These are very hard days indeed; with a very heavy heart I regret to tell you all that my great friend Jake has passed on. He brought us all such joy that I cannot even come close to putting it all into words. The days and nights are terribly lonely without him nearby. Thank goodness for Laura, MJ, and Kaio. I want you all to know that he really did protect us from evil. I still have the comfort in the many photos that were taken of him during his nine years he blessed us with his love and companionship. I will try to make an attempt to tell you about the many wonderful, funny things Jake did in his short life. When Laura and I noticed an ad in the newspaper with mini Dachshunds for sale we went to Waverly to take a look. I guess deep down I wasn’t all that interested but went anyway. When we first arrived we noticed 3 little mini’s running everywhere but one sort of hiding around the corner. After he finally came out we could see the littlest one of all and his tail was hooked on the end and it was only about two inches long opposed to the standard long skinny tail Dachshunds usually have. Not hooked upward but downward and he was as cute of a thing as I had ever seen in my life had now and forever been changed for the better at that very moment. We took him home with us but in the car he seemed afraid of the wind in the windows so we stopped at a little pond on North Shields to let him out for a while. Anyone could tell he was going to be his own boss right then. Jake was probably doing normal puppy behavior but doing them with such enthusiasm and vigor was obviously going to be Jake’s trademark. He lived part time with Laura and her dog Creek when he was little. Every one of those days was great fun for him because he had a larger dog to dominate by stealing rawhides and hanging from her neck growling like a Tiger. Creek is highly frightened by the sound of fireworks so she asked me if I would stop by her house to see if Jake and Creek were okay. When I drove up I could hear fireworks in the area and was expecting to see two very scared dogs. But no it was only one, Creek was frightened and would run when she heard sounds but Jake was unaffected. But he would still run with Creek when she heard the bangs not because he was afraid but thinking there was something exciting going on that he had to take part in.
Jake was always known for his love, companionship, enthusiasm, chewing rawhides, squealing with excitement when were getting out of the truck for a walk ‘Hurry Hurry’. He also loved chasing squirrels and rabbits. I would take him everywhere with me and we always find an exciting place to take a walk. We frequented my old high school, Observatory village before it was built up, and a large open space at the corner of Harmony and Shields. Another open space by the CSU vet hospital was also a favorite of his only because he could go completely underground in pursuit of some unknown varmint or fox. Sometimes he was either so far down a hole that I could hardly hear him barking or completely under the street only to come out the other side with a victorious huff at knowing he had ran off what ever he had smelled. On one walk in particular, it was a hot summer afternoon a few years ago in east Ft. Collins. We had walked a long way and had run out of water so we were just starting to turn back when Jake found a tiny little mud puddle and just had to find relief so he flopped over in it. Rolling and groaning only to stop when he heard my hysterical laughing. He looked like a muddy little wart hog and just didn’t care. He gave everything 100% and was definitely a ‘live in the moment’ kind of guy.
Jake was always ready for anything as we frequented the drive-in together. He would just sit on my lap, closely examining everyone who happened to walk by making sure they did nothing wrong, but also demanding acknowledgment of his prowess. He brought us all such joy that I cannot even come close to putting into words.
Jake was also a passenger with Laura and me on our trips to the Grand Canyon, Arches National Monument, Crazy Horse and Mount Rushmore. The trip to Mount Rushmore was a two-day trip with a stop over in Custer, S.D. for the night. We stayed in a Super 8 motel and Jake felt compelled to run all over the motel when I put him down on the floor. He was so funny watching him with his big ears bouncing all over the place when he ran. That evening we went to get something to eat and went to a nice little park for some relief from the 106-degree heat. Everyone who saw him was asking how old he was and “what’s his name”? As I said before, everyone who met him loved him. That was the power of Jake.
The long list of funny things Jake did is a testament to his love of life and his bright spirit. He loved Laura, Creek, MJ and Kaio. He loved his nine-hour naps completely under his blanket. Before he got his own blanket he made do by burrowing in his people’s beds. He always put on an eating demonstration for us all before were able to go anywhere. Sometimes after eating or drinking he would run over to Kevin and kiss him,sharing his treat and saying ‘Thank you Daddy.’ Jake was an affectionate guy from the beginning. He learned to hug which was always special for whoever was lucky enough to receive one. What a warm, soft, sweet little guy he was! He never had a hair out of place; he looked perfect at all times. He chewed on anything and everything when he was little: shoes, socks, even hidden things he would find and then come racing out into the living room dragging along a whole corn stalk sometimes, proud of his treasure hunt find. He loved his rawhides no matter the size (bigger than him sometimes!) and he had NO problem taking them from other dogs. It’s lucky for him that everyone liked him so much even bigger dogs with rawhides. They were probably surprised that such a little guy was so fearless. Later in life he learned to be a bit more polite and that sharing was okay with his friends. He would roll in the grass with his feet straight in the air, grunting his enjoyment. He always liked getting in the shower after I was done ochecking what had been going on-what had he missed? He loved lying in the sun to tan his hairless belly and guarding the backyard with MJ from the porch, keeping the terrible squirrels away. He liked lying on the ground like a superman/frog. He loved digging holes and did it with his feet AND nose. He would eventually look up from his dig with his nose very dirty. He loved riding in the truck with Kevin; He could see everything, was interested in it all and was with his best friend having fun. He brought countless smiles to peoples faces over the years that saw him leaning out the driver’s side window, winter and summer. He was loved by everyone that ever met him, though maybe not so much by the guy who thought Jake looked serious and whom Jake kissed unexpectedly. I should say I dragged him everywhere I went. We were at an outdoor car show one summer day and it was very crowed so I was carrying Jake. A very nice gentleman stepped In front of us and remarked how serious Jake looked, so as quick as a whip Jake licked that guy across the teeth! That man’s lips slapped away from the power on Jake’s tongue and you should’ve seen the look of surprise on his face as he exclaimed “man he’s fast”! He loved going for walks, anywhere was good enough for him, like City Park golf course during the winter. Everything was fun. He loved going camping. He loved Dr. Bayliss. He loved vanilla ice cream. He loved ice cubes. He loved looking out the front door yelling obscenities at whomever on the sidewalk. Jake was not a dog that was afraid of water in any form. In fact Jake was not afraid of much of anything! He thought the world was an exciting and tasty place, full of fun. There was nothing he couldn’t handle!
Through Jake, we got involved in the Dachshund rescue and made another wonderful addition to our home and that was MJ who was Jake’s best little friend.
Towards the end of his life Jake had a harder time. His life was full of ups and serious downs. He couldn’t get around as easily as he would have liked, though he kept trying. He was diagnosed with diabetes, lost his sight, and had complications with his treatments. He met new people he liked though and got to travel to new places (at the vet hospital) and he kept trying. Jake seemed to find good and fun all around, he taught us a lot. Jake died peacefully, in no pain, in Kevin’s arms, surrounded by his family on a beautiful spring day. It was our last gift to such a giving creature. We are all blessed to have known him and to have him in our lives. Jake will never be forgotten and I look forward to seeing him again some day in the warm sunshine of Heaven, forever and ever.
Kevin Yabsley and Laura Harris