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Jon Stewart Talking About How Much He Loved His Dog Reminded Me How Much I Miss Mine

Jon Stewart told this story on The Daily Show last night and it's a beautiful way to remember his dog Dipper. It made me remember how much I missed my dog Wakefield who we put down a month ago. I've been meaning to write this blog since then but honestly didn't have the strength. I'm tearing up just writing this. But I don't think grief is a bad thing at all and I do want to talk about Wakefield. He was a really great dog. 

I found Wake on Petfinder. He was a puppy rescued from an Amish puppy mill (Damn you Jeff Nadu!) and was only 8 weeks old. The place that rescued him was called Lilac Groves Pampered Pups in Rye, New Hampshire. That's a godawful name but they did great work rescuing dogs from all over the country. I believe it was the wife of a pilot who had done well for themselves and she took this project on to help animals. I went to her house and she brought me over to meet Wakefield and his brother. His brother had two different color eyes which was cool (Although Max Scherzer never even crossed my mind. He only had 6 career wins at the time) but was also very needy.

Instead, I stuck with the unnamed dog I had gone there to see in the first place. He wasn't needy or jealous at all but still seemed like a great puppy. I named him Wakefield after the then-active Red Sox knuckleballer whose career and off the field charity work was always something I really admired.

Wake was instantly my guy. He grew to be 30 pounds and was a Pomeranian Husky. It's a pretty new breed so when I got him I was told he was a "mini-Golden Retriever" and would only be 15 pounds. But he was the perfect size. He was also so well-behaved. He didn't bark at all until he started losing his hearing a couple years ago.

He was with me through a break-up, a marriage, a divorce and ANOTHER marriage. He lived in New Hampshire, New York City, back to New Hampshire and then back again to NYC after I got the Barstool job. He climbed NH mountains and survived Hurricane Sandy. He's been in the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Winnipesaukee. He even took a shit on the lawn of the United Nations.

When I got divorced and put my stuff in a U-Haul and drove back to New Hampshire, Wake was my companion on that trip. I felt so low and like such a failure. It was Wakefield who kept my spirits up enough to make that trip.

He loved saying hello to people but hated saying goodbye. Few people in the world have been in at much peace as Wake would be feeling a cool breeze against his face. He was extra gentle with my grandparents and was there to comfort me when they passed away. Wake was just as kind when nieces and a nephew joined my family and would kiss them until we told him he had to stop. He always listened but would keep an eye on them to make sure they were OK.

At the lowest time in my life, I was this newly divorced 37 year old guy living in his friends basement for a few months while I tried to put my life back together again. I felt awful about myself. I had to start all over and I really wondered if I could or what the point even was. But I always had Wakefield to come home to and knowing I always had a friend waiting for me really helped get through those rough days.

As I mentioned, we had to put Wakefield down last month. I'm so blessed with all the good fortune that has happened to me over the past few years. I have an impossibly kind and supportive wife. I literally have a dream job. I was talking to Steven Cheah yesterday at the combine and we were in disbelief this was our job. I am so happy that I get to work with so many brilliant and talented people every day. We even have another dog that we got four years ago named Melfi and she is a wonderfully goofy Golden Retriever. Look how kind Wake was to Melfi when she was a pup.

But you know what? The apartment still feels so empty because my guy Wakefield isn't here. It feels like something is missing…because it is. I miss his little face, his excitement when I came home and watching movies with him. I even miss his awful breath.

He was 14 1/2 years old. It was clearly his time. It was a peaceful end for a dog who deserved nothing less. I could really relate to when Jon Stewart said in the clip above that his dog was tired and ready. But like him, I wasn't. I'm still not.

I know having a dog is nothing like having a kid and I hate when people make that comparison. It's unfair to dogs. They aren't people. But that's not the point. Dogs don't judge you and love you unconditionally. They are happy when you get home and want you to be happy when you are sad. They love us and all they ask in return is that we take care of them. It's a pretty great fucking trade.

Dave got Miss Peaches a couple weeks after we said goodbye to Wakefield. But even though it sucks dealing with grief, it's so heartwarming seeing a rescue dog get a new home. That's the thing about dogs and grief in general. I know that eventually the sadness will give way and the good memories will jump to the forefront of my mind. I was so happy that we added merchandise to help dog rescue organizations. Lilac Groves Pampered Pups may no longer be around but there are so many great dogs out there that can be helped.

I am so lucky to have such a gentle soul be my dog for 14 years. He was a great dog and an even better friend.

RIP Wakefield (5/28/09-1/27/24)