Jerry and I had been dating MAYBE two weeks and he made the comment he wanted a chocolate lab so he could take him hunting with him. Jerry bird hunts and I guess it's cool to hide in a coffin with your dog and jump out and shoot dove. Well, Jerry doesn't hide in a coffin, but he wanted a dog to retrieve the birds he shot. I was trying to be that awesome amazing girlfriend and I had some money saved, so what did I do? I bought a chocolate Labrador Retriever the very next day. My friend, Cindy and I drove out to this house in the country and the lady had six or seven lab puppies running around in a corral. The mom and dad of the puppies looked good so I looked back over at the yapping puppies and my eye went straight to one puppy. The runt. That was him. That was Jake. I had his name picked out already and it just so happened that runt was a boy. I picked him up, smelled that sweet puppy breath and handed the lady the money.
I was on my way to give him to Jerry. I was driving a black 1987 4x4 Nissan Pathfinder that was given to me by one of my friends. It had all black interior and no air. Well, it had air, but it over-heated when I turned it on, so I would roll down the one window that worked. It sounds terrible, but I actually loved that car and going off roading with it. I put Jake in the seat by the one working window. I was eating lunch with Jerry that day. At that time, I was done playing volleyball and was finishing up my 'super-senior' year and we were both working at The Home Depot in Wichita Falls. He opened my door and he couldn't see Jake in the floor board since he was so dark. I pointed down there and Jerry was completely shocked. Meet Jake!
Jerry picked him up and instantly loved him. We took Jerry's car to go eat at Scott's drive in. Oh, and at that time Jerry was driving his 1971 Buick Skylark that had no air either, but both his windows went down so we'd take his car everywhere. He was trying to restore it, but it's hard to restore a car without money. Did I mention we were broke, really broke, but we got a dog to take care of!
First thing we did was get his series of shots, that was not in our budget. Jake was cute and looked like a little bear. He slept all the time and it was great. Then he started getting bigger and bigger. He was teething. Teething bad! We came home to Jerry's coffee table eatin' up on every corner. Then we got a big crate, that was not in our budget either and he quickly was crate trained. We got pig ears and rawhides for him to chew on. That wasn't enough, he chewed up toy after toy after toy. He chewed up Jerry's Oakleys. He just chewed everything! We were potty training him and I don't recall that being too bad because he loved to go play in the backyard with the really long grass, we didn't have a lawn mower.
Jerry and I got married and moved into this cute rent house. I finished school and we moved to Fort Worth, into an apartment. That was terrible for a dog! Then we bought a house in Granbury. That was great because we would put Jake in the back of Jerry's little truck and take him to the lake that was right by us. Then we built a house in Fort Worth so we could be closer to our jobs. Poor Jake moved five times in the matter of three years, but this was the last move. He had a huge backyard to run around in now. We always had a little pool for him to lay in. You'd think Jake would love going on walks and would walk you. Not at all. You were dragging him and it would make Jerry so mad. Jake didn't do walks. I don't think he liked being on a leash. So we stopped doing the leash. He never tried to run off either. In fact, Jerry came home from work one day and the gate was wide open and he panicked, driving around looking for Jake. Jake was asleep on the front porch the whole time.
Jake had become lazy and completely set in his ways after six years of living here. Labs really are the best dogs once they settle down. They are so smart and good tempered. Jake could swim better than me, sit, lay down when you pointed to the ground, he'd shake your hand and fetch whatever you threw. Although he wouldn't fetch too long before he'd get bored and quit on you. He slept on the floor by Jerry's side of the bed, in Jerry's recliner or by the window in the living room where his bed used to be. I got rid of it because it took up so much room and was always covered in dog hair. Jake didn't seem to mind because he wasn't going to move from his spot.
You don't realize your pet is so much apart of your life until they're gone. It was that day you knew would eventually come but didn't want to accept. I woke up at 3:30am and looked down at the carpet. It's like I knew something was wrong. Jake had had an accident and there was blood on part of his stool. It's like he was coming to tell me that he needed to go outside. Jake NEVER has accidents in the house so I knew something was wrong. I looked in his usual spots and he wasn't there. He was in the hallway by the front door, very unsual for him. I called him over to go outside, so he didn't have anymore accidents in the house. He was so listless walking to me. I cleaned up the mess and went back outside to check on him. It was dark and I couldn't find him. I knew what was happening, he was going off to die. The funny thing about dogs it's like they don't want to be an inconvenience when they know it's their time to go. The weird part is Jerry woke up too. I told him what was going on and he went outback and found Jake lying there. Jerry pet him and he wagged his tail a few times. That gave me hope that maybe his tummy is just upset and he's gonna be fine. Jerry said to leave him alone. Jerry checked on him again before he went to work and Jake had gone to heaven. I wrapped a blanket around him and we buried him next to Jerry's smokehouse.
I cried all day and I'm still crying. We thought we had at least three more years with Jake, at least that's what we had been telling ourselves. It's surreal and I'm just numb that he is gone forever. I'll never get to feed him, or pet him, or brush him, or sing "Who Let The Dogs Out" to him (that was his song), or step over him when I get out of the bathtub, or watch him chase Bailey while she is riding her bike, or listen to Bailey yell "move Jake" cause he was always in her way or smell his bad breath again.
I keep thinking I see him come around the bed or running in the backyard. Your mind can really mess with you in sad times. Jake has been with us from the very start and it's going to take some time to accept he's gone. To say he is going to be missed is an understatement.
Needless to say, we never made him a hunting dog.