“I am most grateful to be alive. Every breath I take is a gift. I am grateful for my eyesight which I may not always have. I like to watch everything there is in the one eye I have left. The sunrise, sunset, moon and stars. The grass, the rainbow, the faces of my human friends. I take it all in and I savor it and I bank it. Because someday, if I lose my vision, I will always still have my memory. I wish humans would learn to appreciate the little everyday things more. If they did, they’d take care of them better.”
Hi everyone, I’m Dawn’s dog Jessie. My mom is busily preparing for the next 40 days of messages coming from our home to yours. In case you don’t know about this, my mom asked me to tell you. It’s our tradition here at the farm on Thanksgiving to go around and say what we are most grateful for. Many years ago, someone asked Dawn to speak for the animals as well. I can tell you that it is very special. Check back here each day, starting tomorrow, for a message from one of our animals.
I just want to say one thing, and I made my mom write this down. I am grateful for her and for all that she does for me and all of the animals. She works hard and I am the one who has to calm her down at the end of the day. So, I know what I’m talking about. I help her of course with all of this. We really hope you enjoy this from all of us. It is from our hearts to yours through the end of the year.
We lost our beloved dog Jake on November 1st. We write memorials for our animals to share with you, not the sadness of our loss, but the celebration of their lives.
Today ended a nearly 14-year journey with a dog who was found at 8 months old sitting on our manure pile and who came into our lives and made a tremendous impact on so many people. Jake was a lab/chow mix with the most fantastic heart. I’m not going to go into all the reasons Jake ended up spending is life here with us. Many people would have labeled him a “problem” dog. But to us, Jake was just a dog who had a problem. And it wasn’t really a “problem” to Jake. For good reason, Jake did not like men in uniforms of any kind and he would grab and bite them whenever he could. For that reason, he could not be adopted out. But for us, it just meant being vigilant to keep him away from men in uniforms. Because with everyone else, Jake was a most kind-hearted and loving soul.
To be loved by Jake was a gift. And there are many people out there in the world who received that gift. Jake was special to all of his caretakers, and, they were special to him. He loved unconditionally. He expressed his love freely. And he had that special knack of knowing when someone needed a little more of his love and support than the normal day’s worth. For those of us who were loved by Jake, our hearts are filled today with that love and the many memories we shared over the years, but our bodies are missing the ability to reach out and touch him.
In recent months, Jake’s health started to decline. We watched him start to fade and we all knew this day was drawing near. But Jake just kept on loving. He appreciated every effort by his caretakers to make his life more comfortable. Our hearts ached to watch him slow and have trouble walking. But the light in his eyes never dimmed. The love in his heart only grew stronger. And Jake walked all of us through the process of saying good-bye.
You see, that was Jake’s message in life. It was his lesson that he taught often. He taught us that one should never close their heart to loving someone even if it means it would hurt to say good-bye. He believed that love came for a reason and when it blessed your life, it was a gift that was to be opened and not stored away or pushed aside for fear that it would one day be gone. Because Jake understood that love indeed never is wrong. And that love never dies. He understood that when two hearts connect there is a powerful force that is formed, grows, and lives eternally. Jake spent 13 years teaching us that we really never needed to say good-bye at all. And he left us knowing that it was far better to have loved and lost him then to never have loved him at all. Thank you, Jake. You touched more hearts than you will ever know. And we shall miss you.
It is our annual tradition and gift to all of you for the holiday season. Each day from Thanksgiving through New Years we will post a message and photo from one of the Spring Farm CARES animals. The animals will remind us of what it is they are most grateful for in life. Visit daily for a dose of inspiration.