I want to tell you about a wonderful older German Shepherd dog named Jake I adopted several years ago. His story is important because people are often reluctant to adopt older dogs, but without a doubt Jake was the best dog I ever became friends with.

Jake was really special because he had a positive attitude, was happy and kind no matter what happened to him. He’d had a checkered background, but quickly adapted to his new life in my home, including sleeping indoors and going on lots of hikes in the nearby mountains. Since he was 8 when I adopted him, the hikes only lasted a few years until the tragic Christmas 2011 when Jake ate a sock that got stuck in his intestines. He had to have emergency surgery and they gave him 50/50 odds of making it, but he lived through the surgery. Despite having severe arthritic problems that were made dramatically worse by the surgery, Jake bounced back as best he could and continued to enjoy life for nearly another year, dying on October 24, 2012. Jake was 13 when he died-old for a big dog-but he brought so much joy and comfort into my life and he didn’t let his age stop him from enjoying life – we substituted short walks in t he park for the hikes he went on before the surgery. He loved playing ball and was always happy and up for a game.

Sadly the surgery came back to haunt Jake as he developed complications from it that ended up taking his life. But even so he lived almost a year after surgery, and I had 5 wonderful years with this amazing friend. Although the time is short find it in your hear to adopt and older dog as they may be the best friend you’ll find anywhere.

— Dave from Albuquerque, NM