Lessons in unconditional love

Losing a friend to the Rainbow Bridge

“I need you to come home.  Somethings wrong with Jake.” He said and then his voice cracked. As I was about to ask him what was going on, Jake started to yelp loudly.  Then silence.  I could tell Jimmy was crying. I have no idea what he said after that- whether I couldn’t understand him through the fog of fear in my mind, or if he was just so upset that he was unintelligible.

I drove like a bat out of hell from work to get home and still didn’t make it in time to say goodbye to my boy.  Thank God Jimmy was home with him when he passed. A companion as smart and loyal as Jake deserves to be wrapped in love and not to be alone on his last day. He died suddenly and with his favorite human in attendance.

We just had no clue that he was sick.

Just a few days before this he was catapulting into the pool, skipping himself across the surface to fetch the tennis ball.  The weekend before that was spent running non-stop while camping, chasing his new girl friend, a 1.5 year old Pit-Sharpei mix named Shea.

He had zero health issues. By all accounts a healthy, and wonderfully energetic adult dog.

I have tried unsuccessfully for the past month to post this, but keep putting it off. Perhaps to buy some time, making his death “less real”. By not writing it down, it didn’t really happen and when I go home today he will greet me at the door with his signature “sonic bark” coupled with insane body wriggles while bouncing around and wagging his baton of a tail like a metronome.

Or,  when he slyly goes into”stealth” mode in order to sneak up and mark his territory via the gift of snail-like-drool-slime all over my work clothes as soon as I walk in the door.

We may have named him Jake, but he could have just as easily been named “Ninja”, “Slimer” or “Jester”.

Every time I get started writing, the water works start pouring and I have to stop. Today was no exception. Going through pictures of him with the kids has torn my heart anew.  Leafing through these tangible memories of happy times, early times. Times when the kids were small and so was he.

I am so glad that we were able to take him camping and swimming one last time.

I can’t believe that he will never get that gorgeous powder face on his black fur.  He was only ten years old.

He never even had a chance to go gray.

If you have never been owned by a GSP then you have no idea the level of mischief they can get into.  Jake’s trademark mischief move was after he either dumpster dived, or counter surfed that any remnants of his misdeeds would be hidden in the pool.  To his credit, unless we checked the pool before leaving for work in the morning- he got away with it for long stretches of time.

Not only did he have his own couch, chair and could sleep with either kid in either of their beds- sometimes he just had to sleep in the laundry basket. The much, much smaller than he is-laundry basket.

Jim 1226

Cuddling on the couch with my daughter (not HIS couch, but ours. The one he is not supposed to be on. As you can see he was very concerned with rules).
Jim 2606

This is his couch. (Can you tell?)

Jake's Couch

In the ten short years we had Jake, he entrenched himself in our hearts and enmeshed himself in every facet of our daily lives.

He was our best friend when we needed one, and the absolute embodiment of unconditional love.

So many of our best memories were spent in the pool together. Jake was the proverbial “water dog”.


Jake 2014 010 Jake 2014 011 Jake 2014 012 Jake 2014 013 Jake 2014 014 jake 2014 022 Jake 2014 023

Yes, he is standing in the pool while our other dog swims around him. This was one of his favorite shared activities with my husband.

Jake 2014 025 Jake 2014 026 Jake Swimming 2014 009

This was the face he would make when he didn’t want to do something. Like go outside when it was too hot- unless we were going swimming too. If we weren’t swimming, then he wasn’t either (and you couldn’t “make” him). 

He will always be my sweet boy.  Man, I am going to miss that dog.

Swimming Can Cun 2014 032

**Please forgive me if there are any glaring grammatical issues- was hard enough to get to this point without worrying about grammar nazis.
The song that inspired his name. Corny, but true.

5 thoughts on “Losing a friend to the Rainbow Bridge

  1. All who have been loved and owned by a GSP that have lost 1 know exactly how you feel, there will never be another Jake but I’m pretty sure there will be another quirky wonderful shorthair in your life. I’m proof now on my 8th .

    Liked by 1 person

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