When I moved to Denmark in December ’92 the lady I married had acquired a German Shepherd pup earlier in the year. Chiquita was a good friend. She was more the wife’s dog as they had done the bonding thing long before I arrive in the scene. I knew Chiquita in her first year and she was a puppy, but she wasn’t real wild. She never chewed things up or really got out of line. When she was 7, we got Jessy because we wanted time for the new kid on the block to learn from the grand old lady.
Jessy was something else. When the wife brought Jessy home, she screamed and howled all the way – hated leaving home and didn’t like driving! It didn’t take long for that to change. Later on Jessy loved to drive. She enjoyed it so much and would go to sleep many times. Jessy loved the water, but never swam a stroke! She always, no matter how cold it was, would go in the water. She had to splash through every mud puddle in the road! Jessy always wanted to play a lot, but Chiquita was older and not so playful anymore. She tolerated Jessy and her puppy ways, many times not really enjoying it, but understanding it. Then things changed.
Chiquita was old. She could no longer eat or drink, so we had her put down. The only change we saw on Jessy was she grew up. She never really showed any signs of missing Chiquita, but she changed all the same – she became an adult. Lot of the puppy play went out of her. It would be about 4 months until we got Shelia, but in that time the strong bond Jessy and I had grew even stronger. Jessy was my dog. She would sit outside, no matter the weather and wait for me to come home. She slept every night with me, never missing a day. I always felt sorry when I had to leave for a few days, as I knew it would be hard on her. Soon she learned when I came down with my rucksack or duffle bag, I would not be back for a few days. Jette said she most always went up and slept in my bed for the first few days.
Shelia was a wild and happy puppy. Jessy adopted her from the very first minute as her very own. She lick and cleaned her as if Shelia was her very own. They bonded so that Shelia knew and respected Jessy as her Mom. They got along very well. Shelia was very strong minded and I knew we’d have to watch them when she grew older because she was twice the size as Jessy, and I knew Jessy would never back down. There were a few times they got into it and I or Jette would have to get in the middle, but for the most they were ok. Jessy and Shelia were together for eight years. At 13 ½ years old, we had to put Jessy down because of an infection in her system. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it was the right thing to do. But it was just as hard on Shelia. I’ve never witnessed such sorrow in an animal for another one as I did in Shelia. After we buried Jessy, Shelia several times tried to dig her up. The spark went out of her eyes and she just moped around the house. She missed her Mom.
So now we got Coco, which I first named “The Spawn of Satan”. As it has turned out, she is becoming my shadow! It was hard for Shelia to accept another dog around the house, but by the next morning, she turned into a Mom, I know Jessy would be proud of her. Coco has started waiting for me to get home every evening and always expects our play time after supper. She is also turning out to be a water dog. She, like Jessy has to hit every puddle of water around and always takes a dip in the lake. Shelia had grown up, passed the puppy ways. She is the same age difference to Coco as Chiquita was with Jessy, amazingly enough, I can see the two in these as well. Shelia has put on the tolerant side and trying to get use to the puppy ways of Coco. Yea, there are times we’ve got to step in between, but for the most part they are good.
Watching our dogs grow up, change and pass on is tough. The worst part about a good dog is most of the time we out live them. Each in their own way have blessed us and given us so much, I really don’t know if we’ve given them as much. But I guess we have, because they have given so much to us. Life goes on and changes and so must we. And now as I write this, I’m looking at a young puppy laying sleeping after a long day of fetching ball, running and enjoying life, I know there are many good times ahead.