Jesse James Hagen-Daazs
D.O.B. December 14, 1995 / D.O.D. January 01, 2011
Jesse James was a very special friend to me during our time together. We came together at a time in my life when I was just starting out on my own, and in need of a loyal friend. He was such a friend to me throughout the 15 years he was by my side.
He & I shared many adventures together. Sometimes it was just a quick trip to the corner store for a soda. Other times it would be week long road trips; camping, hiking and fishing our way throughout Arizona. His favorite words to hear were: “Jesse; wanna go for a ride in the Jeep?” He loved visiting family or friends for an afternoon barbeque and a chance to test out their swimming pool. Or a quick trip to the Salt River, to go swim out to greet the passing Tubers; usually with a stick (sometimes ½ a tree) in his mouth as an invitation to play fetch with him. And sharing my dinner with him when there wasn’t enough money for dog food until payday. (He didn’t mind of course) Or just sitting on the front porch at night with me, watching the rain for hours. And in his later years, helping us to raise our Scottish Deerhound girl “Sheba”; now 6 years old, and missing her big brother. Her gentle cries and whimpers continue today still as she constantly looks for him, waiting for him to come home.
I was blessed to be there as this little Yellow Labrador took his first breath as he was born. Fifteen years later I was there to hold him one last time in my arms as he took his last breath on our way to the emergency vet. This after coming home to find him unexpectedly coughing and unable to stand. As it became ever more apparent that he was quickly dying as we rushed to the hospital; I will never forget the wagging tail, and the absolute trust in his eyes as I spoke to him to try and comfort him in what would be our last moments together. As I held him in the back seat of the car; I silently prayed, “If you’re going to take him anyway Lord; please take him now.” My prayer was immediately answered. He lay there silent and peaceful. His suffering had just ended. Mine had just begun. I gently; reluctantly closed his eyes with my hand. My old friend was gone. Time stood still for what seemed an eternity.
He was buried very early yesterday morning, wrapped in my Wife’s old baby blanket that he loved to sneak off with and curl up in; despite the scolding that would surely follow. I tucked a new Rawhide bone and his favorite toy between his paws and under his chin; just how he’d often sleep with them. He was buried in a 2 acre pasture under an old cottonwood tree between Murphy Brown, his mother, and Wheezie, his sister. Jesse was the last of 10 siblings to pass.
He lived a long and happy life, and the memories of our time together will be forever etched in my soul.
You will be deeply missed my dear friend; but never forgotten. You are part of me.
January 3, 2011
I just received a phone call from my close friend this morning, who owns the property where Jesse was buried 3 years ago. He was faced with no option but to sell the property today; due to the divorce he is going through. A divorce he did not ask for. Despite his best efforts to keep the land and the house he built 14 years ago, before this marriage, there were no options. This, the home where both his children were born and raised. The pasture where our dogs often played and were laid to rest. Where I would visit Jesse beneath that cottonwood tree whenever I came by. Where good friends always came together to enjoy life and share stories. It is a special place to me as well.
After my friend moves out his home by the end of next month; I know I will not likely get to visit Jesse in his final resting spot again. This saddens my heart today. But I know my friend’s pain far outweighs anything I am feeling right now. He has countless memories of what was once his home. The last home he ever really wanted. Now he must move on in his life against his choosing. So must I.
January 24, 2014
I found a way today to make it by one last time to put 12 Yellow Roses on Jesse’s grave. I sat here for quite some time today, lost in the memories of a great dog. It started getting dark and I headed for home; where another Labrador, Wyatt James of Willowynde would surely be waiting for me; wondering where I’m at. February 22, 2014
Where to Bury a Good Dog
I am thinking now of a retriever; whose coat was golden in the sunshine, and who, so far as we are aware, never entertained a
mean or an unworthy thought. This retriever is buried
beneath a cottonwood tree, under four feet of pasture loam, and
at its proper season, the cottonwood strews its leaves upon the green
lawn of his grave. Beneath a cottonwood tree, or a fruit tree, or
any flowering shrub of the garden, is an excellent place to
bury a good dog.
Beneath such trees, such shrubs, he slept in the drowsy
summer, or gnawed at a flavorous bone, or lifted his head to
challenge some strange intruder. These are good places, in
life, or in death. Yet it is a small matter, and touches
sentiment more than anything else. For if the dog be well
remembered, if sometimes he leaps through your dreams
actual as in life, eyes kindling, questing, asking, laughing,
begging; it matters not at all where that dog sleeps at long
and at last.
On a hill where the wind is unrebuked, and the trees are
roaring, or beside a gentle stream he knew in puppyhood, or
somewhere in the flatness of a pasture land, where most
peaceful cattle graze. It is all one to the dog, and all one
to you, and nothing is gained, and nothing lost — if
memory lives. But there is one best place to bury a good dog.
One place that is best of all.
If you bury him in this place, the secret of which you must
already have, he will come to you when you call — come
to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the
well-remembered path, and to your side again. And
though you call a dozen living dogs to heel, they shall not
growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he
belongs there. People may scoff at you, who see no
lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no
whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who
may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for
you shall know something that is hidden from them, and
which is well worth knowing. The one best place to
bury a good dog is deep in the heart of his master.
In Memory of; Jesse James Hagen-Daazs
December 14th, 1995 – January 1st, 2011
Beautiful!! A worthy way to remember a great friend!!
How Beautiful! I truly believe you will meet again!
Wow!! Although it took me a long time to read this, because it’s very hard to read with your eyes filled up with tears, it was so beautiful!! Made me think of my own dog, Moose. I was holding him when he took his first breath, when he was born, and I was holding him when he took his last. Moose and I shared such a special bond, unlike any I had ever known before and although he’s been gone for almost 3 years, the pain is so great when I talk about him, I just can’t help but get flooded with emotion again.
Thank you so much Matt, for sharing that with us. Jesse James sounded like a very remarkable dog. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that you can contact the new owners of that property and convince them to let you visit your friends whenever you’d like.
I don’t share this story often. But know the overwhelming pain of losing a friend; be it a dog or person. I especially hope it reaches those who have recently lost someone dear to them; to let them know that memories are a blessing. That the tears will turn to smiles someday. Well, for the most part. This story continues as I type this. Shortly after Jesse passed, I got word of a litter of Yellow Lab pups. I was Very hesitant to go see them as I didn’t think I was ready just yet. I went anyway cause I’m stubborn that way. What I found was a Beautiful litter of Labs with a heart wrenching twist. Turns out they were born the same night Jesse passed away. They were a 1/2 mile away from the road where Jesse passed away that same night. It was Way to much to take in and I almost left. But when the lady asked me if I would like to hold one, I looked down and saw one looking right at me. I asked her if that one was a Male; and she said Yes. I asked her to mark him some how ; that he would be coming home with me when he was ready. He is know as Wyatt these days. 🙂 He is incredible in every way, and is so different than Jesse was in his ways; that it worked out just fine. He has never been compared to Jesse in any meaningful way the last 3 years. He is his own self. And I’m blessed to have him. So the story continues. I still miss Jesse often; but it is Wyatt’s time now. I’m sure Jesse would love him.
So lovely. I wrote a poem after losing my best friend. (Think it’s on here. It was a tough one to write, for sure) I had him as a tiny baby, and held his bleeding head in my arms as he died… Hardest day in my life. It has made me even more strong and compassionate, though.
May you one day meet again <3
This is very emotional story.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by galenkpreston.
I know how much you love your close friend Jesse James, the same to me, when I lost Pawdy, anything done can’t ease my sorrow! Now two years have passed, I still miss him!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.