tributes - jemma



In Memory of Jemma

Jemma, a Golden Retriever mix, was adopted in 2003 by my cousin, Alison. She was estimated to be 3-4 years old at the time, so was not in the age group that is most typically adopted. She loved to run (sometimes, too far away!) and originally had a fenced yard. But when she moved to Portland, she only had a small yard, so Alison often took her for walks around Baxter Boulevard and to the dog park to run. She was also fairly famous at the dog wash, and even starred in a website advertisement! Alison is a pediatric nurse, and always hoped to have Jemma certified as a therapy dog and work with the kids at MMC. She hired a dog walker during her long shifts so that Jemma would also get long walks, instead of just being fed and let outside. Although she was not able to devote the necessary time and training to certify Jemma, she always had the greatest admiration for therapy and service dogs. So we wanted to honor Jemma by providing a donation to Planet Dog, which helps fund so many important programs. Jemma was a therapy dog in her own right, providing love and support to her family during some very trying times not long after she was adopted. "Rescued" dogs have a way of rescuing their "humans", too. Over the past several years, however, there have been many happy times as Alison met her now husband Luke, and last year they welcomed baby Joel into the world. It is unfortunate that her time with Joel was so short, but it also seems that special dogs like Jemma know when it is o.k. to leave, even though they'd much rather stay with their family forever. That feeling is mutual, of course. Goodbye and thank you, sweet Jemma for watching over my cousin when she needed you most, and making many happy memories over the years. You will be missed by all who loved you.