Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jake and Zowie RIP 1996-2011

Not sure where to start so I will start from the ending. At 1330 hours today my son took Jake into the Animal Shelter and had him put down. He has had that dog since he was 10 and it was probably one of the hardest things he has ever had to do. It was hard for all of us, to me it felt like we were giving up on Jake. That was the emotional me, the rational me said we lost our dog 3 months ago after his sister died and he had his first seizure. Since then he has been deaf,blind,incontinent, and he slept most of the time. Last week he had a seizure and blood was coming out his nose. We loaded him in the car then, but the shelter was closed so we brought him back home and he survived a few more days. Today he started howling in pain, that was the last straw. Zowie died in her sleep back in January and I knew it was only a matter of time for Jake. I waited to write this post until they had both passed. 

So now let me start from the beginning, in 2006 we were living in Yuma AZ. Yuma Proving Grounds specifically as I was stationed there with the Special Warfare Center. Our previous dog, a beautiful Boxer, we had to give up for adoption because my wife was doing daycare in our home and the dog scared the kids.However being dog people we only went a few months and decided we needed a pet. One day when I was at work my wife and kids went down to the Humane Society to find us a new puppy. So when I got home from work, there he was, a cute little black furball that I instantly named Jake. After a few minutes of playing with the new puppy I noticed my daughter Jade had not come out to greet me. I called her name and from the back bedroom I heard her say "Nothing." When she was younger and she was only about 3 years old then, she used to say that when she thought she was in trouble. I knew something was up so I walked back to the bedroom and there was my 3 year old daughter hiding under the bed with another black furball. Being my normal understanding self I said "WTF, I thought I said one dog!!" But it was too late we had two and they named the other furball Zowie since she was female. As the story goes they entered the humane society and saw Jake in a kennel with the rest of his litter. My daughter picked him out and they carried him around checking the place out. Well when they passed back by the kennel ready to leave, there was Zowie all  by herself, all her brothers and sisters were gone. My wife has a heart as big as the planet and she couldn't stand to see Zowie all by herself. So we got two dogs.

As they grew they developed personalities they would have for their entire life. Jake was the aggressive one, always the alpha male. Until he got older he would bark at everyone he met. I had to keep him away from other dogs for most of his life.  Zowie was the opposite, the princess looking for attention. She would walk right up to strangers or strange dogs looking for a pet or a friendly sniff. Jake was a homebody and when and if they escaped our yard he would always return looking for some chow. Zowie however I used to call "Houdini dog" because she would escape and more often than not I would have to bail her out of the pound. I picked her up in doggie jails in at least 4 states and 2 countries over the years.  They both mellowed as they got older but they remained the same until the last few months. I have memories I will never forget:

The time they escaped out apartment in Germany and Jake came back of course and we found Zowie with the help of our German neighbor down at the pound.A German gentleman had tried to catch them and Jake had nipped his hand before he ran off. It was just a scratch but the guy had it bandaged like he needed 30 stitches.

The time I drove them 100 Km to drop them off for their trip back to the states in the pet transport plane

Playing catch with Jake and his tennis ball (he used to love that)

The way Zowie would walk up and rub her head on your leg looking for a back rub, then when you did rub her back her entire hind end would waggle so hard she almost fell down.

The way, until the day he died,  Jake would go outside in the morning and he would bark at the horizon as his 
front paws lifted off the ground. I think it was his way of saying, "C'mon day bring it on!!"

Zowie would jump in your lap and snuggle like she weighed 3 pounds instead of 30.

I used to take them both running with me through the woods and fields when they were younger. I think they liked that.

The last few years they became more sedentary and spent most of the day sleeping on the living room floor or by the fireplace. Zowie just quit eating one day, we couldn't even get her to eat if we fed her by hand. About a week later she died in her sleep.It is like she just decided it was time. Jake had a seizure shortly after that and he was never the same. You know how he passed.

Jake and Zowie always together in life, and always together in our memories. Rest easy my friends, all dogs go to heaven. We love you.

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