a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Sad About Jake

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sad About Jake

SUMMARY: Fair warning, this is a being-sad-about-Jake post.

I've said that I have no regrets with Jake, that I did a lot with him and we had a good time. But it turns out, of course, that I do have regrets. Most are really very small.

  • Last time I was at the pet store, I bought 3 lovely big bones for the dogs to gnaw on. But was waiting for a special occasion to give them to them.
  • I've been spending all this time learning how to do better dog photography and taking posed photos of all kinds of other people's dogs but short of the adequate photo (shown in the sidebar to the right), I have no really beautiful photos of him.
  • I wish I had played in the living room with him more when he refused to play outside, even though I still had to talk him into it lately.
  • I should have taken him for a walk that last Sunday; it's what we've been doing for together-time without the young dogs lately. But at least I did so Saturday before I knew.
  • If only I had gotten him his special bed for next to my desk sooner. I'd been thinking about it for almost two years, and only bought it a month and a half ago.
  • I wish I had hugged and snuggled him more on Saturday.

Aside from regrets, there's simply the dismantling of my three-dog life. Every piece I change or tuck away adds a stone to the weight I've swallowed.

  • Jake always gets fed first. Bowl is now washed and put away. At mealtime, need to stop coming to a stop where I always set his food bowl down. As I walk through that spot, I feel as if I'm trying to walk through a wall.
  • Jake was my walking companion when I couldn't deal with Tika and/or the puppy. Which was often. Now it's walk by myself or deal.
  • Take down, clean, and edit the Emergency signs in the windows to say that there are 2 dogs in the house. Not 3.
  • The dog waking up next to me in bed isn't Jake, but I keep thinking it is when I first become conscious. It's still jarring.
  • Absolutely no water splortches on the floor around the water bowl. Jake had a graduate degree in splortching everywhere after every drink. I cursed it for years, but now how lonely that clean, dry floor feels.
  • In the car, no dog in the seat behind me. Put away the seatbelt harness and special mat.
  • In fact, I don't even need to have that seat there any more. Will be much more convenient and spacious when I'm sleeping out in my van, as I will be for the next two weekends. And how many boulders grew in my stomach with every step of dismantling.
  • No need for the old-dog steps going up to the passenger side of my bed. Don't know where I'm going to store them.
  • Put away the 3rd leash and bags-on-board dispenser. I just bought those in November after his last leash disappeared on the way home from scottsdale.
  • No need at the trial for 3 crates, 3 mats, 3 water buckets, three bags of food, three bowls, Jake's special toy, Jake's jacket for cold mornings for the little old guy. Guess I'm glad I didn't spend the money to fix that zipper on Jake's crate. I wonder if I could go back to just one x-pen for the merle girls?
  • Jake was so much fun to play fetch with. He always chased it, he always brought it back, he always dropped it at your feet and looked up at you with the most delighted tail wag, and would pick it up and drop it repeatedly with the same wag and cheerful look if you didn't figure it out the first time. Tika doesn't always bring it back. She certainly doesn't let go of it without convincing. And even when she wants you to throw it, it's not the same cheeriness. Boost brings it back if she thinks Tika won't, but she doesn't always bring it right to you. And she stares at the toy or at Tika, not at you. No tail wag. It's an obsession, not a game.
  • And I could exercise all three dogs by exercising Jake, because he'd run and run and run and the other dogs would go out and back with him, over and over.
  • The bathmat is now always empty when I step out of the shower, no little red dog curled up asleep waiting for his mom.


  1. It's hard not to have those little regrets niggling at your brain. When they do,I try to consciously remind myself of all the wonderful walks we took and the little games we played.

    The other thing I do when I've lost someone is to tell my brain that I want to dream of that person or dog over and over as I fall asleep. It really seems to work for me and I've had some really beautiful dreams and some very vivid ones, too.

  2. Oh Ellen, I am sad for you. It must feel like there is a big hole in your heart and the house. How are Tika and Boost taking this all in?


  3. Tika and Boost don't seem to be particularly affected. First, because they've always been so focused on each other since Boost came to live here, and Jake was such a curmudgeon, in particular to Boost, so there was never a lot of interaction except negative.

    Secondly, they were both there while Jake was having seizures, and after I realized that they were both off the bed & huddling against the door looking miserable, I calmed them verbally and praised them and let them come back on the bed while Jake was recovering. So they both had lots of chances to sniff at Jake and see what was happening and in my own view of the world I think that they knew that something was amiss with him.


  4. They leave such a terrible gap when they go don't they?

    Don't worry about those regrets, your dogs have such awesome lives compared to the average pet. No matter how much you do you can always do more, you could drive yourself crazy thinking about it.