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Farewell My Friend


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I found this group yesterday while searching the web for some words of hope and comfort. Today at 1pm a vet came to my home and put my beloved Miniature Schnauzer "Jake" to rest. Jake had turned 10 awhile back and last fall had a knee injury that I thought might force me to have him put down. He tore the ligaments in his knee chasing after a rabbit (they live on the golf course behind me and are everywhere). The vet casted the leg for seven weeks and when he got the cast off he seemed to do OK. He limped a bit but he still liked to play and stuff.

About three weeks ago I noticed he started drinking alot more water and needing to go outside alot more. He used to be fine all night but now it was 2-3 times a night he'd wake me up and he had a couple of accidents in the bedroom which he'd never done before. I also noticed he was losing weight and that pep and vigor he used to have seemed to be fading. He started laying around alot more and while he'd still run to greet me everyday he seemed so tired.

Last Wednesday I took him to the vet. Alot of labwork was run and Thursday afternoon my vet called me. Jake had Type I diabetes and severe chronic pancreatitis. His bloodwork was fine three months earlier so I'm not sure what happend. The vet said the treatment would be 4-5 days in the animal hospital then insulin daily and special food and all. Jake also has arthritis (to much jumping on furniture) and the bad leg and all and I had to ask myself if it was time. I decided it was.

I've been crying for three days now and I'm not exactly "Mr. Emotional" but thats to be expected. Jake was a part of my life, my best years of my life, it is such a loss. I made the call Friday to setup the vet to come to my home. There was no way I was going to take him to the regular vets office for this. While I can say it was to make Jake comfortable I'll admit I wouldn't have made the drive OK and coming home I'd probably have been in an accident from crying so much. While I was thinking of doing it Monday the vet said she had an opening Saturday and could come by at 1pm. I said OK.

Coming home that night and seeing him look so weak and tired yet wagging his tail really broke my heart. I spent alot of time with him but also spent some time alone crying. That night I slept in the room with Jake and took him out twice. It was a good nights sleep for me and I woke OK but quickly started looking at the clock counting down the hours. I have to admit this was the worst counting down the time. I sat on the floor and petted Jake and tried to be brave but he could tell something wasn't right. Still he was so tired he just laid there with his head on my leg and let me pet him. I had a few rounds of running to the bedroom to cry for a few minutes then coming out again to be with him some more.

Finally about 12:50pm I took him outside. I couldn't help but think "This is the last time I'll ever take Jake outside". It was so beautiful outside, the sun was shining and Jake was slowly walking the fenced in yard looking for rabbits. He looked so frail and old and hobbled yet he smiled and when I said "Hey Jakester!" (my nickname for him) he wagged his tail. Finally we went inside and waited.

The vets white van pulled up. I went outside to greet her and her assistant and talked to them briefly. Jake barked inside when he heard the strange voices but quickly laid down again. I signed some paperwork, gave her a check and talked a few minutes while Jake just laid there. This was the truest indication he was ready. He always went nuts when company came but this time he was content to slowly walk over then almost fell down. The vet gave him a sedative which really seemed to calm him down and about 10 minutes later with Jake laying on his dog bed and me laying next to him petting him and snuggling with him he went home.

OK I've been good since then but now I'm starting to tear up again. The vet carried Jake to her van and took him to the place to be cremated. I'll get his remains in a couple of days and we'll go from there. I'm not sure how I should feel. My folks were here with me in the house and they even teared up a bit especially my mother who would housesit Jake while I was at work everyday. He was very much a companion to her as well.

I'm kind of "numb" I guess is the word for it. I'm very sad yet for some reason I guess I'm happy. I loved Jake so much and he gave so much to me that I'm almost relieved he's gone. To see him suffering for even a few days was horrible and I'm convinced I made the right decision. I'm glad I found this forum to and the grief website it's helped alot. The "Rainbow Bridge" story made me cry yet also made me happy. I guess I'm kind of in "shock" right now and I'm sure I'll cry a bit more but I'll be OK. When I get sad thinking of Jake I immediately think of some fun we had together and that seems to help me. It's only been 5 1/2 hours now so it's early and tonight I'll be alone which bothers me (ambien time). I've actually kept all of Jakes toys including the "Baby Schnauzer" he used to play with and protect. I'll sleep with it tonight and it'll give me comfort. Funny coming from a man in his 40's but I guess I'm a big softy.

Thank you all for listening. I've been fortunate that people at work have been very supportive and I know alot of dog owners so I'm surrounded by pretty good people. I think tomorrow when I go out and clean up the yard for the last time it'll be a bit rough but it's just something I have to do. I miss my friend so much it hurts but I'm so happy he was a part of my life for so long. I'm not married and I don't have kids so Jake was it for me.

I'll attach a picture of Jake I took about a year ago with his "Baby Schnauzer". When I look at it I'm immediately tearing up and my chest feels very heavy yet I also smile. He was my friend.

Erik (JakesDad)


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My dear Erik,

We're so very sorry for your loss, and I thank you for sharing with us a picture of your darling Jake. What a handsome fellow he is, and how your heart must be breaking as you long for his physical presence here with you now. I'm sure that by sharing your love, your heart and your home with this precious little fur person, you gave Jake a taste of Heaven before he actually retired there. I hope the memory of all the wonderful moments you shared together will one day bring you comfort. Please know that we're all thinking of you . . .

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Hello Erik

I am so sorry for your loss. Jake was very fortunate to have such a good "dad". I am 41 years old have been crying also for the loss of my pet ferret Nikomi. Despite what men are taught growing up, showing emotions is a good thing in my book instead of keeping that sorrow in yourself. Pets are like our kids, they know we will take care of them, entertain them, feed them, and make that ultimate hard decision for them because they cannot. I wish I had more words of comfort but can only saw this forum is a blessing and it has helped me so I recommend using this site as a tool of support.

God Bless,

Tim Smith

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