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.