Friday, March 28, 2014

Losing Your Best Friend

Like many good things that have happened to us over the years, Jake entered our lives by accident. My co-worker had just finished ranting for the umpteenth time about her four month old puppy who wouldn't stop barking and wouldn't listen to her. According to her he was very smart but she didn't have time to deal with him. She and her husband hadn't realized when they adopted him how much time and training a puppy required. They both worked full time and the puppy wasn't enriching their lives. Knowing I had lost my Golden, Chloe, a few months earlier, she had been pushing me for a few weeks to take this dog off her hands. I understood her need to find him a home but I wasn't sure I was ready to bring another dog home.

Eventually I convinced Scott we should go look at him so right before Christmas in 2005 we drove to her house. We immediately fell in love with the scruffy black puppy who yapped non-stop from his cage in the kitchen. He scrambled over to us as soon as they opened the door of the metal cage and practically jumped into our arms. "Are you here to save me?" he seemed to be asking. He had no problem leaving with us and seemed overjoyed to be escaping from the young family who had kept him caged for most of his life. "Smoke" was renamed Jake and he easily stole our hearts with his playfulness and bossy demeanor. A true mutt, Jake appeared to have Lab and Sheltie in his ancestry, and his keen intelligence and uncompromising stare led us to suspect there was Border Collie as well.

Jake was a wonderful addition to our family and well-loved. I'm sad to share that he was killed this morning in the road not far from his home. We're not sure what caused him to leave his yard when he was let out for his morning break. It was pitch dark and his furry black body would have been impossible for the driver to see. A homebody who didn't normally chase cars or rabbits, Jake must have caught the scent of something irresistible and given chase. In high spirits, he was fast and furious again, fully recovered from a knee surgery that left him hobbling until a couple months ago. The morning air was warm and moist with the promise of Spring after an exceptionally long, cold and snowy winter. I know my sweet Jake felt the damp earth between his toes as he lifted his nose to the wind and soared over the Rainbow Bridge.

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