My mother had a lifelong fear of dogs. Nothing unusual there, many people are dog phobic. She was particularly afraid of their teeth and their mouths in general. Jake was a big Sheepie at 106 pounds, and he was stubborn and dominant. He was also the first dog my mother ever petted.
Just being allowed to bring him into her home was a big deal! As it turned out, he was always very good around mom, but for the first few years we always had a lead on him and our hand on the leash every minute of every visit to my parent's home. After four or five years, she actually started to become comfortable enough that, with a little coaxing, she would pet his backside.
After another couple of years, we were able to let him off leash, and he would actually seek out her chair and sit with his back to her. For Jake this was a little strange: he would frequently give you either his front or his backside to rub, but if you stopped he would turn and look for you, and force the issue. Nudges with the nose. A paw on the lap. Never with mom. Just sit there patiently with his butt up against the side of her chair, and hope to be petted. Which she did... and she was very proud of herself! Thanks Jakie.
In the beginning of September, we picked up Winston to provide foster care for 4 months. Joan and I arrived home from our year-long trip mid September, and my mother entered the hospital a few weeks later. Then she was in rehab, then the hospital, then the hospice. Winston was allowed to visit at the rehab and at the hospice. All the people thought Winston was --guess what-- a sweetie, but unlike Jake, mom never really warmed up to him, nor he her. On November 3rd, mom went to go find Jake and give him a rub for us.
Joan and I were both devastated by the loss of my mother -- Joan was also very close to her. In fact, my parents had frequently joked (I HOPE!) that in case of a divorce, they would get Joan. So with Winston to care for and to play with, my mother's illness, and planning a trip to Hawaii, we didn't think much about Jake.
Now that we are returning to normal, we find ourselves missing Jake. We miss Winston, (though we're not grieving for him, he's in an earthly Paradise!) but we are now grieving for Jake all over again. Is this just displaced grief over Mom and Winston? Is this a common occurance because of the 1-year anniversary? I guess it doesn't really matter.
Hey Jake! Wanna go for a ride? Get your leash! Good Boy!
|Ron and Joan,
What a wonderful tribute to Jake and his memory - the fact that you started this site and have helped hundreds of other Sheepie owners. All of us whom post here know of Jake. He was indeed a wonderful friend to you both.
The loss is hard and even tho' time helps ease the pain a bit - there are times when it seems the grieving starts again when a memory is triggered. I'm sorry about the passing of your mother too. Please accept my condolences and hugs to you both
|Dear Ron & Joan, I am new to this site and have been reading all of the posts. I'm sorry about the loss of your dog and now on his anniversary date you still miss him so much.
I have just lost my 13 y.o. OES suddenly on Feb 7th this year. My dog was incredibly sweet too. I am home all of the time so the absence has been pretty unbearable. It's nice that this site is here for the support. It's nice reading all of the posts about the memories of the OES's that have passed and all of the new puppy stories. I hope I can love another OES again as much as I did the one that just passed.
There aren't too many people that really understand the attachments we make with our dogs so thanks everyone for being here.
I am sorry about your loss of your beloved Sheepie. Hugs and condolences to you. I would love to hear more about him/her.
Everyone deals with their pain differently - Ron and Joan do rescues and have this wonderful site to help Sheepie lovers all over the world. I've noticed with your expertise of owning a Sheepie you've offered advice to some on other post. I've been here since July and this place is great for sharing stories and offering advice to others.
I'd suggest have a look at Ron's post "When is enough enough? Perhaps you may want to share your story there too?
|Losing a loved one weather it be human or canine is a devastating experience I also learned this the hard way. I lost my33 year old son to a drowning accident only last May 15th and our OES passed on Dec. 17th. It was our OES that helped us deal with the loss of our son. I hope they have met up by now are are having the time of their "lives". There is a HUGE empty spot in our hearts.|
Words fail me after reading your post, Judy.
You say that your dog helped you deal with the loss of your son. I hope that it worked the other way around for you as well.
I frequently imagine my mother sitting in her wing-back chair and my dog sitting by her side, simply enjoying one another's company, watching over my life. I hope that you have or can develop a similar mental image that brings you solace.
Find a dog to rub... it feels good for a moment.
My deepest sympathy to you.
|I am new to this site, having just joined yesterday, and already I feel as though I'm making new friends. Ron, thank you for creating this wonderful site for those of us who love our sheepies.
I am moved to tears as I read your stories. The very reason I am here is because I recently lost my beloved Pumpkin in November. I decided to get a sheepie puppy and he has already won my heart and is helping me heal.
|I lost my mom many, many years ago. Way back in 1973. And I lost my only other sheepie, Cupcake, in 1991.|
A day does not pass without me missing them both. After all these years, if I don't really control myself, I still tear up.
Since then, I've also lost my dad and my only sibling, my sister.
These losses never really go away, do they?
My heart goes out to all of you who deal with it too.
Losing a loved one weather it be human or canine is a devastating experience I also learned this the hard way. I lost my33 year old son to a drowning accident only last May 15th and our OES passed on Dec. 17th. It was our OES that helped us deal with the loss of our son. I hope they have met up by now are are having the time of their "lives". There is a HUGE empty spot in our hearts.
My heart goes out to you and your entire family! I'm sure your OES and your son are with each other and both are watching over you! I send you white light and strength!
With deepest sympathy...
|I never know what to say to people who are grieving...
I still miss my grandfather, who I was closer to than ayone else in my family, and it was such a shock to everyone, he had been in excellent health and was only 63 years old. I didn't handle it well at all, and was alone for the most part, so remembering that kind of sorrow always makes me feel it again, for others going through it, and for myself all over again.
When I have lost pets I still think of them constantly too, they are as much a part of the family, and the heart, as the two leggeds.
My thoughts are with you....
|There are no words to convey my heartfelt sympathy for all of you who have posted here about your lost loved ones. I wish I could reach out my hand to each of you. I know how hard it is. I lost my father to a car accident and my mother to a heart attack just two years apart. Sometimes it seems like an eternity since I've seen them, sometimes like yesterday. I was one of the lucky ones: They gave me a very happy, loving home and I always felt very secure and loved. Today, and every day, I am thankful they were "mine". All we can do is go forward with the strength of our friends and family supporting us and know that one day we will again walk in the sunshine........|
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