Posted on October 18, 2022

Jasper - Gebo's

As we drove to the dump one day, we rounded the corner going to the Highway,  on the corner, we noticed a new neighbor. He was an old friend named Mike, who used to live next door to our daughter. 

 I stopped to visit with him, while I was in the road, as he was walking out to talk to me, in his driveway, sat a big beautiful black German Shepherd, I commented to him about what a good looking dog he had. He replied,  “Oh that’s Jasper.” Mike stated that he was still working in the oil field, 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, he said that his dog was so loyal that he never left the driveway and his girlfriend came to feed him everyday. 

 We visited a little bit more and I proceeded to go to the dump. Weeks went by and every week as I drove to the dump, I’d see Jasper sitting in the driveway awaiting for Mike’s return. 

 Soon spring came and all the neighborhood kids, as well as my 2 granddaughter’s, were out on their bicycles riding up and down our rural roads.  One day I noticed that all the kids were in our front yard playing and having fun. When I looked out the window, they had Mike’s dog Jasper with them. I called out to the kids, “that’s Mike’s dog, why is he here?“ They exclaimed, that they road past Mike’s house and Jasper followed them here. 

 I couldn’t really say much about it, as I knew Mike was probably at work and the dog was having such a great time with the kids.  Well, Jasper decided to stay at our house.

 My husband took him home only to have him come right back to our house minutes later.

 Jasper soon caught on that the school bus picked up the kids early in the mornings and brought the kids back everyday about 3:45. I looked out to see if the bus was coming one afternoon and noticed, there sat Jasper in the middle of our road,  looking down the street waiting for the bus to turn our corner to drop the girls off. The girls got off the bus and Jasper was so excited to see them. They played all evening with him.  We were all outside enjoying the beautiful day when we seen Mike’s Truck heading down our road. He seen his dog and stopped. He said “Jasper, what  are you doing over here?” I told Mike that Jasper followed the kids over here one day and he hasn’t left yet.   Mike laughed and hollered at Jasper to follow him home. As he took off Jasper was right behind him. The next morning, I turned on the porch light for the kids to go out to the bus and there sat Jasper waiting in the road, waiting for the kids. As the kids boarded the bus, Jasper was right behind them. I could hear all the kids laughing and the bus driver said, “Dogs can’t go to school.” Jasper came out of the bus looking heart broke.  

 He laid in the road, when a good friend of ours, Lynn, while on his way to work,  noticed Jasper looking so sad, he decided to stop and give Jasper a cookie. This went on every morning, Lynn would drive by and give Jasper his cookie and give him a good petting.

 Every day I’d look out to see the bus coming and there sat Jasper in the road. He was looking toward the road where he knew the bus would be rounding the corner to bring the kids home. I told the girls to walk Jasper back to Mike’s house and explain to Mike what he had been doing, Mike said it was fine and told the kids as long as he’s with you kids, I won’t worry about him,  “when I come home from work, I’ll drive down your street and he can follow me home. “  Months went by, winter came and it was so cold the kids let Jasper in the house, while Mike was at work.  Jasper made himself at home, sleeping in the girls room every nite until we knew Mike was coming home.  One night, Mike knocked on the door, I invited him in and here came Jasper so glad to see him. I explained to Mike that the girls let him in when it got cold, he said , it was fine and he knew where Jasper would be.  Jasper followed Mike home once again, only to come back in time for the school buses arrival the next morning and to get his cookie from our friend Lynn.  This went on and on for months even years.  One day Mike came by during the middle of the day, while the kids were in school. We had a very long talk and he told me that he had been going through cancer treatments. He wasn’t getting any better and that he needed to make sure that Jasper would be well taken care of  in the event something was to happen to him.  Mike asked me if he could give Jasper to the girls and I agreed it would be fine. 

I invited him for supper and told him he could tell the girls when he came over.  Mike didn’t want the girls to know about his cancer, so we just stayed upbeat about Jasper coming to live with the girls permanently, but as Mike got ready to leave there went Jasper out the door to follow him home, only to come back in the morning to meet the school bus and his friend Lynn to get his cookie.  Months later Mike passed away and Jasper never went back to Mike’s house. It’s like he knew Mike was gone.

 Jasper is now getting very old. Mike never knew exactly how old he was because Mike’s son got him from an animal rescue for Mike, but to guess by Jasper’s grey hair now,  he is up in age of maybe 14 or 15.

 The kids have gotten older now, the oldest almost 18 and the other 14.

 Jasper still meets them at the door as they come in. He no longer runs down the street, but if the girls go out of the house, he still follows them slowly. 

 Now he stays inside in the girl’s room enjoying his rest and only goes out to use the bathroom or with the girls.  We know he’s in a lot pain and he’s probably near the end of his life. Jasper has been a great dog, I swear he knows what you say to him.  He does what you tell him to, and has been very loyal to the whole family, especially the girls.  I just want to say Thank You Mike for giving Jasper to our family and all the neighborhood kids and Lynn.

 Jasper has been and always will be a precious member of our rural neighborhood.

Written by: Bobbie Gaunder

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