One hundred days ago, on May 7, the ACL in Jake’s left hind leg snapped. Two weeks after his surgery to repair that leg, the ACL in his right leg snapped, most likely from lugging around that big ol’ heart of his.
Over these last 100 days, we have been through one goddamned thing after another: weeks-long waits for surgeries, broken screws and dislodged plates that required further surgery, and an infection that almost obviated the need for euthanasia.
Each step of the way, he and I went through this together. We discussed all our options and made – together – what we thought were the best decisions based on the data we had.
Every day, and I mean every single day, I thought about the drowning scene in “Sometimes a Great Notion.” We tried everything, but just as we thought we were in the clear, the log shifted.
We used to walk five times a day, every day. Our favorite path took us under the bridge on 15th Street to a field full of vole colonies. They were fast, but Jake would catch one every now and then. I knew that if I could just get him under that bridge to that field, we’d be fine.
We got close one day in July, right up to the bridge. But I didn’t take him through; I knew it was a just a little bit too far. We never got back there.
Since we were stuck at home for so long, I spent hours brushing his fur – really getting in there – while singing “Stuck With You” by Huey Lewis. Over and over. He really didn’t care for that song, I think. But he liked being brushed.
That infection hit him last Tuesday. He spent the night at the surgery center and when I picked him up Wednesday morning, they said his fever was down and he was on the road to recovery. It felt like a miracle. But it didn’t last.
On Sunday, Jake told me it was time.
I want to give a big hug to every one of you who knew Jake and loved him (redundant, I know) and a big “thank you” to everyone who has ever asked about him over the years. He knew he was loved. You guys made him the happiest dog in the world.
I really miss him.