my beautiful red dog

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Jake summer '07

Yesterday morning Winnie Dixon and I had a perfect long walk through the fields, and down the cottage lane, across Hugh & Dorothy's frosty yard, then down the bunny trail (or grass lane) and all along the icy shoreline to the top of the bayberry & wild rose pasture and then back through the rolling main pastures.

I think I cried the entire walk. We were by ourselves, Winn & I, it was a beautiful morning- clear and sunny, the air crisp but not really cold, it felt like spring was finally arriving and every step that I took I knew I'd walked before, a million times, with my red dog by my side. It feels good to really cry, to wail if I feel like it. I miss him SO much. I would do anything to have him back and I realize that, no matter what, I will always feel guilty about ending his life, regardless of whether or not it was the right thing to do at the time.

At the top of the cliff, which we'd always climbed up to, from the back back shore, after we'd had our final session of stick fetching in deep water, my boy's great love & passion, lie a few of his left over sticks, sticks that I know he carried up there. When we were done with our morning game he'd carry his two sticks up the red clay cliff to the bayberry and wild rose pasture. Soaking wet and dripping, always - ever day, and he would flop his big red body down with a thud and roll and rub delighted in the hay and grass - it was part of our daily routine. Often he'd leave a stick or two behind and yesterday I found three of these sticks, held them close to my chest and then I placed them down again in the frosty pasture in the shape of a large J.

I chatted a bit with God while we were walking and stopping often to admire the quiet and stillness and incredible beauty of where we spend our early mornings. I asked God to please send me a sign, a sign that my Boy was OK, some message from him, please. The thing about asking for a message or a sign is you really have to stay on your toes from then on. You wouldn't want the message or sign to arrive and have you miss it because you weren't paying attention. And often these signs can be very subtle.

The sign did come, over and over, yesterday. I kept hearing his name spoken out loud to me. First on two separate CBC radio shows where the person they were talking to or about was named Jake. And they kept saying the name over and over Jake ... Jake ... and then in the grocery store in the afternoon I ran into someone who I haven't seen in a long while. Another dog lover who many years ago lost her own exceptional Jake dog, a black lab, a dog who was loved by the entire village.

There we stood chatting in the deli section and that name, his name, was spoken out loud to me, over and over again ... Jake ... Jake ... Jake.

Jake. I miss you. I love you.


  1. Oh, how wonderful, Susan. That brought tears to my eyes.

  2. How comforting to receive a sign as you had wished.

  3. My heart is with you, and that brought tears to my eyes, too. Much love.


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