From the time I got Melvin to the time I lost him, he was pretty much the same dog. He was exuberant, loving, snuggly and happy. He was soulful. As he aged, the exuberance softened (he’d no longer knock you over to get to you) and the soulful side of him expanded exponentially. He grew into himself, gradually.
Life for Jake has been a little different. Where I got Melvin at three, I got Jake at five. When Jake came to me he was confused, docile, there wasn’t much light in his eyes. It took him a while to warm up to us. At times, he was downright mean to Melvin. But eventually, he became a loving member of our family. Eager to be around us, less eager to please. Then his legs started failing him and he got a bit frustrated, mean Jake returned. But we persevered through that and he found his new ground. Then he fell madly in love with all things Melvin and he softened up. They snuggled, and kissed and Jake followed his hero around like a sweet little sidekick. Then we lost Melvin and Jake retreated, he went back to being
Hans solo Jake. He was wounded, lost.
And now he is found agin.
Where Melvin’s life was smoother, even despite all his health issues, Jake’s journey has been a bit more topsy-turvy. But something tells me that the Jake I am getting to know right now, is the true Jake. The on-his-own Jake. Not a follower, not a leader, just Jake. While Melvin lived to be near me, Jake moderately enjoys time spent with me, but he also needs his alone time (hey I get it, I’m the same way!). He spends much more time with me during the day now, but at some point in the afternoon, he heads into the room with the sun and sun spots for a while.
When I call Jake’s name, he will lift his head up every time, so I know he hears me. But he only comes when called, some of the time. There is no real rhyme or reason to when he answers my call. Because that is who he is. Sometimes he seeks to please me, sometimes he focuses on what Jake wants. And that is ok. I like this new Jake. Part of him helps get me through the missing of Melvin and part of him is a stern reminder that he is his own dog.
It’s just Jake and I right now. It’s still hard to type that. We miss Melvin a lot. But if it has to be this way, I’m happy for this time with Jake. This is likely the first time in his life he has had a human all to himself. I’m like his lady in waiting. We are very much just living in the moment, not too many plans, we look back every once in a while and there are more smiles than tears. Just existing as a little family of two. It won’t always be this way, so we are enjoying what we have, while we have it.
Living in the right now, it’s a good way to be.