Big, brave and a bit silly

For eight years Otello and I stayed toghether every day, except three, and the house now feels empty and cold.

My mind constantly drift back in time remembering all the little quirks that made him so special while wondering what my next dog is going to be like. How much of his behavior was genetically provided, and how much was influenced by me.

German shepards are normally considered being big, brave dogs. Otello was a big dog… He loved everyone and everything around him and would defend me by all means necessary if needed, but the strangest things could scare him.

Otello snow

Three years ago I woke up in the middle of the night. Otello was running circles in the room, stressed and scared. I had no idea what had happened and looked around trying to see if mabye an animal had jumped through the bedroom window and inside, it wouldn’t be the first time. Nothing! By now Otello had noticed I was awake and jumped up in the bed giving it his best effort to hide his 40 kilo big body in my sternal notch. I jumped out of bed, prepared to meet everything from burgulars to badgers, searching everywhere and finding nothing. Just when I was giving up I noticed Otello was freaking out again. Still I couldn’t see anything, but there was a sound. A bearly noticeable, but very familiar sound caught my ear. One single mosquito had managed to get in and scare my big german shepard stupid.

It’s not like he was running around scared all the time, not at all. He was a very happy and content dog, but some situations needed a cautious approach. People never scared him, but if something was out of place in a familiar surrounding it would trigger his nerves a bit.

Is this a result of me being to controlling and over protecting? I hardly ever used a leash, he could always run around “unrestricted”. Even going shopping he would stay by my side with no leash, walking among all the other locals. To be able to do this we had to train constantly on all the little do’s and don’ts. Do not touch that, do not go there, stay close. Could this be the reason for his behavior in some situations. Had I taken away some of his abilities to react more secure and handle new situations on his own?

Will my next dog react the same way given the same training or was this a behavior due to genetic conditions?

A week has gone

It’s been little over a week since the death of my dear friend Otello, and life slowly starts to move forward again. I still get restless around the time we normally would take a walk, or go out to play, but now it feels more like a good memory than just being painful.

Being able to follow my new puppet Garm has made it much easier to find something positive to focuse on. Next week the decision on which puppet is going to be mine will be made. The choise stands between four amazing little fellows, so eigther way the result will be just perfect.

In loving memory of Otello, 08.06.2008 to 16.03.2016

This story of life starts with the death of my best friend through almost eight years, my german shepard Otello.

Two years ago he tore his ACL and went through surgery even though his odds were small for full recovery. The operation went well, but his joint had taken so much damage that it was propably only a question of time until the injury would start affecting him. In retrospect I’m not sure if I would do this operation again unless the dog is guarantied a full recovery. The next few months was hard on us both. Me, for having to watch my friend in pain day after day and Otello for having to live through it not knowing why he had to suffer. What did amaze me though was his constant positive spirit, never giving up. I think the best thing about the whole experience is how we bonded in a way I couldn’t think possible and should define the next two years together.

His injury never fully recovered. Even though he never complained, or gave a direct signal that he was in pain, it was obvious that something was wrong. Lately the trips was getting shorter every day and other injuries started to occure, probably because of the exstra load trying to take the weight of the injuried foot. Still he stayed positive and was happy just to be with me. I guess his always positive attitude and love for me is what made the decision to end his life so much harder and more difficult to deal with later on. On wednesday the 16. of march I realized this couldn’t go on anymore and a very difficult phone call was made to the veterinarian, late in the evening, asking if he could meet me at his office to end my best friends life. Twenty minutes later it was all over. The first 10 minutes I was relieved it was finally over and his pain was gone, then the black cloud of doubt crashed in hard and I started wondering if my decision was the right one. It’s not easy to make such a decision for someone who can’t defend themself, and when it’s done you can only hope it was the right one. There is NO do over! Thank you my friend, I will allways love you and remember you!

I made this blog to remember my friend Otello, but this story goes on with my new dog Garm(from norse mythology). He is also a german shepard and is barely three weeks old(born 29.02.2016). Because of his young age I haven’t been able to pick him up yet and have to wait for another four weeks to bring him home.

In this blog I will try to share the growth and life of Garm from birth to his death(may he live forever), and share my experiences with you. Hopefully you will also share some of yours with me.

To a new, better day!