There have been some realizations in the past three weeks. One is that, Jake and I are out of sync. Even though we are both mourning the same thing, our needs are very different. Jake is lost during the day, whereas I am sad at night. I try to come up with new things to do with him during the day but he usually seeks out space alone. I’d love for Jake to snuggle, or hang out with me (say int the office during the day), but he doesn’t want to do either. Despite not seeking me out, he does not want me to leave the house, he is having some pretty severe separation anxiety when I go.
I think our current differences make us each miss Melvin even more. When he won’t come into the office with me, I miss Melvin. When I try to snuggle with him, he is more like a cinder block than a dog. I’m not his brother. Melvin followed and loved on me. Jake followed and loved on Melvin. I love them both, very much, but without the Melvin puzzle piece, he doesn’t seem to see the bigger picture of our family. It’s a lot like when you are in traffic behind a big truck and you have no idea what is in front of the big truck. Melvin was Jake’s big truck. I don’t think he noticed I was in front.
When our trainer (who has worked with Jake before) asked me what I wanted to achieve. Some of it was about his prey drive, which has kicked into overdrive since Melvin died. Some of it was how to get him to learn to focus on me (lack of focus combined with his prey drive is a challenge). But when I answered her out loud I said: I need you to help Jake and I communicate. Our translator died.
I was surprised I said that but it was true. I love Jake, completely and unconditionally and beautifully. There are just some dogs that would rather be with another dog than a person (Jake). There are other dogs who want to be with their person over any dog (Melvin). I know that Jake can’t go too long without another dog in the house, for one just out of sheer loneliness but also, he will slip quickly back to old, grumpy, lash-out-at-my-siblings Jake. No one wants that! Since I’m not ready yet, for now, we train and we figure out how to re-connect without our shared, soulful glue.