Jethro P. Rosenthal passed away on 2/14/2018 at his home surrounded by the ones who knew and loved him the most. His passing came after a sudden onset of health issues for which there would be no remedy. It was only fitting that he passed on Valentine’s Day as he was such a lover and a gentle soul. Saying goodbye to Jethro, having to accept that the decision we had to make was both the correct and the humane thing to do, was brutally painful. That pain we felt on that last day was greatly lessened by Caring Pathways, and especially Dr. JoAnna Anzelmo-Rump, who performed the service in the most caring, empathetic, manner possible. Jethro passed peacefully in his bed and in our arms and I am so grateful that his end did not involve a stressful trip to the vet.
Here is just a small piece of Jethro’s story.

I adopted a black lab mix named Jimmy from the DDFL in August of 2009, the day after I finished grad school. DDFLs best guess was that he was 2 ½ – three years old. They had just received him seven days earlier from a shelter in Northern New Mexico and their best guess was that he was an Indian reservation dog. He was completely lacking in social skills and self confidence and was malnourished but made up for all of that with a healthy amount of kennel cough. When I first met him in a tech room at DDFL he had green discharge emitting from his nose and he cowered against the wall. He did, however, have the most beautiful copper eyes, big floppy ears, and a head that appeared to be two times bigger than his body. Sometimes you just know and I knew that I was meant to be with this beautiful dog.

His name was immediately changed to Jethro, which in time morphed into Jethro P. Rosenthal III. Over the years Jethro also came to be known as Sir, Big Black Dog, Rosie, Jethies, The Sausage King (Jethro developed Cushing’s Disease two years ago which caused his belly to bloat, making him look like a sausage when he would lay down and stretch out), Tank, Rain Man (Yes, we all believed that Jethro was unquestionably autistic), Hoover, and many others.

Jethro spent the first several weeks in his forever home living on the stairwell landing, too afraid to venture anywhere else in his new domain. But with lots of love and patience, and copious amounts of treats, we made it through those first several weeks and, over time, Jethro ever so slowly came out of his shell and became the dog we all love and remember.

He was my best friend and companion for nine years that were filled with joy. Working from home, I was blessed with being able to spend so much time with him. The rest is a random list of Jethro-isms that filled my world with joy.

I will always remember seeing his curled up black tail circling the bed before nuzzling my hand first thing in the morning, excitedly waiting for me to get up to let him outside. He always moved from my left to right side half way down the stairs (remember the Rain Man nickname) on our way out.

His pterodactyl-like yawns that were like nothing I have ever heard before.

His low growls, yelps, and twitching paws as he dreamt away of, what I like to imagine, chasing the squirrels and maybe even catching one.

Knowing commercials that contained animals simply by the music, which would cause him to race to the front of the TV where he would jump on his hind legs while barking at the animals on the TV.

Jethro owned the back of the SUV (the back seats were always down and the whole back area was covered in his blankets) and would move from window to window to take in the sights and smells of the world around him, while also taking time sit between the two front seats and look straight ahead, as if he were navigating, but to also get an ear scratch, and to block any other dog with us from getting any attention. His love of going for rides was always evident by the wide smile he wore on his face.

Although his self confidence grew exponentially over the years, he always remained somewhat leery of new places. There are so many pictures of Jethro from our adventures/vacations where he is contentedly hiding under a chair or table.

Jethro loved the outdoors and thrived off leash and in the woods where he was free to explore. I never once had to worry about him as he would always look back to make sure I was still close by and, whenever I would hide behind a tree or bush, he would always race back to look for me. I think it was part his insecurity but also part of his protective nature.

His copper eyes. They were always so full of life and spoke so many different emotions. And of course, his whiplash smile.

Jethro will always be a part of me and still not certain what life looks like now that he has passed.

Thank you again, Caring Pathways.

We love you Jethro.

Jeff, Lisa, Brandi.