Jakus deMilo

We let one of our dogs go today.

Jake was 14 yrs old. A dalmatian and deaf since birth. She was a great dog, up until a few years ago. Then she started biting us. Not just little nips, either. But gnawing away and showing no remorse. I have been bitten twice; my right hand was mauled and just a few months ago, she got my right foot. But she’s really ripped up Lorna. Jake bit Lorna’s hand, face, nose, arm, and wrist.

Deciding to “put her down” was a tough one. Being mentally ill is so invisible in dogs other than in erratic actions. Jake started standing in one place and staring at nothing until she’d fall down. She’d stand at the water bowl and drink it dry (it holds a gallon, I think), yet wouldn’t drink from it if it were more than a foot out of place. Her biting moods were unpredictable and we were afraid of our own dog in our own home.

Then the other day she took the tip of Zoe’s ear off. We are baby sitting Zoe and Emmitt while their parents our out of town. Zoe didn’t do anything other than walk by. Jake used to win in all the fights, and she’s started many over the years. But now, with her back legs being so weak, she’s been losing. And Joella, my service dog, was the one that was winning.

The fight with Zoe was the last straw. It brought home the fact that she’d hurt someone other than us. For the record, I wanted Jake gone a long time ago but Lorna just couldn’t do it. I understood her feelings, but it didn’t make our scars go away.

Afterwards, we both felt good. Not exactly relief, but more like we realized how bad Jake had become. As she was dying, her body relaxed and we once again saw our true Jake, the one that we had loved. This other Jake, the one that bit and fought and growled, wasn’t ours. It felt good seeing Jake look relaxed. We got to really pet her, the first I had touched her in years. Literally.

So now there are only 5. Maggie is 13, Sparky and Casey are 12, Popcorn is 8-10, and Joella just turned 6. Maggie will be next. Her health is not good. She may have a mass in her abdomen and we know what that means.