Chari (AKA Chary) Naspo,
I know in my heart you knew how much I loved you, and just how protective I was of you. You were not my first dog, but you were my first baby. Klondike was my childhood friend, while you were something I kept safe. Knowing your story and how mishandled you were by that trainer made me feel the need to hold you and keep you safe from anyone that would hit you. The day I brought you in my home and you 'hit the deck' at just me lifting my hand. I comforted you and made sure you knew nothing bad was going to happen. Your previous owners knew me...even though we were just mere acquaintances. They gave her, just gave you to me. Not once asking for a penny in return. They knew I would love you and do everything in my power to keep you safe and care for you. In just one week you broke three food containers and looked like a beach ball because you ate 40lbs of food each time you broke into a food container. I finally managed to find a container that would pass the Naspo inspection. I mean I could put it behind a closed door, but that didn't matter, you knew how to open closed doors! And if you wanted out of a kennel you merely broke your way through it. You challenged me to outsmart and out wit the bionic dog.
I did though, in one week I figured out how to GSD proof my tiny one bedroom apartment and how to exercise you to the point that you would crash in the car ride back home. An hour of play time and three hours at the dog park with thirty minute training sessions twice a day did it for you. I made time for you along with rehabilitating you from your fear. So well you were able to do a little Schutzen just to see that you were over the trauma. Your old owners were happy to let you have a 'bite' and to see that you had more drive than last time.
What really struck me was after you were home in my care for a months time Klondike (my border collie mix) realized you weren't going anywhere. You weren't a dog that mommy was sitting. You were staying and she leapt off the handle and attacked you, but you..you didn't bite back, but you did not submit to her either. I stepped in, against, the danger...but I KNEW Klondike would not turn on me, and I SAW you were not fighting back. I stopped her, and I put her in the bathroom to cool down while I took you to the vet. No stitches but you leg hurt you. I bandaged you and despite everyone saying 'I could never keep two females, it won't work. She will hurt you again.' I knew I could work it! I knew I could teach Klondike to respect me, and I was the one in charge of you two. With reinforcement and a strict one hour session (involving a muzzle for short bursts) she learned that her toys were privileges and her food was controlled by me. There was no more aggression of that magnitude from her again. And you once more were safe from harm.
That incident showed me just how kind you were. You could have snapped, you could have hurt her, but you did not. You never wanted to harm a single soul. Your first fur baby was a rat named mitch who loved you so much he broke out of his cage just to snuggle and groom you. You let him, and you even groomed him back like he was a puppy. Then..you took in two orphaned kittens..let them suckle on you! I remember one time we thought you were going to kill one of them. You had picked him up and our hearts stopped when you opened your mouth on him, but quickly we realized you picked him up like a puppy...circled, then laid him down by your stomach. Oh sweety! You were amazing!
Your tennis ball! Oh you and the tennis ball! You would fall asleep on many occassions with a ball in your mouth. It was the cutest thing. Daddy has many pictures of you with a tennis ball in your mouth. ****! In my frantic sadness of your passing I picked the ball up before we loaded you in the car..I didn't even know I had it in my pocket until I went to lock the doors. I picked up your ball like you would need it! I lost it! Daddy comforted me..but I know it was your time and god took you knowing we had sensed your time, we kissed you and loved on you before we left for dinner. We hoped to be back for you, to have had one more Chari loves.
I remember so many good memories of you..the goofy way you would bounce up and down like an excited fawn when I said Chartard! How almost everything was so precious and needed love from you. I would just look at you and you would get up and try and cuddle on my lap. It was like you were so focused on me sometimes you would knock into things and even step on a cat or bulldoze Kodi! Oh, Nassipo!
I will miss you, but I know you will be up there with your horde of tennis balls..probably searching the heavens to collect every ball like you would at the dog park! Then you will probably lay down with them all like a little dragon guarding her jewels and not sharing...but I know you won't lift a lip or make a growl...you will just stalk that ball thief until he makes a single mistake, then you will snatch it back...because that is what my little angel does. Never will she lift a lip to hurt another.
And you know...that is what you taught me. You taught me, no matter what wrong happens...don't yell, don't bite...just wait...you will have your opportunity!
Thank you for being in my life, and thank you for being the best GSD a first time owner can ever have. Daddy and I will join you one day...and you bet it I will be there to play and snuggle you along with K-girl and Tiger! Just keep them safe like you always have, and don't run Tiger over...remember she has claws!