2008 Articles

“What Was It Like To Be Owned By Jake?”

“What was it like to be owned by Jake??”
by Ann and Jan Schlobohm

It was quite an experience. From day one he was a very stable, confident puppy who ruled the house and knew how to get what he wanted . . . so working with him was always a challenge, since it always seemed like he knew more than we did. This also made it extremely fun working with him because he was always willing to try anything we asked of him.

Jake had obedience titles (the RE rally one being earned at close to 13), agility titles, dabbled at weight pull at Nationals where he actually took top veteran pull and top veteran percentage a couple of years, but what he really excelled at was therapy work, herding, and taking care of us and his ‘private’ animal farm.

He was a natural at therapy work and we were always amazed at the reaction of patients to him – from his calming affect, utter joy brought, to being talked to by people who would never utter a word to anyone else. He was retired by us from his therapy work at over 14 1/2 when the slippery floors were causing some problems.

Jake loved to herd – didn’t matter if it was chickens, ducks, geese, goats, or sheep. It was amazing the power and presence the stock felt from such a gentle soul. We saw sheep that would try and go over fences when he walked into an arena to mothers with new borns that trusted him completely. Jake was always the ‘baby’ mover, since the moms never saw him as a threat, therefore, remaining calm and allowing Jake to come right up to their babies.

Although he would trial and had some spectacular moments (HIT at a French trial judged by a judge that came over from France, to HIT and RHIT on geese at an all-breed trial at age 13, to working 240 sheep on 40 acres) the thing we think he was born to do was pen work. He just loved squeezing in small places and moving stock, and since the stock totally trusted him, they would never challenge him or get upset.

Some of the best times we spent together (other than the sleeping at night, watching TV together, and just hanging out) were spent in the sheep pens working our tails off for 8 hours straight. At the ranch we worked at most, he knew the routine so well that all we had to do was open the pen gates and he would do the rest and put the sheep where they needed to be depending on what course was being used.

We will never, never forget Jake and will love him till the day we join him in heaven. Bode is now our one and only and we know that he will be loved the same way and if his ability today is any indication for the future, Jake will have taught him well and we may just have as much herding fun with him as we did with Jake.

Thank you Jake for teaching us so much and loving us so unconditionally and particularly for accepting Bode when you were already almost 14 – you played with him, taught him, and loved him – all we could have wished for.

Good-Bye till we meet again.
HTCH, U-CD White Wolf Wild & Free, CD, HI, OTDsd, NAJ, NJP, RN, RA, RE, TT, TDIA, WSXM
(06-06-93 — 03-10-08)