I realize sometimes that Jake gets a bit of a bad rap. He attacks dogs I want to adopt, he makes meatballs almost every morning at 5am and because of him I own every pee scent remover known to the world.
Loving each dog is different. It’s all love but the process is not all the same. Melvin personified love so just to look at him, I felt it. He and I bonded over snuggling. With Jake, he makes me work for it. Jake and I spend a lot of time on his mobility tasks (either through training or me helping him get from point A to point meatballs.). I never had to call Melvin inside, he barely left my side. I have to chase Jake to come in if there is a squirrel, frog, bird or gnat within 40 miles of our yard.
Still, my love for Jake is as deep and wonderful as all the other loves.
- Jake takes the issues the universe throws at him and he just rolls with it. His legs have gradually declined so most of it is something he can acclimate to over time. But there are some things, like going up steps or legs not working at all some days, where he is faced with an immediate change in ability. And he doesn’t freak out. He just sits, and stares at me, as if to say ‘show me how to make this work’. That stare, owns my heart. He knows I’ll carry him when he can’t make it, or I’ll show him how to scoot using his front legs. And once shown, he is moving forward, pretty darn quickly again. He is pretty heroic that way.
- He and I bond over a lot of diaper changes. Getting a diaper on a dog is not what I would call fun for either participant. I know plenty of dogs that wiggle and run when diaper change time happens. Jake stands still and once the diaper is secure, he takes off. He knows the drill. I honestly think he senses how hard I work on him and makes some effort to make it easier on me. This is nice since we have many, many, many, so many more years of diapers.
- He is incredible with kids. So flippin good. He was not alway like that but he has really come to be a dog I can trust with all kids. If someone asked me if their newborn would be safe on the floor with Jake, I would say yes, as long as they were OK with that newborn getting dog kisses and slobbered upon.
- The only living creature who loved Melvin remotely as much as I did, is Jake. He and I are bonded in that we each carry of piece of Melvin with us. We are part of a 3-piece pie.
- Jake will snuggle, as long as you pet him. If you stop to answer your phone, or itch your face, or take a sip of your drink, he gets up and goes. He does not see the value in laying next to someone just to snuggle, there has to be a payoff for him. I love that he is who he is.
But mostly, I just love his existence. He is a tender-hearted comedian who doesn’t give a crap but will crap meatballs without warning and who pees on the walkway and then gets offended that someone pee’d on the walkway. If you fall and can’t get up and want Jake to come over so you don’t feel alone, you better hope you fell down with a bag of treats, cause homeboy does not scurry over for free. There is nothing fake about him, he lays it all out there, and I love his honesty.