Oh, Dear Jake
painting of Jake Some lessons I learned from Jake:

For sweeter rewards, practice patience.

To win more hearts, practice eye contact.

To know serenity, embrace life's simple pleasures and routines.
Photo of Jake Jake's story, as told by his Mom, Alice:

"Jake came into our lives in August of 2007. My husband and I had been looking for a dog for quite some time, and during a visit to the Santa Rosa shelter, Jake found us! I'd had my eye on a Golden Retriever that was beautiful, but was barking up a storm. And then there was Jake, calmly lying in his kennel. He was dirty and full of matted fur clumps, especially behind his ears, and was in great need of a bath and a grooming. Bill called him to us, and he immediately ran over to be petted. Bill told him to sit and he did- so tall and proud!

We spent another 15 minutes looking at all of the dogs in the shelter and then returned to find Jake still sitting! Bill was impressed and so was I. We took him outdoors to the lawn area where he walked with us with his body pressed against our legs. Whenever we petted him, he'd nuzzle our hands if we stopped for a second! Our decision to adopt him was easily made.

We drove home in our convertible, and Jake and I shared the back seat, both of us safely strapped into our seat belts. I put my arm around him and he laid his head on my chest. We snuggled this way for the entire trip home. Needless to say, I was in love with him from the start.

Jake has shown us more unconditional love, kindness, respect, humor, and patience than we ever could have imagined, and we really believe he was destined to be with us. He is the light of our lives, and we truly love him completely. We are continually amazed by the depth of his intelligence and by the special little things he seems to just intuitively know. He is a quick learner, and was obviously well trained by his former owner. He has some unusual food cravings - in addition to his healthy and well balaced regular feedings, he loves fish food, Ricola's cough drops, Kleenex nabbed from garbage cans, and sourdough bread. Buy hey, we humans eat some pretty weird things, too!

I just can't say enough good things about Jake. It's hard to fathom how how such a grand and noble dog ended up at the Shelter, but Bill and I are so thankful that he did! "


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All images © Alison Whalen