Remembering Wolf 7 years on…

7 October, 2010

Filed under: Dogs — admin @ 8:58 am

our family in 2003

The 7th of October is a special day for us. It is the day our dearest friend, companion and teacher left us. Wolf died just before dawn on this day, seven years ago. Let me recount that day, for it is still fresh in my memory after these years. Wolfie, as we affectionately called her, had cataract in her golden years, and her eyes turned an opaque blue. She also had lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph glands. We will never know how much sight she had in 2003, but my guess was that she was almost totally blind. But amazingly, it didn’t bother her at home. She knew every corner of her home, she could go upstairs to bed, walk around without knocking anything.. she knew exactly where everything was… except the times when we left the shopping on the floor, and she would be most upset when she bumped into it.. “Hey! That’s not supposed to be there!”

Because of her blindness, she herself decided to stop going to the park, which was, and still is, a daily ritual for us all. We have a park in our housing estate, a large tree-covered public park that closes at 10pm every night. Well, that’s according to the sign outside… which we never read, and wolfie didn’t give a hoot about. You see, Wolf was a proud girl. She didn’t like the indignity of falling into a wet drain, or walking into a hedge. But, she wasn’t to be left behind at home when the rest of her family made their nightly walk. She would come along, hop into the back of the van, and sit in the van while the rest of us, Husky and Glo trotted around the park. Then we would all get back in the van, and head home. Husky and Glo would both get a scolding from Wolf when they returned, not because she was upset or anything, it was just her way of telling them don’t be too high-nosed, “I went to the park too!”

That was Wolf, a highly intelligent, strong-willed and confident german shepherd dog. She had serious attitude, a problem only to others who had the honour of meeting and interacting with her. She had a highly developed pack-sense, and took the protection and safety of her family totally seriously. She was 2nd in the hierarchy. Daddee was top dog, no doubt about that, but everyone else… mamee, grandpa, husky and all… were below her. With this elevated position in the pack, she thrived on her responsibility for order and discipline, and the safety and strict compliance of all. She showed especially astute cognition of the condition of a person… with grandpa and grandma, who are elderly, she would stay back and wait for them, always keeping herself behind them.. watching them.. like a shepherd. She behaved the same with young children, never allowing a child to stray from the pack.

On 7th October 2003, Wolf surprised us all. She seemed very anxious to go to the park that evening. One of her moods, we thought… later at night, when park-going time arrived, wolf hopped in the van as usual, followed by husky and glo. Off we went to the park. When we arrived, and all jumped out, so did wolf! We were surprised, since she hadn’t wanted to walk in the dark for months. Anyways, we put a leash on her, and she happily, but gingerly, walked around the park as she had done for the past 6 years. Twice she slipped and put her foot in a drain, but she didn’t seem to mind. 15mins later, she wanted to go back, so we all did. Back home, she ate like a horse! Hmmm, that walk must have really tired her out.

Daddee, tired out from the walkie walkie, went to bed early, about 10pm. At 11.30pm, mamee wakes me up, with tears in her eyes. “wolfie is trying to come upstairs, but she can’t. Her back legs have given up” Wolf had collapsed on the kitchen floor. She was in pain. Her lymphoma had flared up, and it was apparent that she was experiencing organ failure. There was nothing we could do, and nothing we wanted to do anymore. Her time had come…she knew it, and we knew it.

The three of us slept on the kitchen floor for the rest of the night, switching between dozing then holding her as her breathing became slower and slower. By 4am, wolf had slipped into a deep sleep, or maybe a coma.. I couldn’t tell. At 6.05am, she took a deep breathe, held it for a few moments, then let it out. And she was gone.

We cried. They were tears of loss, a deep loss. But the loss was tinged with beautiful things… I was happy that wolf, obviously knowing her time had come, decided to join us for our evening walk one last time. I was happy that we were there with her in her final hours, which helped her relax… knowing she was in the arms of her most dearly loved.

All was well in our world, minus one. And that was fine. We had our time together, and for that we are grateful. Thank you Wolf for spending 10 years with us… we couldn’t have asked for, and received, more!

3 Comments

  1. watching and loving from doggie heaven:)

    Comment by aunty sue — 07/10/2010 @ 9:25 am

  2. I knew you loved Wolfie, but not until I read this did I feel the depth and endurance of that love. Sniff, sniff.

    Comment by Aileen — 08/10/2010 @ 4:35 am

  3. can imagine wolfie giving a big open-mouthed, tongue peeping grin as she looks down on beloved mamee and daddee from her kennel in the sky.

    thanks for sharing the beautiful tribute, becky and tony. 🙂 wasn’t privileged enough to meet wolf, but can imagine the dynamics with you folks, husky, glo.

    adopted any new four-legged family members? my daughter has a super-active jack russell who has trained us well, hahaha.

    hugs,
    anne

    Comment by anne — 08/10/2010 @ 2:32 pm

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