Honorable Mention: “Never Underestimate the Power of Love and Loyalty of a Pet,” by Ruth Placek

By Guest Contributor November 7, 2016 15:44


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Never Underestimate the Power of Love and Loyalty of a Pet

By Ruth Placek

After graduation from high school, my son Jack and two friends drove to Colorado to spend the summer on the farm of one of the boys’ grandpas. Jack took his loyal pet Aki, a black lab along, and Aki camped, swam, worked and ate with the boys. He loved it!

Jack and Aki returned home and Jack later became ill. He had an undiagnosed heart problem, was under the care of a doctor. Jack passed away, this was a shock to all of us and Aki went into deep mourning, he was broken hearted as we all were. (Jack was my one and only child. You never get over the loss of a child, I will carry this pain to my grave.)

We let Aki go to the funeral home one last time to visit Jack. Aki would not sleep or eat, just paced the floor day and night waiting for Jack to return. One morning I let Aki out in the backyard as I did everyday, he jumped our 8 foot fence and kept running. I tried to chase after him, but I lost him. I drove around day and night to find him, no luck. It rained eight days in a row, but I never gave up. One day at work I mentioned to my friend Jane about the loss of our beloved pet. She suggested with a straight face that I should drive to the Skylawn Cemetery in San Mateo County where Jack had been cremated. I took the chance and drove up Highway 92 on a two-lane curvy road (nine miles from our home) in the pouring rain. At the cremation house I saw Aki running fast in circles around the house. I called out to him, two workers asked if he was my dog. I said, ‘YES’. They told me that for four days the dog has been constantly running around the house, pacing and crying. He would not take food or shelter from the two men.

I finally got Aki in the car and he laid down in the back sea, so grateful I had come for him. He was tired, dirty and muddy, but he appreciated that I came for him.

placekaki-sittingAki was still emotionally upset, so I took him to our vet, Dr. John Cadden, a wonderful man in San Mateo. Doc looked into my eyes and said, “Aki is dying of a broken heart and we have to pull him out of this!” He suggested every night after his meal I give him one scoop of vanilla ice cream in his bowl and I also have a scoop in my dish. “Talk to him gently, pet him and assure him you will always be there for him. Let him know what a wonderful pet he has been and you will take good, loving care of him.”

Soon Aki snapped out of it and tried to be his loving normal self. Aki was so loyal and affectionate, he just wanted to please and make you happy.

Two of our neighbor girls got to drive their Dad’s new Jaguar automobile, they asked if they could take Aki to McDonald’s for a hamburger. When they brought him home, he was grinning from ear to ear, he had a good time! The girls loved him and he was proud to go with them.

We had Aki for 17 ½ years. I believe he joined Jack in another life and is very happy. Some memories in life are so precious. I will forever miss both Jack and Aki.

By Guest Contributor November 7, 2016 15:44
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1 Comment

  1. Jan December 20, 16:41

    Dear Ruth, Your story about Jack and Aki is so very sad…and at the same time a beautiful story about an incredibly deep and special bond between a man and his dog. Blessings to you…and thank you for sharing.

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