THE Golden Retriever


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The Thoughtfulness of a Dying Child

In March of 2004 Jarrett was diagnosed with a GBM stage IV. A terminal brain tumor. After his surgery he was taken to intensive care to recover from his brain tumor removal. We were sitting there when he woke up and after we asked him how he was feeling he proceeded to tell us that he wanted a golden retriever. Well, in the gift shop there was a larger stuffed golden retriever so I went down there and bought it. I took it back up to the room and gave it to him. It took it with a smile and used it for a pillow and fell soundly asleep again. Hours went by and he was sleeping as peacefully as anyone could sleep. When he woke up he was bright eyed and busy tailed as ever. We asked him how he liked his golden retriever. He said it was nice then he looked his mother dead in the eye and said " Remember Mommy, you promised me a real Golden Retriever Puppy". I could not believe what I heard. I looked at my wife and she seemed just as perplexed as I as to where the request came from. Jarrett and his mother proceeded to banter back and forth about who said what. Not another word was spoken again about the puppy until late June 2004 when he asked "By the way when amd I getting my Golden Retriever Puppy?" We thought he had forgotten about the puppy. You see, we never had any pets in out adult life and that is what made this request even more unusual. We started talking about the reasons why we did not want to get the dog when we realized that the reasons were selfish ones on our part. I went to work the next day and told my boss the story about Jarrett's request for a Golden Retriever. The next day my boss came to me and said that the employees were all going to pitch in and buy Jarrett the puppy. About this same time Jarrett had an appointment at Johns Hopkins' Oncology department. When the Dr. was asking Jarrett how he was feeling, she could tell Jarrett was a little down. This was unusual because he was never, and I mean never down. She asked Jarrett if he wanted us to leave the room and he said yes. We left the room and she asked him again what was wrong. This time he told her that he wanted to get a Golden Retriever puppy but we would not get it for him. Well, the Dr. pulled out her prescription pad and proceeded to write a prescription  for "One Golden Retriever Puppy". He came out of the exam room and proudly waved his prescription and proclaimed that we had to buy him the puppy now because had a prescription. On July 28th 2004 we picked up a brand new 2004 model year Golden Retriever. The 11 lb furball melted our hearts instantly. He proceeded to name the puppy Jallo. He named her after his neurosurgeon Dr. George Jallo. The next few months went along as normal as possible with the exception of having this puppy to care for 24/7. Moving forward in September 2004 Jarrett's tumor started to grow back. We knew that once the tumor started growing back that his health would deteriorate rapidly. One day my wife's cousin was over the house and she told Jarrett that it will be fun to watch the puppy grow up. Jarrett said" You know what? I am not going to be around to watch her grow up, I probably will not even be around for her first birthday but I did not get the puppy for me I got her for my mommy so she would not be alone by herself during the day after I am gone." You see, Jarrett's mother has always been a stay at home mom. This child forego all of his personal feelings to make sure that his mommy would not be alone.  


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This site was last updated 10/13/08