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)
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.