Dog Gone. NCL Says So Long To Our Trusted Companion : Happy Trails Jerky

©2011 : Photo By Yvette Stafford : Jerky (foreground) with Millington in the summer of 2006 just months before Millington left us.

Nelson County, Virginia

Saying good-bye is never easy. We all know it’s coming. It’s out there, we just never expect it to happen without everything being just right. Friday morning the NCL family said good-bye to our longest living pet, Jerky. We’re not exactly how old Jerky was, but at least 11 or 12 years for sure. He was the first pet Yvette and I had together way back in the days before children, before marriage, before Nelson County Life Magazine. Every major event in our lives, Jerky was there. We don’t even know what breed(s) Jerky was made up of. Most likely German Shepard and Beagle. It doesn’t matter. He was the best companion ever!

Yvette with Jerky near Mountain View, Arkansa in October of 2002. At the time we owned a mail order company. Jerky was there when we founded it too!

Thursday night we knew something was wrong. By Friday morning we knew it was not getting better. We had to make the decision in a matter of minutes. It was time to say so long to our trusted friend. The friend that made the long journey across the mountains of West Virginia to our new home here in Nelson County. In dog years he’d already spent at least 21 years with us before ever moving to Nelson. With the help of a dear special friend, we were able to send Jerky off peacefully here at home. Off to join his other buddies that passed before him. Millington. Angelo. They will all be having a pretty large weekend we’d say! After all it’s been years since they all got to hang out together.

Junior Publisher Adam Stafford (barely one year old in 2009) with his buddy Jerky down in the pasture.

Putting into words how much a pet means to you is never easy. It doesn’t convey. The smiles, the tears, those carefree summer days playing with your dog. Or a nap on a lazy rainy afternoon with your dog at your side. Jerky was all of those things and much more. He was as much a part of Nelson County Life Magazine as us. He was there from the start.

Jerky in our yard back on the farm in Tennessee. Fall 2002.
Jerky with then new kitty Angelo in 2006. We lost Angelo earlier this year in May. Oddly Angelo showed up 2 days before Millington passed away.
Jerky with his buddy Millington back in 2005. Both made the move to Virginia with us.

Our days will be different here at NCL. No question. But we will always look over that pasture out back and remember that special black and tan beagle running through the field, chasing deer or lying in the sun on a crisp fall afternoon. Or, resting in front of the wood stove on a cold winter’s night.

We miss you already Jerky, but know you are in a much better place. Rest well our friend.

It was a good run. A very good run.


  1. Oh, I am so sorry to hear the news. Glad I got to meet Jerky. We had a beloved beagle named Barney and there is no doubt is is running around some great fields somewhere wonderful howling at whatever he’s chasing. Glad he’ll have Jerky for company. Barney was our “first child” too– the dog before the kids. These dogs will always have a special place in our hearts– you never forget them. Great book, for kids and adults alike, is “Dog Heaven” by Cynthia Rylant. Love it. Hugs to all of you.

  2. Sending sincere heartfelt condolences. You never replace your best friend; though you will always keep them in your heart. Be thankful for the memories, and always smile when you think of him.

    Homer Barnswallow
    Nelson County

  3. Having lost several cats over the years, I know how you are feeling: that big hole in your heart is familiar. When you feel it’s “time”, fill that hole with another fur-kid! ♥


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here