Joliet Jake

Sadly, my mighty dog, Baron Jaköb Blues von Brümmel, aka "Joliet Jake," died in a house fire on April 17, 2001. He was staying with a friend while I was out of town. She left to run an errand and when she came back 20 minutes later, her house was on fire. Although the firemen let him out of the house, he somehow and for some reason found his way back inside, where he succumbed to smoke inhalation. The house was a total loss.

He was a good dog and I miss him every day.

In Memoriam

to Jake the dog and Face the cat (by Anastasia and Barbara Royal)
You showed me the weather every day, smoldering summer, misting mountains, and dry-ice winter smoking on the lake so cold it exhilarates, especially you, the German Shepherd who said, "Doh-dee-doh-dee-doh, what's that smell like?" about everything in your world, in the park, on the trails, in stale city alleys, you who didn't make it when the house burned because you found your way back to the smoking house to look for someone, something to bring away from the smell of explosion and melting window blinds and the cat who, like you, breathed it all in and thought, "Why does the dog run back into this inferno that singes my breath and makes me sleep-oh, I'm as drowsy as a newborn kitten." The white and grey cat with her signature paw-tap on my sleeve - just once - a coy demand for attention.

She befriended you and your insistent black nose. Are you now company for each other on that long journey?

You took my time graciously, like people don't, and hinted at the meaning of trees, insects, leaves made luminous by the sun. You howled at sirens, shadows I couldn't perceive. You caught a frisbee, food, or toy at any speed. Over ground I'd never walked, you pulled me. Were there codes in the clouds when you barked at the sky, did the birds tell you stories?

When we woke in the morning, you flopped your heavy head on my bed, waiting for our day to begin. I asked for a little bit of love, and without fail, you gave a lot.