In 2004, I received a sweet, four-week year old puppy that I named Drake. Drake and I went everywhere and because of his breed (American Pit bull), I wanted him around as many people and dogs as possible to aid in eliminating the stigma of his kind. This dog was simply amazing. He never used the bathroom inside the house and from the first day, he would wait at the front door to alert us. Pets in general, or at least where I grew up, stayed outside. They were either a community dog or people had them to be present for security purposes. Drake was both and everyone knew and loved on him for his gentle approach, yet knowing when to be alert. Over the years though, man’s best friend ownership naturally transferred to my daddy since Drake never lived with my wife & me.
This was not my choice but I could see how strong of a bond they had and I knew with my parents getting older in age, I wanted him there to look out for them. Drake and my daddy were always together, sitting in the yard watching people go by or up in the late hours of the night eating chips and honey buns! There were several times I would come home to visit and Drake would not even move until my Pops told him to. It is funny that such a dog can boost our spirits and allow us to focus on life in general, even when we may not be feeling our best. It wasn’t until 2015 when tragedy struck.My mama found my daddy laid out in the bathroom floor. Drake likely witnessed everything…he was right by my daddy’s side. Drake had lost his best friend. Until this day, he is the only being that knows exactly what happened. Drake continued to grieve, and look after the house until his health could not keep him on earth. While his breed usually lives on average 11 years or so, he was already 16 years old, which was a blessing. The decision to put him down was a tough one for me. Having all of those memories was important but also knowing the pain he was having in his body, and the grief of not having his best friend around would be appropriate.
Being that I am living abroad, I am appreciative of my sister for taking him to the vet to allow him to peacefully pass away & for picking up his remains. I had him cremated and will determine the best method of celebrating his ashes at a later date. This was my first dog and though I initially got him for myself, I truly believe he was intended for my daddy. I really appreciate him keeping my parents safe and being a great friend. Losing a family member is not easy but knowing their story and impact makes grieving a bit more facile.
Thank you, Drake – Rest In Peace: March 14, 2002 – August 14, 2018