Jackson Winterbourne

I love you, Jackson.
As a baby, you were like an Englishman
Taken into the beanstalk by a family of giants.
When I first held you and looked at your face,
It was love at first sight—
Like my first newborn child.
You brought tears to my brown eyes.
I held you, kissed you,
And fed you like my very own son.

I love you, Jackson.
I gave you your first toy,
And it took you days to tear it up.
Your first car ride filled my heart with joy.
Your first word warmed my heart.
Your first nibble gave me a laugh.
Your first Christmas present
Was a Milk-Bone and endless joy.

I love you, Jackson.
You always win
Every game:
Hide-and-seek, tag,
And hallway ball.

I love you, Jackson.
In spring, we took you outside
To see the trees, the flowers,
And all the creatures that you chased.
You loved your neighbors,
Except for their humans.
In summer, you dipped your head
In the bucket of water
And splashed around the bathtub.
In autumn, you tore up toys
And danced around the leaf pile.
In winter, you ate snow
And left paw prints
In the slush.

I love you, Jackson,
But sometimes you are annoying.
You chased the mailman
Leaving us mail.
You chewed on things
While I was away.
You wet my mattress
While I was not looking.
You bit my hand
And made it bleed.
You ate our turkey
Without our permission.
You growled at me
Like I was a stranger.

We spoiled you.
We gave you ice cream and meat,
And you loved every bit of it.
We let you sleep in our room
Where your fleas could run.
We left the bathroom door open
Where you ventured inside.
We gave you our clothing,
And you tore it all up.

You were a happy golden child.
You kissed me on the face.
You jumped on my body
And on the door.
You ran me over
When I carried your blanket.
You gave me comfort.
You played with me
When I was alone.
You barked when I cried.
You smiled when I laughed.
You cleaned my hands
Of chicken grease.

You lived like a prince
Until a little tyrant came.
But just like us,
You put up with him.

Old age hit you.
We did everything we could:
We gave you medicines,
We gave you a warm bed,
And we gave you good food.
We let you explore the outdoors,
But you could not stay long.

I told you that I love you,
And I patted you before
Sitting next to you.
I watched you snooze,
Waiting for you to wake up,
But you did not wake up.

You are in paradise now.
Chasing prey, eating biscuits,
Drinking fountain water, chewing toys
And old clothing.

You are my best friend.
I love you, Jackson.
Now rest in peace, my beautiful golden dog.