I know that this is very long, but Sneakers was very special to everyone that he came in contact with-loving everyone and giving love 100 times in return.
They called him "Jake" and he settled easily into the foster home although he continued to whimper gently around 2:30 PM each day. The Farquhars guessed that he was waiting for his "boy" to return from school. Jake could sit, shake a paw, and responded to several commands. Since February 1994, Jake lived with the Farquhars as they shared their home and love.
Jake was separated from
his family following the January 17th earthquake that had devastated parts of
Northridge, California. He had waited in the Chatsworth Animal Shelter for over
a month to be reunited with his family but to no avail. When his family failed
to find him, the 8 year old dog was scheduled to die.
PAL members changed all
that when they rescued dogs from the Chatsworth shelter after affiliate contacts
from Best Friends had asked for help. PAL then asked VHBCC for their help in
fostering the Border Collie and "Jake" then found a home with the
Farquhars. (VHBCC is now Highland Border Collie Club of Southern CA)
AND SO JAKE'S LIFE WAS SPARED.
Unknown to anyone in the high desert including the Farquhars themselves, Jake's family had been looking for him, desperately. The Gilberts of Granada Hills, CA believed that their beloved dog Sneakers had been crushed in rubble or perhaps taken in by someone. The had searched relentlessly, posting signs and checking animal shelters.
During this time, Bobbie Farquhar (BCR) and Pam Giffin had also made hundreds of flyers with "Jake's" picture and sent them to the earthquake area hoping to find his family. According to Eddie, the Gilbert's teenage son (and the boy for whom Jake faithfully waited day after day), "the family eventually became aware that Sneakers had been taken to the shelter when one of the lost dog posters was seen in a vet's office by people who had given him temporary shelter." The people called to see if the Gilberts had retrieved their dog and for the first time, the Gilberts knew that Sneakers was still very much alive. After rechecking with the shelter, the Gilberts were able to make contact with the Farquhars who listened to a description of Sneakers that sounded remarkably like their Jake. Arrangements were made for the Gilberts to drive to El Mirage to see Jake. Eddie said that when he got out of the car and walked toward the Farquhar's house, he heard a dog barking in the background and knew that he had found his Sneakers. As they entered the house, Sneakers (aka Jake) ran straight into Eddie's waiting arms without a word.
In a letter to the
Farquhars from Jeff Gilbert, he writes, "We just cannot thank you wonderful
folks enough for all you did for Sneakers and for finding us. I don't think I'll
forget last Thursday evening as long as I live."
Until September 1994, Sneakers was home with his long lost family. During that time the Gilberts found out their home would not be livable until late in 1995. The temporary home with friends had come to an end. They knew that they had a very hard decision to make. They knew that they could not put Sneakers into a kennel for a year. They didn't want to give him up again. But toward the end of September they knew the only thing was to ask the Farquhars for help. The Farquhars received Sneakers with open arms. Bobbie knew that Sneakers had been raised with children and wanted to see him in another home with children.
So Sneakers found a home with the Randalls and their two children. But Sneakers had his own idea of where he wanted to live, so he left to return to the Farquhars. Crossing the Tri-states borders a number of times. Flyers were again posted. Sneakers was caught by the Needles Animal Control (CA) and a call was placed to the Randalls (in AZ). Sneakers was such a loving dog, that the animal control officers played with him while waiting for Mrs. Randall.
During this play time, Sneakers decided to try again to find the Farquhars. SO OFF HE RAN, OUT RUNNING THE OFFICERS! He crossed the river again into Arizona. (There is no record or knowledge if he made a trip into Laughlin, Nevada. He seems to know what he wants and must not be a gambler).
The next home he found was with a Minister and his family in Arizona. They had two teenage children. This family saw the poster and the Randalls were again contacted.
By this time, the decision was for Sneakers to return to the Farquhars and live the remainder of his life with them. So, in November Sneakers returned to the Farquhars and where he became "Jake's Sneakers." He has become a part of their family. He loves the acreage to play and romp with his younger playmate "Velvet" and has no plans to leave his family or home in El Mirage, California.
Sneakers "Second Year"
When Sneakers returned to our home after his traveling days, he settled right into our home and lifestyle. He loved playing with Velvet (11 month old female Border Collie). We named him Jake's Sneakers (the name we gave him when he came to us - Jake and the name he had prior to the earthquake--Sneakers). He responds to both names equally. The first Christmas was exciting for all of us. Both Sneakers and Velvet loved their presents.
Sneakers first trip away from home was during April 1995. He attended the American Pet Fair. He loved visiting with all the other Border Collie people and their dogs. But mostly, he enjoyed all the nice treats that everyone offered him. At the end of the day, tired and happy, the ride home was much appreciated.
Summer arrived and so did a new puppy by the name of Cherry to the household. Gosh, Mom, isn't one female enough? But, as the gentleman Sneakers is, he welcomed the new pup with all her energy! Never realizing that she would try and control the whole house, and even him!
Christmas 1995, was
another fun and exciting day with another puppy in the house. Sneakers opened
his present nice and slow! What a well behaved gentleman! Cherry ripped hers
open and then on to Sneakers. As the sweetheart that he is, he just backed up
and let her go at it. After all the presents were open and Cherry was asleep,
Sneakers just took his new toys to
As the American Pet Fair is just around the corner again for 1996, Jake's Sneakers will not be attending this year!! Early April he had to visit Dr. Mike. What a scare it was for all of us. After surgery (thank goodness, Dr. Mike could take care of it), he came home to rest and recover. So, no enjoying the people, the dogs and naturally all the treats.
But, just wait until next year! He'll be up and moving again! So, he hopes that you will remember that he was a little under the weather and couldn't come and visit -- so double up next year on the treats!
Between the tears, I will bring everyone up on Sneakers.
He woke me up at 3:30 am wanting to go outside and proceeded to take me out to the livestock. Stopped to get a cool drink of water, checking out all the livestock, giving our cats C-4 & Smokey a little chase, then back to house he led me. He wasn't one to get up on the coach with me as Velvet & Cherry are good at, but this morning he climbed on the couch and laid his head on my lap. We both fell asleep. At 4:45 am I tried to get off the couch and return to bed, but he keep pawing me and laying his head on my lap, so I petted him while he made his toy go squeak. He licked me all over and at 5:15 am he took his last breath.
Sneakers went to the big pasture filled with sheep in the sky at 5:15 this morning.
I cannot thank everyone enough for your supporting love during this time- Sneakers will always be with me -- in mind & heart everyday!
He wasn't able to make the American Pet Fair this year but he was the main color picture in our club's educational book for the Border Collie Rescue section.
Sneakers was laid to rest near Major's (my Arabian Stallion that Sneakers always made sure that he was confined to his corral -- but that is another story) corral under a large shade tree. Some of the local folks think we are kind of off, since my husband has always made special caskets for my animals and we have a regular burial. But, as I say, each to their own ways. So, a second time this year, my husband made a casket, lining it with Sneakers' favorite blanket, chew bone and all his toys & including the ones I had been buying for this coming Christmas. Just before we sealed his casket, my 6 year old granddaughter came running screaming wait, wait. She came running with Sneakers' water & food bowls telling everyone that it was toooooo hot and he might get hungry and thirsty. So my husband placed these alongside Sneakers. My animals are very much part of our family, so they deserve only the best even when they return home to their maker. The 4-H club woodworking boys are making a special headstone for Sneakers. It is a wooden BC, painted to match Sneaker's markings, with his name and DOB & DOP. (They had made a number of headstones for me in the past.)
Thank you Sneakers.