|Old Jake (standard:non fiction, 1052 words)|
|Author: dcastle||Added: Dec 29 2004||Views/Reads: 1684/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|This is a story about some of the adventures of my dog Jake.|
Old Jake I decided in the Summer of 1989 that it was time I got a dog. I was looking for a small but tough little dog that I could take along on fishing and hunting trips. A dog that could keep all the squirrels and rabbits out of my garden yet would be gentle and protective around children. I researched all the different breeds of dogs for a few weeks and really didn't see anything I liked. My daughter Angela came home one day just before she was to leave for her freshman year at college and told me that a friend had several puppies they were trying to give away down on Cambridge. Cambridge is a four block long street just outside the main gates of Sheffield steel on the Northeast side of Kansas City. Angela said the pups weren't purebred. Possibly a mix between a cocker spaniel and a terrier. There were six of the black, eight week old pups in the cardboard box when we looked inside. All the pups looked fat and healthy except one. For some odd reason, his tail was only a stub and he was clearly the runt of the litter. He apparently didn't realize he was small as he bulled his way right up to the front of the box so he could get his fair share of our attention. I remembered my father telling me many times that the runt of the litter always made the best dog and a mixed breed would make a better dog than a purebred in most cases. We took the little guy home and named him Jake. Jake only grew to the size of a beagle but he had as much courage and heart as a pit bull. Some say he could whip his weight in wildcats and I would have to agree with that. The dog simply would not back down from anything or anyone. The only fight I ever saw him lose was to a much bigger dog at the lake. Never saw that dog again but to this day, Jake searches the area where the fight happened. No doubt looking for a rematch. They say cats are great at catching mice and birds. Well, I'd put old Jake up against any cat. We have a shed at the lake where I keep my riding lawnmower and other garden tools. Field mice love to build nests in an area like this and my shed it no exception. When I unlock the door, the dog is right there beside me with his little stub of a tail waging so fast you can hardly see it. Sometimes I think he is going to burst with excitement. Just like when he was a pup, he bulls pass me franticly trying to catch as many mice as possible in the three or four seconds it takes them to find cover. I remember one time when one of the little rodents managed to scramble down a hole in the ground with Jake a half a step behind him. Two hours later, Jake was still trying to dig the same mouse out. I think he would have tried all night long if I'd let him. I was working in the garden when I noticed a weathered half sheet of plywood lying in some weeds next to the garden. I thought I might as well pick it up and throw it on a pile of tree limbs to burn later. As I raised one side I noticed a huge snake. Just my luck, Jake saw the snake at the same time and before I could let go of the board he was on the snake like a mongoose. I tried to call him off the four foot long reptile but he wasn't about to quit this new challenge. Around and around they went with the snake at times completely wrapped around Jake. I was afraid to get to close because I didn't know what kind of snake it was. The lake was only 50 feet away from where the fracas started. The fight slowly moved in that direction with me circling them screaming for Jake to come to me. Nothing doing. This was a fight he was going to win or die trying. As I was just about to risk my hide and wade into the middle of it they tumbled into the lake. That did it. The snake took off swimming as fast as a snake can swim and Jake ran along the bank probably wishing he was a Labrador retriever. Jake hates squirrels more than anything in the world. He takes his job of keeping them out of my gardens very seriously. Once, just once, I'm sure he would love to catch one. He use to come very close when he was younger. Those days are gone now. His speed and quickness are no match any squirrel now. Instead, he tries to use his wits to out smart them. I have several walnut trees in my back yard. They are about 30 feet apart. In the Fall, Jake will sit and wait on the porch until he sees a squirrel stop between two of the trees to grab a walnut off the ground. At that time he decides to run as fast as he can towards one of the trees in hopes that the squirrel will choose that tree to run up. It actually works about ten percent of the time and that's good enough for Jake. Makes the chase real close again like the old days when he was a pup. The beautiful shiny black coat is gone now. Grey is now the color of most of his fur. His eyes and hearing are getting worst by the day. Our other dog, Milo, who is half his age now does her best to be his eyes and ears. He still makes his morning security check of our one acre yard. It takes three times as long now but he still enjoys it. I've noticed this Fall that he is spending more time smelling the air and sitting while he makes his rounds. His fighting days are gone now and he is quite content to just sit in the warm sun with Milo and watch the world go by. Tweet
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