Thursday, February 21, 2008

Venerable Jake



The first time I saw Jake he was three months old, the cutest, sweetest little thing.

Later in our relationship, he became a bombastic, ecstacy/despair exhibiting crazy dog. He was so powerful, but he was SO crazy. Those were challenging years. I used to love to watch him run laps around Precita Park in San Francisco, All the other dogs would join in - they would run counter clockwise, for five or ten minutes at a time, full blast around us dog owners, standing in the center of the swirl almost in awe.

Now Jake has become my elder. He is so old, fragile, forgetful, lazy, cranky - you know, all the tendencies that develop in old age.

It's bizarre to exist in a different temporal reality than Jake's, a reality in which my life is passing by, oh my yes, but at a much slower pace than Jake's.

I know he's not dead yet, but ... still. Look at that droopy tail. Jake's an old geezer these days. Of course I love him still! May we all live long enough to get saggy.

16 comments:

Gary said...

Reya, I thought you were going to write that Jake had died and what a relief to know he is still kicking - even if he is old, fragile, lazy, etc...

I know you are enjoying him and all that he means and has meant to you.

Ms. Wollstonecraft said...

That Jakey has a lotta life in him yet! and when he crosses over into a new life, he'll be riding a bicycle all over his new world--thrilled that he can!


Guess who has been so crazy/busy that she forgot to take your birthday gift to the Post Office-- MONDAy 4 sure.yes.

Lynne said...

You are lucky to have him for so long to help him into his senior years. I wish I had that with my dogs. Lately the oldest we seem to achieve is 7 years and that is just not enough.

Go Jake! Many pats on the head and butt!

IntangibleArts said...

Perhaps I can do a small cutting off Gomez. You can add it to Jake's water, and just watch what happens.

....on second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea.

Barbara said...

Maybe he will have calmed down enough soon that he can co-exist with my Jake.

dennis said...

Dennis is 8 years old next month.

m.a. said...

Don't forget me. I love to walk with you and Jake. When it warms up a bit, can we schedule at date?

Washington Cube said...

What do you mean old? He is rocking that top. Droopy dog tail is de rigeur these days. It's so déclassé to wag.

Jake is making the scene.

kimy said...

now I see a resemblance with e's dixie! although she is relatively young (and a girl)

I hope I can meet jake too saturday! after lunch perhaps, please, please?

Reya Mellicker said...

Dennis, only 7? You are an incarnation of the eternal trickster, and so these banal ways of measuring your life, like earth years, are truly meaningless! You know that!

Lynne I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. It's heartbreaking. Thinking of you with love.

Barbara? If he lives to be 15 Jake will never be happy about hanging out with other male dogs of his size.

Cube you are so damn funny! Declasse to wag? I love you.

M.A. - I have not forgotten you!!

Intangible - uh ... no thanks! I remember those years with Jake. Whew!!

Love to you Gary!!

Hammer said...

Odd thing to watch our dogs go from puppy to geezer, ain't it. Probably strange for dogs too, because unless we get them while we're kids, we probably seem ageless and immortal to them. "Jesus Christ I'm feeling old today... No I don't want to fetch the damn ball... Don't you ever tire out? Slow down! What are you, an android or something?"

Steve said...

Besides, think of all the great things that come with age -- less impetuosity; more methodical, considered behavior; wisdom. It's not all about crankiness and fragility. (I hope!)

Squirrel said...

I often have a droopy tail I am a geezer squirrel.

Reya Mellicker said...

When you think about it, it must take a lot of energy to hold your tail high. I know it's a body language thing in dog culture, so therefore important. When Jake was in his young adulthood, his tail curved up and over his back in a perfect spiral. I always wanted to hang Christmas ornaments from the upper curve, or tie flags to his tail for the 4th of July.

Cube says he's da bomb though, so, OK. As an old dog, Jake is kind of adorable. I adore him.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Oh Reya, I know just what this is like, watching your best and beloved friend slowly slipping away - but I think you can rest assured on this - that even once he has passed, he will always be with you. My boys have been gone for three, nearly four years now, and they visit regularly - they still watch over me and I've learned to relish and so enjoy those times - in some ways I feel like I don't need to get another dog because they are still with me.

d. chedwick bryant said...

I worry about my older brother cat, Jeff. He is up there in age, and doesn't play like he used to. sometimes i wonder if he has weeks left, or months, or maybe even years and years!? The oldest indoor cat lived to be 36--the oldest street cat was a cat named Mark in London--he was 25 or 27. He was tagged and followed by a feral watch group- and had been neutered and captured periodically to have needed operations at the cat hospital--but he lived on the streets.

By worrying about Jeff i know I am harming somehow the quality of our NOW time together.
I like to snuggle with him and groom him (Dennis is not friendly the way Jeff is) so if I outlive Jeffy, I will grieve. But I have to think in the Now & think of living.