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The scenery of Jake’s life changed dramatically when we went home. I am an artist by profession. At that time I was living on a very remote part of the northern California coast, where I enjoyed the solitude to create paintings which I shipped to galleries. Jake came to live with me on a mountaintop overlooking one of the most wild and rugged parts of the Pacific coast, known as “The Lost Coast”.

Below: Kevin and Jake (age 2) near their home on the Lost Coast.

Our nearest neighbor was over a mile away. Jake came to be my companion and partner, a dog who would go for help if I was injured in that remote forest, run beside my motorcycle on the five-mile trip down the rough headland to the beach, protect my elderly cat from bobcats and cougars.

By the time Jake was two, he was doing all those things and more. His endurance was astonishing. Jake was a big dog, 29 inches, and had grown up to be extremely powerful. But he had a grace and elegance that made him pure poetry to watch. From the time Jake was a little puppy he possessed marvelous coordination. He never slipped off-balance, never put a foot down wrong, even in the most extreme demands of athleticism. I have never witnessed another dog with the perfect combination of grace and power that made Jake magnificent.