Saturday, April 17, 2010
The story of Jake
Nine years ago today, April 17, 2001, Jacob Jeremiah, aka: Jake, was born.
He was born in New Mexico according to his paperwork if I remember correctly. And unfortunately, probably on a puppy farm. Although the place my parents purchased him from insist it was not, I dont believe them. He does have the "alternate" paperwork for the ACC American Canine Club or something or other. The fortunate part for Jake is he was the "chosen one" by his new mother, aka: Lauren. And he was chosen exactly 12 weeks after he was born.
Lauren wanted a dog for a long time. Begged me in fact from the time she was about 7 years old. I just kept putting it off. We had too busy a lifestyle for a puppy. We got a cat named Larry instead. Larry acted like a dog because we treated him like a dog since we are "dog" people. Larry staved off the begging and it worked for about 5 years and then he went and got sick and passed away on us. The childs begging for a dog started up again not two weeks after he was gone.
I had a dog everyday of my life growing up and I did feel a certain amount of guilt over denying my child this pleasure. I really do feel kids should grow up with a dog if its a possibility. A dog adds to childhood a special bond of the furry kind. I had some great dogs and still remember so many times when they were at my side during my adventures.
I won the No Dog battle for a total of 6 years and finally lost it when my parents asked if they could get Lauren a puppy for her 13th birthday. I just looked at them and shook my head. They new perfectly well this was a perfect way to get me back for all the dogs I had as a kid that I "swore I'd walk and feed and play with forever!!!". Yeah, anyone who begged for a dog as a kid is born with the "I'll take care of it plea" and then mom or dad ends up taking care of it after the dog has been around for a couple of months and the newness has worn off. I know I did it everytime. =) But thats because THEY LET ME. I would not allow this to happen when we got this dog.
We lived in Tampa at the time and my parents were here in Fort Lauderdale. So on the weekend before Laurens 13th birthday we drove down for a visit. I didnt tell her we'd be coming home with a puppy.
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny. All of Fort Lauderdale heard the squeals of joy when the grandparents announced the news that this was the weekend that Lauren would finally get her puppy. I'll admit, I was happy too. I'd missed having a dog around. We'd been without one since moving to Florida, so almost 12 years had gone by.
The shopping was intense. Lauren came from a "Lab" family and she wanted a yellow lab. We'd never had a yellow before. Black and Chocolate were our flavors of choice, but she had to have a yellow. I wasnt that into it but hey, it was her dog so she got to choose.
The first stop was the animal shelter to see if there were any labs to be had. Not a one. Not even a mixed breed lab. According to the employees they are the first to go. Always. So we were off to the store to see if there were any yellows around.
We entered the chosen store and my lord I kid you not they had the mother load of yellow labs. There must have been 30 of them, all different ages from 8 to 12 weeks old to choose from. Lauren was (and still is) a very selective, yet no nonsense shopper. It doesnt matter if its underwear, a prom dress or in this case a puppy. She knows what she wants when she sees it. There is no checking out ten other stores to see if there is something better. If she sees something and it suits her, its a done deal. No muss, no fuss.
All the puppies were delicious! Some fat and rolley polley, some crazy jumping beans, some quiet and reserved, some barkers and others sleeping through it all while some were chewing on each other. So many puppies!! How was she going to pick just one?!?!? The right one?!?! I was so glad this was not my decision. I'm the opposite type of shopper as my kid. I want to check them ALL out, Just To Make Sure I'm Getting The Right One!
She walked the circut of puppies...looking them over. Eyeing them up and down. She walked front to back and back again. There was a puppy she was eyeing. And he was eyeing her apparently. A quiet, reserved puppy who sat so still in the back of the pen. On her second pass he made the move. Walking ever so slowly to the front of the pen. He waits for just the right moment and makes his move. He just sat down, tail wagging slowly as she strolled past, eyeing her all the way, ears perked just so. Other puppies were frantically jumping at the gate, trying to get her attention. Barking, yapping, being crazy. Not him. He just watched. I of course had already held half the puppies...showing her..."how bout this one?? He's cute!" "No mom, not that one."
"That one. I want to see that one" as she pointed to the still sitting puppy. The clerk reached in and picked him up then placed him in his mothers arms. Little did they both know at the time they would be together forever. She held him with one hand under his butt and the other around his back. His paws were over each shoulder and he looked into her eyes as she looked into his. She put her face in his furry neck and snuggled him. She was enveloped in puppy breath. When she pulled away he sat still in her arms. No squirming, just stillness looking at her. She put her nose on his nose. He didnt pull away instead gave her a little lick on the tip of her nose. His kiss.
The clerk showed us to an area where she could put him down and spend some time with him. My father was inspecting him with a critical eye. "His ears are too big and he's too quiet, he's not big enough." He did just stand there. He was scared. Not so scared he tucked his tail but you could tell he was afraid. I personally thought he was trying not to get his hopes up. How often had someone done this to him before?? Picked him up, played with him only to put him back and choose another littermate.
Lauren announced he was the one. They had bonded already. My father wasnt having it. He wanted her to look at this fatty mcfatty that was sure to grow into a huge georgeous perfect dog. She was not having it. She made the clerk hold the boy in a seperate pen until she convinced her grandfather no other puppy at this place would do. After about 30 mins my father announced he wanted to take her to see some other dogs at another place. I could tell by the pouty look on my childs face she was not happy about this. But she is not one to "tell" her grandfather different. She would not disagree or stomp and cry. He told her he wanted her to think on it overnight and make sure she really wanted him as it was a lifelong commitment on her part. If she still felt this way after seeing some other dogs he'd bring her back tomorrow for him.
She did ask if the clerk could mark the puppy she'd chosen in some way so she could positively identify him tomorrow, when she was SURE we'd come back for him. The clerk tied a green ribbon on his coller and put a little tag with Laurens name on it and "hold". She also placed him in a seperate area from all the other puppies and said he would be there. This satisfied Lauren and we left to go in search of other puppies that had no chance. She'd made her choice. I know my child but my father had his reasons so I didnt get involved. They had to work this out.
Once in the car Lauren said she really didnt want to look at any more puppies today. Maybe tomorrow we could look again. So we went back to my parents house. That night my father and her talked about the puppy she'd chosen and by the end of the evening she had him convinced that, THAT was the puppy for her.
Sunday morning my child was buzzing. She was on cloud nine and getting HER baby today. The wait till noon when the store opened was nearly unbearable. Upon entering the store she immediately went to where the clerk had left her dog. She stopped dead in her tracks because he wasnt there! She turned and looked into the other pens with all the yellow labs and was in a panic. She searched and searched but no green ribbon!!! Finally we did a puppy by puppy search until we found him. The ribbon apparently was torn off by another puppy but not the tag. We found him!
All the appropriate paperwork was done including the paperwork to this ACC with all of Laurens info on it. He was hers. Forever. We left the store to go in search of all the other supplies needed for the perfect puppy. This included food, crate, collar, leash, TOYS(!) and a name tag. His name would be Jake. It had been decided years before while she'd been dreaming of her yellow lab she'd have one day.
He came home with us and has been the BEST damn dog I've ever met. This dog barely chewed on anything. Lauren would leave her shoes, toys and leather softball glove laying around and he wouldnt touch them!! He was the first dog I'd tried crate training with. It soooo worked!! By the time he was 5 months old he was out of the crate all night in bed with Lauren. By 10 months he had free roam of the house during the day. He proved himself trustworthy so freedom he got.
Lauren had her job cut out for her. She had to get up early every morning to feed and walk him before school and even on the occasional weekend when she could have slept in because there was no tournament to go to. I wasnt doing it. She had to walk him when she took him out of the crate to play and before he was put back in the crate to rest. Feed and water in the evening as well. Lotsa work that had her rolling her eyes when reminded about her puppy that needed to go out even though she was in the middle of a video game. But I must say, she didnt complain. She fed and watered and took care of her dog until she left for college. Every day. I had stuck to my guns. And she learned what type an obligation a fluffy cute puppy that turns into a big fluffy drooly dog can be.
I often wondered in the early days of Jakes life with us how I'd feel when Lauren grew up and moved out and took her dog with her. I consider myself lucky that he is entrusted into my care while she serves her country in the Navy. He still remembers his mother and every visit she makes he is the first to greet her with crazy wagging tail, wiggling butt and kisses. Jake is very stingy with kisses, but his mother always gets them.
You've all seen lots of pics of current Jake. These are old school Jake. ;)
Jakes very first night at home in Tampa.
I love this face!
His first swim in the Gulf of Mexico
My snugglebunnies worn out after swimming in the Gulf. =)
Lauren didnt care that he was 50lbs. He was still her baby.
Happy Birthday Jake! Frosty paws doggy ice cream and extra cookies for you today. =) Just promise me you'll live for another 9 years buddy. Because you are the best damn dog everrrrrrr!! Muah!