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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Best Friends: Dogs

Those who know me, know I am unusually attached to my lovely Great Dane, Heidi. Over the years, I have had many dogs as pets, sometimes more than one at a time. They were great pets and enjoyed a good life here on the farm.

After I had my last dog which was a Great Dane/Doberman cross with the markings of the latter and the temperament of the former, I wanted another dog. (This dog was killed by a neighbour for no other reason that he could and enjoyed the act of killing.) I decided I deserved, at my age, a special dog, the dog of my choice. I chose a pure bred Great Dane.

Heidi has become enormously important to me as a companion and an object of my affection. She also is a great source of amusement. The thought of some day losing her which is a reality and part of the covenant of having such a pet, haunts me from time to time. This is a sort of pre grief, grief. Great Danes like all large dogs do not live very long. I imagine I will out live her. Now I understand how my dad felt about is Colette, a small French Poodle.

Recently, this was made real to me, when my son had to finally put down his beloved dog, Hannah, a chocolate Labrador Retriever. I knew how hard this moment was forParker. Hannah was, in a way, his first child, a lovely puppy before his had children. Hannah lived to be 15 years old. The last three or four years have been difficult for her at times.

Hannah and Parker had gone to obedience school, until Parker got trained and Heidi got properly socialized, a wonderfully obedient pet. She never had to be tied up for she was trained to stay on the property, which always amazed me.

Hannah was a wonderful family pet, who gained the affection of the three grandchildren as they were born and joined the family. She put up with very young children doing things to her which must have been annoying. She also became a playmate as the kids got older. For all she was a constant presence in there lives.

I shall always remember Hannah for the times she came to the cabin on the farm by the river. She was a water dog and loved to swim and chase after a stick tossed into the river. Even as she aged and suffered from arthritis, by the water she would act like a pup to chase sticks in the water, to evenually suffer pain the next day for her efforts.

Some day my son's family may get another dog. It will be hard to imagine a dog as wonderful as Hannah, their perfect family pet dog.

Hannah, the last picture I took of her as she quietly enjoyed the company for the family.

(Click on photo to enlarge)

It is a dog's world around here. This is a collage of Heidi's neighbours, who sometimes drop by.

Top left is the Golden Retriever from next door who caused me to have Heidi spayed, only to be give away by his owner. The mongrel black puppies (8 in all) belonged to the brown dog, Pepe on the top right. They have sinced found home and moved South. On the lower left are two of the three Boston Bull Terriers from the first neighour toward town. (What a lovely friendly breed they are.) On the lower right is a Huskie from the last farm a mile of the road. The elegant Great Dane is Heidi, looking for canine company. They are all lovely dogs.

Heidi I keep tied up out of fear that a neighour might shoot her. I do not want her to run so she is the one who is visited and not the visitor.

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At 4:14 p.m., Blogger Loretta said...

I look on all pets as a gift from God. When we find that "special" one we are truely blessed.

At 4:47 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Humans and descendants of wolves have been friends for a long, long time. I hope you have many more good years with your friend.

At 9:06 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

Whew--at first I thought you were bearing bad news about Heidi.
I do understand your fear.
Hannah sounds like a perfect dog.
My own recommendation for handling the grief of losing a loved dog is to get another one--soon.
We had our beloved Tipper put to sleep in June 2010, and in July 2010 got our dog Ziva, who is now much loved.

At 3:21 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heidi is highly esteemed I can see by her many friends that drop by.

Pre-grief grabs me often.

At 3:31 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be nothing like another Lab to fill Parker's heart with joy again. Tell him time's awastin'

My daughter rescued Roxie,(6yr) the day before her extinction. She'll soon be 12 and has brought great joy to the whole family. There is no love like that from one's dog; steady, faithful.

At 8:53 a.m., Blogger possum said...

I lost my lab back in the 70s and have never been able to replace him - the pre-grief thing hits me to even when I just THINK about getting another dog.
I do love my cats, and miss certain ones very much, especially Fino that I had for 21 years and never left my side, rode in my car, slept in my bed...
Some critters are just more special than others, somehow, but they all are special gifts.

At 5:36 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

All of my children have their dogs and they are much loved. I can't afford to keep a dog and travel also so I choose to love theirs in lieu of one of my own.
I'm so glad that you have your companion Heidi. Try to live each day with her ... pre-grieving robs one of so many good moments.

At 12:54 p.m., OpenID goodnightgram said...

What a beautiful chocolate lab. I'm sorry to hear the news.

At 11:42 a.m., Blogger amelia said...

So sorry for Parker and family, I know how much it hurts. I hope they get another and would consider a rescue, they have so much love to give..

At 2:12 p.m., Blogger E said...

I have not had much luck with dogs, because of how hard it was to keep them in the yard. Schanty was a malamute. I had her before kids. But even tied up she got loose and I had to bail her out of dogie jail and go to court. My basset climbed the 6 ft fence. My pug kept getting dog naped. So I resorted to cats. And I had the same 3 till ages 18 15 13. I thought I would not have any more. I am an animal person in general. Birds etc. But 2 years after the last one passed I found Crash. He is a Siamese Manx mix. He acts like a dog and cat mix. He will chase squirrel or walk around the block with you. So I have a cat dog. hehehe.
I so hope for you that you have many blessed years of comfort with your Heidi.

At 2:55 p.m., Blogger Gretchen said...

What a beautiful memorial to your precious friends. I could see the love just looking at her photos. My last, special love was my Adonis. He'll never be replaced.

If you have a minute, stop over to my blog and pick up the award there. You're one of the special people I'm talking about.

At 4:43 p.m., Blogger judie said...

Gosh, Heidi has LOTS of friends!


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