Certainly the blog world as we know it is filled with all manner of stories and glowing tributes to Golden Retrievers. Well folks, here is one more that must be told. Jake came to my dear, dear friends Cathy & Paul just over two years ago. He needed a home. He was ten years old then. They had just lost Bailey, a beautiful Irish Setter and Golden mix, whom they had loved for nearly 16 years. In this short time, Jake has given so much comfort, so much loyalty, so much love, and so much joy to so many. He is has become a certified therapy dog visiting the hospice center weekly in addition to his daily duties as the constant companion and personal snuggler to my friends. I had the pleasure of being included on Jake's two vacations to the Gulf Coast. That first summer he was an immediate hit with each person he greeted. People who had met him once, would look for him and pet and talk to him throughout the week. They knew his name. Most memorable was his interaction with a group of children suffering from cancer who were on retreat with their families. He was invited to their talent show and we all went along. He truly held court as one by one the children and parents, would come to pet him and chat with us. Though Cathy and Paul do not have children, they are both teachers. Did I say they did not have children? They have had hundreds, but most especially they have had Jake.
Yesterday morning, Valentine's Day, Jake set off for that great Frisbee game on the beaches of Heaven. I have no doubt that Saint Francis welcomed him as The King of Hearts.