Jernigan Land… Our Last Days

On Sunday Jeff goes to Dave’s and Ruby’s graduation ceremony for owners and their service dogs. I am invited too but Jeff insists that one of us (hmm… who could he mean?) stay back with the dogs. Later, Dave confides in me that he is still shocked that Jeff left me behind. Dave encourages us to leave a cell phone behind to record how long the dogs whine and bark as we go off without them. (I am ashamed to say that we still have not tried this! But we will, Dave, I promise!)

We spend our last few days with Dave parked in his driveway. Patty and Mike are off to Sacramento, CA, to visit Mike’s mother.



I like being with Dave. He has so many interesting thoughts and opinions. I like the way he knows his mind. For example when we order a carry-out, he knows exactly what he is in the mood for and makes excellent recommendations for us. Jeff dislikes thick crust pizza yet Dave convinces him that the only way to order a crust from Chicago Pizza is thick. His choice of the spicy Hawaiian is perfect too!

You should see the many examples of his photo-shopping skills and the interesting websites he finds. There’s a place in Georgia where an old car junk yard has turned into an outdoor sculpture museum. The pictures are amazing: trees growing through cars, cars splitting tree trunks, and cracked windows creating ghostly mosaics.

Watching movies and television is fun with him too! He selects some that he knows we will like and that fit the mood of the day. He is just so easy and enjoyable to be around. I feel so relaxed and peaceful.

Casey and Murph get along well with Ruby, his service dog, and now even Marley, Patty’s young German Shepherd. But I still sleep inside the RV at night with our dogs while Jeff stays on the upstairs couch. Four dogs can be a lot sometimes! Check out this blog that Ruby’s puppy raiser, Christine, created about her called, Raising Ruby.


Jeff and Dave like to watch mixed martial arts together. I opt out but we all enjoy the finals of American Ninja Warrior, especially since 2 Americans finish all 4 courses for the first time ever! Dave used to go watch the famous heavies of the WFC practice in a nearby gym. He has a gallery of pictures on his wall. A bus used to come by his house and take him places. Now, however, his address has been cut from the route by less than a third of a mile! I am still upset about this. It just isn’t fair to cut off his independence! In December Dave is flying out with a friend to watch a big fight in Las Vegas.


Wednesday we meet Andy, Daisy, Emjay, Jasley, Eliska, and Jace at Famous Dave’s barbecue restaurant. Dave stays home because it is past his dinner time. I get a picture of the Jerni-gents:


and the Jerni-gals:


We exchange lots of hugs and “I love you”s as we say goodbye. Emjay tells me she still has ten hundred things to tell me but there is no more time! Bye, Jernigans. You are an awesome family!!!!!!

Mike and Patty return Thursday evening and Friday morning brings more tearful goodbyes as we head to Lake Elsinore, CA for the winter and Kelly-O’Connell Land.

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