This scrawny red heap on the floor, his ribs protruding, his gaze empty, was, without question, the most melancholy dog at the rescue shelter that July morning, oblivious to the attention-seeking leaps and barks of his fellow inmates as I walked the corridor. He didn't even look at me when I spoke to him and seemed to have no will left to survive. I knew instantly he was the one. What I didn't know was that the years to follow would enliven my own heart even more than they would for him. It wasn't until I was filling out his adoption papers that I learned of his terrible history, and until the few weeks the followed that I realized there would be many struggles ahead. For the rest of his life, we were inseparable and, despite the challenges, unbelievably happy.
I wanted to have digital copies of his photographs, and couldn't bring myself to part with a single one of him so, at times, there are several that are similar or from the same event, but, along with them, are short snippets from an all too short life. This is the story of a remarkable rescue dog. This is the story of Jake...
My Beautiful Jake
Four years old. August 1996, just a couple days after his July 31st adoption from a rescue shelter.
Four years of abuse & abandonment, then 3 months at a shelter, left Jake emaciated and despondent. His trust in me, and his first smile, came with only a few days of love and, from there on out, the two of us developed a bond that will never be...
Jake, in his favorite indoor place to bask in the sun. August 1996
Jake, four years old. August 1996
Jake, August 1996
When I first brought Jakey home, he pretended to bury every biscuit in corners, an emergency stash in different rooms. I knew he truly trusted he'd never go hungry or be abandoned again when he started eating every treat the moment he got them....
Though trust came quickly, there were also unexpected seizures that jolted Jake from a sound sleep to uncontrollable thrashing...akin to night terrors induced by post-traumatic stress. A few weeks of unyielding love sent those seizures packing for good....
Sticking Out His Tongue
Jake, August 1996
...But not really. Jake would later demonstrate he'd protect me in a heartbeat, but he was the gentlest, most adoring dog I've ever known. This bark and growl was meant to scare away an intruder...the UPS guy, I think. :) August 1996