I had to move a toy there. I took the fire station and moved it to the spot where his dog bed was until this morning. Each time I pass through the study, sobs escape, but having the visual space filled helps…
On May 3, 2002, our pup came home to live with us. 8 weeks old, 11 lbs, a 9th birthday present for my Eldest. Jake was so tiny we had to put boxes into his crate & cover them with a blanket to make the space feel comforting. He fit in immediately, playing & growing alongside his pal.
His first few years there were multiple moves but he was happy to be where his pack was, through every transition. 7 years ago we moved to our current home. He went from being a stay-at-home-alone dog, to a dog with a house full of kids, with nurses & me at home except for hospital overnights.
My oldest finished high school & went to college out of state. His visits brought increased excitement & unending smiles from Jake. After a visit, Jake would run to the kitchen with every next arrival to see if it was his buddy back again.
Jake turned 12 in March. Things were harder. Transport was difficult. He had mostly wonderful days, and some that were frighteningly awful. Until yesterday, bad days coincided with difficult travel, vet visits, an injury. This past week he looked tired. This past week he had less energy. Yesterday he did not eat and was very winded crossing a room.
He held on. He smiled at me every time I pet him. He smiled when I gave him my eldest’s pillow and looked to the back of the house. He was holding on to see his boy.
This morning was the hardest but we were together. Jake rode peacefully in the car- even sat to look out the window smiling. His breathing was ragged but he wagged his tail. He smiled and gazed lovingly at us. And now he’s gone.
He was a wonderful & sweet & happy dog. He provided comfort & comedy & joy to everyone he knew. He snuck his Petco Christmas presents from piles in the closet. He leapt off a 4′ patio edge into my sister’s pool. He was my loyal & ever-present friend for over 12 years. I miss him. I ache. I am thankful for EVERY minute.