Jasmine the dog leaves behind many friends who came to her aid


August 23, 1999|By Jeff Holland | Jeff Holland,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IT'S BEEN A WEEK of sadness and joy.

Jasmine, our aged, rotund retriever, passed on Tuesday. We adopted her four years ago, after her lifelong companion, Eastport yacht broker Jim Mann, left her an orphan.

During the last few months of Jim's illness, Jazzy had been passed around from household to household, as her mangy skin condition and aromatic presence kept most of Jim's family and friends from appreciating her innate loveliness.

Her shortcomings didn't discourage my family from giving her a home. We felt that this poor creature needed a decent place to spend the last few weeks or months of her life. She came into the house, looked around, saw a bouncy young chocolate Lab, a feisty old yellow cat, an 8-year-old kid eager to please, a lovely yard with day lilies to roll around in and a comfy bed to nap on.

She made herself at home. She came with a bag full of pills, a nervous condition that kept her gnawing on her paws, at least 40 extra pounds and a fur coat that ebbed and flowed with the seasons, leaving her bald from neck to tail in hot weather. In summer, she looked as if she were part Labrador, part manatee. But we loved her.

As time went by, it became clear she wasn't about to go anywhere fast. Her health improved, her skin cleared, her anxieties dissolved, her weight dropped -- a little -- and her fur grew back.

And that was Jazzy's new lease on life, until last weekend, when her poor old hips just wouldn't work any more. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Eastport provided a peaceful, painless end.

Jasmine leaves behind a long list of lifelong friends, including Ann Wallis White, Judy Templeton, and Ken and Tana Keyworth, who named their boat after her.

Bubba's buddies

Things are looking up for at least one other good dog. Bubba, the Anne Arundel County police dog who has been diagnosed with cancer, is about to receive a $1,000 donation from the Maritime Republic of Eastport (MRE).

Republic Premier Josh Cohen announced Friday that the MRE board had unanimously agreed to the contribution to help offset the cost of the German shepherd's chemotherapy. Apparently, Bubba's medical bills have depleted the Police Department's canine care budget.

"Dogs are important here in Eastport," he said. "We're stepping up to the plate to do our part, but we're challenging other groups and individuals to do their part as well."

Mike Miron, MRE minister of the exchequer, will present the check to Bubba's partner in fighting crime, Cpl. Keith Baumann, by way of the SPCA. If you'd like to help, call the Special Operations Department of the Anne Arundel County police at 410-222-8525.

A 100th birthday

On the joyful side, it was a big day Thursday for Elizabeth Knowles of Davidsonville, who celebrated her 100th birthday at South County Senior Center in Edgewater.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1899, Knowles was one of the area's first female lawyers. She studied at Detroit College of Law, now part of Michigan State University, married attorney Miles Knowles, and had two children, Helen Moore, director of the National Ballet in Washington, D.C., and Miles Knowles Jr., also a lawyer.

"She comes to the center four times a week by herself," says senior center assistant director Shirley Miller. "She likes to play cards; she was a very good artist, and still dabbles at it. We had a three-tiered cake with punch. We had a lot of the seniors who got a card together with many, many signatures on it."

Miller says that Knowles is modest about becoming a centenarian. "If you ask her her age, she'll say, `It's none of your business!' And now she'll say, `Now everybody knows how old I am!' "

Many happy returns to you, Elizabeth Knowles.

Pub Date: 8/23/99

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