Saturday, November 26, 2011

Requiem to a German Shepherd

Our beautiful BigDog

It is day five since Dieter left this world and left Tom and I.  There are no words to express the sorrow we feel. The last few days have been filled with tears at inappropriate moments and dreams of the event while sleeping.  Tom and I compared notes yesterday and discovered both of us have been seeing the same things.  Going out the motor home door and seeing him across the street, ears up, listening for the coyotes; signing in a service truck, looking for him to be sleeping across the road; coming in the MH door and looking to see him under my desk. Yesterday I even apologized to him out loud when my chair caught on the rug and I thought I ran over his tail. Those things are making me crazy.

Long tail makes great propeller
 On the other hand, I can look down the road and see him running flat out barking at the wild pigs that live there. When he was running with purpose, his tail went round and round like a propeller and Tom and I would laugh at his silliness. Dieter really loved this ranch.  He could sleep in the sun, bark at the animals, protect us from all evils, real and perceived.

Waiting for waffles
 He always knew when it was Sunday because he would not go outside until Tom took him a waffle outside to feed him.  He would lay on the floor and stare at Tom while he cooked. His eyes never left Tom as he waited somewhat impatiently for the treat he knew was coming. 

And then there was Thanksgiving a few years ago when he decided to herd the ducks.  Of course, the ducks took to the water and Dieter followed them in.  It took 6 people and our beloved son-in-law, Chris, getting in the water also, freezing his butt off for 45 minutes to get him out.

Dieter with Jonathan and baby Bryce
 Dieter loved his family. He never growled or snapped at the little ones no matter what they did. He would just get up and move when he was tired of them laying on him.  He was a gentle giant.

He will be loved and remembered for a long time.

I have had many pets over the years.  We always had a dog when we were growing up and have had one most of our married life.  Dieter is my one in a lifetime.  If you have had one of these, please share it with me and tell me how you made it through. I am already looking at dogs online because of the emptiness I feel.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. He was a marvelous dog for sure. I felt the same way when we lost our poodle, Bib, in 2006. I still tear up when I think of him....

  2. Sheba was my one in a life time dog. She was the second dog I named Sheba. The first was a one eyed poodle we could not keep. Sheba II was a Sharpie/Retriever mix. The only female in a litter of 12. I called her my retriever with attitude. As she grew up, I kept her tethered to my side because she would tend to wonder off. She graduated from Master Trainer but she had an independent streak.
    Unfortunately, Sheba contracted some weird blood illness that our vet just could not stop. Sadly, we lost Sheba when she was 5. She took her last breath while I held her.
    A few weeks later, I heard of a Golden Retriever who was a rescue and needed a new home. I began sharing this with my friends, thinking I could help in finding a new home. My dear friend Lisa suggested I take a look. After much resistance I did. The rest is history - and you know Cody. There will never be a replacement for Dieter, only a new companion who will fill the emptiness. You will know when that time comes.
    Meanwhile, I've been praying that God would heal your hurting heart.

  3. I'm glad you're looking for a new companion. Dogs are like children - all different but you love them all the same. I've known people who refuse to 'get their heart broken' by getting another cat/dog. . .but the love you have to share is still there. Just looking for a way out. The more you give the more you have!
    ~~ Glenda ~~

  4. So sorry to hear of your loss. We had to put our beloved Kachina down approximately a month ago. We had her for nearly 13 years. We were with her until the end as the vet administered the drugs, telling her we loved her and would miss her. We've since just relied on each other, remembering all the wonderful times we had with her. The pain of the loss will ease with time. As Jerry/Carol said, there will never be a replacement for Dieter, just someone new to love and care for. You're in our prayers.

  5. Hello Tom & Donna: Thanks for responding and all the info; we have worked 3 sites in Roger's area (GGS)- two near Crystal City and one on an unmarked bullet rock road 4 miles South of unincorporated Valley Wells.Currently, blogs are stating that semi's are being towed by dozers through the mud on roads, both on/off sites. Just can't do that anymore on our 06 class a; it is not a 10 ton plus 4 wheeler! GGS did want us to go straight to Catarina around 20 Nov when we wrapped up our gig (so apparently not yours, but a colleague maybe? 72 days straight was more than we had planned on working 24/7. I lived in S.A. area from roughly 1975-2002 (retired USAF/USARMY CIVIL SVC) so we prolly know a lot of similar folks/locations; lived mainly in Live Oak. Yes, ALL children should grow up with a dog; my german shepherd barked/scared away break-in garage wannabe's while I was stationed in Alaska, but the family home.Curious, though, our neighbor's who got us in GGuarding said when they started about a yr ago that Anadarko BANNED gg's from having a dog onsite! So maybe a policy change. It's also a dealbreaker for us; our little Jack Russell (Banjo)is always with us for companionship/illegal alert/constant spoiling; she tore her right rear hock ligaments and has arthritis from bounding over bullet rocks; what a trooper! Sorry about your trouble; quality medical care is near non-existent west/south of S.A.; as a disabled vet I should not even be out here lol! We are part of the Ft.Clark Springs mafia (Brackettville,TX); there are at least SIX couples on the same street here who have worked for GGS in the past 13 months plus! 'cept Donna and I seem to get the crappy assignments - laughing! they are all better near I-20 EAST of S.A. or SE TX (read Gonzales, Cuero, Moulton, etc where we also had shorter gigs. We are wishing both of you and yours a Happy an Healthy Holdiday season and good fortune in 2012.
    Sincerely, Jim and Donna

  6. If you guys read Fork, you know about Henry VIII - so named because he's my 8th dog. He is my 'once in a lifetime dog' - I do know what you mean and I'm so sorry. It must have made for a very sad Thanksgiving for you both.
    Have you decided about getting another dog? As other's have said, of course, none will replace Dieter - but I'm sure any dog would love to have a home with you. Praying for the healing of your hurting hearts.

  7. Even though I don't know you I feel your pain. I have lost many beloved pets, the most painful was my precious Liz (female kitty) There is nothing you can do to help the pain. Its been 2 years since I lost her, it is getting better. My thoughts are with you. Jan

  8. Guss a Schipperke, was one of those one-of-a-kind type of dogs for us. We got him for the girls a year after the Oklahoma City Bombing. They just felt better about having an animal for comfort. He was a real trooper, always going to the girls soccer games out of state. He loved to travel with us and never fussed. We had him for 12 years until he passed in 2008 due to prostrate cancer. We still miss our litte man. We now have our daughter's 2 dogs that she rescued. A German Shepherd/Lab mix, 106 lbs of sweetness but all boy, and a Golden Retriever/Malinois mix. A beautiful little lady, so sensitive to your needs. The girls got us another Schip for Christmas in 2009, this little guy was rescued and has fianaly become a memeber of the family. We love them all and will miss them dearly when they are gone. Our animals can't take the place of our children once they leave home, but they sure do fill a void in our hearts.

    We know that you are hurting but hang onto your beloved memories of Dieter and know he is romping in doggie heaven.