A sad day on the farm....

Yesterday, we came home from church to find our beloved puppy dog, Jake, dead under an oak tree. We are heartbroken. Jake was a joy. He was only three years old and was approaching his two-year anniversary with us.

We rescued Jake from the pound. He had come from Georgia, and had been relocated to a shelter in Tampa. We both took one look at him on the shelter's website and fell in love with that face. We went to meet him and knew immediately he was our dog.

He was shy and a little nervous when we first brought him home. We had no idea what his earlier life was like. (I suspect some kind of abuse, as he was pretty jumpy and deathly afraid of water.) But, when he jumped out of the car when we brought him home, he looked around a bit and then looked at us with an expression of wonder that seemed to say, "This is all for ME?" :)

Jake was the sweetest dog. He just wanted to be where we were, content that we were near. When we worked in our outside picnic table office, he would lie under the table with his head or paw on top of our feet. He still was a puppy to us, and he loved to play ball, loved to be chased, loved to wrestle with empty feed bags out in the yard, and he loved little kids and all the visitors that came to the farm. If I accidentally left my shoes or flip-flops outside by the picnic table, he would always take just one, lovingly chew it up--not enough to destroy it, just enough to 'brand' it--then he'd bring it back in a day or two, forever a reminder of his love. He loved Brian, and every morning I got to watch the two of them doing 'downward dog' stretches together. They were quite a pair. :) He loved us unconditionally even when we were at our most unlovable.

He loved his life here on the farm, and we will miss the sight of him romping with big brother, Bradley, in the pasture and occasionally chasing the chickens together. We will miss the sight of him playing 'king on the hill,' standing atop of a giant hay bale out in the pasture and barking at the cows. We will miss the sight of him every day as we go about our work here on the farm. He was a part of everything we did. There are reminders of his absence everywhere we look. Heart broken.

Dogs have a way of finding the people that need them...filling an emptiness we don't even know we have. --Thorn Jones

So absolutely true. Rest in peace, my sweet little puppy. You were loved, and you will be missed.

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