Wendel had a zest for life unlike anything I had ever seen, the happiest dog I’ve ever known. He was calm and jovial but not at all bossy and belligerent like most JRTs. He loved tacos, and whip cream… not together… but I’m sure he actually would have loved that too. No one was a stranger to this dog, he loved everyone. We never really understood why he ended up at the shelter other than maybe someone couldn’t afford the medical care he needed. That always made me a little sad as someone definitely worked with him during his first 9 years with the temperament of gold he had.
This dog was such a companion. He was happy if he was with you. From hanging out on the patio, conversations in the bathroom, sharing a snack in the chair, to a fun car ride to nanny and papa’s, he was always my shadow flanking one side or the other.
Wendel came to us at 9 years old after Jamie pulled him in his last hour before a scheduled euthanasia at the county shelter. He was in poor shape with a large untreated open wound on his back and a rear end full of tumors. He started as a foster dog, until Jamie had a suitable application and I said, “sorry, he’s not available.” Most people knew him as Dizzle, derived from Wen-dizzle but he also went by lil’ Diz (LD for short).
He was fearless, or maybe careless. His eyes were bad and when he’d find himself at the edge of the bed, he’d just launch himself off. Sometimes with the grace of an athlete, sometimes right into the wall. He’d just right himself, shake it off, and go about his business. He was tough, enduring several surgeries, a bout of doggie TMJ that caused him to have his jaw taped shut for 3 weeks, bottom reconstruction, and a major dog attack that nearly took his life. As his vet once put it, "he had the heart of a warrior." (His shadow in this picture here revealing his inner spirt).
Eventually his mind started to decline and he suffered from Canine Cognitive Disorder (doggie dementia). Most nights he would wake up and be up at 4 am. Jamie would selflessly get up and cater to his needs. Watching him decline was difficult. And when his body started failing him and he could no longer stand on his own, we helped him cross the bridge.
His presence is still strong in our home. I have no doubt he is with us in spirit everyday.