On Thursday March 30, 2017, Jagger Walsh took his last breath. He was 10 years old, and died from cancer.
Jagger was a bad dog. He suffered from separation anxiety and a general dislike of people. He most disliked when people used the front door, regularly charging and nipping at our visitors upon entering and exiting. If a guest shielded himself from the bite, Jagger violently ripped at the door mat. A coping mechanism, we mused.
Jagger was a Lhasa Apso, a Tibetan breed known for its beautiful coat of long hair. We can’t blame Jagger for his incessant barking and aggressive behavior; Lhasa Apso’s were bred to be fiercely protective, suspicious of strangers and to alert their owners of intruders. In this respect, Jagger was actually a good dog. He took his role very seriously, much to the chagrin of our neighbors, friends, the postman, and visiting family.
Despite his beautiful coat of hair, Jagger was not a beautiful dog. He had an under bite that stuck out like a bull dog. His front feet were deformed as well, pointing outward like a duck or a dancer. This gave him a very characteristic look – a Lhasa Bull Duck like none other. But despite his flaws, Jagger was very confident. He would jump onto your lap and paw at your legs until you gave him hugs, scratches, and kisses. And you were happy to give him your affection, because once Jagger stopped barking at the door, he was actually extraordinary sweet. Like a Sour Patch Kid. First sour, then delicious.
Jagger’s favorite past time was running in and out from the open screen door, enjoying the warmth of the sun for a few moments before running inside to ensure his family was still okay. He also loved going on daily walks around the park with his mom. During the afternoon, he sat in the studio listening to his dad make music. By all accounts, Jags was an avid music critic and gave sound advice.
Those who met Jagger know he had a hard exterior. But once making it through his front door – both literally and metaphorically – Jagger protected you. His barks weren’t aggressive, but rather a loud “Hello” – like from an old deaf man. His front teeth were just an upside smile. And his dainty walk reminded you that to his core, Jagger was a gentleman.
Jagger was a bad dog, but he was the best bad dog we ever had. We will forever miss his blond body running up and down the stairs, jumping on our beds and cuddling when we felt sad, bored, or simply in need of unconditional and never ending love.
Jagger, I hope there are a million doors to bark at in heaven. Love you forever – rest in peace.