May Our Dog Jefferson Rest in Peace!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
July 18, 2012

Seventeen impossible years ago, my wife Karen and I were given a stray dog found by a friend at Travis Park: a black Labrador-Chow pup. It just so happens that Jefferson Street is on the east side of the park. Between that street name and one of our favorite U.S. Presidents, we thought to name him Jefferson!

Interestingly enough, when our friend first brought him over for us to see him, I took one look at the size of his paws and told my wife, “He's going to be a really big dog and I'm not sure we want a big dog.” But Karen insisted that we take him. When my wife Karen, a longtime cat lover, went to pick him up, he immediately jumped up in her lap as she drove him home. They bonded from that point forward!

In time, he grew to be a medium-sized dog. More importantly, Jefferson became a member of our family! Jefferson was about the fourth dog I ever had. But he was truly the finest dog of all. He was beautiful and had a great disposition, nearly perfect in every way. Yet, he was able to let strangers know that he was the master of his back yard by barking at them.

He was a good watchdog! He not only had our back but the backs of our adjoining neighbors who didn't have watch dogs themselves. He made for a loving relationship with all whom he met.

Jefferson had big paws, a big nose, floppy ears, a velvety head and that classic good-looking Labrador look! I'm not sure what goes into the kind of dog that makes for a good pet, but he sure seemed to have it all. He was not destructive of anything, never jumped our fence and never embarrassed us in any way. Speaking of embarrassing, I'll never forget one of our Adkisson Family dogs trotting proudly around the corner of our house just as our family returned from church one Easter Sunday morning, proudly displaying our neighbor's dead purple Easter chicken in his mouth. Our Jefferson would never have done that!

I don't know if it's a Labrador trait, but when asked to “shake” Jefferson always put up his left paw. Over time we knew when he lifted his paw that we were to give him a treat. He trained us!

But as life at the end sometimes does, we had to accept that he was trying to go to Heaven! Thankfully, we were able to find an incredibly gracious 24-hour Veterinarian to assist us in the difficult task of saying goodbye to such a beloved and noble friend in his final moments. What a class act for our dog named Jefferson to leave us on the Fourth of July, the same day as Thomas Jefferson. May Jefferson Rest in Peace!

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