We have been blessed with a gentle giant for almost 10 years.
She was a small fluff ball when she joined our family, in the shape of a small St Bernard, and Beethoven era was upon us. It was like a Gremlin hairy ball, who grew fast.
One important piece of advise, never go see St Bernard puppies with your kids! That’s how we ended up with three dogs simultaneously; labrador, Bernese Mountain Dog and St Bernard. Each dog become a bigger breed.
Nevertheless, we loved the dogs and they became part of our family. Kids rode them like ponies, ran with them in the snow and cried as the parted us, walking across the Rainbow Bridge.
Chiquita (named after the banana for no apparent reason) was the last of the trio. She was a gentle clumsy giant, who loved everyone she met. Yes, she wasn’t the brightest bulb in the lamp shop, but that didn’t bother her or us. It was the sheer love she gave us, in particular the kids.
It was a moving carpet and when she slept the neighbours could hear her snoring. It resonated throughout the house. At times I woke up in the middle of the night to move her, which only lasted a few minutes. We had many fun filled moments with her … or at least on her account 🙂
- If she was in the garden, and I would call, she would look the opposite direction. Not to piss me off, but simply because she had no clue where my voice came from. EVEN, if I would stand 10 yards from her.
- When shaking her head, we would have slobber streaks on walls and ceiling, as well as furniture, windows, TV, furniture – that’s just part of having a large breed.
- A few times she was running towards me, only to trip over her front legs, almost crash into the ground, but magically recover the fall gracefully.
- We would throw her treats, almost hitting her head. She either couldn’t see the treat or had not idea what to do when we threw them. She just continued to stare at whoever was throwing it.
- She had the ability to dig out treats hidden in her dry-food, and lick off all gravy, and still leave all the dry-food behind. She was a picky eater. In fact, she would only eat meats and treats while in heat.
You can imagine the sadness that fell upon the family, when we found her lifeless in the living room the other morning. She had slept in during the early morning. I gently petted her head and body, said a few loving words, and then woke up my wife with the sad news.
The girls woke up and broke into tears. They knew she was old, but that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. They hugged the fluffy giant while she slept, and my wife cancelled school that day. It was simply too much for the girls.
Later that day, we carried her (not easy to carry 140lbs) to the car and I drove her to the vet. One final visit and final goodbyes. The girls had joined me, but couldn’t hold back the tears as they drove her away. My oldest ran over to stretcher and gave her a strong loving hug, while tears were rolling down her face. Then she came to me and needed a big hug.
Now the third dog has crossed the rainbow bridge, waiting for us to one day come across to play with them again.