Originally uploaded by mimzilla

When I was 10 I was nipped by a dog on my face. It was my fault (I was trying to cuddle with a bookstore dog I didn’t really know) but I was a bit wary of dogs after that. We always had cats.

When I was 21, I moved to San Francisco and lived with my Dad. He’s a dog person. And not just any dog but bigger dogs like Labs and Retrievers. Over the years he’s had many wonderful dogs and I’ve completely come around and adore all dogs — big and small.

Dad’s most recent dog was Jake. A large Chocolate Lab, he was rescued after being abandoned on a beach in Marin. When dad adopted him, he was a few years old and had severe emotional scars from his ordeal. The separation anxiety was intense and there were many times when Jake would be overwhelmed by his fear and just pee where he stood — unfortunately it once happened in an inconvenient place, the office of one of Dad’s clients. Jake was not a bouncy Lab but rather, methodical and selective of whom he chose to share his affection. At the end, his back legs were weak, he was deaf as a doorknob and had a persistent ear malady which made him a bit stinky. But Jake was amazing. He taught us all about resilience and the power that love and trust and patience have in helping us to overcome intense fears and the scars from abuse.

Unfortunately, as the leaves turn and we say good bye to summer, we had to say good bye to our friend Jake. We believe it was a brain tumor that finally got the better of our brave and faithful friend after 13.5 years. As in life, he was surrounded by many, many people who loved him and learned as much from him as he did from us.

Thank you Jake.