A Perfect Monster

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And his name … is Monster.

Java would be jealous. And I don’t blame him, we were supposed to have so much more time and Monster wasn’t anyone’s plan and change is hard. Probably even from Heaven. But in this world you play the hand you’re dealt and if you’re lucky you pick up the pieces when you have to. Time passes and those who love us relent to the wishes of our hearts in their absence.

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Monster is that wish and everyone was looking for him. Something about how I’m not myself without a dog and thanks for the compliment. As fate would have it, Monster is from the same town in southern Ohio that I am. Which means he’s sure to be a hard-working salt of the earth Midwestern boy, right? I digress. And each of us had something to overcome from the get go. But we’re talking about him here so in his litter of six, three died at birth and he was the only male that survived. I guess they do choose you and somehow Java Forever and is this literally a match made in Heaven?

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This winter has been brutally cold and both Monster and I would have been fine staying at my dad’s in front of the fire until that beam me up Scottie thing took us back to Florida. But making the rounds is part of the deal. I drove, he slept, and getting out of the house can make for a lot of smiles.

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Even Nana wanted to meet him. That means that she wanted to have dinner with me and Monster better not make a mess on her rug kind of deal. But my mom couldn’t help herself and Nana wasn’t ready to hold him and never will be because what if she ended up with a licked face or something horrible like that. And everyone who knows Nana has an ear to ear grin right now and can’t believe Monster was even let in the front door. And I’ll smile and say I’ve always been Nana’s favorite.

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And Nana loves Monster, too, ask her she’ll tell you. As long as she has both hands to hold her wine and I promise to teach Monster better manners than my mom would. And all is right at Nana’s house with a perfect Monster (restrained) which means all is right in the world.

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Monster never knew Java and innocence is beauty. That void is not his pain and ignorance has never been so welcomed in my life. Feed me and love me and let me out or I’ll piss on your floor and guard your shoes with your life if you want them to survive the night. Or the day. So long live Monster and here’s to playing hard and sleeping harder and to passing time with smiles in the hardest winter of my life.

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And it feels like Spring already. A Perfect Spring, that is.


  1. Andy says:

    Oh my Aphrodite! Jason, I’m so happy for you! He’s so handsome. (Your Nana sounds like my Nonna. Ha! I like her already.) Again, yay for Monster! Your good news made my day a little sweeter.

  2. Graig says:

    You know, I was just looking at pictures of Java (I am a huge lab lover) and thinking to myself “I wonder if he will ever get another one?” This was TODAY! No joke. Hope you guys have a great time getting to know each other. There is nothing like a lab and those of us who admired him for a long time will always be Java Forever, but this kid’s got a good face.
    Best of luck with him, and best regards,

  3. Kieffala says:

    Oh yay. I was so sorry to hear of Java’s passing, and it is so hard to lose a beloved friend, but I am so happy you and Monster have found each other. I agree that Java is smiling down from heaven. Enjoy that sweet puppy.

  4. Matt M. says:

    Congratulations. I got to meet your father the other week at the dog park. My girlfriend and I were awaiting the post announcing the new addition. Monster looks a lot like our chocolate did at this time last year. Congrats!

  5. Rodney Butler says:

    Congrats Jason, that’s awesome man. My wife and I are here in Maine with the woodstove going watching the heavy snowflakes fall yet again, laughing at all the great pictures. This made our day a little warmer. Good for you, we’re happy for you both!
    Rod & Sheri

  6. Cy says:

    Freakin Jason. You always do this with your posts.

    Just when I think I’ve made it through the whole thing with just a smile, I get to the end and *BAM* you get my right in the feels.

    Darn you and your highly emotive writing style.

    Congrats on the pup. Welcome to the fam, Monster.

  7. Marc S. says:

    I got something in my eyes. I never knew Java. But I know you loved him and it shows through your writing. Congratulations on your new buddy. I know you love him just as much. I look forward to meeting him one of these days. I would like to think that Java is smiling for you with just a small hint of jealousy. Java forever.

  8. Jim Edwards says:

    He looks like a real character… just like you! Can’t wait to meet him on a challenge one day 🙂 Congrats

  9. Rick says:

    The story is awesome. Monster is cuter then words can describe….. But to the author, Jason, that is one of the best written, heart felt posts I have read in a long time. Best wishes moving forward. Here’s to Spring!!

  10. Rob Harring says:

    Congrats to you and Monster for finding each other. He will add to you forever as has Java. The loss of a dog is heart breaking, but the addition of a new one makes the spirit
    soar. Woof on Monster

  11. Roman Rauhala says:

    Monster, thanks for picking Jason. We hope to see lots of you around the GORUCK site and at plenty of events.

  12. Georgie says:

    A match made in Heaven!! Nothing soothes a wounded heart quite like a new puppy. And he is the epitome of cuteness with a little bit of mischief to keep things interesting.
    May it be the start of many, many happy memories!!
    Congrats Jason.

  13. John says:

    Memories are precious and Monster is priceless.

    Java lives on in your heart and will always be with you.

    Long live the precious memories that you and Monster will make together like those that you and Java made together.

    HooRah! Jason, HooRah!

  14. Bobby Carbon says:

    Best of luck with the new side kick!

    There is no better sight then a Chocolate Lab playing in the snow. Well…maybe an exhausted one sleeping in front of the fireplace.


  15. Patty says:

    It was nice meeting you and Monster Sunday…you two make a great pair…..loved this blog post – beautiful pics!

  16. Scott says:

    Awesome! He’s going to be a big boy. We just picked out a new female chocolate Lab that’s 3 weeks old. Counting down the days til we pick her up and have to guard our shoes!

  17. David says:


    Can’t wait to hear of all the new adventures.
    Monster looks like a Great Companion for them.

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