Dierks adopted Jake from the pound about the same time his singing career took off and Jake was right by Dierks’ side for every high-point in his personal life and career.
Dierks told a recent crowd at the Country Music Hall of Fame, “Jake’s been with me through every phase of my career, before I had a publishing deal, before I even had a gig, really. He was there when I got my first gigs downtown. He’d be waiting there in the windowsill. He actually wore out a little spot in the couch where he’d wait for me. … I’d come home real late, and he’d be there sitting in the window, putting in his time. That was his years of grinding, sitting in the window for me.”
Once, Jake hopped a fence during a bad storm, but was reunited with his pal within a day or so. Dierks revealed to Billboard that he found the tumor in Jake’s neck on his birthday in 2015, “On my birthday, I found this bump on his neck. I was like, ‘This doesn’t feel right. I’ve been petting this dog for 15 years. That’s new.’ I took him in and we found out he had lymphoma. We had to get that spot removed as part of the process.”
From there, Jake had surgery, another scare where he couldn’t walk because of a slipped disc in his back, but overall, Dierks felt like his buddy was still doing okay.
Since Jake’s passing in July, Dierks says, “It’s been rough,” he admits. “I try to be conscious of all the suffering and true sadness in the world. At the same time, I can’t deny how I feel, and it’s been tough. He’s been with me from my single days to getting married to all my kids coming along. My life’s changed and he’s made those changes with me. That will definitely be my last dog. My kids might get another dog, but I’m done.”
Dierks’ family does have another dog, Georgie-Boy, but Dierks says he isn’t a fan of the spotlight like Jake.