Thursday, April 18, 2013

Good night, sweet boy

Most of my blogs are about writing and writers, my projects and those of others. But I want to step aside from that and share a very special life and passing. For those of us who are dog people, the short years we share with a canine companion enrich our lives immeasurably. Our sweet, brave German Shepherd Dog, Oka, died peacefully yesterday. He was 12 1/2, quite old for that breed, had had been battling lymphoma and degenerative myelopathy. We'd hoped to have him for a little while longer, but he developed leukemia, lost the ability to walk, and most likely had an embolism and a stroke. The vet came out to our house and he slipped away with "his people" holding him and talking to him. Also, "his cats" - all 3 gathered around, especially Oka's "best buddy," who cuddled up next to him when it was all over.

Here are a few images to share with you:

Oka at 8 weeks. The green coloring in his right ear is the Schaferhundverein breed tattoo, certifying that he really is a German Shepherd Dog (i.e. both his parents were Schutzhund titled; in fact, his father was the Weltsieger: the world champion).

Attempting to wrestle the cat toy into submission.

About 1 year old, hiking in our area. He would have made a super search-and-rescue dog, he was so focused on scent. You can see how he's "tracking" naturally.

About 2, getting his basic obedience title. You can see the bond between Dave and Oka."What next, Dad? What do we get to play next?"

Herding his hard rubber horse ball. He would do this for hours, bringing the ball back so we could roll it away for him and barking at it to let it know who was boss. We tend to forget that German Shepherd Dogs are indeed sheepherding dogs. This is his spherical "sheep."

I think he's 3 or 4 in this picture. This is how I'll remember him, a loyal, loving friend, steady in temperament and eager to do anything we asked of him.

No comments:

Post a Comment