Smaller Bananas: A Dog Story

jake

“1, 2, 3 for me, 1 for Jake”

This isn’t a story about bananas, it’s about a dog, our dog, Jake, ‘the king of all dogs’.

I mention bananas because Jake and I ‘bonded’ over bananas every morning. For every 3 slices of banana I dropped on my cereal, Jake got 1. He stood by, waiting and salivating, while I sliced and counted each piece into our respective bowls: “1, 2, 3 for me, 1 for Jake”. Then, he waited for my signal to enjoy it.

Jake has been gone a couple of weeks and we’re still discarding his ‘stuff’: beds, toys, treats, things that bring a tear to our eyes. Some of it we donated to our local animal shelter.

I still find clumps of shedded hair when I clean house. It moves between my fingers and I feel his presence; the softness of his coat and the smells of his oils. The attachment to a pet is incredibly strong and letting it go is difficult, but we’re making progress.

Our decision to euthanize Jake at the appropriate time, if there is such a time, was  challenging and heart breaking. Outwardly, a dog may not show his aches and pains, but the look in Jake’s eyes told us he was hurting. His mind was willing but his body wasn’t, the end of his life was imminent.

‘The Last Battle’* is a poem that tells the story of a dog’s final wish. The dog reminds us that we’ve shared a wonderful life, a life filled with love, and our final act of love would be to help the dog pass, peacefully.

We loved Jake and made that decision to end his suffering, humanely. Pet owners face this decision with heavy hearts. Jake came to us as a nervous young rescue from a local shelter.  He left us in a calm and peaceful state, cradled in the arms of my wife, his constant companion.

We take solace in knowing that our rescue eleven years ago afforded Jake a chance to live a happy, normal dog’s life. In return, he gave us his love, warmth, kindness and loyalty. We mourn his loss now and will remember him always as ‘the king of all dogs’.

I’m still having a morning banana, but buying smaller ones that I can finish, myself…

Steve
srbottch.com

To Jake the Dog, and dog lovers everywhere

jake-n-cheryl-walking

*The Last Battle
(1st stanza)
Author Unknown

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this — the last battle — can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

Published by

srbottch

Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative. My essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my essays, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Enjoy the run!

16 thoughts on “Smaller Bananas: A Dog Story”

  1. Steve – I read your words and my throat is tight with emotion. Our G-pup is 12, and I know we will be facing the same decision in the next year or so. Your mutual love was Insta obvious, and I enjoyed each and every Jake photo you put up. The banana tale makes me smile. Gracie Allen and I do the same with a clementine, only 1 for me 1 for you is our pattern. A clementine is small, man! She wants her Golden due! As for The Last Battle… there are no words. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elen. As I’ve mentioned before and am finding out again, time does heal. I think the decision to euthanize is so gut wrenching because on the one hand, the pet owner is making the decision to end a life that has been such big part of your own. At the same time, watching Jake slow down dramatically is just as difficult. His eyes told us. We’re getting better, esp my wife who was with him always. When I was traveling, he was there for her. We feel good about rescuing these dogs and there probably will be another one in the near future. I’ll look forward to writing a happy story but this one was definitely the hardest to write. Thanks for your nice note. I like Gracie’s name.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. Yes, he was a great walker and all around companion in the house, as well. He is missed. You know, yourself, how attached we become to our pets. We’re doing better. Best regards, steve

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  2. A dog really is a mans best friend. If you’re a dog lover like I am, my little 10 pound terroir is my life. For some reason people tell me I’m going to be a great father by the way I treat Toby. I see him as my son. They’re so noble and innocent. They bring us joy when we’re down. They’ve been around for thousands of years and frankly, we need them more than they need us.

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    1. My sentiments, exactly. They really do become like a child and depend on us for love and kindness, as does a child. Jake was our third and we ‘need’ a fourth, I’m realizing. Thank you. And thanks for the ‘follow’. Steve

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      1. Well then get the 4th cause it’s never enough. They’re a big part of our lives. All we can do is give them a home and love. Absolutely, will you return the favor?

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      2. We’ve already discussed it and have been researching local shelters to ‘rescue’ our 4th. We sure do miss Jake. My wife is having a tough time but time will heal.

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      3. Time always heals buddy. He’s up in doggy heaven in peace. That’s what I’m doing this Wednesday. I’m adopting from a shelter and they’re giving me my dog on Wednesday

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