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  • He filled a hole as he landed in my lap, little Rocky. He wasn’t the same. He was lighter, softer, younger than my Jake. The new pup needed the warmth of my body, as he missed his mother and litter mates. I loved him instantly, but my mind took me back to the spot where Jakey had been. I wept as I remembered the same room, the same brown carpet and fireplace, where Jake could no longer lift his head from his bed. It was as if I could still see Jake in this room. I could see his long muzzle, thin frame and old balding coat. I remembered the many bones chewed there on that carpet, balls tossed, Christmas stockings emptied, and our little game, where I touched his shoulder and then he touched mine. We played it over and over for years.

    On the last day as I wept at Jake’s side, he could no longer stand and lift his head. Jake took his last ounce of energy and put his paw on my shoulder. Raw, from the memory, I cried as I held the new pup, and hoped that my Jakey somehow knew he would never be replaced, and would always be remembered. His memory was still with me as I held the new little miracle that entered our lives.

    On the anniversary of Jake’s death, the new pup uncovered a bone in our yard and brought it to the door. I asked my son where Rocky found the bone, and my son said underneath the ceramic angel in the yard. I took that as a sign that Jake’s spirit was still with us, and with our new puppy.

    (Yes, it really happened on the anniversary of his death.)
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