Jake and Lisa

My Dog Jake

Written Monday, November 6, 2006

It seems to me that only those who have had the God-dess-ly fortune of sharing life with a dog might begin to understand these sentiments.

Other than my family, Jake was in my life longer than any being.

Last Saturday when Marg and I were with him as he left us, there were so many questions.

The main question, of course
Did I 'read' Jake right?
Was he telling me that he was at his end?
He had not eaten for a week,
He was vomiting every morning (without any successful mediation),
He was walking with the slow wide-gated waddle his movement had evolved to,
And there was the mass in his chest which showed on Thursday's x-ray.

But who was I to direct the end of his life?

How could I possibly enjoy the coming days without his light-hearted, goofy presence?

~

Tthe 6 miles Marg and I hiked Saturday afternoon after we got back from the vet's office was good.
But tears of grief and disbelief took a foothold the rest of the weekend with seemingly unlimited power and potential.

~

It is now 2 full days later.

I took 'our' walk this morning without Jake's 25-sniff-&-pee stops each block. Pie-dog (my cat, and Jake and my walking partner) was there to support me in her new solo role.
We have had meals without Jake's masterful (and now not so irritating) begging.
We have done Bear's ceremonious 'finding' bedtime ritual without Jake's enthusiastic participation.
And there have been car trips with only one dog leaning out the window.


Jake and Pie on a walk

Though my life will never be the same, I am so grateful for the 14 years that Jake spent in my life.

Jake's time here was great, and there's not many people who love their dog more than I loved my Jake.


Jake tearing through the woods.

 


The Photogenic Jake

Click on any of the thumbnail pictures and it will be displayed in the larger frame underneath.





The Story of Jake the Dog

The First Pack
Jakes First Pack: Ceasar, Wolfgang and Jake

Sometime in 1992, Jake wandered into his life by showing up at the Tacoma house of Lisa DeWeese and Joy Owen, following the mailman. He looked to be about six months old, with his ears still flopping over like a puppy's. It was impossible not to fall in love with him.

He took up with the two dogs already living with Lisa and Joy, a black dog named Caesar, and a white dog named Wolfgang. Two's company, three's a pack.

Jake expected a spot on a couch or chair, the floor was never for him. If he found himself with that as his only choice, he would circle the room several times before relenting with a grunt to the floor as if it pained his bones.


Ceasar, Joy and Jake on the couch at the Tacoma house.

Jake's pack spent a lot of time in the fenced in backyard, where Jake developed less than fond feelings for stocky boys and teenagers. These feelings would manifest themselves throughout his later life in a penchant for barking ferociously at anyone who fit this profile, alternately scaring and embarrassing his human companions half to death.

In 2000 Jake moved with Lisa to Zionsville. He left his former pack mates behind to start a new life.


Jake in front of the new house.

During the next few years he was Lisa's constant companion. He learned to get along with his roommates, two kitties named Pie and Bitty. Jake never seemed to assert himself as the alpha of this crew, Pie seemed to rule the roost, and looked for opportunities to jump out and bop Jake on the nose. Jake chased her every now and then, but it never seemed to occur to him that he could stop her.

Jake took his role as Lisa's companion very seriously, and was quite happy to follow her around constantly. He would follow her from room to room at the new house, as Lisa moved furniture and painted. He slept next to her, walked next to her, went everywhere in the car with her, and loved nothing more than being around her.


Jakes following Lisa around after the move into the new house.

Luna the little black kitty was introduced to the group, and adopted Jake as her dad. She always enjoyed cuddling up to Jake on a cold day. And if jake were away for a day or two, or just a walk, she would scamper up to him and rub around his legs to celebrate the reunion.


Luna discovers the fun of a dog's tail


Luna and her adopted Dad, Jake

The move brought Lisa and Jake closer to Lisa's parents house, making for more frequent visits. Jake counted their dog Parca among his best dog friends, and it was clear he enjoyed trotting around their house acting the part of the grand-dog.


Jake and Lisa napping, with Bitty keeping warm by lying on Jake.

Jake loved to play with stuffed toys. His favorite toy of all time was the small plush AFLAC ducks. These ducks would say "Aflac, Aflac, AF-LACK!" when you squeezed their middles. Upon receiving a new duck, Jake would stay awake for hours squeezing the duck over and over. After they stopped speaking, which wasn't more than a few days usually, he would tear the mechanism out of them. Once that was done, he would continue to chew, shake and play with them.He wouldn't ruin them though, all the ducks are still intact, except for the speaker mechanism of course.

Jake was, like most dogs, always eager to eat. He was a champion beggar, and could not be convinced to leave a human being in the kitchen unattended. It was not his way to leave a plate or dish unguarded if there was even the chance it had food on it.

His food obsession worked to his disadvantage in 2001, when he helped himself to an entire box of dark chocolates. It's true that chocolate can kill a dog, and Jake was incredibly sick and nearly died. Lisa's friend Margaret, a vet, carefully tended to Jake. Miraculously. Jake rebounded from the illness, and was in great health for years afterwards. Lisa always considered the years following his illness to be 'bonus time.'


Lisa with "The Bookends"

In 2002 Lisa began spending time with Marg Herder, her friend of many years. Consequently Jake began spending time with Marg's dog, Bear. Bear and Jake were christened 'The Bookends' as they so often were doing exactly the same thing at the same time. They would moose around the backyard sniffing the same spots. They would approach visitors furiously wagging their tails in unison, or lay next to each other on the floor in exactly the same positions.

Bear even taught Jake the 'proper' car riding position (feet up on the armrest, head out the open window) which Jake adopted enthusiastically.

Jake and Bear never had a cross word with each other, and even though they were both older dogs when they started hanging out together, they would sometimes play like puppies.

In his sunset years, Jake loved coming over to Marg's house, where she and Bear lived with Jean and Gary Herder and their two dogs, the boxer Casi, and the pug Lilie. Finally Jake was able to act the part of the alpha dog. The other dogs happily allowed him this indulgence. Jake loved his Momma Jean, whom could always be counted on for sticking to a comfortable dog routine (involving biscuits at every turn) and Jake's begging always paid off with Gary.


Marg, Casi, Lillie, Jake, Lisa, Bear (l to r) with Gary looking on from the doorway,

In 2005 and 2006 Jake was attended by three helper gals, Bridget, Rachell and Katie. These were neighborhood teenagers who would come over after school to let him out, feed him and walk him around the block. Jake looked forward to the time he spent with his helpers.

Jake's health deteriorated in Autumn of 2006. After a difficult week, unable to eat, and only able to get around very slowly, Jake the dog moved on to whatever is next on November 4th.



Jake in 2006 at the DeWeese family 'Wang-Dang-Doodle'

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