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Sad Spring

This has been a sad spring for pets. Shortly before the Walk for Animals at the beginning of May, three beloved pets went to the Rainbow Bridge: Bailey, who lived with the Rahns in Rapid City; Frank, who lived with Phil and Jody here; and Max, who lived with the Staffords (Becka's family) in Rapid City. Now there's a fourth to add to that list: Auslese, who lived with Dave and Linda in Ames, IA.

She's been having some problems for a while, but nothing that might indicate a serious problem that needed to be dealth with immediately. But apparently on Sunday, May 28, she collapsed, and before Dave could get her to the vet, she had stopped breathing. My heart goes out to them, particularly because Dave was alone when it happened, and Linda wasn't there when it happened. Coming home to no dog is one of the hardest things I can imagine doing; it's the number one reason I will always have two dogs.

But it's not just that. Lese was a model Rottweiler. We've known her for her entire life. Marley taught her to swim when she was just a little baby. We went walking down at Lake Nokomis, and Marley went right into the water at the boat dock like he always did. Little Lese, not knowing any better at the tiem, did exactly what Marley did. I just wish I had a video of her reaction once she realized what had happened.

After we lost Marley (and Dave and Linda lost their boy Max the very next day), Lese and Caela became friends. Because Caela was dog agressive and Linda's other Rottie girl, Sheba, was dog aggressive, we started walking one week with Caela, then the next with the Rottie girls. At some point, though, Linda asked if we could try walking Lese with Caela because the young one just wasn't getting enough exercise. The first day was a lot of build-up for nothing. I had Caela on a short leash, she had Lese at heel, and I'm pretty sure the two humans were the only ones who cared. For whatever reason, whether it was all of the treat bribes or the fact that they were so used to the other's smell, the two girls sniffed at each other then completely ignored each other. No growling, no pulling, no nothing. It was just a non-event.

Of course, after Dave and Linda moved to Rochester, we didn't see them very much. We were in the area right when they were moving because we were visiting Scott's family, but every time they came back to visit, Lese stayed with Linda's mom because they flew out here. We got to see them all at Ren Fest last August, when Linda was just pregnant, and Linda came up again in February to give a guest lecture, and then we got to see Lese for the last time when they came up in May.

She always remembered me, and she always remembered Remy. She wasn't quite sure about Payton, because they'd never met, but Remy and I were A-OK. This is my very favorite picture of her; it's one that Linda took a couple of years before they left Minnesota:

Auslese-Summer-2000.jpg

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There is nothing quite like the love shared with an animal friend.