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Jake (Big Dummy!)

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  • Jake (Big Dummy!)

    Jake arrived 'out of the blue' one day because of mom. She had, for who knows why, decided we needed an 'rescue dog'. Well, the thing that got out of the van the day she got it, I would barely have called a dog. The thing had been so abused that there wasn't a single bone on his body that was not sticking out. His body had long ago given up trying to grow hair to protect itself from weather and he was at least three-quarters bald all over. He was so dehydrated that his eyes were sunk at least a quarter-inch into his skull. I couldn't believe he was even able to hold himself standing it was so pathetic. The only redeeming quality at the moment I could see was that he was leash-trained very well.

    I was going to put him down because in most cases an animal that far gone usually won't be able to spring back, but I ended up just walking away in disgust and sad at the poor animals plight.

    I ended up the one taking care of him (I always do, sigh) - which meant feeding him correctly instead of what mom would have done (she would have thrown t-bone steaks at him if it had been up to her and over-feeding a starved animal *WILL* kill it, but she don't think that way).

    Within a month, he was wagging his tail, his hair was starting to grow back and he'd put on about ten pounds or more.

    In three months he was (trying) to play with the other dogs, though his hips never did get any better and he couldn't jump at all or 'run'...the best he could do is a sort of slow trot. His hair was about a half-inch long and getting some color. His bones could still be counted, but they were getting harder to see.

    Six months and his hair is an inch+ long and a deep, dark red/brown. His tail has nice long hairs making it feather beautifully. The bones are nearly completely covered and...he's finally discovered the pond. He definitely has some kind of water dog in him as he jumped right in with no hesitation, but, he had no clue about 'retrieving'. Couldn't care less if you threw a ball or stick. Wouldn't actually get in anything deeper than half-way up his chest, but would jump in the pond without a hesitation.

    One day I'm outswide splitting wood or something and here he comes. I stop to pet him and let him know he's loved and I notice that his head and neck are soaked, his tail and belly are soaked, but the whole of his back is completely dry. Try as I might I couldn't figure out what had happened and shrugged it off.

    A few days later I happed to look toward the pond and the mystery was solved - he would wade into the pond and then he would *completely* dunk his head under the water, kinda like he was trying to pick something up off the bottom of the pond. It was hilarious and he'd do it a few times and then get out and shake and roll and he'd be happy.

    The next year and a half he was learning to enjoy being with other dogs and just eating up being petted. He had absolutely zero social skills in the dog world which told me that whoever had him kept him absolutely and utterly alone, but he was trying and the other dogs were okay with that. He loved that he could bark at cars going by.

    Then, about 5 months ago, I noticed he was starting to shake his head a lot and I thought maybe he had an ear problem. The vet found nothing so I took him back home. It turned out he was just going deaf and a few weeks later he was. He learned to get along with that without a problem and was still just as happy as could be.

    Then 4 days ago, I went out in the morning to feed the dogs and do the regular chores, and Jake got up slow, real slow, and I had to coax him to the feeding place and he wouldn't eat. I figured he just ate something bad, and he'd be good to go later. Came feeding time in the evening and again he wouldn't eat. Then something really kinda got me to tense up a little...he hadn't wagged his tail at me at any time that day.

    Next day was exactly the same, wouldn't eat first or second meal (I feed twice a day) and still wasn't wagging his tail *at all*.

    Third day, after he wouldn't eat breakefast again, I realized it was beyond something he may have eaten, beyond just his hips hurting, but it took me back to about two months ago, a buddy of mine came to get my truck I'd sold to another friend. Now, I could always leave our gate wide open and the dogs knew better than to go out, even Jake. But as I was helping with getting the truck on this guy's trailer, I look over in the field across from our house and there's Jake, just wandering along like he's searching for something or got a good sniff of something and was trying to follow it! He couldn't hear me as I yelled for him and I was barely able to catch up to him before he got into the woods and lost for good (remember, the fastest I move is just barely better than someones regular walk).

    I walked him back to the house and forgot about it.

    Well, today, day four. The other days, Jake would once in a while eat a hot dog, but this morning, he wouldn't even look at it. My heart sank as I was pretty sure I had it figured out what was wrong. One thing left to try...I put a collar on him and a leash to see if he'd get in the van and I'd try the vet once more. He didn't have a clue what a collar or a leash was. He didn't have a clue who I was, or the other dogs were. He was just, 'there', and didn't even know he should eat, though *I* saw he was hurting badly in his hips too. I don't know if there's a name for it or what, but I'm calling it 'dog dementia'.

    I took the collar off him and petted him and it sucked that even though he seemed to be 'okay' with being petted, he didn't recognize it as good or bad and didn't recognize me. I went back in the house, knowing that once afriggin'gain it was up to me to put one of our kids down.

    I gently picked him up after and put him in my little wagon and pulled it down to our little pet cemetary adn laid his body on a patch of cool clover and turned and walked back up to the house.

    Damned dogs need to start friggin' dyin' in their sleep and stop killin' me by making me the one to always put them down. Well, at least the last couple years of his life were good and he was happy and free and fed and with dog friends to play with and a pond to dunk his head in and food beyond his dreams.

    My only regret is, even to this day, no one will tell me where the dog was rescued from. Some friends say this is a good thing as they know *exactly* what I'd do if I did find out. They're right, but it sure pisses me off and I let them know it by telling them what gutless worms they are because by not punishing the fscktard who did this to Jake, means s/he'll be able to do it again.

    Anyway, bye, Jake. You were a good dog and I hope you were happier than you'd ever been before you came here...home.
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  • #2
    So long, Jake.

    Thank you for posting this, Yoch. Touching.

    2001 FXDX Superglide Sport. More horses than a feller would want

    Official HERD Member #00192

    "What, me worry?" Alfred E. Neuman


    • #3
      Sorry it went like this. I'm so sentimental about my 4 that I really can't say much more than that, just sorry..........


      • #4
        Really sorry John. Being a dog person also I know how hard it is.
        HERD member #66
        HS I Survivor
        HS II Survivor
        HS III Survivor
        HS IV,V,VI wanted to go.....


        • #5
          Good Bye Jake...and God Bless you John for taking such good care of him and making his short time remaining on earth worth living, and not a living hell.
          A.K.A. Chad
          Official Ear Tag #163
          Official Member Paracord Posse
          2012 FLHTK Ultra Limited
          "I talk a lot but don't say much, and I know it..."
          "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."


          • #6
            RIP Jake. Glad you gave him a good home John.
            Herd member #85



            • #7
              Really sorry for your loss, Yoch. RIP Jake.
              Official HERD Member #00205

              '09 Softail Deluxe - Mojo
              Stage 1, dyno, no major mods but it's shiny!


              • #8
                John they do crawl into your heart and make the place their own don't they?

                I had to put down a puppy this past November. We had her for two weeks and she got the Parvo.

                I know how you feel. I'm just glad Jake was yours for a time.
                It STILL don't make me no nevermind!
                Official HERD Member #00186