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It was exactly five years ago today that I held my sweet old man as he passed over the bridge.
Of all the great dogs that we are fortunate to share our lives with there is sometimes one that is so special that it becomes a once in a lifetime experience. So it was with Jake.


Jake in 1987

Jake was my first Lab and not knowing anything better at the time I got him from a BYB when he was only five weeks old. Because of that he never knew he was a dog. I did do basic obedience with him when he was about eight months old but by then he was unable to relate to other dogs. He just thought they were strange creatures.
Jake and I spent almost fifteen wonderful years together. He elated in my happiness and consoled me in my times of grief and despair. His tail never stopped wagging.
He had a complete and unwavering faith in me that he demonstrated during his Canine Good Citizenship test. When we got the part where I had to turn his leash over to a stranger and leave the area for five minutes Jake was so unconcerned that he just laid down for a nap. When I returned the volunteer told me that in all of the time she had been doing this part of the test she had never had a dog lie down and go to sleep. Needless to say Jake received perfect marks for his test.
Jake also liked to visit the retirement home and entertain the elderly folks with his gentle nature and tricks. He could also tolerate the mischief of young children. Once we had a party for my adult soccer team and their children. We had a Luau Theme and passed out leis to everyone. Later in the evening I was in the kitchen when Jake appeared with a child hanging on to each ear and one holding his tail. He must have had at least twenty leis around his neck and despite all of this he was grinning form ear to ear.
The single thing I can say that was exceptional in our relationship was our ability to mentally communicate. I swear it was a form of telepathy. We could look into each others eyes and immediately know what the other was thinking.
Jake survived a bloat when he was ten, undergoing 3 ½ hours of surgery. The Vet gave him a 50 – 50 chance but by the next morning when I picked him up at the emergency clinic to take him for follow up care he was so full of vigor he jumped up into the backseat like he was ready to go home. You can read more about that scary event here: http://home.flash.net/~jdebess/index.htm

Jake tottered around his last few months slowly losing control of his back legs from neural deterioration. Each evening we would take a long walk (about a half a block) and talk about all of the wonderful times we had spent together.
On one of our last visits to the Vet we met a squirming rambunctious yellow pup in the waiting room. That pup came over to play with Jake and Jake seemed to enjoy the pup. At that point I believe Jake passed on some special essence of his soul to that pup because seven weeks after Jake passed the Vets office called to ask if I would like to adopt a yellow Lab. It turns out that the pup Jake met now needed a new home and the owners remembered meeting me and they knew I knew how to care for a dog. I believe Jake bequeathed Duke to me and I believe there is a part of Jake’s soul in Duke.
Five years ago today he looked into my eyes and told me he needed to rest. I told him that he could take a good nap and when he woke up we would be together again. I know he is waiting for me and Duke and the rest of his family.

Jake 2002
Miss you my old man and I will never forget how special you were.
 

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What a wonderful tribute to your love for your Jake! It never gets easier, does it?!!!!
Thinking today..of the dogs we've all owned who are gone from our lives, but not from our hearts.
Jackie
 

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It was about this time five years ago that I lost my precious Kasa. I can see Jake and Kasa playing together in the lab section of heaven. Somehow Jake must have told Duke to take good care of you in his place.
 

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What a special (and gorgeous!) boy John. :angel:
 

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It sounds like you had a wonderful life together what a special pup he was he will waiting for you at the bridge :)
 

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Scout said:
That was so moving. I am literally in tears.
Ditto.....that was beautiful....
 

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A wonderful tribute to a sweet old boy
 

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What a beautiful story about a wonderful dog named Jake. ..and how your yellow puppy came into your life gives me goosebumbs.

Thanks so much for sharing Jake's story.

Julie
 

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John, a lovely tribute. Now I see what you mean about Jake's "presence" in Duke.
 
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