Jackie, Serena William’s Jack Russell terrier, was there for her when she got home after she won her very first Grand Slam. She’d gotten the tiny pup just a couple of weeks before, at the age of seventeen.
Sixteen years later, Serena had to—as we all must when it comes to our furry friends— say goodbye.
“Today really is hard for me,” Serena wrote. “My special friend, in which I got at 17 (2 weeks before I won my very first Grand Slam, left me today.”
She went on to say that while Jackie had been sprinting like a pup only a few days prior, “it was time for me to be brave and let her go.” Serena’s father was with her to say goodbye to her devoted friend.
Serena felt the loss immediately. “I got out of the shower this afternoon, and she was not there to lick my leg as she did every day to remind me how much she loved me.”
We’ve all been there—there’s always something to remind us, whether it’s the lack of a collar jingling, tappy toes on the floor, or cold feet in the morning, that our furry friends are no longer with us.
As anyone who has ever bonded with an animal knows, their lives are simply too short. The grief one feels after losing a pet can be every bit as intense as the grief of losing a human friend or family member.
Yet, despite the awful pain of losing a pet, their lives are still a bright, shining spot in our own. The joy that they bring us, the support that they give us, and the selfless embrace of their love is something that not even the pain of their passing can touch.
Here at PawedIn, we feel for Serena during this painful time—we’ve all been there, just as we’ll be there again.
Truly, to give a happy little soul like Jackie such a long and fulfilling life is a gift… one which Jackie repaid with her devoted love, despite having no idea that her “Mom” is one of the most famous athletes in the world.
So, in honour of Jackie, we’d like to offer our condolences in the words of a writer far greater than myself. When eulogizing his dog Boatswain, Lord Byron penned some of his most memorable verses:
Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.
This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Boatswain, a Dog
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808
For all of our friends whose beauty is unmarred by vanity, whose strength lacks arrogance, and whose bravery foregoes viciousness, we are grateful. And for all those who have lost a pet, we extend our sympathies.