After the incident with Max, we didn't have a dog for many years. My father just didn't want to go through the pain again. Then one night in late November 1979, my parents decided to go out to eat.
While driving to the restaurant, my father almost ran over what he thought was a bag in the middle of the road. Luckily the "bag" lifted its head, and the headlights caught his eyes. My father stopped within inches of a puppy. He picked it up and put it in the open back of the truck. The poor puppy was skin, bones, and a clump of hair. My Dad figured the puppy would die because we had a cold snap and the temperature was brutally cold. But at least the puppy wouldn't get run over. So, my parents went on to the restaurant and had a lovely dinner.
When they returned to the truck. My father checked on the puppy thinking to dispose of the body in the restaurant trash bin. Much to his surprise, the puppy looked up and gave a feeble thump of its tail. So instead of dumping a dead dog, my father got an empty box from the trash bin. He put the miserable puppy in the box and headed home thinking the pup would die from the cold on the return trip home. But lo and behold, the puppy was still alive. So he carried the box into the house and placed it at the foot of the stairs still thinking the pup didn't have a chance of living through the night.
Usually, my father was the first person to wake up in our house, but my brother, Micheal, was the first this morning. He and a buddy had planned to go fishing that morning. So there's my brother fully loaded down with his fishing gear, groggily walking down the steps and, of course, he trips over the box, dropping everything as he falls to the floor. Now my brother is not a "cheerful person" even on his best day, so, he shouts out a string of cuss words ending with, "What jerk left this here" Now we were all awake and crowded around my brother.
At that moment, from the closed box, we all heard a whimper. And my Dad was caught red-handed trying to sneak a new dog into the house. My father said, "Well, it looks like this puppy is determined to live, so it might as well stay with us. What should we call him? " Mike offered up "Jerk," but my mother put the kibosh on that name. So then my brother, Mark, said we should call him "Jake." And that name stuck.