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The nearest town on the Lost Coast was Petrolia, a tiny ranching community nestled in the beautiful green Mattole valley. The Mattole River, a scenic river of gravel rapids and deep sinks, perfect for swimming in the summertime. Jake and I often hiked the ten miles to Petrolia and back. We explored the rugged coastal terrain, tried new things, pushed limits. I was adventurous and fit, testing my manhood. Jake, my capable partner, was given many opportunities to prove his potential.
Jake performed a real-life version of the things dogs are tested on when they compete in Obedience, Agility, Tracking, Field Trials, and Lure Coursing. Dogs in the Agility ring have far more room for error than when Jake was asked to jump high barbed wire fences, while I climbed over the gates. No Obedience dog has fetched a dumbell as heavy or challenging as when Jake brought garden-shears to me up on a ladder, or carried a small suitcase through a busy airport. Jake had a great will to work. When he was asked to do something, he would listen intently, making sure he had every bit of information, then go off immediately to perform the task, and come back when it was done. He prided himself on doing his work with perfection.
Many times Jake used his scenting ability (and deductive reasoning) to find lost items , like car keys that were misplaced at a picnic. He was invaluable to me in locating our cat who was allowed to get out of our car at Rest Areas when we travelled, but who was not so fond of getting back in.

Rounding up Louie the cat.

Carrying in groceries.

These are just a few examples of the many services Jake performed, and the way he excelled at every type of work. He was used for real-life sight-hunting, and singlehandedly brought down three deer. He easily outswam Retrievers when going after sticks in the river, and tested his strength and confidence in rough ocean surf. Jake was an exceedingly powerful swimmer who demonstrated his swimming abilities in remarkable ways.......