Jake was simply an amazing part of our life. I was able to visit him almost daily as he grew and he finally came home in September 2005 as an 8 week old puppy. He was to be Deresa’s dog as I was traveling a lot for my job. She started his training early taking him to a puppy class, then a basic obedience class that ended with a mini agility intro.
I was lucky to be partk, of that agility demo and just thought it was really cool and I wanted to continue that training. Jake and I started agility training and was complete hooked, both him and I. In only two years of competing Jake earned his C-ATCH (dog agility champion). We were headed towards out C-ATE a level above a C-ATCH.
Life then got in the way and we ended up taking some time off from agility, but being an Aussie I had to keep him busy. With my crazy new pup, Pyro, coming to live with us in 2006 and he needed both physical and mental exercise I started training tricks. Read more about Pyro. As I taught Pyro tricks I also started teaching Jake as well, which led us to a new venture. We started performing dog trick shows, first for fun then as a business. We went to children’s birthday parties, even some adult parties as well, schools, fairs, a few parades and anywhere else we were wanted.
Throughout all of the traveling both in agility and then dog trick shows, Jake helped me as a demo dog. He assisted me in teaching children how to approach dogs while doing bite prevention programs, teaching other pet parents how to care for dogs through our Pet First Aid and CPR classes and keeping me company as we traveled together.
As Jake aged and my learning of pet nutrition, the need for appropriate, timely but limited vaccines and general health grew Jake’s care grew with me. Sadly not quick enough. One December day when Deresa and I arrived home (later than normal) I just opened the door to let all four of our dogs outside for a quick bathroom break before diner. I called everyone in for diner but Jake did not come back inside. I grabbed a flashlight so I could see what he was doing, he was just standing there looking towards the woods. Not thinking anything was wrong, I called Jake again and as he made his way up the deck stairs he stumbled and fell. I picked him up, brough him inside and I put him down he was just starring out into space and drool just poured out of his mouth. Deresa, Jake and I headed to the 24 hour emergency room, believing (based on the signs) there was a good chance of poisoning. The emergency room veterinarian agreed and Jake stayed the night.
When we picked up Jake the next morning he had improved but we had no idea what happened. We visited our normal veterinarian and after an exam and looking a the results of the blood work it was determined Jake was in a later stage of lymphosarcoma. Sadley Jake passed away in only 10 days from the onset of showing signs.
We did the best we could for Jake during that last week, kinda doing the bucket list of what Jake loved to do. With agility being at the top. Although he stumbled a couple of times on the course, he was his crazy, barking dog self as he ran the course.
Jake passed away several years ago now, I still tear up writing this post. He will always be missed.