Jake’s time on this Earth is drawing to its close. It feels so surreal and sad to type that. I don’t know how much time we have left with him–days, weeks, months? His 13th birthday is coming in a few weeks, and I don’t anticipate celebrating a 14th. It often seems cruel that our animal friends have such a limited time to spend with us.
Ebony Pines Jakob Grizzwald was the most adorably perfect little puppy I could have ever imagined. Black, tan, white, and a few little speckles on his nose for character. Full of mischief and energy, joy and wit–an Australian Shepherd to a T.
We have spent many hours hiking together in the mountains and exploring our little world together. In his younger days, he would try and herd me on our hikes by nipping at my ankles when he wanted to speed things up. Once he learned that nipping is not the method to get your way, he used his nose instead. He would come up behind me and press a cold nose up against my leg to hurry me along the trail.
Jake has always loved food. Anyone who’s met Jake can testify of that fact. When his legs still allowed him to climb the long set of stairs that lead to the kitchen, he would put his chin on my knee and then press down for emphasis–making sure I was aware that he was there, ready and willing to eat anything that may drop.
Jake has never seemed like “just” a dog, and I don’t think I’m anthropomorphizing him. He certainly doesn’t consider himself a dog. In his mind, the worst offense is to offer him water that another dog has taken a drink out of. Group bowls are not his forte.
Most of all, Jake has been my friend. Dogs are not humans, but that does not mean there is any less of a bond. His little stub of an Aussie tail means that his whole rear end wiggles with excitement. How nice it has been to be greeted by such exuberance and love every day for 13 years.
Now Jake is an old man. His eyes are clouded with cataracts, his hearing is dim, arthritis has struck with a vengeance, and prior lumps and bumps lead me to believe that there’s a good possibility of cancer too. There’s good days and bad, but the bad days are coming more frequently. Our vet helped us with a new concoction of medications to try our best to keep him comfortable. I pray that our Heavenly Father will take him when the time is right, but I’ve also come to grips with the fact that the decision to end things may be made by me. What a terrible, enormous and compassionate decision euthanasia is. I believe strongly that life neither began on this Earth nor ends with death, and that belief applies to animals as well. I have confidence that our loving, wise Heavenly Father has made provisions for us to be with all of our loved ones again–2 legged or 4.
Jakob, sweet friend, thank you.
Update: Jake is now herding the sheep on the mountains in heaven. He passed away on April 29, 2013. He left my life in the same way he entered it–an armful of puppy with an abundance of kisses. I miss him more than I have words to express; but, I am so glad that he is forever free of pain and limitations. I joyfully anticipate our reunion once I have finished my work on the Earth.
“Near this Spot are deposited the Remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the virtues of Man without his Vices. This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human Ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of BOATSWAIN, a DOG.” -Lord Byron