Remembering a family’s faithful friend

Jersey and Michael Hitchens on Michael’s first day of school several years ago. (Submitted photo)

GEORGETOWN — Christmas Day 2017 for the Hitchens family was one of immense and immeasurable heartbreak.

Jersey, a faithful member of the Hitchens family, brought happiness, joy and unconditional love to the Georgetown family.

The day after Christmas, a beloved member of the family — a dog named Jersey — passed away.

To many she was affectionately known as Cow, Cow Dog or Jersey Cow. Her short white fur base and orange/brown spots resembled … well … a Jersey cow.

Make no mistake, Jersey was certainly no ordinary pet.

She was no ordinary dog.

For a decade she was a devoted member of the Hitchens family, a stoic, motherly figure with fur. She was a four-legged guardian angel.

Jersey befriended the oldest son Michael.

Jersey, a faithful member of the Hitchens family, brought happiness, joy and unconditional love to the Georgetown family.

Throughout her life Jersey was a faithful, loyal companion, providing compassion, friendship and unconditional love to Lesley and Michael Hitchens and their children.

And Jersey was a rescue dog of sorts. That is a loving, amazing — and perhaps life-saving — chapter to her life story.

One summer night back in 2010, Jersey’s unique sense sensed something was not right with son Greysen.

“At the age of 5, Grey began having nocturnal seizures. We had no idea. Our home has a split floor plan so our room is on the other side of the house,” Ms. Hitchens said.

“Jersey began coming into my room in the middle of the night, running her head under my blanket and pushing at my hands or legs. When I got up, I tried to put her outside, but she refused.

“Instead she walked to Greysen’s room. I found Grey in a post-seizure state. Because of that, we went to the doctor, who sent us to the specialist, who sent us for the MRI that led to an early diagnosis of his brain tumor allowing us to get treatment much earlier than we likely would have otherwise.”

For the most part Jersey she was Michael’s dog. But when Grey was down, Jersey never left his side.

With her passing, Facebook was flooded with condolences, remembrances and prayers. Such was the case earlier this year when Jersey faced health challenges.

There are photos, many of Jersey’s comforting smile, and many fond memories of those naps by the fire place, snoozes in beds and adventurous walks in the great outdoors, fetching sticks.

While Jersey never got to open her Christmas stocking, she was there to spend one more Christmas with her beloved family.

There are other much-loved dogs in the Hitchens’ home but it just won’t be the same. No dog can ever fill her paw prints. She had a very special place in the hearts of the family and many, many others.

One of Ms. Hitchens’ many Facebook posts accentuates what Jersey, the dog with white fur and orange and brown

Jersey enjoyed the great outdoors.

spots meant to her and family.

“Jersey, how do I ever thank you for being everything I never knew I was going to need? You were by my side through the darkest moments of my life and you alone knew the brokenness I showed to no one else. You became Michael’s best friend and Greysen’s guardian angel and my saving grace … perfection concealed beneath a spotted coat. You’ve been happiness in darkness, comfort through the unknown, a presence when loneliness threatened to drown …”

“I’ve loved many dogs, but you were no normal dog, you were more. Something deeper, more meaningful … hand-picked by God for this family and the trials we were to walk through. No other paws will ever fill the prints you’ve left behind.

“Today, I will cry and mourn your absence, but I will forever be grateful that God chose you for us. Thank you for everything, my sweet girl. Thank you for sharing a final Christmas. You are forever loved beyond words.”

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