Yesterday we lost a member of our family. Jake was gentle, loving and the best companion any family could ask for. Yes he was our dog, but he was so much more than that.
We adopted Jake the same year we got married. He was a small runt of a thing who was afraid of our old orange Tabby. I remember the ride home from the farm we adopted him from. He sat with me shotgun in the front seat, cuddled in close. I was in love immediately! A few moments into the drive I could feel something warm and wet seeping through my tshirt and jeans. Jake had become so excited that he couldn’t hold his pee, so naturally he released it all over me. Funny right? Yeah well that wasn’t all. That excitement quickly agitated his tummy and Jake puked all down the front of the already urine soaked tshirt. Man….looking back, it still makes me laugh out loud! For those that knew him, will for sure find this hilarious! Jake was known for his travelling antics.
He was my boy. That same year, after my husband and I were married; I found out two life changing things. I was pregnant and my husband was being deployed to Afghanistan. I have never felt such fear in my life. Throughout the eight months of my husband’s tour, Jake never left my side. As my belly grew, it became Jake’s favorite place to lay his head. It was almost as if he was standing guard, protecting us until my husband’s return. He was letting me know he would always watch over our baby. And the day my husband returned, well Jake tackled him! I’ve never seen a happier, more excited dog.
As the years went on and our family quickly grew, Jake adopted each child as if they were his own pups. He had a sixth sense when they were sick or injured or feeling sad. When Olivia was born, she spent 14 days in the NICU. For two weeks, Jake wondered aimlessly throughout our house, searching for this baby that never came home. I once found him asleep on the nursery floor near the empty crib. He amazed me with his loyalty and love he had for us. On the day we brought Olivia home, Jake jumped and ran through the house as if he was celebrating her arrival! The two of them would develop a bond beyond anything I have ever witnessed.
We tend to forget how quickly the years pass. It seemed like yesterday we brought this beautiful little black and brown pup home. Twelve years and six months later we watched our beautiful boy take his last breath.
On Sunday morning we woke to Jake struggling, panting hard and fast. I knew by the look in his eyes, his time was drawing near. I phoned a friend who is a veterinary assistant to come and take a look at him. After listening to his heart and examining his gums she confirmed our boy was in heart failure and was bleeding internally. We broke the news to our kids and decided to spend the day with him saying our goodbyes, keeping him comfortable and letting him know how deeply we loved him; how throughout these last twelve and a half years, he was the best friend and dog any family could ask for.
That night, after the kids went to sleep; my husband and I made a bed on the floor next to him. We held him close, gently stroking his ears and head. His breaths grew slower and by morning he stopped fighting it. Jake crossed the Rainbow Bridge and never have I felt such loss or have been so heartbroken, as I was that morning. We lost a deeply loved member of our family that will always be remembered and never forgotten.
“Dogs have way of finding people who need them, filling an emptiness we don’t even know we had”~Thorn Jones