Thirteen years ago, when Dierks Bentley released his self-titled debut album, there was someone very special on the cover with the country newcomer. His dog Jake.
And that dog Bentley had picked up at the pound has been at his side, throughout his country career, ever since. He was more than a sidekick, more than red carpet arm candy and more than a social media darling. He was a true companion to Bentley — from that first album cover and a handful of shows at the Grand Ole Opry, to starring in Bentley’s “What Was I Thinkin’,” “Up on the Ridge” and “Feel That Fire” videos, to being the most honest line of a new song of his recent Black album:
“For 15 years right by my side/From a single man to three kids and a wife/Friends come and go, but when it comes to Jake/There’s just some things that can’t be replaced.”
Bentley wrote “Can’t Be Replaced” with Luke Laird and Hillary Lindsey.
Sunday morning (July 10), Bentley posted photos on social media from shows in Ohio and Michigan, writing, “Hard to express how much i needed our fans, my band, my crew and the show this weekend.” Then 10 minutes later, he explained what he meant.
rest in peace pal pic.twitter.com/olxyb5Of0f
— Dierks Bentley (@DierksBentley) July 10, 2016
Early in Bentley’s career, he talked to CMT.com about what it was like living in Nashville with the mixed Spitz at his side.
“If we’re not on the road, which is rare, I have a boat out on Percy Priest Lake, and (Jake) loves being out there, too,” he said. “So we’ll grab some beer, grab a cooler, grab some ice, grab some koozies, grab a few friends, and we’ll head out to the lake. He likes it just as much as I do. …
“He’s the designated dog. He doesn’t do any of the drinking. He leaves that up to the professionals,” he laughed.
And in January 2013, Jake was even part of a real-life, citywide search and rescue mission.
He’d gone missing after severe thunderstorms hit Nashville. So Bentley put his fans and followers to work helping him find his beloved dog, and it paid off when someone posted on Facebook that she’d found Jake and was bringing him to Bentley’s house.
omg. my wife just told me someone found jake on facebook and is bringing him to our house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Dierks Bentley (@DierksBentley) January 14, 2013
The bond between Bentley and Jake was undeniable.
Rest in peace, Jake.