Before Jake there were Buffy and Max, and maybe even some other dogs that I’ve forgotten. And I know there was at least a trial period with a siamese cat in there somewhere.
But Jake was our childhood dog. He is an actor in all of my childhood memories: taking him out to pee late at night (with the attendant terror of being in the back yard late at night), the whistle that Dad used to call him, the times he would break all the rules and come upstairs under my bed during thunder storms, running away from home with Jake in tow (only lasted 2 hours until I gave up and went home).
I don’t remember Jake as being a particularly gallant dog. He was enthusiastic, smart, personable, gentle, eccentric. But not gallant. However in the pictures below, he looks like the most noble dog — a King of Dogs.
I took these pictures, and developed them myself (the scan is from a contact print) during a small period of my youth when I fancied myself a photographer. I have no idea how I got Jake to pose like this; he appears to be “looking on” on the way the fashion models do.
Eventually Jake developed cancers and other diseases that meant he had to be put down. I remember the day we took him to the vet for the last time. I’ve never been given to great emotion, but that was a sad, sad day.