Shiloh Pix || Arista Pix || Rolfi || Dog As Totem
GSD Health || Canine History || Doggie Art
It all began, that is -- I began -- no, I was born -- on May 11, 1987 in Bedford, New Hampshire. It was a private kennel and an ok place to start out. My parents were champions and those early days with my mom and brothers and sisters were really nice.
A few weeks later, strange people began arriving and taking some of my family away. I later learned that we all had to get our own human families and do our "doggie thing" -- you know, patrol and guard and woof.
Anyway, as the weeks passed all my brothers and sisters found their own families and I was left all alone. Why was I unwanted? It made me really sad. But the kennel owners were nice; they named me Candy Ann and sometimes let me come into the house and even sleep on the bed!
Then one September day, and nice family of a Mommy, Daddy, and Kid came over looking for a GSD. I was 4 months old. A new litter had been born and as usual, everyone went to look at the "cute puppies". Yuk. Well, they looked at those little runts too. The Kid though, came over to me...he couldn't have been more than 8 years old (that's in Human Years). He petted me and talked to me and then he did something really strange -- he picked me up and carried me over to his parents. Well, when the Mommy saw this, they picked me to go home with them! This was a good thing, but I didn't know that yet. After all, I was leaving the only home I had known. I threw up in the car on the way to their house. Not a great first impression :-|.
So I became "Arista" and ended up living on a farm-of-sorts. There were cats (way too many) but they were outside "barn cats", chickens, and horses. They were all outside animals, but I was the inside one :-) I had a friend who lived across the road - a collie named Sam and she would come over to play with me. We had such fun in those days -- playing tug-of-war and just romping around.
I noticed that as the days passed, it began to get colder outside. Now, this wasn't a problem since I lived inside a nice heated house, but one day this white stuff started falling from...from...I don't know where from, but I learned that it was fun to play in. It tickled my nose as it melted on it and I never got cold as I had really thick fur to keep me warm. I would jump around in it and eat it...and I learned it was called "snow." From then on, I always waited for that time of year when it would snow.
Now I know that my family really loves me, but they took me to a doggie doctor one day and I didn't have a good time there. Besides needles and all that stuff, I had to have an operation...something about "being fixed"(?). I thought I was working just fine. I was happy to get home again and in a few days I forgot all about that horrible place.
Fate though, brought me back there just a few months later. You see, I had this kinda small lump on my head...do you think that is why all those other families never wanted to adopt me?? Anyway, this lump began to bleed and my mommy took me back to that doggie doctor. Again with the operation! Jeez, don't those humans know anything except to cut into us dogs? Well, it turned out that the lump was caused by an ingrown hair and it was a large infection. The doctor said that I was lucky, because just a millimeter more and he would have had to cut the tendon to my ear -- and that would have left me with one floppy ear. A girl's gotta think of her looks, ya know? Well, it all worked out.
Now I have to go to a different doggie doctor once a year (we moved when I was one year old -- Human Years), usually in May to get my heartworm test, a rabies shot every three years, and my heartworm medicine that I take in the summer months. This doctor is ok, I guess. I still don't have a good time over there and when the humans want to put me into a car, I know something's up -- and it's usually not good. So this doctor also put me on some powdered medicine for my stomach problems. He says I can't digest fats well and that is why I such bad diarrhea at times. Well, the stuff isn't too bad and I do feel better -- although I don't get to eat anything good anyway! It all goes to that green-feathered creature! Life is unfair.
And so the years passed and I am now 12 years old. I guess the human I am closest to is my Mommy. She feeds me and takes me out and pets me and kisses me. She always has time for me, though she didn't always. I trained her just right <doggie grin>
I hear rumors that the humans are selling the house. I wonder what that means for me? The bird -- well maybe I'll get lucky and she'll go with the house! I hear words like "September" and "Kansas" and wonder if that is the new place I'll be moving to. They wouldn't leave me here all alone, would they?
I'll let you know...Ok, ok, so I'm a year late, but as one of you Humans used to say: better late than never.
In September of 1998, I was unceremoniously stuffed into the truck (along with that bird) and the Humans drove and drove and drove. Of course, I didn't know what was happening, so when they stopped and wanted me to get out (to pee), I refused. They won out eventually, and made me.
Three days and 1840 miles later, I ended up on this nice farm place. I really liked it there. I could run outside with no leash and I even played with the resident cats. Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I stole their cat food too. Yum!
Just as I was getting used to this life, I was put into that truck again and hauled off. This time it was to go "home." I suppose it's ok, but I miss the great woods with interesting critter smells in New Hampshire. I miss the snow. And it gets so hot here! Luckily, we have something that makes it cool in the house.
And so another year passes. August of 1999 will not be remembered fondly as I got sick. Just because I cannot straighten my head (hey - life is interesting when viewed from the left), and I can't walk much, I get put into the truck and taken to one of those doctors again. They even made me stay there! I'm back home now, but still on pills and I hear I have to go back there on Friday. Will someone come and save me?
Well, a couple of seizures later and another mini-stroke too, and I'm still here! Tests showed I have the beginnings of liver disease. I do feel "old" all of a sudden....kinda tired and my humans found out that I am now deaf. Thank the Doggie Goddess that my eyes are good...and of course, my nose works just fine :)
Yup, I'm hanging in there for the new Millennium.
Through tears I must write this....today is February 9, 2000 and Arista has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
I sit at my desk, the one 'Ris would sleep by when I was here and I miss her so. She was such an extraordinary animal. Last night at 2am, she had another seizure. They had been getting closer and closer together, but this one was different. She never came out of it and I called the vet to come and take her in. I had to make the painful decision to put her down. I know it was the right decision but I want her back. I stayed with her, stroking her head, as I was not going to let her die alone. It was far quicker than I had anticipated. Within seconds she was gone. I kissed her goodbye and now I just feel lost.
God, please take care of my 'Rista.
Background by the human, but it's of me!