Finally, after 30 hours of more or less continuous driving I managed to pick up Garm at Oeygarden(outside Bergen) and bring him home. I was afraid 13 hours stuck in a car, just separated from his siblings and mother, would be a challenge but after 10 minutes of crying he relaxed and fell asleep. We stopped to pee and get to know each other every 2 hours, the rest he slept like a baby.
A few characteristics already stands out. He is confident and curious. It didn’t take him more than a couple of minutes to search through the house and settle in when we arrived for the first time. A minute later he was running around playing with one of the toys left from Otello.
This will make it easier when introduced to new environments and socializing, but also means I have to be smarter during training sessions to keep his attention and his attempts to challenge me for position.
Four weeks have passed since my friend Otello died. The appartement is still empty and pretty much nothing feels right. My life the last eight years has always been about what we could do together, and not having him around is very painful.
Today it’s snowing and it’s cold outside. The weather reminds me of one of Otello’s stranger behaviors. He loved the winter and snow. I think it was because of his thick and warm fur, and how he could run around without getting a heat stroke. Since he was three years old he had the strangest ability to know when the first icicles would appear, hanging from the roof of the old buildings across the street. Every autumn since then he would wake up the first day below zero degrees, anxious to get outside, waiting for me to open the door. Once outside he would run straight across the street and sit down outside one of the buildings, just staring up in the air waiting for me to hand him one of the icicles whitch he then ate like candycanes. He loved them, and he never missed the first day.
It’s now just seven more days before picking up my new dog. I’m looking forward to find something positive to focus on again and a new friend to bring with me on my trips in the mountains.
Finally the puppies have been divided amongst their new families and I can for the first time identify my new dog. It’s a good feeling and things now seem a bit more real.
Say hello to Garm(According to norse mythology Garm is the dog that guards the dead at Hel. He is to signal Ragnarok by barking loud three times, break loose from his chain and fight the warrior god Tyr. It is also believed that Garm and Fenris is the same creature.)
In about three weeks I’m going to Bergen to pick him up. By then the house needs to be prepared and his playground outside must be finished.
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.