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October 23, 2023

A Little Dog Named Jake

While driving to the edge of town to my local big box store a memory flashes. A vivid recollection so intense that I almost pull over.

The memory floods and I let it wash over me. I recall my life and the joys and tribulations and everything in between. I recall the lessons and the resurrection of a life following some very dark and difficult days.

Growing up I was just an ordinary girl in an ordinary town so I thought. My life has always been simple on the outside and extra complicated on the inside. This is the case for most of us as things are not always what they seem. Married at 21 and divorced by 28 is kind of ordinary however, it was the stuff that was in-between that was a little more complicated. None of that matters what does matter is there once was a  tiny dog that we named Jake who came into our lives to teach us how to live and love again.

I recall twenty some years ago driving to Walmart to pick up the pup. He was a gift from my sister post divorce and  I reluctantly agreed saying it was for my young daughter. Being raised as a single child would be lonely I thought.

Jake was the runt of a litter from a local farm and he was shunned by his mother. He was what is considered to small and fragile a Jack Russel cross with what we never did find out. He was so small that the farm owner said that he would not make farm life in fact they were shocked that he survived as his own mother refused to  feed him. He needed extra love and care and time to warm up to love.

Customer service desk is where we were instructed to pick him up from  A bubbly employee with rosy cheeks greeted us .You must be Rhea’s sister?” Yes”, I stammered. I was told this cheery friend of my sister’s lived on a farm and they needed a special family to take this small puppy. Jake was terrified when we first met and I am sure he was confused being in store and given to strangers. I whispered in his while ear” It is okay little fella”. Jake responded with a whimper and adoringly sad eyes.

” Get ready for an exciting ride home” said the girl across the counter as she patted my young daughter on the head and said ” take good care” and in my head I whispered ” Thank you for shopping at Walmart”,

The ride home was an adventure. The little dog was terrified and eventually found his place in my arms as I navigated the wheel. ” God what am I thinking I asked ?” I stared in disbelief at those warm brown puppy eyes as he nestled in finding the beating of my heart and then the tears began to flow.

” Why are you crying Momma” I am happy I whisper and my little girl beamed saying her wish and prayers have come true and that she always wanted a dog.

” What shall we name him ?” My little girl gushed ” Jake like the dog in the story we read momma”. I smile and nod and say ” Jake is a good name for this sweet little dog.”

Jake looked up as if he already knew his name and that day he found his way into our hearts.

Were we ready for this puppy adventure? Likely not after all  who really is ? What I did know was that my heart was temporarily broken and the little pup needed a mom, a child and a friend. This was the start of a lifetime of sweet adventures.

Driving into the parking lot I wipe the tears and smile.  I take a deep breathe and say ” This is going to be an amazing story.”.

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