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Hi. I'm Aaron. I like being nice to people and doing nice things. If you like being nice to people and doing nice things, we should be friends....that would be awesome :)
I'm a committed Dad, a Christian, a writer, artist, business owner, and a philosopher....In the end, I am whatever you want to call me...fact remains, I am just me.
I invest in people and I care about helping others.
I am an open advocate against abuse and bullying... and for children's rights.
I try speak up for those who can't speak for themselves...and offer encouragement for people to put themselves out there and make their own impact in this world.
On a professional note:
I own and started the world's first socially driven car dealership and it's something very different....it's about you and fulfilling something deeper within you, in your car search; and, helping you save time, money, and tons of hassles...it's the easiest and funnest way to buy a car ever...It's called Motorphilia.
Would you like to learn more about "Motorphilia"? (click on the link and find out more -- it's cool, promise!)
- Baylor UniversityPhilosophy / Religion / Latin, 1995 - 2000
- Buzz (current)
Mark Hamill (now 62) is shooting the new Star Wars movie at the same age as Alec Guinness when the original was shot in 1976 (62).
This has taken me 2 days to write…I've been working on it, in bits and pieces, here and there.
Normally, I do not have a problem with writing...
I can come up with what to say, with little effort...usually...
But this is something different...this is not just some witty thought or an opinion that I feel passionate about...
That stuff is easy...
This is about a life partner, my best buddy, my furry son...this is about burying Jake...and how this was not a sad day, but a perfect day.
People keep addressing this time as sad...It's not...It was going to happen, I knew this before I got him.
Fact is, I am happy that I got to share my life with this incredible being...One who gave love freely to everyone; one who said to everyone, "Hey, You matter"
Jake transcended the animal/human barrier...he was present and with you, when you talked to him...he wasn't just some hyper, bouncing creature begging for attention or food...he wanted to explore with you, discover with you, and love with you.
He wasn't "my dog"...I did not own him...he trusted me to be his guardian. And this was my honor...I made the choices in my life, over the past 10 years, with him in mind.
I built a fence with a window, so he could look out and visit with the people of my old neighborhood, while I was at work.
I bought my cars with folding seats or a hatchback, so that he could ride along.
I built a giant tree house with stairs leading up, so that he had way up, to see the neighborhood and watch over everyone.
Every time I traveled, I would take stops to share new places with this incredible little mind.
He loved to chase tennis balls and catch his giant Frisbee...that he loved showing off to everyone...on it, I wrote "Hello, I'm Jake"...and he got a kick seeing all the people wave and say hello as he marched around with it.
Jake was a happy and joyful friend to all.
And the day he was buried was the perfect day...
Jake's health started to come into question this month...he was very up and down...he would be running and playing like a puppy, then there were days he just didn't want to move...the vet said, in short, this is part of getting old.
Just a few days ago, we went on a 4 mile walk to get tacos and explore some stores...and Jake didn't miss a beat...he was running ahead and full of energy.
Then, later that night, his health started to rapidly decline...he just became slow and lost his energy.
This was Thursday.
On Friday, he was barely moving...I took him for a walk...and he started stumbling along. Then he collapsed. I took him to the vet, right away.
His blood work was fine and seemed healthy overall...the vet was unsure, but said that Jake may have cancer.
A great storm rolled into Tyler, just after this.
The moment I got home, it started pouring and the winds started ripping the branches from trees.
One of those branches knocked a power line down, taking our power with it.
Jake was hardly eating, so I was feeding by hand, during this...he just wanted to lie on his blanket.
The whole house was dark, with lightning flickering outside from time to time.
The storm passed...as they always do...we got power back and Jake limped his way to the foot of my bed and collapsed.
He was having a hard time breathing now and he was panicking...so I cuddled him and told him, "It's going to be ok" over and over again...he calmed down.
At 5AM, I woke up to the sound of him pawing at the slick wood floor, trying to get up.
I sprung up and tried to get him to his feet...he could not stand...so I carried him to his fluffy blanket to rest.
He was nervous and panting hard, so I lay on the floor with him and held him for a moment...and he calmed down...I kissed him and told him that I loved him.
I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't...
I had an important meeting that I could not miss, that morning...and I knew Jake had to get to the vet.
Fortunately, I had a good friend who was there and ready to help.
We loaded Jake's now limp body into her Camry...he was like a 100lb bag of bricks, in the makeshift sling we used to carry him in.
I looked him in the eyes, petted his head, and kissed him...and told him that I loved him.
His eyes were fixed on me...and he was calm...
I had to go.
A couple hours passed and I was called by my friend to get an update on Jake's condition...She said they did an x-ray and a sonogram of his chest...it looks like he has a tumor in his heart and it ruptured, causing blood to fill his chest cavity...the vet said there was little they could do.
I knew this was coming...that I would have to make this call...I just asked to see him first, before we did anything.
When I walked into the operating room, the first thing I saw was Jake's tail wagging upon my entry and my girlfriend, who was by his side...half of his body was shaved and he could hardly move...he was not crying or yelping...just breathing hard...not panting...I went right to him and held his face in my hands, kissing his nose, telling him over and over that I love him.
I met with the vet.
We talked about options, but, in the end, there wasn't much that we could do to save him...I asked to take him outside, one last time. Jake tried to get up to walk with me, but after getting him on his feet, he just took a step and fell against a car to prop himself up...then he fell...my heart dropped, he wanted to walk with me, but he couldn't.
The vet looked at me and said, putting him down is the best choice, at this point...I reluctantly agreed.
"To do something terrible, we have to believe something terrible."
And knowing Jake was bleeding to death on the inside, from an inoperable tumor, was terrible enough....to see him so weak, fighting to breath, and trying to love me while suffering, crushed me.
I love him so much, that I knew it was time to let him go.
I asked to take him back inside...Jake hates the sun, being a black dog.
I agreed to have him put down and asked to hold him as it happened.
I held his face and he looked at me as they injected him...the whole time, I kept telling him, "I love you so much."
He was calm, not scared, and he closed his eyes peacefully.
And he went away...
Then, to stay true to his nickname "Stinky"...He farted...
A terrible fart...One that made us leave the room and laugh.
We then got a body bag and slid him in.
Another one of my best friends, Danny, came to join us.
We had only a little time to bury Jake and a few other friends quickly volunteered to help with the affair.
We gathered some donated shovels and headed out to a lake, where we found a nature trail and a tree standing alone, that was struck by lightning the night prior…the bolt actually etched itself into the whole trunk, wrapping around it, but not splitting it…this seemed like a fine place for Jake.
The ground was mostly sandy and loose soil…and we began to dig.
We joked along the way and laughed…it wasn't a sad moment.
The ongoing joke was how I was grateful to have friends who would help me move a body and bury it in the woods…I mean, really, what better friends can you find?
It took us about an hour or so, to dig a deep and wide enough hole for the Stinky One.
And we moved his body to his final resting place…and at that moment, we heard the roar of a fighter jet, far above us…
We looked up and stared at it….
Then something epic happened.
SCREAMING FROM NOWHERE…3 F-16 FIGHTER JETS CAME FLYING RIGHT OVER JAKE’S GRAVE, IN FORMATION, JUST OVER THE TREE TOPS.
WE COULD FEEL THEM!!!
We dropped everything and laughed and cried…it was as if God said, “Hey Jake, this is for you…You matter.”
And we hugged each other closely and cried and laughed some more. The tears were uncontrollable.
It was the most intense feeling I’ve ever had in my life and I was with some of my closest friends to share it all.
And, just the thought, that God thought Jake was such a badass dog that 3 F-16’s would do a fly over formation at the very moment, when we were laying him to rest, rocked my world.
Not only was he being buried next to a lighting tree that was still standing in the middle of some beautiful woods, but this…this for some reason…was the sign that made me realize that this was all meant to be and this was his time to go.
This wasn't a sad day, but a perfect day.
We went off and picked flowers and made a bed for Jake.
We gathered around and Danny prayed for Jake and we took a moment to reflect on how grateful we were for him…our tears were wetting the ground. One fell on my shoe and left a mark, which I have yet to clean off.
We took a moment, I pet him one last time and said, “I love you, thank you for being here,” and we buried him.
Nearby, there were some large stones, and some of my friends started to gather them and we used them to mark Jake’s grave.
A small puppy came running up to us, at that moment, and it wanted to play…we all laughed and pet the little guy, it was with its owners, who were walking along the trail, just a hundred or so feet behind.
Danny knocked off some bark, from the lightning tree, and carved “Jake 04-14” on the side.
And then we packed up and left…leaving Jake behind, but not forgotten.
I will always love you, Jake, and, again, thank you for being my friend and in my life.
On the behalf of all who met you: You mattered
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