Chriseparent
He died yesterday at 3pm, I thought it was just a normal day. He ate breakfast, he fetched for the ball even though his legs were weak, and he slept all day while I went to work for a couple of hours. I came home and checked on him, he was laying outside instead of the garage where he usually slept. I went out and pet him, told him he was a good boy, then went inside to practice some guitar. I heard the garage door slamming from the wind so I got up to close it and check on Jake, and there he was, laying dead by his water bowl. He was 18 and he chose to go.
I had him for 8 years, my neighbor sort of just gave him to me and I took great care of him every day I had him. He wasn’t socialized so I ended up living in the rural desert so he could have a home. It was rough living, but I had no bills, only an income, so I could devote all my time to Jake, and I did. I doubt there is another adult who could compare their friendship with their dog to what we had. Even though I was the one in charge, we were friends and I let him be a dog. We spent 5 years doing nothing but going on walks and playing ball (he was a golden retriever mix). I took him everywhere I went- he loved rides. If it involved a ball, he loved it. We played fetch, baseball, tennis, even basketball. He was such an awesome dog. He was hit by a truck 3 years ago and started to lose bodily functions 2 years ago, though he could still walk til the end.
For the last 8 years my life has revolved solely around my dog- 6years of no drinking, no smoking, no sex, never spending a night away from my dog... and then two women came into my life like gifts from heaven, but weren’t able to deal with my emotions of my dog dying and I’ve been left depressed and alone, the most recent breakup being 2 weeks ago. Writing helps but otherwise I am at a total loss. I’m putting off digging the hole to bury him, his dead body is all I have left, I feel like, in the world.
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camunki
I am so sorry about your Jake, and happening so suddenly. I am sure your heart aches. I am glad you gave him your 8 years of life and he lived til 18 y/o, that is amazing and a long life, and yes, we all want our pets to live longer.

Sounds like you took great care of your boy Jake and he is a handsome fellow. Please take the time to talk more about your Jake and know that there are caring people here all going thru grieve of losing our babies.

My heart goes out to you.

Cam


 
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Chriseparent
camunki wrote:
I am so sorry about your Jake, and happening so suddenly. I am sure your heart aches. I am glad you gave him your 8 years of life and he lived til 18 y/o, that is amazing and a long life, and yes, we all want our pets to live longer.

Sounds like you took great care of your boy Jake and he is a handsome fellow. Please take the time to talk more about your Jake and know that there are caring people here all going thru grieve of losing our babies.

My heart goes out to you.


Thank you very much. It’s tough, we all know that. I feel like over the years I came to define myself by the level of care I took for Jake, and I don’t know who I am anymore.
The first years were perfect- we both instinctively knew what it would take to make it work, and he was a great dog. His first owner taught him to be very aggressive, but I just tried to show him unconditional love to break him of that, and it seemed to work. Living like we did, off grid, there was no work involved, just play and getting to feed him and watch him eat. Even when I cooked his food from scratch for 3 years I never thought of it as work.
But then his hips started to hurt and the summer heat of the desert was getting to him, both of us really, so we moved into a big building with fenced yard and he claimed the whole garage. It was a year that he lived that way, first sleeping inside and I would clean up his mess every morning, then sleeping in the garage- he liked to move around a lot so I would periodically check on him and put his mattress under his hips. It was only at the end that he let me bathe him, put salve on him, and really the first real affection he ever showed for me. He would only come inside to eat in the kitchen for the last couple months- I made him rice, chicken, pumpkin, and a poached egg though the last couple weeks I switched to ground beef because he enjoyed it more and I hope that wasn’t a factor in his death.
Writing about him helps a lot, it might sound pathetic, but he really was my everything. I’m a disabled person and he was both my physical and emotional support dog, in the sense that we went for lots of walks and he also kept me grounded, gave me a true purpose in life.
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camunki
Wow, you took great care of your Jake!! he had his own place to stay in the garage and he liked that...and you even fed him home cooked meals of good foods and I know feeding him the ground beef was not a factor in his death, ground beef is good for dogs. And i too, truly believe writing about our babies helps us, its good to hear from others and also write down feelings yourself. Sound like you gave your Jake 8 great years of his life and our lives do change once our pets pass on, they never pass "away" they only pass "on" to a new life, a painful free life, always being our guardian angels, til we meet again.

I know the first few months are by far the hardest, even into the first year there will be so many meltdowns and tears coming out of nowhere, it just shows our love and companionship for our babies. You Jake is grateful for the love you gave him in his last 8 years and he was one lucky boy.

Thanks for sharing all about your boy Jake, he sounds like a great boy.

Cam


 
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Chriseparent
Thank you for the kind words
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Sophiesmom0511
I am so sorry about your loss. Jake gave you the unconditional love you needed and in the end you did the same for him. I know how bad it hurts and how lost you feel. After I lost my girl I walked around my house numb for 48 hours, lost, absolutely alone, I think I was waiting for my beloved Golden to follow me like she used to. Jake is by your side though. Once the shock wears off you will see signs and hopefully one day be able to smile when you do.
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Chriseparent
Thank you
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Chriseparent
I took out the passenger seat of my truck so he could get in and out, I lifted him in and out of the truck and car.
He liked to chase rabbits.
He liked to howl at the coyotes.
He hated being inside.
He could find a stick no matter where it was, and he could spot a rattlesnake.
He hated baths, being groomed, he hated being touched so when he let me bathe him at the end, it was a surprise and I enjoyed doing it, from using a small water pump to hose him with warm water to pouring warm water over him instead. He had urine scald the last month he was alive, so baths were important and regular.
He would play with the dirt when I shoveled, he’d chase it when I threw it and would leap into the air if I timed it just right. I think it was one of his favorite things in the world to do. He’d put his face right down in the hole as I was digging too, as if there were some great treasure buried down there.
No mater what mattress or dog house I bought, he would always sleep under the trailer or the truck. Even in the garage of the building during the last year, he wouldn’t stay on his mattress- he kept moving around and I’d keep putting it back under his hips.
The ball was his thing. The only thing I ever saw that distracted him was a rattlesnake. It was how we bonded- i’d visit his owners place every week and throw a ball for Jake, which his owner refused to do. I did that for about 6 years then moved to California for 2. When I moved back, Jake became my dog and I lost all those friends somehow. Throwing it, baseball batting it, hitting it with a tennis racquet- he loved it all and we played fetch every day, even on the morning of his death.
He would shake his collar when he needed something, hardly ever barked except at other people, who he barked at all the time, though it was just a growl towards the end.
He hated the drone, but learned to tolerate it.
He loved car rides, the trip through Northern California was pretty epic.
He loved his morning biscuits.
He loved me, I think.
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Rookiesmama
Chris,
He DID love you, unconditionally. It sounds like you were an amazing Dad to him. I'm so sorry for your loss. My Rookie loved fetch too, and I really miss playing with him.
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