Jake the Dog

It’s never an easy thing to watch a dog fail and have to make the decision to put the dog down. And it wasn’t with Jake. For ten years, we had three dogs – acquiring each about a year apart. Not realizing, although of course this would be true, that they would leave us in the same way.

But it seemed harder with Jake than with Sophie. Jake was the “dog ”among the three. He was the dog that stayed outside. Always running through the electric fence to chase deer, but whining when he returned to have one of us walk out and take his collar off so he could get back across without getting shocked. Always the one for whom the neighbors called to say our dog was at their house.

Energetically it wasn’t just his passing but the weeks leading up to it – watching him fail and supporting him through old age. It changed the rhythm and energy of our home challenging first chakra balance.

Chakras run up our spine and serve as energetic centers that receive, assimilate and express the story of our emotional lives – our life force. The first chakra deals with self-preservation and security. The first chakra is where we make our home, where we feel safe in the security of our day-to-day existence. Jake was a heavy contributor to the energetic balance of our home.

We had warning with Jake and it was bitter sweet because we know he had a good life and an authentic life. Jake was very clear about his constitution. But the fabric of our lives was changed and the experience left us feeling somewhat ungrounded. For a few days, we looked for him when we drove up to the house. We woke up expecting to hear him barking outside. We watched the deer invade our yard without Jake to chase them off.

There are seven chakras that run up the spine. Each pertains to specific psychosocial issues. A lack of balance in the chakras can result in specific holding patterns in the body and create discomfort. Muladhara, the first or root chakra, pertains to the legs. Sure enough, an old hamstring injury started rearing its ugly head shortly after Jake starting failing.

First chakra balance gives us resiliency against the inevitable ebb and flow of life’s challenges. We hold on tight to our habits and patterns of daily living and when disrupted, we feel anxious and edgy. It may be harder to focus and concentrate. We are thrown out of balance.

We ate comfort food and I taught a lot of first chakra standing poses in yoga class. I wore my hematite crystal bracelet for a bit more grounding. I avoided placing myself in stressful situations or emotionally challenging interactions for a few days. Exercising self-compassion and taking care of your body and mind in a deliberate way allows us to bounce back more quickly.

I felt the need to honor Jake and to express my energy outward – to let go of the need to hold onto old energy patterns. Riley is still with us and it’s his time to be an only dog. In this era of social media, Jake was my cover photo. A Jake in his prime doing what Jake did best – catch Frisbees at full sprint. So I posted a few pictures of Jake at the end to let my friends know that Jake had a wonderful life. The comments were soothing and allowed some closure to the energetic fluctuation that wound its way through our home for a bit.

Rest in peace Jake – you were a good dog.

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