A moving photo of a senior Labrador’s final trip to the beach has been inspiring and touching thousands of dog lovers.
In the photo, Jessie, a black Labrador, is all smiles as she runs and romps during her final trip to the beach.
The 15-year-old Lab was going blind and was already deaf. She also suffered from arthritis and needed to be lifted from a van for her last visit one of her favorite places: the beach.
Jessie may have been old she still had enough energy for a good run. She’s was a Lab after all and wouldn’t pass on the chance to have fun.
Lisa Rutter, from North Yorkshire, England, got Jessie as an 8-week-old puppy and as her beloved dog was nearing the end of her life, she wanted to give her a treat she knew she would enjoy.
In August 2015, Lisa took Jessie to Redcar beach. It was a day dedicated to fun and joy, but tears were still shed and a heart sure was warmed that day.
As Jessie ranon the beach, Lisa was captureda tear-jerking moment on her phone. Her beloved Labrador was having a ball – ears flapping the in the air as shed enjoyed the salty sand under her big webbed feet. It was a moment Lisa would always treasure in her mind.
“Although she couldn’t hear me shouting she knew I had treats and just by me putting my hand in my pocket it created this great pic of her at her happiest,” Lisa said. “Running is something I hadn’t seen in a long time from her.”
It was a very beautiful memory and Lisa knows how lucky she was to capture it.
“Jessie was tired after the run. We sat on the beach for a while and I chatted with her and shed a tear,” Lisa said. “I thanked her for being my number one girl and my best friend she gave me a big sloppy kiss.I gave her lots more treats and cuddles. Maybe I knew she didn’t have long left, I don’t know, I just knew I wanted to spend some quality time with her.”
Sadly, the Lab went off her food the next month and Lisa took her to the vet where she made the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep.
“Jessie looked up at me and at that point I knew it was time. She was ready. There had been no suffering and I was so glad of that,” she said. “They say you know when they are ready and I did. She had a great life. I cried a lot but also I knew she was at peace. Everything was so peaceful it was like she had fallen to sleep.”
Lisa admits missing Jessie every day and fondly recall her antics.
“Jessie lived for food. She had the longest tongue and gave the best kisses, she moulted terribly and constantly, she snored very, very loudly, she had very smelly paws, she snatched treats and she loved water but hated the bath,” she said. “We miss her everyday.”
In November, Lisa and her partner Jen, took their beloved dog’s ashes to be scattered in the Lake District.
Last month the couple saw a Best Old Dog Photo Competition being hosted by Off the Leash, a dog cartoon website run by artist Rupert Fawcett. She decided to submit Jessie’s last beach photo and earlier this week Rupert announced that that very photo had won the competition after picking up more than 9,500 likes.
“We cried when she was getting all of the likes. It was just amazing,” Lisa said. “She was always special to me but for all those people around the world to be saying how beautiful she is was overwhelming.It made me so proud to have had her as my pet.”