a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Random Jakey Notes

Monday, March 05, 2007

Random Jakey Notes

SUMMARY: Lots of emails from and to friends, known and otherwise.

Words fail me time and again this week--including trying to express how important all the emails and blog comments and phone calls have been, even if I didn't want to talk about it. I know that I am not, by far, the only one to go through this, and yet everyone digs deep to give me support and memories. Thank you again. Here are bits from just some of the emails I've received.

  • To a friend: I'm finding myself short on words. I wanted to write an eloquent and simple summary of his life but found that it was too hard, all I could do was to say what happened.
  • From an agility friend: It sounds like Jake picked his own time and way to leave this crazy world. What a great little dog and competitor he was.
  • From an agility friend: He was always fun to watch...
  • From an agility friend: I have wonderful memories of watching Jake at trials.
  • From an agility friend: He was our ideal mixed-breed idol, and we could only dream of achieving just a portion of all the wonderful things the two of you have accomplished. I always loved watching the two of you on and off the field - it was like watching a really well-written, albeit funny, dance symphony; the two of you old partners knowing how to read each other's subtle (or not-so-subtle ) cues.
  • From an agility friend: I was so excited to see him running on Saturday and thought how amazing it was that he was there, still beating the young whipper snappers. It is terrible from the human stand point, but from the doggy view, I guess what could be better than running agility and gorging illicitly on gourmet doggy treats until the very end.
  • To a friend: He was a good boy right to the end. Well, if I discount the goodies in the car on Saturday. Which, actually, I did. I was annoyed but didn't scold him and kept telling myself, well, he's old, he deserves some slack. (In retrospect, I'm so glad about that.)
  • From an agility friend: He was such a wonderful little dog. I saw him run this weekend and marveled at how well he was doing for a little old guy! How wonderful his last two runs at his last show were Q's! Just shows he was a champion to the end.
  • To club member whose dog also succumbed to brain tumor/seizures recently: It's so hard to watch them go through it. This is my second dog whose last day was consumed with seizures. In a way I'm glad that they came all at once--I don't know how I could have lived week after week, watching and waiting and dreading the next one. His seizures were so long and so bad and he was so terrible for so many hours after each one, I don't know that I could have put him through more anyway. My first dog's seizures were short and recovery very quick, but came so fast after each other on top of known fatal cancer, so it was quite different.
  • From an agility friend:I remember when he got his C-ATCH a couple years ago and you made a short speech telling us about him. i'll never forget it ... (And I "retired" him from agility right after that; little did I know he'd still be doing some runs...)
  • From an agility friend: He was simply the greatest. I will never forget when we first joined the club, you hurt your back and you had different people running him. He was so happy to be playin' the game he was runnin' fast and winning ribbons like a champ.
  • To a friend: I sure was lucky with him. Of course one always wants more, but at least at 15 I knew full well that time was running out.
  • From an agility friend: It was such a pleasure to be able to watch him run again this weekend. He sure was having his fun!
  • From an agility friend: I loved Jake. I loved the breed name you gave him (Semidachshund). I loved watching you grow together and then just enjoy each others' company.
  • From a previous housemate: All in all he was a good boy. But, then again, all your dogs have been good. Must be a good mommy! If it really was a brain tumor that did him in it makes all our jests about Jake and his one brain cell seem so inappropriate! (We always used to joke that he had only one brain cell, because when he was focused on something, there was no room for anything else. E.g., focus on treats: No room for listening to mom. Focus on squeaky: No room for food.)
  • My response: The tests ruled out almost all causes other than a nodule or tumor on the brain, and his post-seizure behavior--pacing constantly in a one-direction circle--are also symptomatic of such a brain problem. I kept thinking about the one brain cell thing, too, the whole time. Poor old guy. Morbid humor, I know, but it did seem to prove the case--the only thing that got him to stop hours of pacing was bringing out the goodies. I had wanted to call you and say that if you wanted one last chance to say goodbye, it might be Monday, but he really was never himself again and it seemed pointless to offer. He was only marginally aware or reacting to any of us. I'm still a bit stunned and numb and having a little trouble focusing, but at least I got some sleep.
  • From a previous housemate: Jake was always my favorite, as you know, and I just adored him.
  • From an agility friend: I have pictured Jake several times this week running courses...his black tipped, red ears flying in the wind...so amazingly agile and athletic running 22".
  • From an agility friend: He was always such fun to watch! What a cute little dog he was!
  • From an agility friend: Jake always gave the impression that as long as there were goodies to be had that he'd live forever. You were and are the best home that a multi-rehomed dog could ask for. He knew it and stuck around as long as he could.
  • From another club member: Even thought I started agility with a sheltie I have always had and prefer mixed breeds and Jake was one of my heros, proving that you don't need a fancy pedigree to be an awesome agility dog! I will tell my baby mutt Sherman that he's following some big footsteps.
  • From my trainer, who fostered Jake until I got him: What a great life you gave him, I thank you so much for that. I am thankful that he was his true self right until the end
  • From my other trainer, also fostering: He was certainly a one-of-a-kind dog and companion.
  • From an agility friend: He was an awesome dog, taking everything life threw at him in stride, and always having fun and enjoying life. I'll always remember him out there speeding around the courses. He had a great time, even as age started to slow him down. He truly seemed to be one of those dogs who were born to do agility.
  • From an agility friend: He was such an inspiring and fun guy to watch! I always enjoyed his exhuberance & enthusiasm.
  • From an agility friend: Jake was one of the first dogs I met trialing.
  • From an agility friend: He's been around agility for as long as I can remember; it's been 10 years and I seem to remember always seeing his happy smiling face. He was joy to watch.
  • From an agility friend: At our very first agility trial - a NADAC/ASCA trail inside the race track grounds at Laguna Seca - you came up and asked me to hold onto Jake while you went away to do some thing or other. Jake warmed up right away and was completely content to hang out with me while you were gone. He relaxed my novice jitters and told me to be calm, everything would be OK. I felt honored to be taken under the wing of that wily veteran.
  • From an agility friend: I remember the first time I saw Jake run - it was a Bay Team trial in Sunnyvale about 4 and 1/2 years ago that I had volunteered to work full time (I was agility dog less at the time). I watched you run Jake, smiling at the breed reference on the line sheet of SemiDachshund. I was inspired by the openess, and even enthusiasm, that folks had for mixed breed dogs, and signed up to join Bay Team shortly thereafter. Who knows who else he inspired, but I'm sure there were many.
  • From a friend: Being a champion, having crushed the opposition, laying there being fed treats from the hand of a beautiful woman who loves you, what more could a hero want of his passing moment?

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