Josie came into out life as the result of the loss of our dog Sandy.
We rescued her from the SPCA in Durban, South Africa, and took her home. She was in poor condition; underfed, thin, spooked by anything that moved, and with a history of escaping from her home and running away.
Josie chose me. I was wandering through the cages of discarded dogs, trying to hold it all together, and trying to find the female Ridgeback that we had been told was in the pound. As I approached her cage, she stood up on her back legs, with her front feet supporting her on the wire mesh of the cage, a lolling tongue and huge “here I am” grin on her face. She seemed to be saying “what took you so long?” So I took her. And never for a single moment of the 10 years that she was a part of our family, did we regret doing so. She recognised that she was in a loving family, and did none of the bad things that we were warned that she would do.
Gentle, quiet, intelligent, comical, oddball, contented, demanding at times, are words that define what Josie was. Lovable, well-behaved, and the best dog that anyone could hope for, is what she was.
Our family doted on her. She loved us back, in different ways, and we held her in our hearts for all of the aforementioned reasons, and each for our own, unique reasons.
We brought her to the UK, where she thrived. She made friends with everyone she met. She loved meeting new people, and they responded to her quiet gentleness with with love. She was awkward when meeting dogs, but made friends and played with them as if she was still a puppy. Even when a debilitating heart condition struck her down and almost killed her, she wanted to run like a pup, to play with the other dogs, and she loved her daily walks with her mom, sometimes with Lynn, and sometimes with me, her dad.
Josie had an endearing habit when looking for attention and asking for something. A gentle bump with her nose caught your attention, and a pleading and laser-sharp stare directly at you left no doubt that she wanted something.
She became seriously ill in November of 2011, and had to take medication for an enlarged heart and poor circulation. For a month and a half she lived a normal, happy and serene life in the warmth of her home, spent her days resting in front of her own warm radiator, or sleeping in the room that she shared with her friend Colleen every day.
Josie died at home of her heart condition, with anxiety brought on by her fear of loud bangs. She had chosen me to be her owner when we first met, and it was my privilege to be with her, stroking her, when she passed away.
She has left a yawning chasm in our hearts, that nothing can or ever will fill. She has left her presence in our home in ways that are going to take years to fade.
Rest in peace my wonderful, beautiful friend. We love you and miss you immensely!