Jake (Blitzberg Basko CDex, UD open, WD open)

                        

Jake began to suffer from skin irritations at around four months old, this degenerated into a chronic skin condition by the time he was 2 years old. He brought Marie to Tellington TTouch in her search to find relief for his skin condition, leading to the discovery of the benefits of this work, not only in helping Jake's physical problem but as a valuable tool in Behaviour Modification and Training.

Jake also introduced Marie to Working Trials, at which he could have excelled. He was handicapped by his handler's competition nerves and the skin condition frequently interupted training. It is to his credit that in spite of this, he managed to achieved CDex on three occasions and Certificates of Merit in UD and WD stakes. Jake retired from Working Trials abruptly when he began to experience difficulty in an area that he really loved, the Agility section, specifically the Scale Jump. He still enjoyed tracking and searching for fun and just loved clicker training.

Jake also appeared in a promotional video for Animal Enterprises and in "Dangerfield". He can be seen on the front cover of "German Shepherd Dog" by Malcolm Willis. He also graces the pages of "Discover the German Shepherd" by Joyce Ixer and "The Ultimate German Shepherd" by Sheila Rankin.

                         

 Unfortunately, in 1999 it was discovered that Jake has arthritis in his lumbar vertebrae which caused a number of them to crumble at the base. This intially looked like CDRM because nerves were trapped causing numbness in his hind legs and it was a great relief when he regained some sensation, ruling out this horrible and debilitating condition. He went into semi-retired from his socializing duties because the discomfort of the condition made it difficult for him to work with the more reactive dogs. We became very selective about the dogs he worked with. Jake was still very much part of the Team and when unable to join in, supervised from the van!!

To aid fitness, Jake discovered the 'joys' of therapy swimming. He had only ever paddled in water before and was horrified at the prospect of getting out of his depth. With the sensitive help of Julie from Corley K9 Pool, Jake   discovered what fun he could have at the pool. Looking like a 'Baywatch Boy' in his bright red boyancy aid, he used to dive off the ramp into the middle of the pool, soaking anybody who is standing too close and 'rescue' his squeaky yellow ball from drowning!

Four years down the line Jake was no longer able to leap off the ramp to rescue his yellow ball but still enjoyed his therapy swim via a much more sedate entry into the pool to 'save' his ball. The pace of his life became slower and he needed more sleep on the various double quilts dotted around the house. He still had a great zest for life, sense of fun and constantly amazed us with his ability to adjust over and over again to his decreasing mobility.


Obituary

Jake crossed over peacefully on 22nd May 2004. He touched the lives of many animals and people in his twelve and a half years of life. It was a such a blessing and honour to share that precious time with him. With the gift of his love and strength my 'one in a million' friend and companion Jake changed my life totally. 








Soulmates, Buddies, Partners For Ever

Life was different from day to day, she'd relax with her friends - that was OK

She laughed, we played at Working Trials games - but when we were with strangers she wasn't the same

When we were with strangers, things were less clear, sometimes her voice changed and I'd smell her fear

I'd sense her shaking as she tried to hide, the fear and panic she had deep inside

I don't know why she felt this fear - but we knew she was safe when I was near

She'd seem to calm down and play out her 'role' - but I was always ready to take control

Sometimes panic took over, frustrated she'd sob

But I'd be there at her side - I love my real job

Working Trials could be a brilliant game - but if she got scared we didn't play the same

She needed me, I couldn't let her walk away, I didn't understand why she told me to "stay"

I tried to concentrate, to play the same - but my mind was on her, not on the game

I couldn't just jump and search and track, when I needed to be ready to watch her back

We won't be remembered as a winning pair, for us the achievement was just to be there

Sometimes at a Trial - and I'll grant this is rare, you'd glimpse the magic that we share

She felt safe, laughed and played so I knew what to do, we flowed, worked together, totally in tune

Sometimes she said "this Trial's our last" - but I'd heard that many times in the past

And whatever happened - we didn't have to pretend

We both came home with our best friend!

One day we went for a ride in the car, she seemed a bit worried but it wasn't too far

We met some new people but she needed a push - 'cos there seemed something special about this TTouch

She was excited about TTouch just to help me - and the other animals she would see

She didn't know that it would help her to fly - and be free of the panic she felt deep inside

I was there at her side as she rode out the waves, of panic and fear and I helped her be brave

I was there at her side a long way from home, to stay in a house that wasn't our own

And as she progressed and her confidence grew, I was there at her side to share that joy too

We went many times and her shell dropped away - so everyone could meet 'my Marie' ... and one day

She graduated and my heart swelled with pride

And ….. where was I? - Right there by her side!

As my bones got creaky and I couldn't leave home, I sent her off to be strong on her own

At first the parting was hard for us both - but Dad stayed with me so I could let her go

She learned to be strong and to share what she could - and my special time with my Dad was good

I still kept her safe within my heart, sent her wisdom and courage while we were apart

I knew that she had to continue to grow - and help others learn TTouch so their animals could know

People can be sensitive and understood, that with opportunity animals choose to be good

I always knew when she was on her way back - and there I'd be to help her unpack

Excited we'd greet with kisses, cuddles and warm touch

Together or apart - I love her so much!

The years passed quickly as time moved on, I really don't know where time has gone

The pace of my life got slower each day, my back was creaky, my chin had gone grey

I'd get frustrated, now it was me felt less sure - and my Mum who was there to reassure

My mind was still willing but the body groaned, she was patient, still loving and didn't moan

I was still the biggest flirt in town - and she'd flirt right back, never let me down

I'm still her Treasure, her Best Boy, the Light of Her Life, her Pride and Joy

She says she regained her life through me, that I gave her strength and set her free

Without Mum the days could've been hard but I knew she'd make sure the pain never got bad

Today my time came to leave her behind to go and help her from the other side

We'll still share our problems and face them together

We're Soulmates, Buddies, Partners For Ever!

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                                               Marie Miller, 61 Grange Road, Longford, Coventry CV6 6DB

             Telephone: 02476 366090             Mobile: 07774 220049               Email: marie@pawsnlearn.co.uk                             

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