I'd like to write a little something about Jake's last day and how things unfolded. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, April 9, 2005.

      Jake loved to be out in his dog pen on a day like this. After giving him his morning treats, meds, hugs and kisses, I took him out to enjoy the day in the sun. His tail was wagging and he was happy to be out sniffing all the new spring smells.

     I'm sure many small creatures had entered his pen and his dog house over the winter months so he had much to check out. I made sure he had fresh water and then went inside and watched him from the window.I was so happy to see him out enjoying the day.

     Jake had been slowing down the past few months but I was sure he would make it another year or two. I never left Jake out in the dog pen unless someone was in the house. That day I had to help my nephew with a moving project but I knew my husband Donnie would be home all afternoon to check on Jake.

     When I returned home that afternoon, Jake was still fine when I checked on him. He was barking when he heard my car pull up just like he always did when he heard the car. I went out to get him about 5pm and he was fine.

     His friend Barney the Beagle was in the pen next to him and they were both still lounging in the sun. When I brought Jake in I filled his water bowl with fresh water and topped off his food dish as usual. He didn't seem hungry just yet but he drank some water and laid down on his bed in the living room.

     My husband was watching TV, I was gathering up some laundry, Barney the Beagle was on his bed and Jake began to pace back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. I kept saying to him,"Take a rest buddy." and he finally lay back down on his bed.

      About 7 that night I heard his nails scratching at the wooden floor. I ran into the living room to see him starting a seizure. My Vet told me there was nothing I could do for him during a seizure except to make sure he was in a safe place and could not fall down steps or have something fall on him.Since he was safe, I stood by thinking it would stop just like his previous seizures had stopped and he was fine.

     This was not the case this time. He would have a seizure, stop, and then go back into another seizure. I called my Vet and all the local Vets in our area and could not get anyone in since it was a Saturday evening.

     I called my sister and we found an emergency vet clinic one hour away. I spoke with them on the phone and they told me that if a dog did not come out of a seizure within 10 minutes they had to be brought out medically with a shot of valium. We immediately wrapped Jake in a soft blanket and took him to the emergency vet clinic.

      I failed to mention so far that I was frantic at seeing Jake like this and was falling apart minute by minute. When we arrived at the emergency clinic they immediately took Jake in and gave him a shot of valium and took his temperature. The Vet came out and told me it didn't look good since he had a temperature of 110 and he thought there might be brain damage.

     The valium had stopped the seizure. He asked me if I'd like to spend some time with Jake and think about my decision. They brought Jake out to me and he was calm and his eyes were open. I lifted his ear and spoke to him calmly to tell him how much I loved him and to thank him for the twelve wonderful years he had given me.

     I spoke with Jake about things we always did together at home and at one point he let out a very comforting moan. It was the same moan he use to make when I would clean his ears which he loved.

     You can't imagine how happy that one little moan made me. I just know he recognized my voice and the way I always spoke to him. After about one-half hour the Vet came to ask my decision and it was plain that I had to let Jake go. They asked if I wanted to be with him and there was no doubt in my mind about that.

     I wanted to hold him and speak to him gently as he went on his journey. That process was a matter of seconds. I think at this point I was numb but I was able to tell the Vet that I would not be leaving my Jake there and that I would be taking him home with me.

     On the way home in the car I was aware of Jake's presence in the back seat but tried to be strong. We brought him in the house and laid him on his bed so Barney the Beagle could see him. Barney walked up to him and sniffed Jake's whole body and then walked away.

     I didn't want Barney to wonder where his best friend of 10 years had gone. I was sure that Barney knew Jake was gone when he walked away.

     Since all this occurred on a Saturday night I had to wait until Monday to take Jake and have him cremated in an individual cremation. I wanted to make sure I was getting my boy's ashes and no one else's.

     I just could not bury my Jake in the ground and know he was out in the cold while I was in the warm house. I wanted him with me forever. I brought Jake (his ashes) back home with me on Tuesday. It truly helped me to have him back home. I can now keep him with me forever until we meet again.

     As I write this I am in the process of having a stained glass urn made for Jake's ashes. I planted a tree for Jake when he was a pup and a very small part of his ashes are buried under his tree but the majority of his ashes will remain with me forever.

     That day was one of the hardest days of my life. It is no easy decision to have the dog you love euthanized. You have to do it out of love even though you selfishly want him to stay with you.

     I was fortunate to be able to spend my Jake's last hours with him and hold him and tell him the things I wanted him to hear. Jake was the first dog I have ever owned. He was always so full of love and life. He has been with me through many hard times.

     I am a better person for having known him for twelve wonderful years. I feel like a piece of my heart and soul have gone with him. Jake was a big part of my life and my reason for many of the things I do on a daily basis.Life is much different without him. I miss him so very much. I'm sure time will help with the pain of his loss but he will remain in my heart forever.

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