Thursday, March 11, 2010


Well I smell like dog.

I have spent more time with Jake, Cody's hunting dog turn our family dog, today than I have in the last year. I don't regret it.

Three weeks ago around our bar we sat with a mother and son from our congregation. This beautiful woman had recently come full circle in life and given her heart and life to Jesus. She was a beautiful testimony of redemption. But that day she was in pain, she was weeping almost uncontrollably. She had to put her dog down, he was bleeding out very quickly from a wound. He'd been mauled by the neighbor's pit bull. Cody and I had never had this kind of experience- consoling and comforting over putting a dog down. We told her how sorry we were, how horrible that situation was and it was alright to cry. I didn't realize we'd be facing the same situation a few weeks later. And today we all can't stop crying.

Cody told our boy last night right before bed that Jake had been going downhill for sometime now and he had a tumor and was suffering. Jake wouldn't live much longer so we were going to put him down. Silas is a sensitive young man. I love him so much...

Cody cried and prayed with him. Then later I heard him still crying. He took it hard. This is what we found this morning.

Silas is so sweet. Do all mom's think that about their boys?

I have picked a bride out for him (see yesterday's post :) I think he has a heart of gold. He's not perfect but I think he got the best of me and the best of Cody. I think God has great plans for the boy. He's already starting to lead...

Lego's and Bible Meetings, what could be better?

Silas has fed Jake every morning for the last several years. He loves him dearly.

We've had Jake his whole life.

So this morning we told Cady. I thought it was bad that Cody told Silas right before bed. What would he do but sit there and think about it and be upset? Then I told them to say good bye before school. Worse decision. It was a rough morning.

Ignore the dates on the pictures, I am having major technical difficulties in the camera dept this week. More loss, more sadness.

Later on Charis got to feed him his last meal.

So if you'll allow me- writing is therapeutic for me.

Jake is a registered yellow lab. He has a long name meaning something like "King Jacob rules with an iron fist". But we call him Jake. He was an early Christmas gift from Cody's parents in 1998. This is the earliest picture I have of him.

Shortly after getting him we moved from Duncan to Alex, Ok. Most of these are early pictures from BC times, Before Children. Jake got less attention after May 2000, sadly. Less from me but more from the kids.

He is a trained hunting dog. And Cody proudly took him everywhere.

Yes I have pictures of dead birds, excuse me.

Yes I even have a scrapbook of pictures of dead animals. My city friends, those I met before the journey to the middle of nowhere, laugh at me. I can take it.

Once Silas was born we wanted family pictures with our dog. But after Cady's quick arrival after Silas it was too much- Jake was active, and we were outnumbered.

One year early on we took Jake to Duncan for Christmas and he ran away. We cried then, too thinking we'd lost him for good. He didn't show up for another 3 weeks but somehow we found him at another home.

And from the time Silas could walk he would visit Jake.

In 2003 we moved to Velma, Ok and in spring 2004 Cody designed a nice kennel for him. That's Silas on the railroad tie.

Just in case you didn't catch the purple snow boots he was wearing...

Cady had her moments too. I often thought it crazy how calm they were with him. I mean, could YOU imagine looking straight across at a dog your height?

I will say that we aren't really dog or "animal" people. As Cody said before loading him up in the truck, "Why am I so sad? Why is this so hard?" I think we have tendencies as humans not to get close out of fear of getting hurt. Love hurts. The more you love the more it hurts when you lose that person. I think we'd all kinda taken Jake for granted and loved him deeply without realizing how much we loved him.

Excuse me while I get another kleenex.

Ok, so I went out with a camera and took a few pictures. Cody is not pictured because he was in great distress. Funny how all the stray neighborhood dogs kinda congregated. They came around at that moment- did they know the end was near too?

And so I said goodbye, and cried some more. I really should go and call the school and explain to the kid's teachers. I even called Cody and couldn't really talk.

I have only loved one other dog- Ginger. The poodle who was there at my house when I entered the world. And I remember losing him, and I think I just repressed it all. If you don't love you don't have to hurt, remember? It's ok to love, it's okay to cry, it's okay to live and it's ok to die. For everything there is a time. Today was my time to remember, to get a little stinky hugging a dog.

I have heard when you lose someone you tend to go back to where you last saw them or put them. For me it was here and I just needed to see it empty- lest I was dreaming all this and he really was there and no one was feeding him.

I think she was feeling it to.


Shawna said...

That was one of the saddest things I have read in a very long time. I am so sorry! I'm sure the sad faces of your children make it even harder! Thank you for sharing pictures and the story with us, though!

Debbie said...

I'm bawling...we understand. Cairo is our "first son" We joke that he's Judah's "furry brother." Silas is so tender hearted. I melted when I saw the tissues. Poor buddy. Praying for you guys. Love, Deb