I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far!
I have been in kind of a funk lately, and I realized it was because I was coming up on an anniversary of one of the worst days of my life. Two years ago yesterday, I lost my best friend and fur baby, Jake. Jake was the most incredible dog I have ever known and was part of our family for 11 years. Not only was he part of our family, but was basically a child to us (since we don’t have human babies). He was there when I woke up, went on every trip with us, spent the entire day by my side and snuggled against my stomach all night long. Jake was never grumpy and was always filled with unconditional love, compassion and the energy of a puppy (until his last week on this planet).
Jake became ill in September 2016. We had noticed a small lump on his paw, which we were praying was just an infection. Unfortunately, after many round of antibiotics, it didn’t go away and testing came back positive for cancer. We ended up amputating his toe to try to stop the spread and were initially successful. All of the margins were clean, and his blood work and X-rays were impeccable. We had many long months of bandage changes and keeping him calm, but were optimistic about the future.
Right after Thanksgiving, Jake developed a cough that wouldn’t go away. We finally took him into the vet one late Monday night and were praying that maybe it was a cold or even whooping cough. When the vet came back in with the X-ray results, she just said, “You guys, I am so sorry.” Jake’s lungs were completely filled with cancer and there was truly nothing we could do. She said it could be weeks, months or even years but she really didn’t know how long he would make it. Jake was gone by the following Sunday.
What I didn’t realize at the time, was that losing Jake would transform the rest of my life. Not only because this was my first real experience with death, but also because he helped me discover my true passion: saving animals and helping people. You see, when I watched Jake suffer and take his last breath, I realized that I never, ever wanted to contribute to another animal’s suffering for as long as I live. I also realized at that moment that ALL animals want to be loved, feel fear and want life. There is no difference between a dog, chicken, cow, pig, sheep, fish, cat, horse, donkey, etc. So why would I fight so badly for one while paying someone to torture and kill another?! At that moment I became VEGAN and later discovered animal activism.
I will miss Jake every day for the rest of my life, but I am so grateful for the lessons that he taught me. It’s amazing how one, little, 30 pound dog can change your life forever <3. Thank you buddy!