Roeckl’s Black Jake
Therapy Dog

1985 - 1997

All photos, artwork, and text in this website are copyrighted. © Kevin Roeckl

This article was written when the DOBERMAN ANNUAL asked me to write about Jake for their "Greats From The Past" feature in the 2002 issue.

A “Great from the Past”. It’s hard to think of Jake being in the past since I carry his beloved memory with me every day. But “Great” certainly describes him.
What was it that made Jake great? In his lifetime Jake did almost every kind of work that a dog can do, and did it well. He carried the outstanding attributes of the Doberman to the highest level. Jake excelled in beauty, intelligence, and courage, and with his many other talents he was a companion beyond compare.

When I acquired Jake I knew virtually nothing about Dobermans. I had never even owned a dog before. I knew only one other Doberman, and I decided to get one because I thought they were the most beautiful dogs I had ever seen. Little did I know that I was in for the ride of my life.
I intended to purchase a pup from the newspaper, thinking that a purebred dog would cost me about $50. I was visiting my folks in southern California and I heard about a litter of three black males sired by a Champion. I was shocked at the price, but when I went to see the litter --- big, healthy, shiny pups --- their quality was unmistakeable even to my untrained eyes. I picked out the puppy with the blue collar because I like blue.

I was spending two winter months in the bustling resort towns of southern California: visiting friends and family, hiking on the beaches, sipping coffee in sidewalk cafes. Young Jake, an outgoing little boy who loved people, went everywhere with me. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the best possible socialization a dog could have.

Jake with a young friend on the Laguna Beach boardwalk