In 1993 Chris and I were a couple of 27-year-old go getters, Chris a full time teacher and I had just opened the third of a series of ventures. We had just closed on the mortgage for our first rental property and moved into our first home. We were expecting our first child and it seemed like the perfect time to get a puppy – and with very little thought we did.
We picked Jake out of a litter of 8 labs behind a garage just outside of Ogdensburg in the late spring. He had the “awe shucks” look on his face that he always seemed to carry; there was no doubt he was the one for us and our family began that day.
Chris and I learned how to care for one more and our life seemed complete, simple almost, being naïve is wonderful when you are 8 months pregnant with your first child. Our son Cody arrived with a flourish and Chris needed some time to recover. Jake was four months old and would have no part of recovery, Chris suggested one evening as she was recovering, and nursing, and not sleeping that perhaps Jake needed to go. I think he understood because he stopped jumping on her when she eased her way into bed that day and life was just a little less crazy so Jake got to stay.
Allie arrived and a special friendship began. Allie’s love of animals and ability to communicate with Jake without words was a special time and our family began to settle into a simpler life. The perfect time for another child and Sophie was born. We were outnumbered as parents and Jake seemed to figure that out – Jake and Cody had a "boy and his dog" bond and Allie and Jake could read each other’s minds. Chris and I (and Jake) spent the next few years settling into what would be our family and life was simple(r).
As our children become independent we like to think that Jake had a bit to do with the wonderful young adults they have become. We also like to think that the qualities that made Jake a special member of our family can be found in your experience when you visit.
Jake greeted us with sincere joy when we arrived. He was kind, accepting and made each of us his priority. His goodbyes were hopeful – hopeful that you would return soon and hopeful that he gave you all that he could.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.