God Sent us Jake - The Black Lab
Jake - Our Black Lab
Our Rescued Black Labrador Retriever
I have always said that things happen for a reason. Be them good or bad, whether we ever know what the reason is, or not, I believe there is someone, whomever your God may be, behind the scenes of everything that happens to us. Sometimes you can look back on your life and realize why something happened, sometimes you just have to wonder and have faith that there was a reason you may never know.
I have always been an animal lover. I would probably have more dogs, cats, birds, and any other type of animal that needed help, than I could take care of, if my husband didn’t “keep me in check”. If I see a stray dog on the road and I think someone has abandoned it, I will stop, put it in the car and take it home. Sometimes you don’t find the animal that needs help, it finds you. Such is the reason I believe God sent us "Jake”, our black lab.
My husband and I live out in the country. It’s a beautiful place, something we had always wanted. Our house sits in the middle of the 40 acres, nestled back in the trees. We have large windows and glass doors so we can see the many deer and turkey that come through our place.
One evening, just as the sun was going down, my husband was looking out the windows and suddenly dashed to the door saying he just saw something large and black run past the barn. Both of us step outside wondering what it could be. We don’t see anything right away, but can hear leaves crunching as something is running through them. About now I am a little nervous, it was really getting dark outside and the sound wasn’t coming from something small and it sounded really fast! Just as my mind is racing wondering what it could be, out from behind the barn comes a large black dog, running right at us! All I could think of was, “I sure hope he is friendly!”
What Do We Do?
I wouldn’t say he wasn’t friendly, but he was scared! He was a big black Labrador Retriever. As soon as he saw us he abruptly stopped. His tail went between his legs and he dropped his head. He was cowering at the mere site of us. My husband and I called to him, but he wouldn’t come. As we began walking slowly towards him, we could see him start to shake. He was scared to death! The poor dog had a rope attached to his collar and it was obvious that he had escaped from his owner. It was really dark now and we couldn’t see a lot of detail at the time. We took him to the porch and gave him some food and water. We went ahead and tied him back up to the porch as we knew that if he continued to run around in the woods with the rope dangling he would get caught up in the trees somewhere and starve to death and we couldn’t get the rope untied from his collar. We would check him over for fleas, ticks and any minor injuries the next morning.
Early the next morning we went out to check on him. As we approached him, again he would cower. As we went to pat him on the head, he would duck as though we were going to hit him. He had eaten all his food and most of his water was gone. As we looked him over we found a horrible sight. The rope that was attached to his collar had been there so long that it was matted together and could not be untied. It was obvious that he had been tied up somewhere for a very long time! Of course, we cut the rope from the collar. The collar had worn most of the hair off of his neck as though he had been straining against it for a long time. This poor dog had scars all over his body! Some were old, some were more recent. He had been beaten repeatedly for a long time. No wonder he would cower when we came close to him. His coat was dirty and dull. His eyes were red and watery. It didn’t look like he had been starved, but it was obvious he had been terribly abused! We knew then that there was no way we were going to return this dog to his owner. We were keeping him!
We Named Him Jake
Our daughter, Jenna, was still living at home at the time, I guess she was about 13 then. She had a friend whose pet black lab had recently died, so she decided she was naming our new dog after him. Thus the new addition to our family became “Jake”. It only took Jake a couple of days to warm up to us. It seemed like he knew that we were not going to hurt him. We had removed his collar to let the damage around his neck heal. We worried a little that he might run off, but that was out of the question. He took to my husband right away and Johnny couldn’t go anywhere without Jake right by his side.
The Golf Cart and the Cliff
We have a golf cart that we use to go from one place to another on our property and Jake loved to ride on the golf cart. All we had to do was get close to that golf cart and Jake would be jumping in the middle of the front seat! We would take him with us to check the mail or pick up the newspaper, etc. Sometime we would take him for a ride just for the fun of it. One day in particular we all three loaded up on the golf cart and drove down the trail to the back part of our property where we were doing some work on a small cabin. There is a creek that runs through the property there and there is about a 100 foot drop from the top of the hill where we were, down to the creek.
As Johnny and I are cleaning up around the front of the cabin, I hear the golf cart start up. There is no one else around except for us and Jake. As I look over my shoulder, I see Jake sitting in the golf cart. The only problem is, he is sitting on the gas pedal! We had left the key on, as we didn’t expect the dog to drive off in the golf cart! If you have ridden in a golf cart you know that all you have to do is push the gas pedal and the golf cart takes off. Well, let me tell you it works the same way for a dog. I guess Jake had got tired and hot and decided to sit in the golf cart in the shade. He was so big that there was not enough room for his backside and he ending up sitting on the gas pedal. As the golf cart started to move, it scared him. The more it moved the more scared he became and the harder he sat on the pedal. I was running behind him yelling at him to come, but he was too scared to jump off. He was headed right for that 100 foot cliff!
There was really no reason for that golf cart to make the turn that it did, but it turned slightly to the right and went into some trees. (Remember, I told you someone else is pulling the strings.) When it hit the trees, it hit fairly hard and we heard Jake yelp. We are not sure if he was thrown out or if he jumped out of the golf cart, but he was headed for the house at a dead run! We jumped in the golf cart and took off to the house to check on him. He was waiting on the porch for us with no injuries and was just happy to see us. Yes, he was back on the golf cart in a couple of days.
Labrador Retrievers are Wonderful Dogs
Labrador Retrievers are known to be the most popular dog breeds in the world and Jake was no exception! He was still a little afraid of other adults but he wasn't afraid of children. He loved to play with the grandkids when they came over. Even after all he had been through, Jake never snapped or growled at them. They would run and play for hours at a time. When we would come home of an evening, he would be waiting at the top of the hill and race us to the house. He would always win, as he would take a short cut through the pasture. You could just tell how appreciative he was that we had saved him.
God Takes Jake Back
Remember I told you that things happen for a reason and sometimes you just don’t understand why. Jake never wandered very far from the house. After all, we had 40 acres in the country for him to run and play. He had never wandered past the pond out to the road, until that day. Jake had gone out to the road. I found him as I was going to check the mail. He had been hit by a car. I won’t go into details as it is quite sad, but Jakes life had been cut short that day. We buried him in a special place out back with a previous pet of our sons that had died.
When I told our daughter Jenna, of course she cried and asked why that had to happen, that she loved Jake so much! What I told her was that God had sent Jake to us that evening several months ago, because he wanted Jake to experience love. He wanted Jake to know what it was like to have people that loved and cared for him. I told her that we gave Jake the best part of his life and for whatever reason, God wanted him back. She was fairly happy with that answer, but I believe it whole-heartedly! Jake showed us every day how much he appreciated how much we loved him and how we took care of him. And everyday we showed him that people aren’t all bad and that we loved him very much. I truly believe that God sent Jake to us for a reason. I thank God for giving us to Jake!
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