Jake, My Beloved Dog

Yesterday, August 23, 2018, right around 6 PM EST, one of the most wonderful dogs ever born left this world. Jake came to me in summer 2003, just over 15 years ago, after my dad died of cancer and my dog, Buddy, was hit by a car and killed that same night. The grief of that time for me was close to unbearable and when Jake came, he brought the healing and love that I needed to just get by.

Jake was a sweet and playful young dog transitioning out of puppyhood when he arrived in my life. I didn’t realize at the time, but I see now that he had a big responsibility to help me and he stepped up to it with zest and sweetness. He was cute and funny and loving from the very first day. He had energy beyond belief and his constant need for exercise got me out of the house to a local dog park and into social situations that I needed but wanted to hide from.

Over the following years, my life was not exactly stable. We moved around the Bay Area multiple times and my attention was not always on making sure Jake had the environment that he needed. I believe that the natural energy of a dog is to care for its person emotionally and that can take a large toll on them in some cases.

In 2010, I became aware of this and also that even more change was in my future. I did not know what was about to happen, but I knew that I needed to move, leave California, explore inner and outer new boundaries and places and spaces. So, I let the Universe know that I was willing to give Jake a new home and just like that, a wonderful family appeared. From the start, every one of the four members of this family loved Jake just as much as I did. They got him 8 years ago, so he’s been their dog even longer than he was mine.

So, he was around 16 when they let me know last week that he was failing fast. He’d lost most of his hearing and his vision was going. He was in pain a lot of the time from causes unknown. We had a video chat on Saturday so I could talk to the family and see Jake.  The picture on this post is a screenshot from that video chat. He’s already dissolving into the light.

I am sad, but the grief is not really different from what I’ve had all these years since I let him go, and also, death is a natural part of life. I’ve never doubted for a second that “re-homing” him was the right move for both of us. All the times I visited Jake over the years, took him to the beach and for walks and hikes, played with and loved on him, he has always been ecstatic as only a dog can be to greet me. And even more happy, it seemed, to go home again after our adventures.

I am grateful beyond measure to the family who has loved him all these years: Zeric, Sage, Sherri and Keith, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

Dearest Jakey, thank you for everything. I will miss you and love you forever. May your journey onward be peaceful. Whatever mystery you are going to dissolve into, may it bring you even more adventures, love, fun and ecstasy than you had in this plane.

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Uma Bode