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  #11  
Old 11-03-2006, 11:28 PM
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A-w-w-w-w...what neat stories Otch. They sounded like amazing dogs. I love hearing (reading) about all of your heart dogs. They all have such a special place in our lives. I'm kind stuck too. It's been a while since I lost my GSD, but he may have been my other heart dog. He was pretty amazing and I had him when my kids were babies. He was wonderful with them and all kids. I even had home day care when I had him and he looked after all the kids and licked the babies faces affectionately. He was obedient and terribly affectionate. He developed degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disease and it was pathetic. My husband and I buried him on our property and we sobbed hysterically for days.

But I would have to say, looking back and comparing (which is sort of ridiculous) that Lyric, my Doberman is even more in your face affectionate, more stuck like glue to me, more "into" me, I guess just a little more dependent. He's just right there all the time. He's the most intelligent dog I've had...intelligent in the way of quick to learn new things. He's fun, perky, alert and his temperament and personality is just awesome. He can be such a fruit cake....a very strong personality. Everything I like about dogs, he has the traits 10 times over. You can't help but get super bonded to a Doberman. They won't have it any other way. LOL.

A-w-w-w....but my little Jose. He's sooooooo sweet. And Chulita....a-w-w-w-w..she's so sweet too. I really have no favorites. I love them all. But there's just something a little different about a heart dog, some little pinch of something.... can't explain. Can you? What is the difference between a heart dog and a dog you love just as much? Love is one thing and what's the other thing? Can someone please explain? LOL
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2006, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfacedanes View Post
My heart dog was Shelby, my previous Great Dane. We just went through so much together, and her loss was so very devastating to me.

You can read her memorial here:
http://www.leansnslobbers.net/shelby.html
What a lovely site, and a lovely story. It made me cry, but your loyalty to her and hers to you was a beautiful thing.

I think those of us that have dogs and love dogs and can see their true value and nature, those of us who cherish them, become a little bit dog ourselves. We start to adopt the kind of love and loyalty and unconditional care that they give to us. I'm sure that our dogs whom we love more than anything in the world, understand and feel our emotions and our spirit, it's truly a bond that nothing human could ever match. Thank you for sharing.

Grammy, Doberluv - I know what you mean about your male dogs. Chester is my baby boy - he lives for cuddles, always maneouvres himself into a position where he can touch you, or better still, lay in your lap (all 65lb of him!).

Ruby doesn't give her physical love so freely - when you are granted a cuddle it's such a special thing. But when you open your mouth - even if it's just to say one word and even if she's asleep - her tail starts thumping. There is nothing like it in the world. She was my first true doggy love, and although I love Chester just as much - JUST as much - Ruby has a special place for me. She doesn't cuddle much, but she always wants to be near me. When I'm at the computer (like now) she squeezes under the desk and goes to sleep at my feet. Yet Chester follows me from room to room - no matter what I'm doing.

Doberluv - I know what you mean about Lyric. There is a doberman at Ruby and Chester's daycare called Portia, who is the sweetest soul - she reminds me of Chester. Such a loving girl. Portia and Tracy, one of the owners, are best friends (Portia is there four days a week) and the love between them is a beautiful thing to see. Actually, Tracy's beloved Border Collie, Bette, died a couple of weeks ago. She was so old - she died curled up with the youngest dog there - four month old Silky Terrier, Poppy. They got a photo and put it in the newsletter. I am sure that Bette was Tracy's heart dog, too.

I think the quintessential difference lies in the little things. Whenever I hear horror stories of bad things happening to dogs, people who's dogs go missing or are stolen, Ruby is always the one that pops into my head first. And it bothers me because I love Chester just as much and would be shattered if anything ever happened to him. But when I think of losing my Ruby my heart stops. Literally. I don't know - it's strange. I feel like I'm doing my Chester a disservice, because I just adore him, in such a special way. Perhaps there is no difference really - but who knows??
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Last edited by Rubylove; 11-03-2006 at 11:49 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2006, 11:58 PM
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I've only had two dogs of my own so far, but Tango definitely fits the description of a 'heart dog'. She's everything I could ever ask for in a dog and has been absolutely perfect for me (well, she does have issues with new dogs sometimes, but that's all). She and I do absolutely everything together and it's truly hard to imagine life without her. In fact, I was just thinking the other day that time seems to be going by so fast with her. She'll be 4 in January, which isn't old, but it still bothers me. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about having to live without her someday. I have never felt so much love for a dog as I do her. She is so in-tune to me and seems to know exactly how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking all the time. She lives to please me. She couldn't care less about anything unless it makes me happy. She's my constant shadow and is never too far behind me. I really don't know what else to say about her at the moment...she's just the perfect dog.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2006, 11:59 PM
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There's a small, unique difference, in my opinion. We love all of the dogs we've owned and will own in the future, but with that "heart" dog... that's the one that when they lay on the couch with you and look in your eyes, you are certain they are reading all of your thoughts. And you believe, after time, you can read theirs. That bond is as close to truly communicating with another species as any of us will come. Mine always told me to get up get the can opener!
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  #15  
Old 11-04-2006, 12:00 AM
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Shiner was my heart dog. Only my second dog, but she was very special to me. She was originally my brother's dog, he got her from a shelter in eastern Washington. She was a very strong Chow/Lab (god knows what else) mix. Hard-headed, aloof and pretty aggressive - she leapt at my brother when he entered her cage, hit him in the face and gave him a black eye. Hence the name.

I met Shiner when I was about 4 years old (she was about 4 or older, or so my brother thought) and my brother moved into our house. We didn't love each other at first sight - she was my brother's dog, then. For about a year, she was Matt's dog. She played fetch with me and grew to like me as a playmate, but pined away for Matt, barked and whined when he was gone, etc. Our relationship really changed about a year later. I was in the pasture with our calves, and one of our more aggressive older heifers somehow got into the calf pasture. She cornered me near the electric fence and I didn't have anywhere to go besides slide through the electric fence and get shocked. My parents were watching me and ran to the gate to distract her, but she was still dead-set on putting me in my place. Shiner got between me and the heifer and pushed her back. She held her there until my parents came to get me and put her back in the right pasture.

After that, she never stopped looking out for me. I respected her more after that (I was a pushy, bossy kid) and she returned that respect with her complete devotion. We grew up together, she was very trustworthy and protective around the cattle (but not afraid to protect us from the cattle that she normally protected) our ranch dog, but she was also my buddy. She knew when the school bus would drop me off, and always ran down our 1/2 mile driveway to wait for me to get off the bus and walk back to the house with me. Every single day. She even knew my early release days.

When I was about 7, my brother moved out. He decided he would take Shiner with him to his new house, a little place a few miles away. I was devastated, my parents missed having a dog to protect the ranch, and we were thinking of bringing home a Great Pyrenees pup when I found her waiting at the bus stop for me. She was panting like mad, and had obviously JUST arrived at the bus stop. She ran home. She did this nearly every day for a week or so, until Matt called us and asked us to keep her until he could get a fenced yard. We said absolutely, and Shiner was my dog for 6 more years. Matt did get a fenced yard, but never asked us about taking her back. Technically, she *was* his, but her heart belonged to me.

As we matured together, we just bonded closer. I grew up and she got less protective and "bossy" around me, but she never stopped watching out for me. She saved me from so many potentially horrible situations as a kid. I was a very independent, headstrong kid and liked to go places alone. My parents would only let me out to play at night if I had Shiner with me. She was my bodyguard.

Gawd, that dog was so special to me. When we moved and started traveling in an RV, she got very depressed. She was about 14 then, we think, and obviously missed having a job to do. She was never off the leash in the RV parks - always either inside the small 5th wheel, tethered outside or on a walk with me. We found ways to sneak her off the leash for a good game of fetch, but she wasn't happy. We didn't see this ending any time soon, and in autumn of 2003 I made the decision to find another home for her. A lovely woman on a reservation had acreage, chickens, goats and children for Shiner to protect, and a connection with her upon meeting her. The woman drove from northern Arizona, met her and took her home after Shiner and I said our goodbyes. I bawled for weeks. When I recovered and was satisfied that she had a good home with Leilani, I brought home Ripley. I loved him to death, though I never forgot about shiner. Not even for a day. I periodically exchanged emails with her new owner, but lost touch after a few months.

She lived for about another year. I got the e-mail from her owner in autumn of 2004, telling me that she had passed away. I was heartbroken, even more than I was when I rehomed her. I felt nothing but regret that I hadn't been able to spend that last year with her.

A couple weeks after that, I found out about a male Border Collie puppy whose placement with a family had fallen through due to divorce. 2 weeks later, he was mine.

I haven't had Dakota for very long, but he's a very special dog too. I have the same connection with him at age 2 that I had with Shiner at age 12+. We understand each other. It's silly, but I do think my girl was looking out for me when I got Dakota. He's not Shiner reincarnated, by any means - he's a ditz sometimes, he's very flamboyant and his demonstrations of affection are overwhelming. Really, as far as personality goes, he's her opposite - he's pure enthusiasm 100% of the time, and she was the picture of apathy (unless there was work or swimming to be done). He has a spirit so like hers, though. He has the same intelligent face, he's so very devoted and really is a "lassie" type dog. Very responsible. We have a very deep, special connection and I'm looking forward to growing up with him.

I don't really have 'favorite' dogs, I've LOVED every dog I've had, and all have been very special to me. Ripley especially, being the first puppy I raised, is very dear to me. Buster and Buddy were such sweet, goofy dogs, too. I loved them. There's just something special about certain dogs, though. Shiner had that something special, and Dakota seems to as well.

Yeesh, what a long post! But yes, that was my special girl. I'm so glad I had her in my life as long as I did. I'll always love her.

(she was 12 in this picture. She aged so gracefully, getting just the tiniest flecks of grey on her chin in her last year or two.)
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  #16  
Old 11-04-2006, 12:06 AM
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My heartdog is Benny, my yellow lab we lost right before last Christmas. We had to work so hard with him when we adopted him at one year old. He needed to learn some manners, so I spent alot of time with him. When he arrived, he just raced around our house to the point we could hardly ever see what his face looked like.....just a yellow streak. My kids (little then) ran for cover, gathered their belongings and put everything in their rooms, my daughter calling us "mean parents" for letting devil dog join our family. We did a couple long sessions of basic obedience classes, and lots of practice. When he learned manners, he was better behaved, but still so full of life.We had three yellow labs over the years, and we loved each one, yet Benny had sooooo much personality, so much life, such funny habits, and just stuck close by me when I was upset, he was always right there by my feet. And his tail wagged his whole body, knocking everything out of the way. He had a strong presence, faithful, loyal, and we miss him so much. Our new puppy Herbie, now 11 mths old is capturing my heart. He has the "funnyness" of Benny, and instead of laying at my feet, he just lays on my lap ( all 63+ lbs.), a lover boy! We have become attached very quickly.
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2006, 12:09 AM
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What special stories !! Bless these special dogs and the memories !
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  #18  
Old 11-04-2006, 12:12 AM
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Otch, I know what you mean about the quiet communication. So true!
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  #19  
Old 11-04-2006, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otch1 View Post
There's a small, unique difference, in my opinion. We love all of the dogs we've owned and will own in the future, but with that "heart" dog... that's the one that when they lay on the couch with you and look in your eyes, you are certain they are reading all of your thoughts. And you believe, after time, you can read theirs. That bond is as close to truly communicating with another species as any of us will come. Mine always told me to get up get the can opener!
Oh, I know exactly what you mean. Shiner could always see through me. She knew when I was sad, when I was angry, or uncomfortable. She typically wasn't fond of eye contact, but sometimes she'd walk up to me, stick her face in mine and stare at me for some time. It wasn't a dominance thing like so many people said - I think it was her best attempt to speak to me.
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  #20  
Old 11-04-2006, 12:16 AM
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Binn is my heart dog
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