Saturday, August 11, 2012


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Shiduri when she first came to us.

She came to us starved, neglected and abused. One of the first things we did was change her name: your old life is over; you are loved.

From the moment Saum saw her on the Great Dane rescue site, Saum knew she was ours. She was in the Dakotas (can’t remember which one), then she was gone from the site. Her name was A. J.

We were looking for a larger dog after Asha (aka Asha boo or Asha the boo). Our other rescue dog, Barnabas (aka B-dog) was morning her loss, deeply depressed. He needed her; she needed us.

We met her in a northern St. Paul suburb at a foster family. It was the same dog A. J.: delisted and moved to the Twin Cities to try and find a home here. She had come to us: we found each other.

Rechristened Shiduri (aka Shiduri-Doo, the Doo) after the Goddess in epic heroic tales, she was the goofiest dog we’ve ever owned. We set about feeding her copious amounts of high-quality dog food, mineral supplements and oil to help her gain weight, measuring the amount to not make it too sudden. She was hand shy, especially around men: scared but trusting of us.

We discovered Scooby-Doo nailed the Great Dane. They are constantly hungry, try to talk and are scared of everything. A thunder storm would find her trying to crawl into our lap: all 110 lbs. of her. Dane’s are tall enough to reach the top of the refrigerator. She could be petted from a standing position without and leaning down. She carried a whip at her backside more dangerous than Indiana Jones. (The Great Dane rescue site warned about “the whip”.)

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Pink Panther tail maintenance, or a slow morphing.
Our front hall used to be splattered with blood. That whip-like tail would fly freely, bang against the wall unbeknownst or uncaring of her, and open on the end: sending blood freely through the air. We would take a piece of gauze and vet wrap it to her: hot pink she was slowly turning into the Pink Panther.

Great Dane’s are high maintenance. You have to watch for bloat, which she suffered once. We had to constantly watch her weight, what she could get into (head standing higher than a counter top) and in the end she suffered an inflammatory disease. It was all worth it.

She was the goofiest dog I’ve had. We spent time bonding when Saum was gone. Sitting together, laying together, rides in the car. When I took her to the pet store, every little kid would come up asking to pet her, “what kind of dog is this?” A Scooby-Doo dog, I would say (in my opinion the most popular dog in the world). She was taller than most of them, but they always approached with awe in their eyes; me holding her by the smallest, thinnest, gentlest of leashes.

Why do we continue to put ourselves though this? Because of the love they give. Dogs are special. They bond differently than other animals. They feel like ours with an interdependence I don’t feel with my cat or horses. All these different animal relationships are unique in what they ask and offer.

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My dear goofy dog.

I will miss her. I miss Kalia (my first dog), Dagaz and Asha (Kalia’s offspring I hand-delivered at their birth) and now Shiduri. Parting with a pet is one of the most difficult decisions a pet owner can make. You have to separate your needs from hers and see into what she is asking: does she want to fight and keep going, or does she want to rest. Shiduri asked to rest. Her sleep passed her into a different world. Run fast my friend. Run fast.

1 comment:

  1. What a soul she was! I apologize for the delay in responding to this blog post, but I wanted to ponder over it awhile, and especially give myself some time to get over some of my own sadness last month. Looking at the photos of your beloved dog gives me a sense of peace. I feel this dog knew your love and had a wonderful life. Her eyes, those eyes! How kind in that last photo there... I bet she was a wonderful fur-person to nap with.