Saturday, May 04, 2013

Falling for Jake Milner

Once, I was playing with Jake, before he was truly “mine”, and as our eyes met, I was transported back 14 years...

People often ask how you can work around animals in need and not “take all of them home”? I have never been a “take all of them home” type. I’m not sure if it arose out of self-preservation, or if I was always particular about which animals to get attached to. Very rarely do I connect on an inner level such that I feel compelled to take anyone home, even with animals that I care a great deal for. In fact, I like to joke that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve felt that connection to a dog at a shelter...and two of them are still living with me! Of the rest of the handful, one was a dog named Jake. My 14 year old self fell hard for him. He was everything I wanted and needed. Sadly, I was not able to save him, and he haunts me to this day.

Fourteen years later, I made eye contact with Jake Milner and he looked up me with those liquid brown eyes. I remembered my first Jake’s kind brown eyes, one of the only things I can remember both in my mind and in the few photos I have of him. I stopped and stared into this new Jake’s eyes, drawing in a breath as it dawned on me. “Come back to me?” I whispered. And Jake smiled and wagged his tail.