Status: sequel to Adamas
Warnings: Domestic Discipline, dog angst
Summary: A dog changes the lives of three men.
Archive: Let me know first.
Disclaimers: No copyright infringement is intended. The X-Files belong to the Fox Network and Chris Carter and 1013 Productions and basically not me.
Notes: Thank you Ursula for the beta and her infinite patience. The word "Diamond" comes from the Greek word "Adamas", which means indestructible.
My big mouth kept us from finding Alex a suitable dog. If I hadn't teased him, we would have found a dog sooner.
We started the search right away. Alex was very excited and I admit I was pretty excited myself. My parents had always refused to let me have a pet and then the apartment I use to rent was too small. That was why I had fish.
The first place we visited was in West Virginia. They were very picky about who they placed a dog with. Their theory was, that although a dog might have a natural inclination toward detecting changes in an epileptic didn't mean that dog was a suitable choice for just anyone. They matched the dog with the person and vice versa. No one came in and walked out with a dog the first day.
We arrived at the training facility to meet with the trainer and owner, Sandy Jones. After our interview, we went to meet some of the dogs. I was surprised at the sheer number of various breeds.
Sandy stressed the fact that seizure-alerting behavior was not trainable. That seizure alerting behavior is a naturally occurring behavior. She went on to explain they believed that some dogs develop seizure-alerting behaviors as the bond between the owner and the dog deepens, but it is unknown why some dogs develop alerting behaviors while others just continue with assisting after the seizure begins.
It was during our tour that a beautiful small sable and white collie approached us. The dog briefly acknowledged Walter and me, but focused its big brown eyes on Alex right away.
"This is Jake," Sandy said. "He is a pure breed Sheltie, but he went way oversized, so the breeder donated him to our facility since she couldn't show or breed him. He's been with us awhile."
"How come?" I asked.
"Jake is very skilled and he has been able to sense a seizure up to thirty minutes before they occur."
"With that kind of record, I'm surprised he's still here," Walter commented. He was listening to Sandy, but was watching Alex wander around the room checking out the other dogs.
"Until we find him a match, it's just a job. Experience has shown our trainers that true alerting behavior is the result of the dog and human developing a very close bond. That bond strengthens as time passes and mutual trust develops. But some sort of bond must be there to begin with. We take great pride in letting a potential client and a dog chose one another." Sandy turned solemn eyes toward Jake.
"Jake will assist anyone with a seizure and alert us, but that is as far as it goes. Afterwards, Jake just heads back to his kennel. Jake has not shown any inclination towards bonding with anyone." She was shaking her head when she continued, "I'm not sure if he ever will."
Jake was very interested in Alex, but Alex ignored him in favor of the lab pups romping around the room. He sat down on the floor and was soon covered in little tail-wagging pups. Alex actually giggled. Who would of thought a big bad assassin would giggle about puppies.
We thanked Sandy and asked to be put on the list for any new graduate she thought might be a potential match for Alex.
"It was a little too optimistic to think we would find a dog at the first place we checked." Walter was trying unsuccessfully to wipe the frown from Alex's face.
"What about Jake, Alex? He seemed awfully interested in you."
"Which one was Jake?" Alex asked.
"The big Sheltie that followed you around and you ignored."
"Oh. That's a girl's dog."
"Alex, dog breeds are not gender specific." Walter added.
"I want a dog that reflects my personality."
"What kind of dog would that be?"
"I don't know, for sure. Maybe a Rottweiler or a Pit Bull, because they have to be able to protect me if something happened." Alex seemed quite proud of his reasoning. I couldn't help but tease him a little.
"Jake could do that. Just think, Walter and I would be at the house and Jake would come running in, barking and trying to get us to follow him. And Walter would ask him, 'What is it, boy? Did Alex fall in the well?' " I busted up laughing at my joke. I could tell Walter was trying to hold back his laughter, but he couldn't hide his smirk well enough.
"What the hell is that suppose to mean?" Our little rat was getting pissed. I laughed even harder.
"Come on Alex. Didn't you ever watch Lassie when you were a kid? Timmy was always getting into trouble and Lassie had to save him." Walter had to answer Alex; I was too busy laughing.
"That's enough, Fox." Walter said and then busted up laughing. Alex pouted the rest of the way home.
Shortly after my illness, I had resigned from the bureau. I told Walter that I was going to write. He laughed and said with my creative writing skills I would be hit in the science fiction genre. My feelings were slightly hurt at first, but then I realized he was right.
I let Walter take care of disciplining Alex. We had talked about it and I just couldn't bring myself to hurt Alex in anyway. I also felt free of my own cumbersome past and all I wanted to do now was have fun and enjoy my lovers. It wasn't fair to Walter. Alex was strong willed and had taking to arguing with Walter about the rules lately.
It was borne of frustration and anxiety, but it put a strain on our relationship. I constantly tried to lighten the mood by joking and teasing Alex and I can see now, that was just adding fuel to the fire.
Alex was getting brattier by the day. His mood swings kept Walter and I on our toes and we never knew what we were going to say that would set Alex off. His seizures had slowly increased over the last month, but I thought maybe it was do to the stress of not having found a dog. We found out differently, when Walter suggested Alex go back to the doctor.
"We need to take you to the doctor. Your seizures have increased in frequency and duration. Until we find a dog, you may have to increase your medicine if the doctor suggests it."
"No, I'm not going to the doctor. And I'm not taking anymore medicine." Alex stood firm with his arms crossed and fixed Walter with his best assassin glare. Walter countered with his own intimidating look.
The battle of wills was on. Walter let Alex get by with open defiance on a lot of things, but drew the line where his health was concerned. I snuck out of the room long enough to retrieve Alex's bottle of pills. It was full even though it was nearing time for a refill.
Walter had started letting Alex take his medicine without supervision. I understood the philosophy behind giving him more responsibility would help Alex become more responsible. I guess, in this instance, it didn't work.
I walked back into the battlefield, where Walter and Alex were still engaged in their glare contest. I tossed the almost full bottle at Walter, then stood back waiting for the sparks to fly. It didn't take long before Walter's eyes narrowed at the realization Alex had stopped taking the medication.
"Alex, when was the last time you took you pills?" Walter asked. Alex visibly gulped at being caught.
"I don't know." Alex was no longer glaring at Walter. He was finding the carpet much more interesting.
"I ask you every morning if you have taken your medicine. Were you lying to me then or now? And Alex, think very carefully before you answer."
He looked at me for help, but this time I backed Walter. "Why did you lie about taking your pills?" I asked.
Alex was trapped. No matter the excuse, he knew he was wrong. All his early defiance drained out of him.
"I hate you." With that, Alex knocked the bottle of pills out of my hand and fled the room. I could hear him stomping up the stairs and then a door slam.
Fox turned solemn hazel eyes at me. "He didn't mean it, Walter. He's upset and frustrated."
"I know he didn't mean it, but that doesn't stop it from hurting," I replied. Fox wrapped his arms around me, pulling me tight against his chest. I have always been the one to comfort them and despite the reason, it felt nice not to be the strong one for once. I let my tears flow freely. I couldn't help but wonder if I was failing Alex somehow.
It felt weird at first, having Walter crying in my arms. Walter is such solid presence in our lives. As the thought passed through my mind, I saw how much advantage we take of Walter everyday. Alex and I both heap a lot of burden on Walter's broad shoulders to keep our household running smoothly.
Walter hadn't spanked Alex in a long while. He decided to start having Alex write lines as a punishment. It served two purposes. One, as his punishment and two, as a focusing exercise. Alex was still easily distracted and the writing helped him concentrate on one thing for long periods of time. It also helped Walter. He hated spanking Alex and it broke his heart to hear Alex sob and beg forgiveness.
Alex took to writing lines with relish. But I think, in a way, he missed the spankings too. Not that they didn't hurt. I will never forget the spanking Walter administered to my ass, but when Walter spanks Alex, his entire world is narrowed down to just Alex alone. Nothing else exists outside of it.
I also had a little problem with getting turned on by spankings, even Alex's. Although his crying broke my heart, the sight of his crimson ass, just made me want to fuck him through the mattress. Walter and I had a long discussion about it. So because Walter didn't want to blur the lines, we decided it was best if I didn't participate in the physical discipline, neither as giving or receiving a spanking. But that added more to Walter's burden. I finally realized that leaving Walter as the sole disciplinarian was unfair. He had to be strict, while I could just sit back and enjoy life. I guess I'm just as spoiled as Alex.
Walter took a deep shuddering breath and heaved himself out of my arms. He sat beside me with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands.
"What am I doing wrong?" Walter sounded despondent. I put my arm around his shoulders and leaned against him.
"Nothing. You're doing everything you can. Walter, you're the foundation of our relationship. Without you, Alex and I would have destroyed each other emotionally. I know I could never do what you do for Alex. He's come so far; this is just a little set back. Okay?"
"I don't know. Alex's never lied to me before. It was the one thing I thought could count on, his honesty. If he is lying about taking his medication, what else is he lying about?"
I didn't have a chance to respond.
"I...I'm sorry. I didn't mean it, Walter." Alex stood at the bottom of the stairs, one arm wrapped around his waist and he was chewing on the nails of the other. I could tell he had been crying. As beautiful as he is, Alex is not a pretty crier. His eyes get puffy and bloodshot and his little upturned nose turns red and always runs. When his fingers finally left his mouth, his bottom lip was swollen, but not in an attractive way.
"You lied to me, Alex. How do you expect me to trust anything you say now?" Walter's voice was steady, but I could see the tears glistening in his eyes.
"I feel like I'm failing you somehow. Tell me what I'm doing wrong."
"Nothing. You're not doing anything wrong. Please, Walter, you take good care of me."
"Then why did you feel the need to lie? You know how important honesty is in a relationship."
"I thought if my seizures got bad enough, finding a dog would be your top priority." Alex had moved further into the room. He was ringing his hands together and there were tears streaming down his face.
"Damn it, Alex, your health is my top priority, not some dog. I know you're frustrated about finding a dog, but that is no excuse to lash out. It's no excuse to lie. Your words hurt, just as much as fists. You've broken our trust."
"Please, Walter. I didn't mean it. I love you. I swear, I didn't mean it."
"How can I be sure you're not lying now?"
"I'm not lying. I swear. Please Walter, I'm not lying." Alex walked over and draped himself over Walter's lap.
Walter was back in control. I knew it was time for me to leave the room. I sent an apologetic look at Walter and headed outside.
I looked down at Alex draped across my thighs, already prepared for a spanking. I pulled his jeans and boxers down around his thighs.
"What is this spanking for?"
"My hurtful words and lying to you and Fox."
"For not talking to you about my feelings."
"Not taking my medicine."
I peppered his bottom with a series of quick smacks. Alex didn't put up his usual resistance. Normally, I had to restrain him a bit, but this time, he lay passively across my knees.
"Alex?" I wasn't sure how to ask him why he was taking his spanking so well. Alex started sobbing more. We had barely begun and he was crying more than he ever had before.
"What's wrong, baby?" I rolled him up into my arms and rocked him until his sobs faded enough for him to answer.
"I...I hurt you. I deserve to be spanked. Hard." He cried out. His sobbing renewed. I hated to spank him when he was this distraught, but I knew we shouldn't put it off. I gently rolled him back, face down across my knees.
I spanked him long and hard. I could feel the heat coming off his enflamed bottom. Alex needed to learn; his health was important to me and should be to him as well. As was his honesty. I couldn't tolerate deceit, in any way or for any reason.
When I finished the spanking, I held Alex for a long time, telling him how much I loved him and he was forgiven. I eased his jeans and boxers all the way off him and then picked him up and carried him to our bed. I settled him in and went to get the aloe. After I had smoothed the cooling gel on, I stretched out beside him. I brushed the tears that were still falling from his sorrowful green eyes.
I tugged Alex on top of me, hoping his favorite position would offer him more comfort. Alex kept crying; I could feel his hot tears on my chest until he slipped off to sleep.
Fox peeked his head around the door. "Is everything okay?" he asked. I nodded and he entered the room.
"Are you sure you can handle being here?" I asked him.
"About that, I'm really sorry. I'm a grown man and need to learn to handle my reactions better." Fox rubbed his hand along Alex's back and then laced his finger with mine. "I'm going to help out more, maybe between the two of us, we can get Alex back on track. I'm sorry I've been leaving all the hard stuff to you."
We headed back to the first facility again. Sandy had called and she thought she had found a dog that might pair well with Alex. Alex was pretty excited. He was sure he would find his dog this time. I tried not to let him get his hopes up, but nothing would dissuade him.
Alex jumped from the car before I had time to put it in park. I told him to wait and we would all go in together. Sandy greeted us at in the lobby with a sweet-faced Golden Retriever she introduced as Carson.
Sandy motioned Fox and I to follow her, so Alex and Carson could get acquainted. We chatted a while about training and follow-up visits. Fox asked about the cost. Sandy said they didn't sell seizure-alert dogs and many clients did fundraising to offset to financial cost of training the dogs, but a donation to the facility would be welcome.
I was wondering how Alex and Carson were getting along. I looked around and saw Alex lying on the floor with Jake on top of him. Sandy called for Jake to move away as we approached.
Jake may look sweet, but there was no mistaking the menace in that growl.
"I'm so sorry. Jake is never like this," Sandy said.
"Is Alex in danger?" Fox said.
I held Fox's hand as we watched Alex's seizure run its course. Jake never once made a move to relinquish his position. When Alex's seizure was over and he fell into sleep, Jake finally moved and let us to Alex's side.
I lifted Alex and carried him into the office. Sandy directed me to the large couch along the back wall. Jake stayed at my side. He never took his eyes off of Alex. Sandy tried to take possession of him by grabbing for his collar, but Jake darted out of her reach.
Once Alex was settled, Jake jumped up on the couch and nestled up against him. He didn't growl anymore, but he didn't offer to move either.
"I really am sorry about this, Mr. Skinner. Jake is usually very passive and almost aloof to most everyone," Sandy said.
"I'm just glad Alex is okay. We wouldn't have been able to do anything, if Jake had turned on him." I could tell how upset Fox was by the tone of his voice.
Something was tugging at my thoughts, but ignored it. I just tried to calm my heartbeat down. Alex was safe. Alex was safe.
That was it. I turned to Fox, "Nobody would have been able to do anything to Alex. Jake was protecting him."
"Protecting him? From us?"
"Not just us. Everybody. Don't you see, Fox? If we hadn't been here, Alex would have still been safe. Jake was doing his job. Protecting Alex."
"You're right. Jake has chosen Alex. I was starting to think Jake would never be paired up with someone." Sandy piped in. "This is fantastic."
She was beaming with excitement. I was too; our search was finally over. Leave it to Fox to point out what we both had missed.
"But Alex didn't chose Jake. Walter, you know how he feels about it." Fox looked at Sandy. "Alex doesn't feel like Jake fits his personality. It's my fault, I kept teasing him with Lassie jokes."
"Nonsense. Once he finds out how loyal and protective Jake is towards him, he'll want Jake. How could he not?"
"Alex is spoi...stubborn." Fox quickly amended his statement at my sharp look. He was right of course, but Sandy didn't need to know it.
"What happened? Did I have a seizure?" Alex was trying to sit up, but Jake wouldn't let him rise too quickly. Alex sometimes gets dizzy and disoriented waking from his after seizure nap; somehow Jake knew this. Alex patted Jake on the head then pushed him off the couch. Jake obediently moved to the floor, but planted himself next to Alex's legs.
"Yes, baby, you did, but Jake took care of you and protected you." I replied. I tried finger combing some errant hair back into place. Alex leaned into my hand, even though he still didn't remember the seizures, we had told him how much they scared us.
"Yeah, Jake wasn't about to let anyone, not even us near you, until the seizure was over." Fox encouraged, but we both knew how Alex felt about the dog.
"Alex? Jake has chosen you, wouldn't you like him to be your companion." Sandy asked.
"Not really. I think I will wait for a more suitable dog." Alex replied. He sounded more like someone buying a car than choosing a life companion. As much as I wanted the search over with, it was ultimately Alex's decision.
We had just pulled out into the street. We heard a loud barking and a door slam. All three of us turned around and saw Jake running at full speed towards our car.
"Stop the car!" I shouted.
Walter slammed on the brakes, throwing us all against our seat belts. Jake caught up to the car and started jumping up at the back door where Alex was sitting. I could see Sandy running towards us.
Alex opened his door. Jake jumped in and settled down beside Alex. When Sandy reached our car, she was out of breath, but we could see the excitement in her face.
"Thank you for stopping." Sandy looked at Jake, happily lying next to Alex with his head piled on top of Alex's lap. She shook her finger at him. "Jake, bad boy."
"I'm really sorry about this gentlemen. Jake didn't want Alex to leave. Maybe in time, Jake will get over the rejection."
Damn, she was good and I could tell it was working. Alex cupped his hand under Jake's snout and tilted his face up to look in his eyes.
"Do you want to be my dog?" Jake answered with a swipe of his tongue.
Walter turned the car around and we went back to the office to fill out the needed paperwork. Thank god, the search was finally over. Now our lives could get back to normal.
Alex insisted Jake be allowed to sleep in our bedroom. His suggestion didn't go over well with Walter. The big softy that he is, Walter relented when faced with Alex and Jake's pouts. Who knew a dog could pout?
We fixed a pallet for Jake in the corner of the room. Walter made sure to emphasize Jake was not allowed on the bed.
"Where are we going to put him when we have sex?" I had to ask. During the great dog search, our sex life had dwindled down to nothing. It was time to celebrate and I knew how I wanted the celebration to happen. And I, for one, didn't want an audience during sex.
"I guess we will have to put him in the hall and shut the door." Walter answered. He looked like he hadn't thought that far ahead.
"Kind of takes the spontaneity out of it." I shot Walter a remorseful look. Owning a dog was a lot more complicated than I thought.
"I think we can manage. In fact," Alex licked his lips, "why don't I put Jake out in the hall right now."
Alex was back in the game and a happy, horny Alex was a personal favorite of mine. I looked over at Walter. He had a leering grin on his face and a large bulge in his jeans. I guess he also liked Alex's suggestion.
Alex had barely closed the door, before we were all naked and on the bed. Walter settled back and watched as Alex prepped me and then slid inside me. He was content for the moment to watch and idly stroke his cock. He leaned up and kissed Alex, who moaned into his mouth and started thrusting harder.
I felt a hand snake underneath me and grip my aching cock. I opened my eyes to see
Walter's position placed his dripping erection directly in my face.
"Mmm, Walter, that looks good... can I have a taste?" I panted, licking my lips.
"I thought you'd never ask," moaned Walter, and he moved so I could easily reach his hardness, but he could keep on stroking me.
"Nnn..." Walter started stroking faster when he felt my mouth engulf him and deep-throat him.
Alex drove into me faster and harder, as I begged for more. Soon he was thrusting with all his strength. Each thrust drove my erection into the caress of Walter's hand, and I had to concentrate hard to keep pleasuring him. All that existed in my world was pleasure, and heat, and cocks. Life was good.
I was the first to surrender to completion; I moaned around Walter's length as both my lovers took me over the edge. I gripped the sheets as I covered Walter's hand with my cum.
The vibrations from my moan must have stimulated Walter to completion. Groaning our names, he filled my mouth, and slumped back against the sheets. Alex thrust again and again, until he froze and then I felt his hot seed pumping into me.
Sweaty, sticky, trembling and spent, we collapsed onto the bed.
"I thought Jake was suppose to respond to Alex's seizures not his orgasms." I was not amused. Shrill barking had interrupted my post-coital bliss. Whoever bred Shelties to bark so loud, ought to be strung up by their balls.
It was Friday night when the accident happened. Fox and Alex had gone to the movies. I opted out, not really wanting to sit through another one of their sci-fi flicks. Besides it was nice to have an evening to myself.
I love my boys, but with three of us living here, there was always something going on. Someone always seems to need my undivided attention. My two young lovers are very high maintenance, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.
Jake was wiggling around my legs begging to go out. I put him out the back door, but that wasn't enough. He started barking. And when Jake barks, you and everyone in a tri-state area can hear it.
When I opened the door, intending to tell him to shut up, Jake darted back inside and headed to the front door. Now I knew what he wanted. A walk.
'Oh well,' I thought to myself. It was a nice fall evening.
We walked to the park and did a couple of laps around the designated walking track. After about an hour, we headed back home.
I'm still not completely sure what actually happened. One minute I had Jake's leash in my hand and the next I heard a loud thud and Jake cry out.
I rushed to his side. He wasn't moving, but he was awake. Our neighbor, Paul Phillips came running out of his house to see what happened. I wasn't sure what to do. If Jake were human, I would call an ambulance and not move him. But Jake needed to be moved out of the street. I asked Paul to watch him and I ran to get the car.
Moving Jake was going to be risky for both of us. I put a makeshift muzzle on Jake, and we gently moved him onto the blanket I carried in the trunk for emergencies.
We lifted Jake and placed him in the back seat. Paul gave me directions to the animal emergency clinic. On the way I called Fox on his cell phone.
"Hey, Walter. What's up?"
"Fox, listen. There's been an accident. I need you to bring Alex and meet me at the animal emergency clinic on Fifth."
"I think Jake was hit by a truck, but I didn't actually see what happened. I'll explain more when you get here. But, hurry." I gave Fox the directions. "Fox, try to keep Alex calm, this may be bad."
The prognosis wasn't good. The swelling of Jake's lower back was preventing the veterinarian from discovering why Jake was not responding to any stimuli to his hind legs. The first set of X-rays showed no damaged to the spinal cord and no breaks in his legs or hips. Jake showed no signs of being in pain, even when the veterinarian poked a needle in his back paws. He started Jake on an IV to bring the swelling down.
Jake wouldn't respond to the veterinarian or me. He wasn't in shock and his blood pressure was good, but we couldn't rouse him to drink and he showed no response to my voice. The vet started him on another IV to keep him hydrated. They had shaved both his front legs to insert the IV's then put him in a cage to rest while we waited for Alex and Fox to arrive.
Jake raised his head and looked toward the door. It was the most alert we had seen him since I brought him in. Alex and Fox rushed into the room. Jake couldn't wag his tail, but we could clearly see joy reflected in his chocolate brown eyes, that Alex was finally there.
Alex climbed into the kennel cage they had place Jake in. There was barely enough room for both of them, but Alex somehow manage to lift Jake's head and rest it in his lap.
I explained to them what little we knew so far, trying to remain calm and just keep to the facts. Alex appeared to ignore me, although I could see the tension in his shoulders, even as he spoke softly to Jake.
We spent the night there. Alex dozed off for a while, still crammed into the kennel and Jake's head resting in his lap.
By the next morning the swelling had gone down considerably, but Jake still didn't respond to any stimulus to his back legs, tail or feet. They took in him for another set of X-rays. This set revealed the problem. Although his spine wasn't severed, his back was broken in two separate places. Large fragments of the broken pieces could be seen along the spine. Surgery wasn't an option, because the bone fragments could not be fused back to the spine.
The veterinarian said Jake would probably never walk again. He strongly recommended that we "put Jake down". The euphemisms society has come up with for killing a creature are odd. "Euthanize;" "put down;" "put to sleep." That last one is what we used when I was growing up. I'm amazed we didn't have more trouble going to bed at night.
Alex wouldn't hear of it. He had remained calm during the weekend, but upon hearing the veterinarians recommendation, Alex finally broke down and cried.
Fox held our distraught lover while he sobbed hysterically. The vet looked on sympathetically. Fox led Alex over to Jake, where he was still lying on the examination table, while the veterinarian took me aside.
"I understand this is a hard decision, but you should understand the difficulties in caring for a disabled dog. Jake will suffer from incontinence and you will have to help him express his bladder.
"What do you mean 'express'," I interrupted. Doctor Jones was explaining it as best he could, but my mind kept wandering back to my two lovers. Fox may have been comforting Alex, but I could see how upset he was too.
"Jake cannot relieve himself. Being paralyzed, he cannot contract his muscles to urinate or defecate on his own. He will need someone to help him with both bodily functions and he will need physical therapy to keep his muscles from atrophying. Jake will be an invalid. His quality of life will be diminished considerably, especially since he is a therapy dog."
"Can you guarantee he will never get better?"
"No. There's always a small percentage of hope, but it takes a committed individual to keep up with the therapy and even then it may not work. Jake will have to be carried in a sling or you will have to invest in a wheel chair. Many owners chose to have the animal put down. It's the best decision all around."
"I'll talk to Alex, but it won't be easy to convince him what is best for Jake."
I found Fox and Alex back in the examination room. Alex had calmed down and climbed on the table. He was holding Jake in his lap. Jake looked alert and surprisingly happy. I told them what the veterinarian had said.
"No." Alex was calm but adamant. I tried to explain the difficulties Jake would face, but Alex would hear none of it.
"Jake is my best friend. He wouldn't give up on me and I won't give up on him. Please, Walter, don't let them kill him." Alex pleaded.
"We can do this, Walter. Jake's family. If it had happened to one of us there wouldn't even be a question." Fox said.
Fox was right. Jake was family and we would face this together. We wrapped Jake up in his blanket and carried him out to the car. Alex placed him in the back seat and crawled in beside him. As we drove home, Fox and I could hear Alex murmuring assurances to Jake. Fox's eyes were brimming with tears. Both our hearts were breaking for the two friends in the back.
Alex fixed up a pallet on the floor near the bed for Jake. We had all the medicines lined up on the nightstand.
The first night was the worst. Jake could not keep anything down for long. The medicine we had to swab on Jake's back to keep the swelling down smelled horribly of garlic and was making him sick. Each time he vomited, Alex would patiently clean him up, change the bedding and then settle back down beside Jake. I didn't like Alex sleeping in the floor, but he said he needed to be near enough to know when Jake needed him.
I was surprised at Alex's diligence. He rarely left Jake's side. Alex never once complained about cleaning up Jake, nor asked for our help. But we helped anyway. Jake was our friend too.
Fox planted himself in front of the computer and started searching the Internet for sites that built wheel chairs for dogs and cats. It sounded strange, but an animal could be fairly mobile. He emailed the companies about our situation and asked for recommendations and catalogs.
Alex refused to go anywhere, becoming almost a recluse. His world now revolved around taking care of Jake. Alex said he didn't want Jake to think he was abandoning him or that he didn't care.
Two to three times a day, Alex would take Jake downstairs and outside to lie in the grass. It was during those times Alex would help Jake to use the bathroom. He said he didn't want Jake to think he was a bad dog by going in the house.
It was difficult to 'express' Jake's bladder, because he wasn't a small dog. Alex would lay Jake across his lap to perform the procedure, but often there would be an accident and the two of them would wind up soaked. Those times they would both take a bath afterwards and then Alex would lovingly brush Jake's thick fur to a high glossy sheen.
I went out and bought a Radio Flyer® for Jake. Fox and I fixed it up with a dog bed and attached bags to the side to store anything Jake would need. We presented it to Alex and Jake and suggested we all go to the park. It was a highly successful idea. We all had a good time, even Jake.
A couple of children approached us. They asked what was the matter with him and Alex carefully explained about Jake's paralysis. The children were sweet and curious. After each one had taken a turn petting Jake, they wished him well. Every time we went to the park, more children would stop by and check on Jake. I was surprised but thrilled at the outpouring of love.
Fox started helping more with the physical therapy and he was the one that suggested we start including water therapy. The theory based on the fact, Jake would not have to hold up his weight in water, just use his back legs to move. It made sense, Jake couldn't use his legs, but a small amount of feeling had come back.
We would take Jake a small lake 20 miles away, twice a week. Alex and Fox would put him on an air mattress and swim out to the deeper water. Once there, they would gently let Jake's lower body slip into the water, leaving his front quarters on the mattress. Then the three of them would laze about for a while.
Jake made remarkable progress. He still couldn't walk, but he managed to flop over on his own when he wanted to. Jake also spent a lot of time sitting up on his forearms. Jake never complained or acted depressed; he calmly took everything Alex did to him.
Even helping him urinate, didn't seem to bother Jake. His stomach area had developed a large black bruise from where Alex would have to squeeze Jake's bladder. We kept him on soft foods so he would never have to strain when he needed to take a crap. Jake's schedule was tight enough that Alex could take him outside to do his business; therefore Jake wouldn't feel like he was breaking his housetraining. We walked him occasionally in a sling, to give him the sense of standing up.
Our whole world revolved around Jake and his needs, but Alex suffered the most, although he wouldn't admit it. He always claimed he was fine, but his exhaustion was evident. Alex was starting to look thin.
Alex had a couple of minor seizures. Jake let us know by howling at the top of his lungs. I think the whole neighborhood knew when Alex had a seizure.
Two months after the accident, Alex had a major seizure. This was when we found out Jake's physical therapy was starting to work.
Fox and I were downstairs fixing lunch. Apparently Alex was headed for the stairs when he collapsed in the hallway. We heard Jake's howl and immediately ran upstairs to check on Alex. What we found seemed like a miracle.
Jake had dragged himself out into the hallway and draped himself over Alex. The most movement he had done on his own since the accident.
When the seizure finally ran its course; I picked Alex up and carried him to the bed.
"Oh my god. He's walking." I heard Fox exclaim. Fox had turned around to pick up Jake but stopped when Jake slowly staggered to his feet and moved to follow Alex and me. He was wobbling and dragging his left hind leg, but he walked into the bedroom on his own power.
"Did you see? He walked. Jake actually walked." Fox reached down and picked Jake up. "What a good boy." Fox was grinning from ear to ear and crying. I felt tears on my face, even though I knew I was smiling also.
"Put him next to Alex." I told Fox and patted the bed. He didn't bother questioning my breaking the rules. Jake looked up at me for permission. I nodded and he scooted next to Alex.
I wanted nothing more, than to wake Alex and tell him Jake could walk. I glanced in Fox's direction. I noticed he looked tired, taking care of Jake had taken a toll on all of us.
"It was worth it. All of it."
Fox wiped the tears off his face. I stood up and pulled him into a hug.
"I was, wasn't it?"
Alex finally woke up and we proceeded to tell him Jake could walk. Alex was excited, but wanted to witness it for himself. Alex moved Jake to the floor and walked away. Jake watched for a minute, then staggered to his feet and followed Alex.
Alex dropped to his knees and enveloped Jake in his arms. Fox and I joined the two of them in the floor. We were all crying and holding onto each other.
Through my tear-clouded eyes, I saw one more thing, the slow metronome of Jake's tail, wagging for the first time since the accident.
Alex's smile when he saw that was the most beautiful thing I ever had seen. And I was sure we we all going to be just fine.
The End(for now)
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