One day last week I noticed that Jake had a small bump near his eye. It was a tiny bump near the outside corner of his left eye. I noticed it while staring at him from across the room – something I do all the time because I can’t get over how lucky I am to have him.
So, I’m staring at him and I see a small area near his eye where the fur isn’t laying down the right way and I wonder if he has something stuck in his hair….maybe he got something sticky on his head when he was trying to lick the empty ice cream container last night. David was “cleaning the fridge” and decided that he might as well finish off the last of the ice cream. He stood over the sink eating the last few spoonfuls and all 7 Labs are standing around him drooling pools of slippery gunk all over my clean kitchen floor – sorry, that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, so I wonder if maybe Jake has dried ice cream on his head and I get up to check it out. But no, it’s not sticky hair being out of place that makes his head look funny – he actually has a tiny little bump near his eye. He’s so patient and just sits there while I move his fur out of the way, trying to see if I can figure out what this tiny bump is – but it is really too small to be concerned about at this point so I just write it down on the calendar to note the date and to remind me to check it again in a week.
A few days later, Jake is again sitting across the room from me and I’m again staring at Mr. Pooh and I decide to ask him – “Jake, what is that bump on your head?” Jake obviously had no idea what his crazy Mommy is talking about but he does nearly a 90head tilt – earnestly trying to figure out what I’m saying. So I ask him again and I notice that he starts his head tilt on the word “bump”. I question him a few more times and keep getting the same reaction to the word “bump”.
So, now I’m really curious about what this word sounds like to him….what could it be????? Jump isn’t a command he knows – we use the “over” command in agility and I can’t think of any other rhyming word that he could know.
The next day, after the dogs have dinner, Jake decides that this would be a good time to try and start a chase-me game with Leah. I strongly discourage this when we’re in the house because, if Jake starts something with Leah, even if it’s completely friendly, Lindsay will start barking and running around them, Bella will try to bite Jake by the scruff, Abbie will hump the roundest rump she can find – usually Jake’s and the entire group will try to run and jump on a chair or the couch at the same time sending it sliding across the floor and into a wall and hopefully not one with windows. So when I see that this is about to happen, it’s my job to try and distract Jake from his goal and I usually only have 1 or maybe 2 seconds to do this. On this day, with his inquisitive head tilting fresh on my mind – I shout out “Jake, do you want a bump?” I don’t really know why…..I was probably going to ask him if he wanted a treat…or ask him if he wanted to go outside…but in the spilt second before the entire sentence was out I must have decided that I didn’t want to give him a treat or anything else to eat, or go for a walk or whatever was going on in my mind and said the 1st thing that came to mind….as stupid as it might sound. But it worked, his little head spun around, and his entire body seemed to stop in mid-pounce – something that is very hard to do when you’re 80-something pounds, but he did it. His almond eyes focused in on me and so I asked him again “Do you want a bump?” and all 80-plus pounds butt-tucked on over to where I stood in the kitchen.
Crisis averted I now had to figure out what a “bump” was and I’m sorry to say that I was not able to come up with anything creative and I reached for the old standby. I gave him a treat from the doggie cookie cabinet. It wasn’t a special treat – just some random doggie cookie I had handy. But to Jake E Pooh - it was filet mignon. He was so happy to receive said bump and his entire body shook with delight when he took it from me. He then raced off to the bedroom to eat it in peace without his pesky little sister or any of the other girls bothering him. I followed him over there a few minutes later and he was laying on our bed, with his “bump” in front of him. I have to admit that I was a little surprised that he hadn’t swallowed it whole. I went in the room and closed the door behind me to make sure that bratty Bella wouldn’t swoop in and steal it from him, like she’s done so many times before. Standing at the foot of the bed, I said to him “Jakie, you got a bump?” and he bounces up and down on the bed – rear end in the air, front half lowered in a play bow with the hallowed “bump” in front of him. I’d never seen him so excited over a simple cookie before. It was too funny.
It’s funny and amazing to me, these dogs and what they can learn. Jake already knows so many words and most of them do mean different things but now it seems he’s on a mission to learn new words that can be used for foods that he likes. I wonder if the reason that he acted as if it was special or different was because it was a “bump” and not a treat? Or was he just in a mood that day? Either way – he now gets a bump every now and then – just for him, something special for my special 1st Lab.
Jake turned 7 this year and David and feel so blessed to have him in our lives. So lucky to have met him and lucky to have received this wonderful dog as our 1st lab, our 1st puppy and our special once in a lifetime dog.
But it’s also tragically sad sometimes, sad to realize that we’ve already received this gift and that there will never be another one like him.
what a sweet story jake sounds like a dear. loved his bump story.
luke had a small bump on his eye lining once. i don't remember if we went to the vet's office for it, but i do remember the bump disappeared after a week or two. it got a little bigger before it began to shrink and disapear on its own. hopefully, it's something similiar.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
Awww what a sweet story about Jakie and his bump. They never cease to amaze us with their intelligence and eagerness to learn. Sometimes, we get lucky and have a space in time where things just seem to happen, click or whatever. It sounds like your bump was one of those times. What a wonderful memory that makes.
Lula learned "Time for Bed" by the end of her first week with us. I didn't intentionally teach it to her, she just picked it up from our conversation and began getting in her crate when we said those words. Now, she won't "go to bed" unless we say the phrase even if she wants to. She will just sit and stare until we speak. She's teaching us to understand her language too.
Don't they all? And I am sure they get frustrated that we are such slow learners.Originally Posted by M Fortune
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Wouldn't it be great if we humans could take obedience classes taught by dogs? I can see the handouts now.Don't they all? And I am sure they get frustrated that we are such slow learners.
That's a WONderful story.... I laughed myself silly over it !! I could just imagine the whole scenario taking place !! You are a great storyteller...... and I too think Jake is a once in a lifetime lab.
Thanks for sharing your story.
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.