As the National Anthem played over the loudspeakers, Jake proudly and steadily walked around the outdoor ring at Agape South,a rider sitting up and carrying the American flag as it fluttered out behind them.
There is no image more fitting of Jake’s legacy than this. His entire life has been one of service. He began with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Mounted Patrol at age two. At age 16, IMPD felt Jake was ready to leave the streets of Indianapolis and serve in a different way. That is when they reached out to Agape and Jake began serving here. His gentle spirit and quiet nature won over the hearts of all who met him within one session.
Just two weeks ago we sent out the call that Jake was ready to retire to a quiet green pasture where he could soak up the sun and make new friends. We worked closely with our vet due to some health concerns we had with Jake. With the support of our vet, the whole team at Agape agreed that the right decision was retirement and that he could comfortably live out his life on pasture. We reached out to all of you in hopes of finding that one special home that could care for him for the rest of his days. It was a decision we all supported, including our vet.
On Monday, Aug. 27, Jake’s health began to deteriorate rapidly and unexpectedly. He became reluctant to move, unable to bear much weight on one of his hind legs, and depressed. We treated him with both oral and topical pain medication, provided supportive care, and reached out to our vet. By Wednesday, we asked our vet to come out and see Jake. We knew that it may be time to let Jake be laid to rest. When our vet arrived, even he was surprised that Jake’s health had changed so rapidly. Many Agape staff were present. We all agreed that laying Jake to rest was the right decision for him and our vet supported that decision. We knew it was time.
We know this will come as a shock to all of you, especially since we were looking for his retirement home just two weeks ago. It can be difficult to process such great loss when it comes so quickly. Please know that all of us here at Agape are grieving right along side of you. In this time, we need to be gentle with each other. There will be a memorial in the Bradford Woods’s barn for Jake from 4 pm on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 until end of day on Wednesday, Sept. 12. We invite all of you to share your stories, pictures, memories, and love for Jake in this space. Pictures, flowers, and cards are all welcome.
While our hearts may be filled with sorrow, they should also be filled with love and joy, for Jake certainly brought great joy to all of us. If ever there was a shining gold lining in our lives, then surely it has been Jake and the service he freely gave to all of us each and every day of his life.
Rest in peace, sweet Jake.
3/1/2002 – 8/29/2018
Wendell Berry wrote of times like this, saying,
“Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.”