He had the softest ears

When my ex, Moxie, and I stopped by the Petco that day, we didn’t know there was a pet adoption going on. We were picking up food for the dog we already had. But there they were, the line of hopeful, wagging dogs.

My heart? Was stone. I was totally proof against this other dogs. We already had a dog. A big dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. We didn’t need another.

The way I remember it, Moxie spotted the the puppy first. He was drinking out of a water bowl, and his ears were so much longer than his nose that they got soaked. When he lifted his head, his ears dripped water on to the floor. Moxie sat down to pet him, and that was it. Game over, man. My heart may have been proof against a line of strange dogs, but it was putty in the face of my partner cradling this wiggling brown puppy on the Petco floor.

Jake was a good dog.

Well, no. He was an average, run-of-the-mill dog. He fought with strange dogs. He had a blood feud against mail carriers and package delivery trucks. He ate poop. He drooled. He stank. He shed only twice a year — six months, each time.

But he was a good dog.

Jake was sweet with his family. He liked people. He was completely pack oriented, and thought that he was invincible if his family was with him. He let the kids stick their cold toes under him, providing foot-warmer service. When I was sad or scared, he would let me cry in his fur.

And he had the softest ears.

Jake’s nose cancer was terminal. It was pressing through his skull into his brain, and it was closing off hi ability to breathe. We brought him home after the diagnosis and gave him the best life we could. Walks, biscuits, chewies. We gave him his pills in cheese whiz. Yesterday he seemed okay. This morning, his ability to breathe was compromised. We took him in to the vet and had him euthanized.

It’s a hard call, that. He was still alert, still happy. He was still good-tempered. He still liked his walk this morning, he just couldn’t breathe while doing it. But I wanted him to not suffer. I didn’t want to wait until he was scared and unhappy and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t make it all better.

We all watched him go. Jake was a good dog.

He had the softest ears.

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2 Responses

  1. I am sorry for your loss. I am glad you let him go while he was still happy. I know that’s a hard choice to make. He sounds like a wonderful dog.

  2. So sorry. 😦

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