In loving memory of my Uncle Lester (Buzz) Baker,
Army Airborn Veteran of WWII
Whether we experience illness, grief, emotional shocks or physical trauma, our dogs offer their companionship unconditionally.
- They never tell us that we look sick, even if we are.
- They never accuse us of not doing our best.
- They never leave us for younger, richer or newer friends.
A rescue dog shares his love and friendship in good times and in bad.
Dogs, like people, form friendships. Sometimes—these last a lifetime.
The loyalty of a rescue dog named Jake captured my admiration. Years ago, my Uncle Buz and Aunt Wilda adopted Jake from an animal shelter. Jake, like all adopted or purchased dogs or puppies, came with his own set of problems.
Jake, mostly mutt, shows strains of Corgi with a wiry terrier coat. A dog the color of golden-dust, Jake managed to run like the wind, despite his short legs. He had a habit of running away. When they first adopted Jake my aunt and uncle had to run or drive after the dog. Their ten acres in Happy Valley somehow wasn’t big enough. Or the dog had simply solved all his former problems by outrunning them.
Country roads may seem sentimental and picturesque. In fact, thousands of country roads funnel high-speed traffic. Not pet friendly, country roads, highways or freeways. Trucks and cars cruise at high speeds. Miles and miles of two-lane road exist without emergency pullouts or pedestrian crossings. So Jake’s blazing trails away from my uncle and aunt’s home gave them cause for fear. My uncle worried the dog would be permanently injured or killed.
I’m happy to say that Jake learned he had it pretty good in his new home. He stopped running away. He became calm and loyal.
My Uncle and Aunt adopted a dog with heartworms
The heartworms predicted to kill the dog…never did.
My uncle and aunt in their eighty’s are no longer able to live independently. The good news is that Jake still lives with them. The care home took all three of them. When I visited last week, Jake chose to sit near my uncle’s wheelchair. The dog also keeps my aunt company in her fearful and uneasy stage of Alzheimer’s.
For a rescue mutt, Jake helped his human family cope with loss and a sad twist of fate. In the large new facility were they all lived Jake always followed and rested at their feet. Ignoring visiting dogs or other distractions, Jake refused to be abandon his mission of unconditional love.