister” Lilo, she wasn’t very friendly. For a shih-tzu, she was wary of strangers, very fierce, protective and very calculating. She was a smart dog, not in the bomb-sniffing or show tricks way. But she was a thinking dog. She always had a look that told you she had something else going on in her mind other than food. She was always looking at you, looking at me, trying to figure me out, trying to talk to me.

Over the years, especially when I came home, we bonded immensely. We would cuddle, take walks without leashes (because she knew to follow me through crowds) and go on little adventures. As she aged, she stayed more at home and slept most of the day, which was okay. Admittedly, I was busy with my life too so we didn’t hang out as often. Though one thing always stayed the same, she knew that if she barks, I come running. Up until her passing, she would still call me late at night for food. She would start with these small barks (knowing that I disliked loud barking) and then it would gradually get louder if I took longer to arrive. I spoiled her with little tidbits of food that made all my other dogs hate her. She was a picky eater so I always bought her special food. Whether it was microwaved leftovers, a freshly opened can of vienna sausage or unwanted sirloin trimmings from an event, she would always get the best. She was my favorite. She was my baby.

She had her own challenges also. She nearly died after puppy birth but managed to pull through. She also got very sick with ehrlichiosis yet survived. A few years ago, she lost her uterus because it got infected and had to undergo surgery. She managed through that also. Also she got into a fight with one of our other dogs (who was jealous of the attention Jazzy got) and unfortunately, Jazzy lost her eye but she lived. I never knew there could be so much fight in a little dog. With God’s grace, good doctors and lots of love, she powered through.We never gave up on her and she never gave up on us.

Today one of our security guys attempted to learn how to drive using our car. I was getting ready for the gym, around 8am, when I heard the most ominous, scary crash. It shook our house. I ran downstairs to our garage and saw our very large SUV slammed into a glass shelf. Behind the glass shelf was a smaller vehicle which, due to the force of the bigger car was pushed against the wall and squished on all four sides. There was glass everywhere and blood. In my panic, I started looking for her, it was the only thought in my mind.

It was utter chaos. I kept saying over and over, “where’s Jazzy, where’s Jazzy” then, as my dad arrived on the scene, he confirmed the worst. She was caught under one of the tires of the vehicle. My poor baby. I absolutely lost it. I don’t even remember half of what happened, it is all a blur of tears and yelling. She wasn’t even supposed to be in the way of the vehicle. That’s not her area. She has her own spot in the garage and that was not it. I have no idea what she was doing there. My dad believes that she took the hit for us. It could have very well been me. I’m usually in the garage when they move the cars around and I could have been standing there. Maybe she took the hit for me. She’s a survivor, my dog. She’s survived for 11 years. But she couldn’t survive this and it breaks my heart that this is the way she had to go.

Jazzy wasn’t just a dog, she was both family and friend. As dog people, we’ve had many that came in and out of our lives. But Jazzy was unique. She was an fighting spirit and old soul in the form of a dog. We loved her dearly. I find solace now knowing that all dogs do go to heaven. May she rest in peace.

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