Shadow was infamous, he bit the dog whisperer on national TV, not that Milan did not ask for it mind you, he tried to strangle him with a leash.
However despite that he was the gentlest of dogs around me and my pack. He had the softest tongue when he licked me after scratching his ears, and he took treats so carefully from anyone who offered him something he liked. He loved cheese of any sort and when I took some cheese out of the fridge, he would be there expecting a little bit, which of course he got, and he took it so gently. I think string cheese was his favorite although he liked a good piece of cheddar.
His goal to pee on every tree and bush in the world has sadly ended, as he passed away on 27th January 2018. He had been battling various cancers for the prior 4 years, and was doing quite well, never showing any signs of discomfort. We had just returned from our normal afternoon short walk, and Nikko was playing with him. He let out a yelp and fell over and died almost immediately. I suspect one of the cancers finally got him, or his big heart finally gave out. He has left a gaping hole in my heart, as he was my heart dog, we had a very close bond, and we both suffered separation anxiety when away from each other.
He led the pack on all our walks, and was the instigator when it was time to walk, never letting me get away with skipping one.
Even though I knew he was on borrowed time it was still a shock and I was not prepared to lose him, let alone so suddenly. I am grieving and it hurts. Walks are not the same without him, and I miss seeing his head cradled in my lap and his brown eyes staring into mine when he wanted his dinner.
He instantly bonded with Vushki when I got him, and they were best buddies for the rest of his life. He was so tolerant of Nikko, who played with him and would drag him around by the scruff daily, he never once snapped at him even when it was clear he didn’t feel like playing. (none of the other dogs are that tolerant with Nikko). He was not so kind to other dogs he was not familiar with though, and out right aggressive towards unfixed male dogs. He was very good with his extended pack of dogs he knew and walked regularly with. Female dogs loved him instantly as he was a very handsome fellow.
He liked to sleep in the bathtub when we lived in California, but I usually woke up with him curled up next to my head (with his butt in my face). In the UK the last few months he started to sleep in the corner of the bathroom next to the shower (no bathtub for him to sleep in), but he very rarely got on the bed, probably because Nikko was in the way. He was very careful to never step on (or over) any of the dogs even if they were lying in the way and blocking a doorway, he would instead whine and hit the door with his paws to try to get them to move. He very rarely slept on any of the many dog beds I have scattered around (at least until the last few weeks when he started to sleep on the new one in the bed room for part of the night). He was the only one that could get up the stairs in my new house (I sleep downstairs in the downstairs bedroom because of that). It was a bit of a struggle for him in the last few months, but as the bath is upstairs he would struggle up the stairs while I was taking a bath and settle down next to the bath until I was done. He also started to lie very close to me in the office while I was watching TV or on the computer, I think he knew his time was running out.
His DNA tests said he was Alaskan Malamute, Chinese Shar-Pei, German Shepherd (White Swiss Shepherd), German Shepherd Dog Mix (I doubt the Shar-Pei bit). He was not a large Malamute though, usually weighting around 75-80 lbs for most of his life.
I will miss him terribly, and will try to remember to walk the dogs every day without his reminders.
Run free my love.
Posted by wolfmanjm on Sunday, January 28, 2018