A Farewell to Mozart

by Ric Rupnik
(eastern Pennsylvania, USA)

Mozart on the morning of May 22, 2012

Mozart on the morning of May 22, 2012

Mozart had a happy life. He fathered almost 2 dozen puppies, and he was the most polite and considerate animal I've ever encountered. When feeding, he would always back away from the food when another of his JRT's approached wanting to eat. As a pup, I took him to work on the graveyard shift when I first got him. I'd do training and bonding with him in the middle of the night, him eating from his bowl and me, my "lunch" at 4 a.m. at a nearby picnic table. I'd fall asleep holding him at home at a deskchair after a long night at work, and wake up stiff, with his neck lying across mine. Odd that as a dog he did not know how to swim..I had to support him under his belly. He loved rawhide and pig ears, bananas, peanut butter, and cottage cheese (after he saw his "wife" Stanzy gobbling it down---earlier he seemed to dislike it). I took this photo in the morning of May 22, 2012. He showed no signs of trouble or distress. He lived a happy, wonderful life, 2 months shy of 12 years of age. He had had health issues during his life, but he remained pain free to the end. As you can see in the photo, he had cataracts which made him mostly blind, but, as with any doggy, his sense of smell more than compensated for this difficulty.

From the time he was young, I held Mozart and he enjoyed being held. He was far from a lap dog, but the bonding we did early on made him very affectionate and he looked forward to being held. He would lick my left cheek...like it was an ice cream cone, and I'd let him do it as long as he wished....sometimes perhaps 5 minutes. Many people might say "yuk", but he displayed his love for me in this action, and I tried to return the love in accepting.

Again, I can't be sad, because, as a former breeder, I still have Mozart's "wife" and several of the pups he sired, now grown, and his "regal" nature (stated by a woman who adopted one of his pups several years ago) continues in his descendants.

Again, this photo and story need not be submitted for the contest, I just wanted to share the story of the life, and the loss, of a true friend. RIP Mozart, you were the best !

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