Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page
Puppy love is something everyone has heard of and most of us have experienced. It’s a love between a young couple within days or weeks of getting together. It’s not really true love, more like blind affection - immature, young love. It’s been said that puppy love leads to a dog’s life. Not in this case. Meet Jake and Aly.
Jake grew up in a church I founded in Auburn, CA. His parents, Dale and Susan, are good friends and are extremely proud of him. Jake met Aly in college and learned early of her love for dogs in general, Labrador retrievers in particular. Jake and Aly dated for five years and experienced their share of ups and downs but something always drew them back to one another. Then Aly moved to Australia and it seemed like the relationship might end.
In early 2014, Aly was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis), which led her to move back home to California. The only person she thought about during this time was Jake. Aly shared her diagnosis with him and thought it might scare him off but instead it drew them closer together and began a new chapter in their love story. Jake said, “I knew I had to be with Aly because I wanted to be the one to take care of her. I’m the only one who can do that.”
For the past two years Jake has been Aly’s rock through some challenging health issues. He has been her consistent source of love, strength, and encouragement. Falling back in love with Jake was Aly's most fulfilling and rewarding decision she ever made.
The night Jake proposed, he told Aly they were going to dinner with his parents at a restaurant near their favorite beach in Los Angeles. They arrived early, so Jake suggested they walk along the beach before dinner. While walking, Aly spotted an arch built in the sand. As Jake led her closer toward the arch, Aly began to realize it was created for her. Embedded in the sand in the shape of a heart were candles, rose petals, photos of the couple from the past five years, and a sign made with their hashtag #adventuresofjakenaly that the couple had created a few months ago for all the trips and adventures they'd been on.
As they approached the heart shaped arch, Jake pulled Aly into the center and told her he’d asked her dad for permission to marry her. But it doesn’t end there. Jake figured there was one more important person’s blessing that he needed. Aly’s mom had died from breast cancer when Aly was 16 years old. Jake pulled out a letter he’d written to Aly’s mom asking for her permission to marry her daughter. Aly wept as he read the beautiful letter.
After reading the letter, Jake got down on one knee and asked Aly for her hand in marriage. Aly responded with a tearful yet giddy “yes.” They then kissed and hugged. At that moment, a woman walked up and handed Aly a Labrador puppy with a balloon tied to its neck that said, “She said yes!” Aly fell to the ground in complete shock and exuberant joy as the puppy climbed on top of her with kisses sharing her excitement.
An Unforgettable Moment
As Aly stood up see saw both of the couple’s parents running toward them on the beach. But there’s more. As Aly turned around she noticed her best girlfriend from Australia standing in front of her with a balloon. Jake had thought of every detail, including having her best friend fly in from half way around the world to share in an unforgettable moment. A moment that Jake and Aly will remember and cherish forever.
Now this is a true puppy love that will last a lifetime.