Jasmine 1993-2006

Jasmine

I haven’t posted over the last few weeks. Not that I didn’t want to, I just having been feeling up to it since the passing of my beloved, wonderful black Chow Chow, Jasmine.

Jasmine has been with me since the summer of 1993 (that’s her above, last summer in Boston). She arrived from a Palm Springs, CA kennel specializing in Chows. She was the replacement to another beautiful Chow Chow, Pokey, I’d gotten from the same kennel a little over year before. Pokey suffered from a shunted liver. By the time the doctor’s figured out what was wrong with her, she’d wilted away to nothing, passing away a year to the day she first arrived.

Of course, that was just as tragic. The night she’d passed on, I was DJing the opening of Europa in Newport, Rhode Island. I’ll never forget the drive back when I found out she was at Angel Memorial Hospital in Boston. My girlfriend at the time, Maryna, waited for me to arrive at the hospital at 2 a.m., and I got to see her one last time. It was very difficult, and I thought my doggie days were over.

According to the breeder’s contract, I could receive a refund or I could take another dog. Contemplating taking the money, I’d learned from the breeder and her nephew Roscoe, a friend of mine, that there was a four-month old no one wanted. She had a grey wisp in her tail. Since she wasn’t a solid color Chow, so no one seemed to want to take her. I felt bad that she was out at the kennel without an owner, and thought that maybe I should give her a loving home. People tend to want dogs at the minimum ten weeks they are required to be held at the kennel. Puppies are the norm. The older a dog gets, the less likely it is to be taken in. And, with her off-colored coat, they told me it was hard for them to find someone who wanted her. With that in mind, I finally decided on accepting Jasmine into my life over 13-years ago. Now that I look back, what a wonderful decision, because Jasmine was, throughout her life, such a joy to be around.

As long as I’ve cared for Jasmine, she was never sick. Stubborn? Sure. Sick? Never. She and I went everywhere together. Through four or five different girlfriends and one ex-wife, Jasmine was there unconditionally. From Boston to Hoboken, Jersey City to Carrol Gardens, and Bay Ridge then onto Yonkers, we’ve lived in a number of places we both called home.

Jasmine and Tony

She just loved to be around, and wherever I went, I tried my best to take her with me. Whether it was the holidays at my family’s homes in Boston, to work in the city, long drives throughout the tri-state and New England regions, Jasmine would love to jump in the car and go. She was an amazing, loving Chow Chow. Despite their reputation as mean, Jasmine was well socialized and could call many of my friends her brothers and sisters. Everyone loved Jasmine. She never caused trouble, unless she was backed into a corner, which was very rare. She was amazingly sweet and never met a person she didn’t rub up against, like a cat, looking for attention.

I even brought Jasmine to DJ with me a couple of times. She would just lay in the booth for hours, oblivious and not moving a muscle, while hundred’s of people just beyond the glass were dancing furiously. Jasmine just loved to be near me, watching me do whatever it was I needed to do at the time.

Jamine and Tony on the Charles River

Once we moved to Yonkers in June, I could tell Jasmine was slowing down. She began to need much more attention than I could give. I was spending $300 a month in dog walking fees, and she still was urinating in my kitchen. Here kindneys were starting to deteriorate. I knew that after 13-years, I needed to find a place that could care for her much better than I. After all, my life has changed dramatically in 13-years. From DJing a few nights a week in Boston and selling mobile phones at Tweeter Etc. to launching Netmix.com, experiencing 9/11 and a devastated New York economy, then overcoming adversity to become VP of Music at StarStyle, all the while attending NYU two nights a week for the last three years. The transition for me has been so great, it was simply just too much to care for both myself and Jasmine. Something had to give.

A month ago, I’d decided to kennel Jasmine in a long term environment. I thought she’d be well cared for an much better off, living out the last days of her life on a farm with other dogs. Three weeks after dropping her off, I received an emergency call from both the kennel and the local vetrinarian. Jasmine, it seems, had gotten into a serious accident on the farm while playing with the other dogs.

I was told another dog slammed into her at full speed while chasing chickens, which caused a massive hernia along her right, rear-quarter. The impact also caused her right hind-leg to snap at at the bone, just below where it turns to a ball that fits into the hip socket. Immediately following the accident, Jasmine tried to protect her injury, snapping at the other dogs, which resulted in a serious fight. The other dogs got at her pretty good, biting her on the back a few times, near her other injuries.

My girlfriend Missy and I were stunned. The vet told us that it didn’t look good for Jasmine, and that we must consider putting her to sleep. We immediately discussed this tragic turn of events and decided to drive the four hours to the vet to be with her one last time.

For the past few years, Jasmine’s eyes have slowly been deteriorating. She got cataracts and could not see very well. When we arrived, she looked up but couldn’t make me out. Once I moved closer to her and got down on my knees, she heard my voice and smelled my scent. Her tail started wagging and she tried to get up, but I calmed her and asked her to lie down. I lay on the vet’s floor, head halfway in Jasmine’s temporary cage, holding her for 45-minutes and telling her how much she was loved. Missy spent some time with her as well, and it was when Missy leaned down to kiss her and snuggle with her, that her tail was really going. She was so happy we were there, that she probably forgot all the pain and her injuries.

Having spoken to the vet upon our arrival, we knew that we needed to make the toughest decision one can make with a beloved pet–the decision to put her to sleep. After some time comforting her, the technician carried her to the table and layed her out. We held her paws and spoke to her, all the while caressing her face, kissing her and telling her how much we loved her.

The vet asked if we were ready. We were, and she adminstered an overdose of anethesia. Slowly, Jasmine went to sleep forever. We’ll miss her. Life hasn’t been the same ever since.

No one can understand what it’s like to put a pet to sleep until you do it. It’s one of the hardest things to ever have to face, but the most humane. The vet said she wouldn’t have made it through surgery, and that this was the best decision we could make for her.

Missy and I stayed overnight in a local motel and comforted each other. The drive back to Yonkers was a long one.

I’m sure I’ll be back to my old self soon. I’ve gotten a ton of music to review, lot’s of stories to tell. Give me another few days and we’ll get back to work on the business of Netmix. Thanks for caring and understanding.

Sincerely,

Tony Z.

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9 comments

  1. Shawn Phillips says:

    I am sorry to hear about the passing of your family. Prayers and love go out to you and yours. She's in a beter place!

    God Bless,

    Your Friend,

    Shawn Phillips

  2. Strobe says:

    A few years ago I had to put my husky Snowy to sleep after having her in my life for 16 years. With similar experiences and through many women and friends she was always there. Rare was her two brown eyes, as human as ould be. She never bit or growled at a single person and would let little kids pull her tail and try to ride her all the while looking up at me going "I better get a burger for this." She sat at the table on a chair and ate dinner with us, eating what we ate, joining in on our conversations as huskys like to do. Even when there were 3 cats and a ferret in the house, she looked at them as brothers and sisters, even letting them sleep on her and drink from her water bowl (But try eating from her dish and the wolf in her came out).

    Over her long life, she broke a hip bone running like a loon into my Rhoades electric piano, I accidentally stepped on her foot breaking a few toes during some roughousing, and her ability to walk was slowly deteriorating over the last year of her life. She could no longer get up on the chair and jump out the kitchen window onto her doggie step into her outdoor playpen she loved and the vet said that surgery was not really an option at her age and that the humane thing to do was end her suffering. So I walked her around the vets office for about an hour recounting some of the great times we had together, and telling her how much she was loved and how she will be missed before bringing her back in. By far the hardest choice I've ever had to make. I understand what you are going through, and it is no less difficult then grieving over a human. Just now that you were a great "dad" to Jasmine and her memories will be with you always…

  3. Amanda says:

    Tony, I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I had to put my baby, Maxwell, down years ago whilst still living in London and that dog will always be in my heart. As Jasmine will always be in yours….

  4. Tony – I am so sorry to hear about Jasmine's passing. I started to tear up when I saw the subject of the email – remembering how she and Buddy used to hang out together… they really had fun together playing and just chilling. Buddy is hanging in there – and today we'll take a special trip to the park in honor of his sweet, long-lost girlfriend, Jasmine.
    You and I were able to incorporate our pets into our crazy lifestyles, but as much as we spoil them, their love for us is unmatched. I know Jasmine would rather be in the DJ booth with you than at home chillin on the couch! I remember how she would look up at you with adoration. She was very lucky to have you in her life – you were a fantastic Dog Dad.
    Hope you are OK, but if you need to talk feel free to reach out. Its been a long, long, long time since we've spoken, but I am here for you if you need a friend. You, Missy and Jasmine are in my prayers.

  5. Tony Zeoli says:

    Thanks so much everyone! Although it's tragic, I'm comforted knowing that all of your care so deeply to respond and many of you have the same shared experience. I'm sure your pets were just as loved as Jasmine. Thanks so much for reaching out and posting. It makes every day a little easier knowing that people care so much!

    Missy and I really apprciate the heartfelt words. Thank you so much!

    Tony

  6. Michelle says:

    TiZly-bop & Missy-boodles,

    I had Sheena for about 18 years. She went from an abandoned kitty in Allston to a "porch cat". She became an outdoor cat in Reading, an indoor cat in Belmont, a yard cat in Brookline and an indoor cat again in Belmont. She became a "step cat" a big sister cat and a Waltham cat. She became a single parent cat and then a very sick cat. Putting her to rest was very hard – especially alone at the vet. Then there was Pepper. Pepper lived such a short life, barely a year before a "tail pull" became fatal for him. How does one decide to lay to rest her kids' best friend? How do you tell a two year old she has to sleep alone? You do it for love. Love of the pet that has comforted you through tough times and has made you smile by merely stretching. You're lucky in a sense that you got to be the one to offer final comfort to Jasmin. She's running wild up there "over the rainbow" as they say telling everyone how her "parents" made the unselfish decision to relieve her pain and discomfort. She will be missed by more people then you can count. But, she could always be counted on. Auntie loves you Jazz!

  7. Emeline Cleophat says:

    Hey Tony, I'm sorry to hear about Jasmine. My brother Madsol
    used to tell me about her. love and prayers to you from the Cleos family. Remember you might have hundred more dogs but Jasmine will always remain a special place in your heart.

  8. Ahhh… it's so hard losing a dog, especially one that's really a part of the family. When I was a kid, I lost a Chow, my favorite dog thus far. They're an amazing breed, and tremendously loyal. Sorry for your loss.

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