the boy

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The boy ... Jake, one of those soul mate dogs, my comfort for nearly 12 years

Adopted from my local animal shelter in Dec 95 when he was just a year old, I became his third and final home. I think he was just too much dog for the previous owners. Retrievers are often puppy like until middle age and this was certainly true with Jake. He bounced and bounded and wagged his tail about everything well into his 8th & 9th year (he was like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh) - exuberant about everything and eventually he did slow down. This year, in April, we had a terrible scare when he suddenly became very ill and wouldn't eat. Not eating for Jake is, well, just plain shocking, he's one of those food obsessed dogs. So it was very frightening, it seemed to come on very suddenly and we were at the vet's Sat, Sun, & Mon. that weekend. Xrays, blood work, urine samples and then more xrays. The Monday visit Dr. Hollis told me that her best guess was that he had hemangiosarcoma - a very deadly kind of cancer and likely had only a week or so left to live. It was an awful week that turned into two weeks thinking that I may be losing my second dog in just a few months but thankfully, he wasn't dying, the diagnosis was changed and he was prescribed a heart medication, Fortekor. We'll never know for sure what made him so sick that weekend, and I guess it doesn't matter because he's incredibly fit & healthy now. The combination of the medication and stick fetching & swimming season has given him a zest for life that I haven't seen in him in a very long time. It's unbelievable, he is in better shape physically then he has been for years and that's partially due to the 30-45 mins of stick throwing that we do every morning. He was put on this earth to retrieve -and retrieve from water, it has to be in the water. Throw a ball in a field and he looks at you like "what?" The intense look/stare on his face in this photo is him looking at the sticks I'm holding ... just waiting for me to throw them again. He is 12 1/2...and except for a lighter muzzle you would think he was a very young dog.

Thank you God.


  1. You have such sweet babies! What would we ever do without our 4 pawed furry frieds... I think they keep us young. xxooo

  2. oh dear - that should have been friends - not frieds - yikes..


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