11 years ago, Jake came into our lives.
Isn’t it funny how over time we come to accept the craziness of those we love? Over the 11 years Jake was with us, we came to accept his disdain for men with facial hair. Heck, he didn’t even like me when I had a beard. He was always so protective of his home and his family. His protection went beyond the physical as he was always willing to just go and lay beside anyone not feeling well. We could all learn from a dog’s empathy.
When I think back to the most memorable times with Jake, I think of him as the very nervous ring bearer at our wedding or him and Kimba in a canoe with us in Arkansas. I think of him scared in every thunder storm. In many ways he was a child even at the age of 14 with a bad heart. Of course, no memory of Jake is complete without being thankful for the years of carpet cleaning. We haven’t replaced our broken steam cleaner because Jake cleaned EVERY spill thoroughly, even the partially digested, nasty formula for premature babies. Jake also gave me my grossest term, “Thrice regurgitated poo.” Any time I’ve compared people’s smell to this, people have to pause to think what it would mean. In our family we lived it thanks to Jake. His almost always making his deposits on J’s side of the bed was funny to all but J. He loved her and felt she would care for him as she always had since taking him from the rescue at age 3. Surely, she would make his stomach feel better or at least forgive him for puking it all up again. She was his protection as much as he was hers.
Rest well Jake.
It’s hard to write this in the past tense. In many ways, pets’ stay with us provides us with stability of thoughts and emotions. They are supports for our psyche. Still after traveling, I am also aware the luxury they represent. So many people in the world could never afford to have a dog as a pet, and our family still has three. I try to tell myself to just enjoy the time they have given us. Taking care of dogs makes me wonder about souls and personality. Is it vanity for humans to assume we are the only ones blessed with souls? As I listen to the book, Rough Crossings about the history of Blacks at the time of the revolutionary war, I hear the history of our thinking Blacks were no more than animals. Aren’t we all?
What makes us so special?
(more on next page)
From the week:
A has had a few issues confronting mortality after Jake’s death. Here’s one example.
A to J: So after we’re a child, then we’re an adult, right? Then we die? But you’re an adult already. I don’t want you to die!
J to A: We all die, but I’m not going to die soon.
Fast forward an hour to when A has to get ready for bed, “I don’t want to go to bed. You’re a mean adult. I wish you would hurry up and die!” – followed by sobbing apology after brushing her teeth.
Funny bit from the week,
A to me, “Daddy when you get older are you going to get a beard?”
Me, “I had one when I was younger, but Mommy doesn’t like beards.”
A, “Why not?”
Me, “She says she doesn’t like to kiss beards. Since I like to kiss Mommy, I shave when she is around.”
A, “EWWW! Kissing beards? How Gross!”
Me, “Unfortunately, Mommy agrees.”