A very somber day at my house the last two days. Lots of tears shed and memories shared. More tears. Yesterday, 3/26/11, while show shoeing in the Sierras our oldest Chesapeake, Jake aged nine and a half years, expired on the trail out of Lyons Reservoir. It was a two mile hike into the reservoir, all downhill. He was all happy and full of joy chasing snowballs and wading into the feeder creek. He and my other dog, Bear, were running and jumping and having a grand time. On the walk back, my best friend got a little ahead of me and I was a little ahead of my spouse. As dogs are want to do, both Chessies were ahead with my friend. I was chugging along a little ways back with my head down struggling slightly with the climb. And then just within my view from under my ball cap I see one of my dogs lying on the ground like he’s sleeping. As casual as can be. Within a second I see it doesn’t look right. I kneel down beside him and do a First Aid / CPR “shake and shout”. I look in his eyes and it’s obvious he is gone. As I type this I am beginning to leak again. But I have to share the love, joy and wonder of Jumpin’ Jake the Dawg. He was a scraper and a stubborn SOB and we clashed many times. He was very high strung and while he loved pheasant hunting he never was comfortable around the gun. He had some very traumatic times in his all too short life. He was attacked by a swarm of bees as a puppy. He acquired a one in a million autoimmune disease that nearly killed him but for a high dose of prednisone over the course of a couple months. Then he got into some raw trout fish heads near a lake that nearly killed him from the parasites. Yet, through all that he still managed to make two humans very happy. I live you, Jake, and will miss you so much.

— Don from Oakland, CA