An Ode to Jake

Some of you may remember the big German Shepherd who occasionally graces these pages, especially his escapades of a few years ago. Jake was my ex-husband’s dog, never mine, but he loved me in a very special way. I was either his mistress or his best girl on the side, because every time I’d show up at my ex’s house, this giant-ass, 115-pound beast would jump up and try to put his paws on my shoulders (and often succeed). He almost broke my wrist once with his enthusiasm for seeing me, as I was holding his collar at the time (not sure why; never did that again), and it’s only recently been that he didn’t greet me with crazy behavior.

Dec 16 13 010 small

For a while, Jake was climbing or digging under fences and escaping my ex’s yard after 6 years of not caring, and he would come over here. I’d get calls from my neighbor that Jake was back, or he’d be sitting on my front doorstep. So for a while, he stayed here during the day, but we quickly learned that the destination was not the game; it seemed to be the escape he was after. He would climb a 6-foot fence like a monkey and take off towards places unknown, and then someone would call and say they had him because he was running around on a busy street. He never got hit, but after that, he had to stay inside during the day. The kids would go let him out after school, but it wasn’t ideal for a big dog like that.

In the last month, Jake’s been sick. They thought it was a doggie cold. He went off his food. I got no enthusiastic greetings. I would walk in and he would lean his big body up against me and whine, and I would pet him, and that would be it. Some tests had been done, mostly inconclusive, and he was signed up for an expensive procedure today to hopefully help with diagnosis and treatment, because there was obviously something seriously wrong.

When my daughter got home to her dad’s house last night, Jake was dead. We don’t know why. His dad (ever Scottish at heart) jokes that he heard how much the ultrasound was going to cost and he died to save him the money, but whatever the cause, it was kind of a shock.

Dec 23 13 018 small

He wasn’t very old, maybe 8 or 9, and physically OK until recently? And he was a good dog. It seems somehow different, easier, when they age in front of you and you spend time dealing with the elderly aspects of pet ownership, even though that’s a pain in the ass. It’s a relief when they die from old age. You know they had a good long life. On the other hand, I don’t think he suffered for long. He wasn’t sick for months on end like some of our pets have been.

Doesn’t really matter. Just know I will miss the big dummy. He was a freak in many ways, but a sweet freak.

So yeah.

Did I iron last night? I did. I wasn’t going to, but I guess I needed to clear my mind. I only worked for an hour or so…I did all the things hanging in the tree…

Dec 17 14 001 small

Maybe 100 pieces down. I also laid out all the 500s, so the next step is the body in the middle…and then I’m done. I’m not sure I can do it all tonight, but I’m going to try. (OK. That was crazy talk, just so you know.) There’s about 260 pieces left, so maybe 3 hours, but I know I won’t start until late because I’m going to the gym and I’m in charge of dinner. And I really need to get my butt out of here this morning too for a parent meeting. It’s OK. My lunch is made. My tea is boiling. The progress report is printed. I can go.

Sigh. Miss the big dog.

4 Responses to An Ode to Jake

  1. Rebecca says:

    I’m sorry. It’s never easy to lose a pet. It’s also so frustrating trying to treat them and keep them longer.


  2. Nyla says:

    Kathy – so sorry to hear. Always hard to lose a friend.


  3. Janice Novachcoff says:

    It’s not ready to lose a fur baby and rather young. Hugs.


  4. sheila says:

    Awe… I’m sad to read this Kathy. Hugs to all of you…


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