my boy Jake

To those of us who are dog lovers and in my age group, around 70, you have probably already experienced several cycles of love and loss.

As painful as the losses are, time passes and the hurt and emptiness is slowly filled by the memory and spirit and life of your beloved dog.

And so, the story of my beloved Jake begins with our trip to the Adam’s County Rescue.

We met several beautiful and sacred creatures that day but none were destined to become my boy.

We did notice a wild looking hyperactive golden-brown lab and hound mix in a small cage. We inquired about him to the staff and were told that he was a feral dog found in the woods. He had no known owner, was already about four years old, and was thought at that time not appropriate for adoption.

There was something about him that sparked our interest and we were told that if he became available for adoption they would call.

A few days later we were contacted and scheduled a visit. To the rescue staff’s surprise this wild dog became a perfect gentleman as he walked calmy by our side.

We signed the papers, he leaped into the car, and we brought Jake to his new home.

As we opened the front door, he promptly ran inside the house and urinated on the white couch. Needless to say, he was not house broken. He would often throughout his life revert back to the wild beast he was.  

However, when he came to work with me at the office, he was a gentleman. Without any formal training he knew that he was a therapy dog. Over the course of ten years he performed his job effortlessly and admirably. He could sense those patients who needed him and he would sit or lie down calmly at their feet. He was a source of love and peace for thousands of cancer patients.

As I remember him now, I’m struck by his beauty. His thick golden, loose coat caressed his muscular body like a king’s robe. His dark eyes could penetrate into my soul and bond with me in a manner that was beyond words. He knew me in a deep and primordial way.

At home he would sit at the top of our hill under his tree and look out upon his domain. His posture and expression were one of true nobility.

He was laid to rest on July 24, 2020, but he lives on in the hearts and minds of all who loved him.

When I get to heaven, I look forward to spending more time with my good boy Jake.

9 thoughts on “my boy Jake

  1. What a wonderful remembrance of your dear friend, Jake. Thank you for sharing. I cried when we lost our little beagle dog at the young age of 7…he had cancer and at that time we couldn’t afford to send him for treatment in Lancaster, as our vet had suggested.


  2. Dear Marc;
    I put our dear Daisy, almost eight years young to rest on Sept. 2. She was my very soul. She was my therapist, friend, my joy and every thing that made the world easier to be in. I mourn her deeply so understand and feel the deep loss of your Jake. It has shook my faith and I am angry at God! I am glad that you have all those years of memories to hold on too as you look ahead at this challenge you are facing. Thank you for allowing us to share in your walk and cheer you on.


  3. I remember Jake and last September when I ask if he was in your office, he had been given the day off ❤️ . Thanks for the laugh on his first day home and the white couch he was probably testing to see what your reaction would be, I too have a rescue and it takes a few months until they understand you and you understand them but now I wouldn’t trade my Winston for any other dog. Prayers🙏


  4. I know the joy of having dogs and the pain of saying good-bye to them. You gave Jake a wonderful home and gave him a wonderful job to go to. He not only gave you much love and joy, but also comforted many in need. I love your tribute to him, especially the account of the first day. I continue to hold you and Elizabeth up in prayer, thankful for your honesty in writing.


  5. Thank you for sharing Jake with your patients and your readers alike. Brought a tear to my ear as I remember when my husband was in the trenches of one of his many sarcoma battles — our one dog was right be his side and knew before we did that my husband was sick. If only we had understood the signs at that time that Riley was giving. Your boy Jake is a wonderful example of unconditional love and care!!


  6. I LOVE all your entries, Dr. Hirsh! Jake was a wonderful boy! He blessed everyone with comfort and love! I always giggle inside when I think of him doing all his silly things over the years.
    I will always say that he was born in May, since he was so strong willed🤣😉 What Jake wanted, Jake got!!
    He had one of those faces that always remained young, just got a little lighter in color over the years.
    We must never forget the raiding of trash cans, stealing of food, and the wrapped tail🤣
    I’m so glad you and Elizabeth were able to rescue and love that sweet boy!! He certainly was a wonderful coworker who I loved and miss😊


    1. Lavina you couldn’t have summed up what Jake meant to all of us… so sad about his passing yet have been so fulfilled by his presence in our office. I luved sitting in the chemo room and petting him…


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