This week my friend Jake came to Rainbow Bridge after just under six years with his parents. That’s barely a blink of an eye. But Jake made an impression that will never be forgotten.
It was shortly after Amber, who was known for the famous goggles w\she wore while riding with her dad went to the Bridge that Jake joined Momma Carola’s household. Amber had been a quiet, well-behaved dog. Jake would be a challenge.
It had taken a while between Amber’s passing and Jakie’s arrival. There was a new job, and a new house, before Amber’s parents were ready to adopt a pup. Angel Morgan and Jackson’s Momma Jane was fostering Jake, who seemed perfect. Once they were situated Amber’s parents adopted Jake.
On Jake’s first walk with his new parents, he went into their friend’s house and promptly pooped. That was a sign of things to come. Next came a benign skin tumor and an anal gland infection. Then his legs began to betray him causing him to hobble. He was put on steroids, and the doctor hoped the problem would work itself out.
Perhaps, because of his health issues, Jake became aggressive. He snapped at his mommy’s nephew and growled at a nice senior woman. He was a terror on walks as he pulled and barked. His parents tried a citronella collar and a Gentle Leader to no avail. On his walks, Jake had what his mom termed a “demonic fit” by barking and spinning. He snapped at a woman, barked at everything and began chewing his fur causing sores. Jake was not quiet Amber.
A lot of parents would have written Jake off as a foster failure, but his folks refused. Jake was their dog for better or worse, and since they were getting a lot of the worse, they believed better days were ahead.
And they were. Little by little Jake became a success story. He finally was a happy little dog his parents could enjoy, with a bit of spunk.
Parents that adopt are the best. Who knows if Jake ever would have found a forever home if he wasn’t adopted by Momma Carolla and her husband, Charlie? The rewards adoptive parents get are many, but what they lose is time, and in five years Jake already showed signs of aging.
The dementia monster attacked Jake robbing him of his memory; then he became incontinent, his leg problems returned, he was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, and had gone deaf. His parents knew Jake was no longer Jake and the only way to return him to his former, happy self and that was to let him go.
I could tell, as Jake was crossing the Bridge, that he was loved by many souls because the clouds brought human tears that drenched us. Then the sun came out, and Jake ran over the Bridge, up the stairs to the recently named Hobo’s Bluff where I swear in the new angels, and then past me, across the fields, and up to the mountains, barking all the way.
Jake was feeling young again, and with that came the mischievous personality he had suppressed for so long. I knew exactly who could manage Jake. I whistled for Benjamin, the Sheriff of Fun, and told him that he and Brody had a new member of their happy pack. Benjamin watched Jake running around and wondered out loud if even he could contain the ultimate free spirit, but then he stopped thinking. He and Brody chased after Jake barking all the way.
When Jake stopped for a minute to watch his parents on Tunes’ vision, he was shocked to see how upset they were. Jake realized he was the one who had brought light into his house. He was as essential to a happy home as the roof and windows. Jake was missing from his house now, and coming so closely after Amber’s passing, it hit his parents hard. Jake put his paw on the screen and promised that he would think of something to make them happy again. Momma Carola, if you wake up one morning and don’t feel sad know that Jake had been in your dreams, staring at you with those beautiful dark eyes and then dancing around just to lighten your heart.
Please don’t worry about your baby. We angels are taking care of him. And he will soon take care of you.