Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wonderful Life

Some numbers for you. It’s been a year and a half, or 621 days, or 211 posts since Jake and I started this. I’ve taken 12,520 of photos of him. I just looked at the folder on my laptop and it tops out at 13.8 gigs. This picture may be far short of our best ones, but it is the very last one I ever took of him, so that instantly makes it one of my favorites.

And in closing, I will just say this…echoing our first post on May 1, 2009…when his final journey seemed like it was going to be a 50-yard dash, but turned into a marathon instead:

This is Jake. This was a story about him and the people in his life. He was so white. And he will always be that soft dog.

Every little piece in your life
Will add up to one
Every little piece in your life
Will mean something to someone

“The Weight of the World” – The Editors


  1. Hi, I came across your blog through the Bow Wow Buddies facebook posting. I just read every entry from first to last. Amazing story, amazing journey.

    Jake rules.

  2. Hey,

    I've been so busy with university work that I neglected catching up on blogs for a few weeks. I've only just seen this post and the one before it, so sincere apologies for the late comment.

    I can't remember when it was I stumbled upon this blog, or when I e-mailed you, but I think it was sometime in 2009. I've followed, and enjoyed, Jake's progress ever since.

    Thankyou so much for writing this blog. I'm sad that the journey has ended, but am happy that it lasted far, far longer than I (and possibly others) thought it would. This blog has made me realise that sometimes, the internet can be a wonderful thing.

    Tonight, there's someone in Shropshire, England, raising a glass for Jake.



  3. We have never met , nor spoke nor have I had the pleasure of throwing a ball for Jake, but I can tell you how much I feel your sorrow as we have walked a similar path.

    Last year my wife and I lost our 12 year old Lab to Hemangiosarcoma. I had not looked at your blog in a few weeks and opened the web browser with heartfelt anticipation. It brought back both sorrow and happiness.

    Our lab brought so much happiness to our lives we can never repay the Lord for that time. By way of your blog, you have shared Jake and a courageous journey to so many people. I would have loved to met Jake.

    Our vet was able to come to our house and put Cayman to sleep in the comfort of our arms and in her own back yard. Take comfort in that you helped Jake in his time of need. That was a most precious gift.

    You have a wonderful gift of writing and take care.

  4. I just saw 9news tonite with your story. I am crying as I write this. I have read your previous posts, and thank you and bless you for writing them. It helps all of us who have been down that path before. I am still mourning the loss of my black "soft fur" lab. He was diagnosed with bone cancer at 9 years old, and we were told "maybe 6 months", but as you said, animals have a way of telling us when they are ready, and he was ready only 3 weeks later - it was heartbreaking for us to do it, but he was in pain and we had to. I am so sorry for your loss; I am so sorry for my loss. Why do we humans get so attached to these animals? I am fighting the urge to get another dog, as I am only too aware of the heartbreak in the long run. Anyway - I really appreciated seeing the story on the news, however much it made me cry and relive my sorrow. God bless you and Jake.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry for your loss. I know the grief you are going through right now. It takes time for your heart to heal but he is in a much better place. Please remember all the good things about your furry animal. We had to put our dog down on 2/1/11 of kidney failure. He went so quickly but had a great life. He would have been 10 years old on 2/19/11. You took some great pictures.

  6. I saw you tonight on the news and came looking for your blog. You were an excellent dog dad to Jake, and what a terrific life he led every day. He will have met my Cody, the Keeper of the Fridge at the Bridge, and been treated to a myriad of yummy treats. Wishing you guy peace at his passing (two weeks today, I think) and room in your hearts at some time in the future for another Jake's honor.

    Golden Lover, but Likes a Lab, too

  7. I found your blog through the story on the 9News website.

    Jake was a beautiful dog and was so lucky to have you. Dogs deserve to go on adventures. Just last summer I decided to start doing the same with my dogs and I'm so glad I did.

    Thank you for sharing Jake's story. I am so happy you had the extra time with him.

  8. I am So touched by Jake's adventures! You are an incredible person! The two of you were SO lucky to have had each other. As the owner of 5 Labs, I could not help but go to your blog after seeing you on TV last night. PLEASE publish a book in Jake's honor!

  9. I had not visited your blog since the beginning of January 2011...
    This is the post that sadly had to come and the one I was not looking forward to reading. As others have said this has been a wonderful blog. Jake had a great dad in you. Treasure every one of the 12,520 photos you have taken especially number 12,520 - it's a beauty. I've already given my yellow & black boys big hugs soaked with tears.

    I live on Oregon and have the honor of knowing Cera Reusser who started 'Chase Away K9 Cancer' after the loss of her girl Chase to nasal carcinoma in 2006 with the help of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine located in Lakewood, CO ( To date Chase Away has raised over $400,000 through ACVIM that goes to fund canine cancer studies with the goal of someday SOON finding a cure for canine cancer. This association is what first drew me to your blog. Your special love for Jake is what kept me coming back.

    I will be making a donation to Chase Away in honor of Jake and the brave battle he fought with your help.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Thank you for sharing your story!

  10. You made Jake's life a happy one, and brought out the purpose that he had when he came into this world. He will always remember you as his best friend. We lost a wonderful friend in a similar fahsion a few years back, and still look at his picture daily. Dogs have a wonderful way of making us into better people, and clearly, Jake was a bundle of love for you and many others. Thanks for sharing your story, and for sharing Jake with the rest of us.

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  12. Jake's journey was remarkable. A lucky pup to have you. A loyal companion. A dog with a brave heart and gentle spirit. I too lost my 'best friend' recently and wanted to share this with you.
    I don't know who wrote these words but they gave me peace......
    There is one place to bury a dog. If you bury him in this spot he will come to you when you call – come to you over the grim dim frontiers of death and down the well remembered path to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs, they shall not growl at him nor resent him coming for he belongs there.
    People may scoff at you who see no slightest blade of grass bent by his foot fall - who hear no whimper- people who never really had a dog. Just smile at them for you know something that is hidden from them and which is well worth knowing.
    The one place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.
    With condolences,