Thank you, my dear friend

Jacob, our lovely German Shepherd, died last week. I mentioned him on Twitter and Tumblr when he went, and several of you sent kind messages of comfort, but I haven’t been able to talk about him properly until now.

It wasn’t a shock. He’s been poorly and we’ve been monitoring his quality of life closely. When that plummeted suddenly, it was his time.

He’s been my best friend for 12 years. I’m not being sentimental. He really did have the loveliest nature of any dog I’ve ever known, and we’re a doggy family so there have been several candidates for that title. It’s Jake’s, though. He was intelligent, witty, faithful, protective, understanding, full of fun, and simply my best friend.

JacobOur house is in the foothills of Dartmoor, and that was our favourite place.  We loved it up there on the moor. It’s wild, and big, and free, and there’s so much space! He couldn’t wait to leap down from the car and charge off like a racehorse, but he always came back for me. Then he’d charge off again, and charge back again, grinning all over his face and his big tongue lolling with unrestrained happiness.

Those Dartmoor walks were the highlights of our life together. Being with you made me happy, Jake. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.

4998567493_71391ef484_oHis ashes came home today, in a heavy ceramic urn. They’re on the bottom shelf of my CD cabinet with Tex’s (who lived with us immediately before Jacob) and Harry’s (who was Jacob’s big brother). One day young Elvis’s ashes will join them. And one day, mine will come home in an urn too.

I’d like my family to wait for a bright, blustery day, and to mix my ashes with Jacob’s, Harry’s, Tex’s, and maybe Elvis’s if he precedes me, and to scatter us to the wind all together. I want to run with my boys. Especially with Jacob. We’ll run like the wind.

Thank you for being my friend. Jake. I love you.

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12 Responses to Thank you, my dear friend

  1. Georgia Woods says:

    Oh, David, I’m so sorry to hear about this-I’ve had my head down working for the past week or two, so I haven’t been on social media much. I know how important our companion dogs become to us as I lost my Lucky Dog three years ago. Not a night goes by that I don’t still look over the edge of the bed before I put my feet down to stand for fear of stepping on him where he slept right up against my side of the bed, and I work with his photo by my desk so I can look up and see him and smile. Sending lots of loving thoughts and prayers your way as you work your way through this, and know I’m here if you need to talk.


    • David Bridger says:

      Thank you, Georgia. It hurts horribly, doesn’t it? I knew you’d understand. Thank you for your kindness. x

  2. Erin says:

    I missed the news on Twitter. I’m so sorry, David. It’s hard when we lose our companions.

    Our cocker spaniel (yes, a proper English one, not one of the snub-nosed Americans) is 13-1/2, which means he’s old for the breed. I know I’ll be writing up a post, and it’s going to be so hard because during the day, the house will be empty except for me. You may not be in that position, but there is a hole there that isn’t going to be filled. {{hugs}}

    • David Bridger says:

      Thank you, Erin. Enjoy him. Our Elvis is getting so many hugs and cuddles now to compensate for him not having Jake to puppy-bundle up with.

  3. Margaret says:

    Oh, David, what a lovely homage to a well-loved member of your family. I’m sad you had to lose him, but grateful for the companionship he offered you in the time he walked this earth. Pets like him make a lasting impression on our lives.

  4. Ashe Elton Parker says:

    David, I’m so sorry for your loss. What a lovely memorial for your beloved pet, it brought tears to my eyes. So sad he’s gone, but so good that he had the opportunity to give you such joy as you found with him. I hope Elvis gives you a similar joy now.

    • David Bridger says:

      Thank you, Ashe. Elvis is lovely too, and is so obviously grieving for Jacob we can’t leave him unhugged for long.

  5. Kate (boogie) says:

    Very sorry to hear Jake has gone. Having actually had the privilege of meeting him, I haven’t forgotten how quiet and dignified he was around me, and how aware and attuned to your movements and needs. I didn’t get to see his energetic outdoor side but that picture captures it perfectly. I love the thought of you running together. May you all (including Elvis) take comfort from all the love that is always evident in your family.

  6. sue says:

    Okay, so I surfed into one of your posts on top of the search phrase “Writing with chronic illness” or something. Then read with interest your story idea for the protagonist who has ME and can enter into books. What a totally brilliant idea. I hope it’s coming along nicely for you and I will be really excited to read it.

    And now I’m crying like a baby here. My Lester was put to sleep a year and a half ago and I still miss him. I really agree about the best friend not being hyperbole. They really are.

    That second last para. Chokes me up. Such a beautiful thought.

    • David Bridger says:

      Thank you, Sue. Good to meet you.

      I had to stop work on that book last year when I got too ill to continue. Just picking it up again this weekend, actually. Rewrote the first 5k chapter last night and the story is filling my head again.

      Hugs for you, and sweet dreams for your Lester and my Jacob.

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