I went down and found Jake sitting in a cage. He was what I was looking for, just a big brown dog like the one that my grandfather had when I was a kid.
Jake, part lab and your guess is as good as mine, turned out to be exactly what we needed. All personality, he fit in perfect around here. He came to a place where he could run - where the house is two football fields away from the front gate - where the nearest home is not near at all.
When I came home today, my father-in-law said that Jake was playing with his dog Oliver and then just laid on the floor in a spot where he usually lays - and he died. I ran in to see, and yes, in fact my Jake had died.
He was a big dog and would wait out side atop our long driveway, and there he'd sit and wait for me to come home after volunteering at the Legion up the road.
And when I did, he would act as thought he hadn't seen me in weeks. He loved me like no other dog that I've ever had in my life.
Why would God allow a dog a great home and family, allow for us to love one another, then watch as I openly cried as I dug his grave? And if I'm wrong, than it must purely be fate. And yes, fate can be a cruel master.
I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. Jake never hurt a soul. He only protected and loved us as he did - fully.
This morning was the first day that didn't have him nudging the bathroom door to check on me. Today, there were no more early morning belly rubs, no more greeting me at the door or in the driveway, no more running ahead of me at the house and waiting for me atop the steps, no more reaching down to take my hand as if helping me up the steps.
Today, there was no more waiting for me beside my chair, or as I'm sitting here writing.
Today, I didn't need to close my eyes to remember how he would act. I felt as though I saw him all day today. I saw him clown around with his favorite chew toy. I saw his brown eyes look at me and wag his tail knowing my thoughts. I saw him sit at the top of the driveway when I came home from the range today.
I know real well that tonight there will be no more getting up and going to bed at eleven on his own. And yes, there will be no more waking and coming to get me at 2am when I'm sitting here at this computer trying to write an article about this or that.
From yesterday afternoon, I knew that I would have no more of his unconditional love in just a look. No more would I feel his warmth and love. No more would I have his understanding of my sadnesses, my depression, anxiety, and joys of life.
If my wife wants another dog, then she can go find a small dog for her.
Maybe she will find a dog that I won't want to get close to? Maybe it will be a dog who won't lean into my chest as we drive down the road in my truck? Maybe it will be a dog who won't treat me special, and become essentially mine? Maybe it will be a dog that I won't ache over as I do right now?
Poor Jake, he was only four years old. He was too young, too athletic, and way too lovable to just suddenly die for no apparent reason. It doesn't seem fair. This is not right.