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Two Hearts:   Our Battle with Degenerative Myelopathy
...The Final Chapter...

"Jack Flash went to sleep today"…  As I read the words I had just typed on the computer informing my internet friends of Jack's passing, tears streamed down my face. The sobs that came from deep within my soul, were the sobs of a person whose heart was truly broken. My vision was blurred, with the keyboard undulating from the unstoppable flow of tears. My worst nightmare had become a reality. I had had to put my beloved Jack Flash to sleep...

Sixteen months had passed since my beloved Jack Flash had been diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy. Although the original prognosis had been two months until paralysis set in, I was still inconsolable. Those 16 months flew by in what seemed to be the blink of an eye. I had refused to think the unthinkable, and had always tried to maintain a positive attitude. I had adopted what my friends and family dubbed "The Scarlett O'Hara" attitude. I had steadfastly maintained that "Tomorrow is another day" and maybe, tomorrow, someone would find a cause/cure for this devastating disease. I always maintained an "upbeat" attitude. Dogs are masters at reading body language, as that is how they communicate. Understanding that all too well, I did my best to communicate to Jack that all was well. As a result of my positive attitude, Jack seemed to accept whatever came his way.

For those of you who read the original "Two Hearts" article, and for those of you who did not, Jack Flash was still doing relatively well, last February 1998, when the original "Two Hearts" was written. However, the cold winter months and the lack of activity were beginning to slow his steps. Exercise is a very important part of Dr. Clemmons DM treatment program. Dr. Clemmons uses an integrative approach in the DM protocol, combining traditional medicine, alternative medicine, and exercise. All three are required if one is to be successful in treating this disease. Unfortunately, while there are a plethora of health clubs for human beings, there are relatively few such facilities for dogs.

Winter is not kind to elderly animals in the northern climes, and Jack Flash had no place to exercise once the weather turned cooler. He could no longer swim in our pool, as it was much too cold to swim outdoors. Living in a waterfront community with only barrier islands separating us from the Atlantic Ocean, the cold damp winds blew furiously in the town in which we live, affecting Jack's arthritis. Although we had a relatively mild winter, the dampness seemed to sink into his bones, and when I helped him down the front steps of the house, to take him outside, I could often feel his bones rubbing against each other. Walking Jack Flash in the cold, damp winter weather was doing him no favors. The length of our walks began to shrink, and as the amount of exercise lessened, Jack began to lose ground.

I had been calling all over Long Island and New York City in an attempt to find an indoor pool in which Jack Flash could swim. I went as far as calling indoor pool showrooms, offering to pay for the use of their pool, and offering to sign a release in case of accident. I explained Jack's situation to them, and begged for someone to please help us through the winter. There were no takers for my offer, and my pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears.

I had started acupuncture treatments for Jack in October of 1997, and had discussed the possibility of building an indoor pool for dogs with Jack's acupuncturist. He finally agreed to construct an indoor pool for dogs, and I was hoping it would become a reality, sooner rather than later. However, construction projects rarely follow scheduling, and the pool that was supposed to have been ready by February was far from completion.

By the middle of March of 1998, having had no significant exercise in 6 months, I noticed Jack getting weaker. His rear end began to sink way down below his hocks when he stood for any length of time. His energy level was low, although his eyes maintained their liveliness. He still had a major desire to play, however, and always made a hobbly beeline for his toy chest every time we entered the bedroom. Jack Flash was a very comical dog. Before he chose a toy to play with, he would remove a bunch of toys from the chest, line them up, squeak each one, and through a process of elimination, decide which toy would be the one played with on any particular evening. He had done this with regularity ever since he was a pup. In March, I noticed that this "elimination" process, which had always been performed standing up, was now taking place in a lying down position.

Jack FlashOnce his choice was made, however, he stood up and deposited the "lucky" toy at my feet. About the same time, I began to notice that the length of time Jack Flash chased his toy was considerably shorter than previous playtimes. He began to stumble when chasing his toys, and increasingly, his legs would slip out from under him. I began to become alarmed, for the first time. The pool being built by Jack's acupuncturist was still not ready, and I could see the DM, which had "plateaued" out for so long, had once again, begun its progression. I began to try to take Jack for walks again, but the cold damp weather still gave us problems. Jack had arthritis bumps on his hips, and I knew he couldn't do enough walking to compensate for the lack of swimming he had done over the past summer. Our walks had to be of brief duration. Trying to compensate for short walks, I tried taking him for several brief walks a day. I began see him losing ground, slowly but steadily. He began to knuckle under while walking, and often, this "toeing under" would result in his body fishtailing. Inevitably, he would lose his balance, and fall to the ground. Sometimes, when we returned to the house and I found his toenails were bleeding. I began to use booties when we went for our walks. However, in discussions with Dr. Clemmons, I learned that booties cut down on sensation to the rear paws, and that was not something we wished to do. Luckily, there was a park across the street from my home, and I began to walk Jack exclusively on the grass. The stumbling continued, however, and it began to get more difficult for Jack to get up from the stumbles. He was tiring easily at this point, and I realized I could no longer take him for these walks.

Throughout this awful time, Jack's attitude remained consistently upbeat. He never lost the twinkle in his eye, and he would kind of "pick himself up, dust himself off, and start all over again". He was truly an amazing animal, true to the noble standard of the German Shepherd Dog. He never let anything get him down! After rest periods, he was raring to go once again.

In April of 1998, the indoor pool built by Jack's acupuncturist was finally ready. It had now been 7 months since Jack had been able to have the kind of exercise regimen recommended by Dr. Clemmons. At this point in time, Jack was only able to remain in a standing position for short periods. He much preferred to lie down. He was still able to negotiate the circular staircase, however, and always insisted on following me up and down no matter how many times a day I climbed the staircase. We started Jack's swim therapy slowly, as he had not, as stated previously, had any decent exercise for many months. We swam him 3 times a week, beginning with 3 minute sessions, gradually increasing each session by 2-3 minutes. Jack seemed invigorated from his swim therapy, and seemed to be doing better. Throughout the entire 7 month period since the original "Two Hearts" was written, Jack, although showing signs of going downhill, was still having both good and bad periods. The DM was running true to form, with symptoms that would wax and wane from one day to the next. I thought Jack was improving with the increased exercise regimen, and he really did appear to have more good days.

About 2 weeks into the time in which Jack had began to swim again, I had gone upstairs to do my usual morning ritual of showering and blowing my hair dry, in preparation for my day. Jack remained downstairs that day, not wishing to climb the stairs. I was upset he did not follow as he usually did, and went to help him up the stairs, but he still did not seem to want to climb the stairs. I went up alone, and went to shower. My housekeeper, Yvonne, was at my home that day. From the shower, I heard her screams. I threw on my robe, ran in the direction of the screams, and found Yvonne, behind Jack in the middle of the staircase. Jack had decided he wanted to climb the stairs to be with me, missed his footing on the top step, and had begun to tumble, head over heels, backwards, down the staircase. Yvonne had been upstairs by the staircase, and had seen Jack miss the step. Somehow, she managed to jump over Jack, landing behind him, to break his fall, halfway down the staircase. Unable to pick Jack up alone, I found her standing in back of him, holding him, and thereby preventing him from tumbling down the rest of the staircase. Between the two of us, we managed to get him to the bottom of the stairs, without further incident.

Swimming was postponed for the week, as Jack was sore and stiff from his fall. A gate was placed at the foot of the staircase, so Jack would not be able to attempt the stairs alone. Jack had a funny habit of climbing the staircase, and going into my closet when I wasn't home. He would remove my slippers from the shelf, and place one by the front door, and one by the top of the staircase. He had been doing this since he was a pup, whenever he was left alone. It was quite comical to picture how angry he must have been during these excursions, and how defiant, he in all probability, thought he was being, when he was setting about the chore of showing me his displeasure with being left alone. I suppose in his mind, that was the worst thing he could think of doing. I knew I would miss the laughter these rebellious moments brought about.  However, Jack's safety had to come first.

The following week swimming was resumed, but the DM seemed as if it was progressing once again. Jack had never fully regained his strength, from the long period of inactivity over the winter. He began to play with his toys in a lying down position. Nevertheless, he seemed to really enjoy his playtime, and a smile, or a silly grin, was always upon his face. He began to toss the toy, which had been thrown to him, back to me. He seemed to enjoy his cleverness.

Dr. Clemmons and I had been emailing on an almost daily basis, regarding Jack's condition, and we discussed Jack's progress, or lack of progress, every week in the support group meeting. Dr. Clemmons requested a video of Jack, so he could personally evaluate Jack's condition. I was very worried about Jack's physical state. He could barely stand any more. Dr. Clemmons viewed the video I sent and responded "We could be in trouble…"

We decided to "up" 2 of Jack's medications, the Aminocaproic Acid, and the N-Acetylcysteine, to the original dosage. It had been cut back, as instructed, several weeks into the program. Jack remained weak, although his mental attitude was still beyond terrific. He seemed happy and content to just be by my side. We celebrated his 13th birthday on June 16, 1998.

Jack Flash Jack Flash

By this time, Jack was once again swimming in our pool. It was difficult to get him up and down the stairs to the deck, but once in the pool, Jack continued to remain a strong swimmer. He easily swam 14 laps at a time, and after a rest, swam, yet again, another 10-14 laps. However, on land, his legs were failing to hold him up. He began to be able to walk only a few steps at a time. Getting him up and down the staircase of the house was an incredible feat. Getting him up was easier than getting him down. Going up, I supported his butt, and through the strength gained by swimming, he was able to literally pull himself up the circular staircase. Going down, was a whole 'nother smoke..I wedged him close to the wall, and I used to hook my arm under his hindquarters, supporting his weight, so he was able to get down the stairs. It was very difficult, and the only way we were able to do this successfully, was because of the unwavering trust Jack had in me. He knew he couldn't do it alone.

Jack continued to follow me wherever I went. I slowed my steps, once again, to accommodate his. If I had to go quickly to answer the phone, he would follow, faithfully behind, taking a few steps, resting, taking a few steps, resting again, until he accomplished his goal of being by my side. He never gave up! My heart was breaking, and once again, I emailed Dr. Clemmons. Dr. Clemmons sadly replied " We have done all we can…." I ordered a cart, in preparation for the inevitable. I wanted Jack to be able to get used to a cart, before paralysis overtook him…

When I ordered the cart, I specifically requested it be shipped in one piece. I had my vet come to measure Jack Flash for the cart, to make sure the measurements were accurately taken. Jack had tried out a cart loaned to me by his acupuncturist, and was able to walk in that cart, but all agreed it was too small for him. We experienced great difficulty in removing him from that cart, due to the improper sizing. It took 20 minutes to extricate Jack, having to bend his legs in unnatural positions, with one hand, while holding him up, in the cart, with the other.

Neither my husband nor myself are mechanically adept. When the cart arrived, I opened the box, and to my dismay, there it was, in several pieces, rather than the complete assembly I had requested. I had offered to pay an additional charge to receive the cart in one piece. I sat in front of the huge box and cried my heart out…My husband could not help me. Perhaps it was his way of hiding his head in the sand, or perhaps he honestly felt he could not do what it was he could not do, or, maybe it was a combination of both. No matter what the reason, he could/would not help me assemble the cart. I took the instructions, and through the tears, tried to read what was written. In order to assemble the cart myself, I had to jam the cart into my body in order to secure it for ratcheting. It was really a 2-person job. I worked on that cart until 4 am, before I was finally able to complete the assembly. When the cart was finally assembled, I noticed the front angle bar of the cart had been bent in shipping, placing the wheel into a position that tilted unnaturally. I awoke the following morning with huge black and blue marks all over my body, from the efforts of the night before.

My husband and I placed Jack in the cart the following evening. The cart immediately began to tip backwards. My husband had to hold the rear of the cart up, so Jack would not fall head over heels. I called the Cart Company immediately. They gave me instructions on adjustments for the cart, but no matter what adjustments were made, the cart continued to tip backwards.

The inevitable happened…Jack FlashJack fell head over heels backward in the cart and then tipped over sideways… The Cart Company eventually sent us a new cart. They acknowledged the angle bar had been bent, and the wheel tilt unacceptable. They added larger wheels, and changed the wheel blocks on the cart. This time, they sent the cart to us in one piece. However, the rear of the cart was too tall, and the cart now, instead of tilting backwards, tilted forwards. All the weight of the cart was on Jack's front legs, along with the burden of carrying his own weight. I called the Cart Company again, and they gave me instructions for, once again, adjusting the cart. Once again, I took out the toolbox to make the necessary adjustments. My husband offered to help. However, upon trying to loosen an Allen screw, he discovered it was stripped. The screw would have to be drilled out! Luckily, through AOL, I met a woman in my town who bred Old English Mastiffs. Being dog lovers, she and her husband offered their help. Previously, they had come to my home, to help me with the last cart, in an attempt to adjust it properly. The husband had an auto repair shop, and offered to remove the damaged screw. I drove to the shop with the cart, where the damaged Allen screw was replaced with a new one. While there, they adjusted the cart, as per the cart company's instructions. That evening, once again, my husband and I placed Jack in the cart. No change, the cart still tipped in a forward direction! It took both of us to hold up the front end of the cart in order to enable Jack to walk. The cart was not properly balanced for Jack.. Another friend came to the rescue. This time, the wheels were moved closer to the middle of the cart, and although the cart was a bit better, it was still not balanced properly for Jack. The cart, it appeared, was useless…While many dogs take to the cart, Jack could not…The fit was wrong, and by this time, it was too late to send the cart back aga in. I cannot help but wonder if perhaps the cart had been made properly the first time, if Jack might still be alive…. (Since then, I have discovered there is more than one cart company)

The last week of June 1998, was one of the worst weeks of my life. DM was playing Russian Roulette with Jack's mobility. On more than one occasion, Jack was unable to get up without my help. Each time I thought he was down for good, he would somehow summon the strength, eventually, to move. One night, after a week of firing blanks, the real DM bullet finally hit the bone…Jack never got up again…

Once Jack could no longer get up, I slept downstairs with him. My friends in the support group were all distressed by the panic they saw in the words I typed. Helpless to change the outcome of this heartbreaking disease, they all lent a shoulder. How could I care for Jack Flash, now that he was down? I did not wish to put him to sleep, as his eyes were still full of life, and he did not seem to mind being down, as long as he was near me. Several of the people in the support group had already lost their dogs to secondary complications of DM, but they remained with the group and still attended our meetings. Needless to say, walking a mile in each other's shoes, we have become a very close knit group with ties that bind.

I had become exceptionally close with one couple, Karen and Bob Spicuzza, from Michigan. I reside in New York. Karen, Bob, and I had been communicating with each other regularly. Bob had sent a body harness, which he made for Jack, to help us lift Jack into the cart. When Bob and Karen heard that Jack was finally down for good, Karen, a critical care nurse, informed me she and Bob would come to NY to teach me how to care for Jack. Once a dog is down, specific care is required, if one is to attempt to battle pneumonia, and the inevitable bedsores that come as a result of being down. Karen's husband, Bob, is an engineer, and he was going to try to construct a lift type of device to help me get Jack Flash into the cart, as it was next to impossible to get such a large dog into a cart alone. It was a 16- hour drive, from their home in Michigan, to our home in New York. The length of the trip did not deter them. Within a few days of Jack going down, Karen and Bob were on their way to my home, with their German Shepherd puppy, Czar. They would stay in a motel close to our home, as no one wished to distress Jack by the introduction of a pup, in his state.

Karen and Bob arrived laden with gifts for Jack. They brought a fuzzy lion that squeaked (which immediately endeared them to Jack), a huge faux sheepskin washable bed, that had to be at least 8" thick, and an air mattress that plugged into the wall, circulating air throughout pockets in the mattress. The air mattress was to go under the sheepskin bed, to prevent bedsores by cushioning Jack thoroughly. Karen showed me how to turn Jack, without rolling him over on his back, how to sponge bathe him without getting too much soap into his fur, and helped any way she could. She also brought cans of "Bag Balm" in case Jack did develop sores, and went shopping with me for other things I would need. During this time, Bob was busy constructing a lift for Jack...

I had been using the Comfort Sling to get Jack from one place to another since he had been down. As he was not used to walking in this type of device, it was confusing to him. With the comfort sling, you must steer the dog from behind. However, without the comfort sling, I don't know how I could have moved Jack the distances I needed to move him. It was a major effort to get Jack to walk in the sling. Getting him up and away from his bed was difficult, however, once he realized he was on his way back to his bed, he moved quickly and enthusiastically. He was becoming stubborn like a mule.

By this point, Jack had, for the most part, become incontinent. I found that "Depends Easy Fit" worked for a male dog, and with the velcro straps, the fit was quite good. They were easy to put on and easy to remove. Placed sideways around Jack, like a belt, they contained the urine. I changed Jack every hour, and kept him scrupulously clean. Luckily, his bowel movements remained firm, and were easily picked up in a matter of seconds. Most of the time, Jack did not even realize he was going, and those times that he did, he was reassured, and given a kiss on his head, to let him know all was ok. Jack's cheery attitude continued along with his playfulness. Karen and Bob agreed he was far from being ready to be put down. Jack was still full of life.Jack Flash

Karen and Bob stayed for 3 days. During their stay, they also tried to help us with the new cart. Bob noticed that when Jack walked in the cart, in addition to the cart tilting forward, the wheels and the rear of the cart would bow out from Jack's weight. He went to a store, and purchased a threaded bar to hold the wheels in place. He removed the wheels, place the threaded bar in the proper place, and reattached the wheels. Karen and Bob were the nicest people we had ever had the pleasure of meeting. Their help was invaluable, and their compassion was endless. In the few days we spent together, we came to feel as though we had known each other forever. To this day, we remain the best of friends. I don't know what I would have done without their help!

Jack was still swimming throughout this entire period. I used the rear end harness to get him up and down the steps to the pool. Once in the pool, Jack was in his element. He swam happily, enjoying his exercise time greatly. After his swim, we sat out on the shaded area of the back deck, watching the world go by, and savoring our time together. Jack would contentedly munch his carrot bone, and I would sit next to him on the blanket, cherishing the moments we shared. Although I had begun to face the possibility of having to put him down, I knew he was not yet at that stage. Jack Flash still was enjoying life, handicaps and all. He had my undivided attention. My life was on hold, but I didn't care, as long as Jack was content to be by my side.

I was prepared to devote all my time to him, for however long he remained happy.. I knew the time would come when I would no longer see joy for living in his eyes, and I dreaded that day with a passion. I hoped and prayed that day would not come for a long, long time…

About the last week of June 1998, Jack developed a urinary tract infection. He was placed on antibiotics, and the infection cleared up. However, his stomach became irritated from the antibiotics. He became gassy and uncomfortable. Phayzme was administered, to dissolve the gas.

By the end of July, the beginning of August, being down was beginning to interfere with Jack's movement of his bowels. His appetite, always good, seemed to be deteriorating. The skin between his legs became irritated, from always being together, in addition to a lack of air circulation. I had been placing a pillow between his legs, as shown by Karen, to try to ensure air circulation, but Jack always managed to dislodge the pillow. No matter how many times I washed Jack, dried him, and powdered between his legs, the insides of his legs were always damp. I was afraid he was beginning to get an infection, although he still had not developed bedsores.

On August 2, 1998, Jack did not want to eat. His eyes were still "happy eyes" however, and he still continued to play for hours. I was the one to tire first, but I always kept up the games, as long as he wished to play. I was rarely on the computer anymore, checking only to see if there was new DM cases needing attention. I always made it my business to check and see if any new emails regarding DM arrived, for I remembered how distressed I became when Jack's diagnosis was communicated to me. The computer was located upstairs, in my home, and I would wait until Jack Flash had fallen asleep to go upstairs and respond to emails. As soon as I was done, I would go back downstairs to be with Jack.

On August 4, 1998, Jack Flash had still not regained his appetite. He seemed tired and listless, and he had been sleeping more than usual, the past 2 days. In the afternoon, while walking Jack out to the pool for his swim, he became quite ill. He suffered a major bout of projectile diarrhea. I washed him thoroughly, and we went outside to sit on his blanket, on the shaded area of the deck. My husband was home that day. We could see that Jack no longer looked happy…We called Jon, one of our vets. We asked if there was any medication that we could give to Jack, to ease his stomach problems. We hoped this was merely a problem that would pass in a day or so. Jon stated things would not get better for Jack, only worse. He believed Jack's system was shutting down, due to the DM. We discussed the urinary tract infection that Jack had experienced, the skin between Jack's legs, and the current stomach problem plaguing Jack. Jon, who had twice saved Jack's life, thought it was time to put Jack to sleep. My husband and I had always agreed that when Jack was no longer happy, we would not selfishly hold on to him... Neither one of us wished for him to suffer. Jack Flash deserved more than that…he was one special friend. Looking at Jack, we saw he no longer looked happy. We asked Jon to come to the house, at the end of office hours, so Jack could leave this world peacefully, in his own home, on the shaded deck overlooking the water he loved so well…

During the three hour wait for Jon to arrive, the world seemed to alternately move at both accelerated and snail type paces. Suddenly, everything became almost surrealistic. Everything seemed to be out of place. It was a beautiful day, and I remember hearing the birds singing in the trees. I remember wondering what there could possibly be to sing about on a day like this…I was about to lose my beloved best friend. I was about to lose the friend that had saved my life. Jack Flash had saved my life, but I was unable to save his…I felt so helpless. My reverie was interrupted by the sound of squeaking. Jack Flash, who had been sleeping, was awake and ready to play! My heart plunged to my toes, and my husband and I looked at each other in horror. Were we doing the right thing? Was it REALLY time? If it was time, why was Jack happily playing with his toys??? We agreed to take a "wait and see" attitude, in the time that remained until Jon showed up. We decided that when Jon came, perhaps we might thank him for coming over, pay him for his visit, and send him on his way…

Jack played for a very short time, and then just sat on the deck, watching the world go by. My husband and I wrestled and agonized over the right choice to make. Our hearts were breaking. One of our sons showed up to say good-by to his beloved companion. Our other son, living in Chicago, called on the telephone, insisting we put him on speaker so he could also say good-bye to the companion that had shared so many years with him. It was almost time for Jon to arrive. Jack seemed to be ok, and we were frantic, with the approaching appointment at hand. Finally, the doorbell rang, and I couldn't help but think, "the executioner has arrived…" My husband and I were still wavering with our decision. Jon walked through the house, onto the back deck, accompanied by Vic, a vet tech who had been to the house several times before, in an effort to help me with Jack's cart. Jack looked surprised to see them. In my mind, Jon and Vic were wearing black hoods…the executioners… Jon bent to examine Jack, and Jack became ill again. The look on Jack's face said it all…He was no longer happy. It was apparent, although I did not wish it to be so, that it was time…

I had requested that Jon give Jack a tranquilizer shot first, before the shot that would end Jack's life. From the experiences reported in the support group, I had been advised this was the best route to take. Jack's mind was functioning perfectly. He was still alert and intelligent, as only his body was being ravaged by this cruel and heart wrenching disease. I did not want Jack to fight it, as some of the dogs in our group had evidently had done. Jon gave Jack the tranquilizer shot, and after a few minutes, Jack's eyes began to close…I refused to give in to the tears that I felt in my heart. Jack was now the entire focus of my being. I would not allow the last moments of Jack's life be stressful moments, for I knew if he saw me in distress, he would not go peacefully into the night. I held Jack close, and told him how much I loved him, over and over again. I stroked his head, and I promised him I would see this DM fight through to the end…I promised he would not die in vain, and I swore to him I would not rest, until the disease that was taking him from me, was also permanently laid to rest. I prayed he would never forget me, I promised him I would NEVER forget him, and I assured him I knew our souls were one. Once again, I told him how much he was loved by all, and as his eyes closed, he lay his head down on his fuzzy toy for the last time…The vet came over and administered the final shot…Within moments, Jack was gone…

I know life will never be the same without my beloved Jack Flash. He was my lifetime dog, my lifetime friend, and part of my soul…

My husband and Vic drove Jack's body to the animal hospital, and made arrangements for Jack's cremation. I plan for his ashes to be with me forever, throughout eternity… Jon, who had to go to a previously planned appointment, remained with me until my husband returned home. The importance of Jon's appointment seemed to fade, confronted with my grief. He wrapped his arms around me, while I cried till I thought my heart would burst…It must have been hard on Jon, too, having to take the life he had saved so many times before…

I light a candle for Jack every night to honor his memory. I want him to know I will always love him. I want him to know he will never be forgotten… A beautiful "memory book", sent to me by an internet friend, will hold pictures I had taken of Jack Flash during his lifetime, in addition to the beautiful cards, emails, and letters that were sent to me in honor of his passing.

The world looks different to me now, without Jack Flash's physical presence by my side. I still hear the jingle of his collar, and I still come across the stray hair that somehow manages to escape the vacuum cleaner. I pick up each hair I find, and lovingly place it in the locket that holds his picture. I know it sounds strange, but each of those hairs, every single one, has the value of a diamond to me. I wonder how it is that I can still hear the jingle of his collar, and how those hairs manage to keep showing up, despite the 3 times a week my house is vacuumed. It has been 2 ˝ weeks since Jack has gone. Perhaps, it is only his body that is gone…

After all, we were, and always will be, throughout eternity, "Two Hearts, two hearts that beat as one…."

Marjorie Zimmerman …In Loving Memory of Jack Flash

Marjorie Ann Zimmerman + Jack Flash

..two hearts, two hearts that beat as one…

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Two Hearts: Our Battle with Degenerative Myelopathy

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