Stephanie Pearce: An extra-special companion
All of our dogs have been rescued — except one. All of my dogs are special, but there was one extra-special dog that adored me, and his name was Jake. He was in front of Safeway in a box. The kids who were begging people to take the dogs said they were springer spaniel and Irish setter.
Jake was brindle colored with red undertones. The top of his head had a tuft of curly hair that was an auburn color. That tuft gave him some great personality. He had the sweetest eyes and looked at me all the time as if he knew just exactly what I was thinking.
Jake was the easiest puppy to train. He followed me everywhere. He loved the entire family, but when I was home, he especially loved me. When I slept, he would sleep on my feet at the end of the bed. When I sat in the living room, he would lie on my feet on the floor. I never needed slippers to keep my feet warm, because he was always there.
One time, my dogs were exploring the sand rocks behind our house, and I didn’t see a couple of them for a few hours. Jake came home, though. I began to worry, and after about an hour of hollering for them, I looked at Jake, who would howl when I hollered, and asked him if he knew where they were. He acted like he knew exactly where they were. It reminded me of an episode of “Lassie.”
Jake took off toward the rocks, and my husband and I followed. Sure enough, he led us directly to the dogs, who were stuck on a ledge in the rocks. However, it took us a lot longer to get the dogs off the ledge than it took to climb up into the rocks. I had to make several trips back to the house to get rope, flashlights and treats.
My husband had to climb down, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t see any of them again. Jake thought he would help, too, and he got stuck on the ledge, too. Our efforts lasted into the night, and I was freaking out, so I had to close my eyes as my husband decided it might be easier to go down the side of the rocks than going back up. I remember praying while my eyes were closed asking that they all make it down safely. One dog at a time, he came down, went back up and repeated the process while I held the freed dogs. After the third dog, we all went home. The dogs ran down the hill and acted like nothing had happened while my heart still was racing.
We got home, and I had a little heart-to-heart with Jake while he was sleeping on my feet. I thanked him for doing a good job but explained that he can’t do that again. He looked up for a second as if to tell me he knew.