By Lori Hanson
People let me tell you ’bout my best friend,
He’s a warm-hearted person who’ll love me till the end.
People let me tell you bout my best friend,
He’s a one boy cuddly toy, my up, my down, my pride and joy.
(Lyrics from theme song for Courtship of Eddie’s Father)
These lyrics keep rolling through my head this morning. The day after I had to let my best friend Yager go. He was the sweetest most loving, guardian and constant companion. Wherever I went, Yager went. I still remember driving him home all the way to Mt Evans. He didn’t want to be in the box, he wanted to be on my lap. And even at 85 pounds he thought he could be my lap dog.
A couple of his baby pics.
The cool thing about dogs not having the same life expectancy as we do is that you get to experience difference personalities and traits from the different dogs that you have in your life.
Yager came to me when Alta my Samoyed was four. And from an early age he was trying to compete with her. He had a great sense of humor and was full of boundless energy as a pup. My niece Tayler was four when I got him and they were the best of buddies. Yager would jump up on her because he was so excited to see her, knock her over and she giggled and got back up to play with him some more. After he turned five he did start to calm down thankfully. He was a big momma’s boy and very protective of his girls be it Alta, Sasha or me.
Everyone asked me what he was. “He must be a Shepherd mix or a Rottie mix? Nope. His mom was Akita and Malamute (I wanted a Malamute) 105 pounds and looked just like a wolf (I have a thing for wolves and arctic dogs). His dad was a husky. And yet here he was with big floppy ears that I was sure in the beginning were going to stand up! His cute brown eyebrows made him irresistible.
So many memories of such an incredible life. Thank goodness for cameras that make times like this a little easier. I can focus on all the wonderful things he brought to me instead of how much I’m missing him today.While we lived in Colorado, we enjoyed hiking in the mountains, playing at Chatfield and long walks. By the time we hit Cali he was nine and still in great spirits. We lost Alta three months later. He loved having me to himself, but he was lonely.Sasha came into our lives nine months later as a nine week old pup. It took Yager two weeks to let her near him, but she won him over and they had an even closer bond than he had with Alta and played all the time.
He was happy wherever he was. Always a smile, always the wag of the tail and ready to play or walk. He really loved riding in the car. He rarely sat or laid down, he wanted to see what was going by out the window. He stood for at least seven hours on our trip when we moved to California. Plus, he could continue to check on me while standing. So with these memories and many more I say good-bye to Yager. My big, overgrown lap dog with a heart of gold. Yager who tried so hard to be the alpha dog, but it was not to be. Yager who drooled at the site of popcorn because he just knew how good it was gonna taste. Yager aka 24×7, the pet me, pet me, pet me dog. Silly Yager who cheated when playing tug-of-war with Sasha and me and used his paw to break her hold on the long-legged octopus. My workout companion, my office mate, shadow and protector.Goodbye my sweet, sweet friend. RIP Yager 5-11-1997 to 3-14-2011