Jake and Project Joy.

I don’t know how it is for others who have lost a pet, but for me, year one was just getting through all the firsts. After that, holidays come and go and I wish Melvin and Jake were here but I don’t necessarily count the number of moments they’ve missed.

Except the anniversary of when we said goodbye. I try not to think about it, but my brain does not always comply. My brain reminds me in March, that Melvin died in April.  And I try to think of other things but something more powerful than me forces  me to remember. And on that day in April, I have a day to myself. No social media, no blog. Doug and I take donations to shelters and pay Melvin’s love forward.  I may cry a little, but for the most part, Melvin is always with me.

It’s a little different with Jake’s anniversary. My mind starts reminding me much earlier. And I fight really hard to ignore it. There are many more tears. Losing Melvin was pure sadness. Losing Jake was more traumatic. Melvin was gone, Jake was gone. There were no dogs. Days felt infinite because I was no longer caring for Jake.

Grief is so confusing and hurtful.

Next week will be two years since I looked into Jake’s googly eyes, and I can still feel the spiral of emotion that I went through before and after he died. And at the same time, joy washes over me every time I see his face.

IMG_9958

So that is where you come in. The best way for me to combat those emotions, is to pay Jake love forward. So Melvin & Jake’s Project Joy would like to find a dog in need of wheelchair. The dog can be in their forever home or waiting to be rescued, but preferably in the US.

Please message us at ohmelvinyojake@gmail.com if you know of a dog that needs a cart. We will pick one on July 18th so that Jakey’s anniversary can be more joyful than sad!

#loveliveson

mpj-_mjprojectjoyv3

Oh the joy of giving joy.

After Jake died, my friend G reached out to me to ask if she could donate to Melvin & Jake’s Project Joy.  I don’t have it set up as non-profit so up to this point, the donations towards the efforts have been from me and my parents (who donated generously after Melvin and Jake each died). It was sorta just this very-big-to-me, little effort I did.

My heart felt so full with G’s very generous donation and I additionally felt a tad overwhelmed to find the ‘perfect’ use for the money. It’s a great problem to have, right? I think it was partly that it was our first donation outside of my family and that it would be our first big gift of joy since adding Jake to the cause.  I took a step back and a deep breath and reminded myself, as long as we are giving joy, it’s going to be right.

mpj-_mjprojectjoyv3

I looked at her check for a long time. My heart felt so full. I searched for a while for what felt the most right. In the end, a foster with the French Bulldog Rescue Network (Jake’s rescue) won my heart. Axl, a three-year old Frenchie had been given up by his family after his spinal condition and paralysis became too much for them to handle. I saw him and I knew. He needed some Jakey joy.

Axl is young, way too young to be facing paralysis. I knew that a wheelchair would do two things.

  1. Give him his mobility freedom back (yay)!
  2. Give his future forever family one less thing to worry about (the cost of a wheelchair) which would free them up to just love him more.

Joy at it’s finest.

As for Axl’s first family giving him up, hey, I understand. From the moment I saw Jake falter for the first time to him not having much use of his back legs at all, I never ever considered giving him up.  But…taking care of him and the costs associated with that was extremely overwhelming at times and very expensive. Not everyone is going to say ‘we will figure this out’, some will have to admit ‘we can’t do this’. I think those cases are why rescue exists. There was a time when I would have much rather seen someone give up their dog because paralysis was too much to handle versus not having enough time for the dog.  But then a family gave up Jake because they didn’t have time for him and well, Jake and I were meant to be. Maybe I love all the reasons that brought me Melvin, Jake and Doug. When you are trying to spread joy, its best to leave judgment behind.

Axl got fitted in person at Eddie’s Wheels.  I called that night and paid for the cart, just as I had a few years back when I bought Jake’s cart from them. And it felt seven billion types of lovely to pay that invoice of joy with love and to send G the email announcing the joy she helped facilitate.

Without further ado, I give you, Axl. Every step he takes, love will live on!

Axl before his cart. img_0857

Axl in his new ride! Video below the two photos! If you look closely, you’ll see Jake in sunshine. img_1167img_1168

 

You can read more about Axl here!

#joytrain #allaboard #choochoo