This is a story about my St. Bernard dog, Jeff. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. What kind of kook names their St. Bernard dog, Jeff. That would be me. I though it was a cute name for a dog. Maybe I should have named my St. Bernard dog Hero or Gentle Ben or maybe Lassie. You know – self fulfilling prophecy and all. Those names may have somehow magically transformed his heinous behavior into that of a gentle giant that is so true of the St. Bernard dog breed. I really don’t even know where to being. I got my Jeffy when he was a puppy of 8 weeks. He was so precious. A cute, albeit not so little ball of fur. He was so calm and quiet, I commented to my neighbor, “Rose, I think there’s something wrong with him – he’s always sleeping.” Jeff was cute, quiet, calm and nothing riled him.
Fast forward six months. I was so proud of my St. Bernard dog, Jeff. I proudly signed him for an “in-house” away from home dog training class. I literally could not wait for the trainer, whom I will refer to as Alien, to bring him home and sing the praises of my St. Bernard dog, Jeff. I surely was expecting, “Jeff was such a good boy,” and “Jeff is so smart” and “Jeff really caught on fast, and listens so well.” Instead I got “training Jeff was like training a dinosaur.” and “I sent Jeff out trick or treating with my brother to get him used to other people and my brother said that he will never go near that dog again. He almost broke his back.” What the hell does that mean? So, were you able to train him? Alien’s training classes set me back $1400.00 and Jeff learned to sit.
As time went by, Jeff, the St. Bernard dog became more and more wild and unruly. He acted up all the time. He jumped on everyone and as soon as someone new would walk through the door, he would pee on them. No amount of disciplining and correcting mattered to him. As even more time went by, Jeff’s unruliness and unsaintly like behavior turned into something more. He began to flip out any time he saw something outside through the window – be it a person, another animal, an ant or a leaf. He would get so nervous, that I feared he would actually go through the window. Well guess what – he did. Twice. Yes, my trusty companion went right through the glass of my dining room window and cut the artery in his paw. We had just gotten a beautiful new floor put in the dining room and brand spanking new carpet just installed in the living room. The two rooms are connected. Well, low and behold, Jeff the St. Bernard dog sees a leaf pass by the window, goes nuts and throws himself at the window, breaks the glass and cuts open his artery. Now keep in mind I am home alone. My fiance was at my mother’s house who, thankfully lives only a few doors down. Okay, now Jeff is squirting blood all over the dining room and living room floor. Can I call 911 for this? I’m trying to hold on to him so he won’t further injure himself – all while trying to stop the pulsating arterial blood flow from his paw. During this crisis, I’m trying to call Dave, my beloved fiance on his cell. I finally get him on the line and manage to scream into the phone, “Come home, Jeff cut himself and I can’t stop the bleeding!”, to which he replied, “why is the smoke alarm going off, what did you burn?” Excuse me? Anyway, Dave came home and said “Jeff, what did you do? You scared Mama.” Men. Anyway, Dave bandaged up poor Jeff, and rushed him to the emergency vet where Jeff had surgery to repair his paw.
Thank goodness that was over. Or Was It? Here we go again. Picture this – a beautiful sunny summer day. Jeff the St. Bernard Dog and his faithful companion Meadow, the Newfoundland dog, (my other angel) were relaxing in our breezeway which is all windows on one side. Uh oh – a butterfly. Yep, he did it again. Jeff the St. Bernard dog, once again went totally berserk and went through the glass again. Back to the vet we go.
Fast forward to winter. I decided to take Jeff the St. Bernard dog for a stroll. It’s cold and icy out, but that didn’t deter me. I was looking forward to a nice brisk walk with my daughter and Jeff the St. Bernard dog. I would walk Jeff, the St. Bernard first, then I would return to pick up Meadow, the Newfoundland for her turn. Well we started down the driveway without incident, but as soon as we hit the sidewalk he took off like gangbusters and dragged me on my belly for a half a block. His strength is unbelievable. I was panic stricken. Thank goodness my daughter was there to help me – or was she. No. She was writhing around in the snow laughing so hard, she couldn’t even catch her breath, let alone get up to to help me.
They love Jeff, the St. Bernard dog at the vet – when he has a muzzle on. As soon as Jeff walks into the vet’s office, it’s “Hey Jeffie, how are you doing, big guy? – get the muzzle”)
I will say though, when he goes to the groomer for his bath, haircut and nails cut, he is as good as gold. They can hardly wait for him to get there. The guys that own the place hug him and all the ladies hug and kiss him too. Jeff loves them. It’s there were his true St. Bernard characteristics really shine through. He’s sweet and loving, just as he is with his own family. Jeff the St. Bernard dog is the sweetest, kindest, cutest creature that you ever would want to meet. When I look at him, I could just cry. Wherever I go, Jeff is there. He is at my side as I write this. When my 90 year old mother comes over, he does not leave her side. When she gets up, Jeff gets up too – very slowly and allows her to lean on him as he helps her keep her balance. My mother lives for Jeff, the St. Bernard dog. He is her baby, (as is her beautiful granddaughter!). She fawns all over him and showers him with kisses. Meadow the Newfoundland gets her share of attention from my mother as well. “Good boy, Meadow.”
Jeff the St. Bernard has long since calmed down. He is now 7 years old, and I don’t want to think about him not being around anymore. My loyal companion, my friend, my Jeff.