A Loving Tribute To My Best Friend and Hero, Jake

by Joseph H. Jarreau
(New Roads, LA 70760)

Jake entered into my life at a most trying time. I had just loss my wife, Gail, after being married for 28 years. I heard about a breeder of German Shorthaired Pointers near Reno, Nevada and I got in touch with him. He did have several puppies for sale. We talked for a while, with me giving him the markings I was looking for. He suggested that I get a male puppy that would meet my requirements and we concluded the transfer to me.

Delta Airlines flew in Jake and he arrived at Ryan Airport, in Baton Rouge,LA, where I picked him up. A little more about Jake. He was born on an Indian Reservation sixty miles south of Reno, Nevada. Anyone knowing me knows that I have an abounding interest in the Native Americans of the west. I have read many books both fiction and those that are of historical correctness.

In the beginning –

Jake was eight weeks old when he arrived. He was all legs. We arrived home and started the process of house training. It was very trying at times. It was a good thing that I was retired and had the time to spend with him during this most important time. It took some time getting the point across, but it finally clicked and we were on our way to a fantastic relationship.

By the age of six months I had him learning basic commands. I finally asked a Bryan Roubique, a professional trainer, to help polish off his training. Jake was a fast learner and did extremely well.

Jake and I grew extremely close. He was real and always there for me when I was down. He was my Best Friend; and he knew I was his. Other than a few short vacations and a day here and there, when he stayed with one of his best friends Maude Boone, Jake was always with me. I didn't go out very much, except with family and very close friends. Jake was always part of wherever I went.

(Special Note) Jake saved my life by alerting me to the presence of a Copper Head Snake on the wicker sofa located in the Sun Room of our home on July 31, 2003. For this deed he was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for Heroism by our Parish (County) Government.

Jake’s Last Day-

For the most part, Jake was a very healthy, happy dog. He had the usual small things that most dog encounter. Nothing major. Always able to overcome these little set backs. Usually in a day or two he was his old self and became as active and energetic as ever.

The morning of April 12, 2004 was like any other morning. Every thing seemed normal. I went to my Dad’s for morning coffee and biscuits and returned home to further get ready for the day.

I was blowing all the oak leaves off of the sidewalks in the back garden and was finishing up by putting the extension cord and the blower in the Utility Room when I felt more than saw, my back was turned towards him, that something was wrong with Jake. I turned just in time to see that he was falling over in the flowerbeds.

I quickly picked him up, putting him in my expedition, to get him medical help. In route I called my sister, Christine, asking her to please call McCaskill Veterinary Hospital informing them that I was in route and Jake had an emergency. Upon arrival the Staff took over until Dr. Diane Raburn arrived which only took a minute.

A number of tests were preformed and x-rays were taken. The latter told the story. Jake had a very enlarged heart, which in all probabilities caused a massive heart attack. There wasn’t much that could be done for him in his present condition. He was in considerable pain and he was having a very difficult time breathing--so with the advice of Dr. Raburn; I made the decision to have him put down for his sake.

I must say at this time this was the second most difficult decision that I’ve ever had to make in my lifetime.

Jake slipped away into a peaceful sleep in my arms while I was talking to him. I know now that he is in a place prepared for him since the beginning of time.

He is young again and running, like he liked to do whenever I took him out for some fun. Jake’s pain is gone and I’m in a state of numbness like I have felt but only one other time—the death of my precious Gail.

My best friend, Hugh Smith, helped me put Jake in his final resting place. Where else but the back garden where he spent so much of his time chasing birds and squirrels.

Jake enriched my life, and the lives of many others. I take some solace knowing that his spirit lives on at Rainbow Bridge. Jake - I so look forward to our reunion at the Rainbow Bridge.

The World has lost one fine German Shorthaired Pointer, my friend Jake. My best friend died on Monday, April 12, 2004. There has been some healing putting this together to share with all of you. May God bless all of you who have sent cards, letters, Emails, or called to express your sorrow for my loss.

I would like to thank Doctor Diane Raburn and her staff at McCaskill Veterinary Hospital for their loving care over the years and especially on April 12, 2004. I am comfortable that they gave Jake the BEST care possible and that we did all that could be done for Jake. It was just impossible to help him this time around.

Submitted by: Joseph H. Jarreau, “Papa” Jake’s BEST friend.

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