Jake's EPIC last day

October 18, 2014

On Tuesday night our dog Jake started screaming in pain when he moved his neck.  We thought nothing of it because he was getting old and had had a soft tissue injury last year.  Just a flare we thought.  Wednesday morning Jake couldn't stand up, he fell down the stairs (I couldn't help him because I was holding Liam).  Jake went outside and fell to his 'knees' on his front legs while trying to pee.  At that point I very impatiently waited until 8am for the vet's office to open.  Matt and I got Jake in right away while we had our nanny watching Liam.  Our vet did a full neuro exam on Jake and recommended that we see a neuro vet.

Off we go to the neuro vet.  This man is a very very kind man.  He does a full exam noting all of the deficits that we are seeing such as some foot drop, his spine curving, inability to walk, and the wobbling drunk like walk when he was standing.  After his exam he presents us with 3 possible diagnosis none of which were good.  Spinal tumor, brain tumor, or some sort of vascular issue.  We had decided long ago not to put Jake through chemo or radiation because you see Jake had already had cancer and I wasn't going to put my friend through chemo or radiation to decrease his quality of life and make him super uncomfortable.  We were offered an MRI to confirm diagnosis but since there wasn't anything we were going to do except keep him comfortable we declined.  We were offered some pain meds for Jake along with some medication to help with the muscle spasms.

I went to work on Thursday and came home to a smiling Jake that greeted me at the door!  I thought maybe just maybe it was a vascular something or another and he would be on the mend!

Friday morning Matt was getting up with Liam (it was his turn) and walked by Jake on the floor and Jake started screaming.  The pain seemed to be worse and his walking seemed to be worse.  His pain meds were not covering him and he was spasming.  We all went downstairs and Jake got his pain meds and his spasm meds but it was getting worse.  The light was leaving Jake's eyes and I knew that soon he wasn't going to be Jake anymore.

I made that phone call.  I sobbed while on the phone.  Thankfully the vet's office was very understanding and told me that it was ok to cancel and reschedule or to do whatever we needed to do.  After getting off the phone Matt said to me why don't you make a list of all Jake's favorite things to do.  So I made a list.  We accomplished everything on this list (plus the separate list Matt made).  We did not let him bite the bulldog because honestly Jake didn't want anything to do with Charlie and growled every time he came near. 

Jake's bucket list

Playing outside with his frisbee

Getting chicken

Ice cream cone

Double hamburger

Helping to put the baby to bed for the last time

Cuddling with mom

This dog loved the water, any water.  He loved bath time and played in the tub

Eating breakfast with his friends for the last time

My three beautiful dogs

Looking for me, always watching out for me (I was getting him some treats!)

Swimming, did I mention this dog loved the water?

Taking a little rest with mom

My first puppy love with my first baby love

Sitting next to me while I nursed the baby

He's pooped from a couple painful episodes and his swim

Being pooped does not stop him from eating more treats!

My boy, I held him like this for 10 years

Relaxing with his baby and his dad

Originally it was just Jake and me, then we got Matt, then Allie, then Charlie, and finally Liam

Even though our hearts were breaking to lose Jake, he protected our family for 10 years

Hanging his head out the window smelling all the smells (cheeseburgers in the bag)

This picture is hard; How do you thank a friend that protected your family, that was there when Matt proposed, Jake was there when I lost our first baby and kept me warm while I was in pain and until Matt got home.  Jake was there when our first IVF didn't work and he was there when our second did.  He told me 3 days after our transfer that I was pregnant.  He protected my belly throughout my pregnancy.  He protected our son from the start of Liam's life until the end of his.  Jake was the first 'adult' thing I did.  I promised him I would take care of him until his last breath.  I loved him and love him still.  It would take many blog posts to talk about the wonders of Jake, but I think that might get redundant and since we wanted Jake to end on a high note, I will do the same with this post.  Thank you Jake for everything that you were, for everything you taught me about me, and for being my friend.


  1. Oh Elizabeth. My heart breaks for you reading this. Geez, I did not think I'd be this affected reading this post, but the love you had for this pup, and the bucket list...oh my word, he was a lucky LUCKY dog to have you as his owners. And I know you feel like you were the lucky ones. What an amazing friend he was. Hoping your heart heals quickly. XO

  2. This just breaks my heart! <3 I am so sorry- huge hugs

  3. This made me cry. I'm so sorry for your loss. My dogs are my babies too :) <3


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