Jake was an intensely sweet, handsome and loving boxer boy with a heart the size of all out doors. Slept in the bed, ate when we ate and adopted my daughter at birth and never left her side. He loved his mom but I was his dad who took him for walks and hugged him in barrel chested front paw of the ground crushers at least three times a day and kissed him more than I can even imagine counting on his big block head. He would look at you with those boxer eyes and stair straight into your soul.

When he stopped eating we knew something was wrong, an ultrasound showed likely cancer in his stomach, and he then stopped taking drink right before Thanksgiving Day. His favorite day. The day before the bird was cooked the owner of our amazing vet gave me the news and some incredibly sage advice. Not just about Jake but about Emily and how her “brother, as she called him” would not be in pain. It was time to say goodbye to my best friend and I had to do it. I didn’t know how but I had to do it. I had to do it. He was always there for me. Always. Like breathing, He was always there. I had to do it, I did. I just didn’t know how I could.

Thanksgiving was bittersweet as everyone came from all around and held him and kissed him and while on amazing amounts of pain meds through injections he rose first to pull himself up with my camera and set out for the front door for the annual photo shoot with his favorite girl for the Christmas card and it was incredible. Later when wiped out from the short photo session he smelled my 80 year old mom when she took the floor next to him and he pulled himself off his dog bed in into my moms lap on the floor as he had since birth looked at me a cried a little and then went to sleep. He was handsome and brave and sweet and loving and amazing. We drank great wine to him for the rest of the afternoon and I knew I did not want the day to end and that I did not want to sleep.

The following morning we said our goodbyes, prayed over him the best we could and Jake and I were off to the clinic. I will forever remember the songs in the car and the smells in the air. The stops at the park and the ride through the neighborhood with the windows down to see all that he loved.

I will remember the horrible clinical talk and the small peep that he made when the needle went in and after jumping to him as I always do at each visit where shots or blood pulls were needed I said, ”that all right buddy that wasn’t that bad, your my good boy, good boy” realizing the words didn’t match the future as they were coming out of my mouth. As I held him, a hand on each side of his head, looking straight into his big beautiful eyes I cried I love you buddy, its going to be alright, I love you buddy, its ok. as he passed from our world so peacefully and with such dignity. The dignity he held for every second of every day of his life. I cried, no bellowed, in the car like I have never before.

I’m lost, my daughter is lost. My wife is lost and the house different. These Angles are life and if we are lucky enough to share one with them we are blessed beyond words. I wrote when he died and it helped. I’m not a writer but I pray I was a good dad.

We will miss him more than we can say and thank our God above
Who blessed us with this magic soul who only wanted Love
And envy him with every breath for he is at His side

His life with usTim from TX