This past weekend could not have been better weather. The sun was out, blue skies and it was a tad bit warm. With the passing of my dog a couple months ago, my family and I had decided to bid him farewell on his birthday at one of his favorite places. The 19th of November he would have been 13 years old. He was everything to me growing up. So this weekend we walked out to a spot on the river he would run around all the time on my mom's walks and we gave him over to the river.
Jake was a special dog. He barked maybe once every couple years. He was sensitive to everything with a whole lot of spunk, which just made him all the better of a companion. He always had to see where I was. He wasn't much of a cuddler, but he always came to my side when I needed him. He was freaked out by horses, but almost everyday walked by the pastures with me. He loved being outside and went bonkers for his walks with my mom at the river. I was most definitely his pack leader but my dad was his best friend. And Jake was my best friend; the car rides, the dancing in the kitchen with him and all the walks. He was the most selfless dog; I always wanted him next to me as I fell asleep and he knew that. He would lay next to me and after I would fall asleep he'd get up and go sleep on the cold bathroom floor.
It's amazing how much an impact one dog can have on one person or even an entire neighborhood. I was taken back by how much love was sent my family's way. Card after card came through from neighbors and friends. The day we took my dog in was heartbreaking, but his farewell from his neighborhood was the best. A lady who would come clean our neighbor's house was always greeted by Jake. She saw him laying in the front yard and did not understand why he was not greeting her. When she realized why, her eyes were flooded with tears and she took a moment with him. And then a neighborhood boy who had grown up there saw him as well and bid him goodbye. He was Jake, the dog who did his own walk through the neighborhood. When he was still young he always came back with some toy from some random place. He was the front yard dog that wagged his tail and was alert to every child around.
So cheers to the dog that could never be replaced. To the dog that survived a horrific dog attack. And to the best friend that licked my tears away all the way up to his final farewell. Cheers to Jake Winthrop Pike.