February 21st, 2008

tinyhaven

What makes a dog special?

Today is Haven's birthday. All day I've been writing 2/21/08 and thinking "something special happened on this date. What was it?"
It's been a year since we had her euthanised and lately I've been missing her more, not less than I did in the first months after she died. Chuck misses her, too, and we've talked about getting another dog but neither of us can imagine being able to get another like Hay-hay.

I find myself wondering what it was that made her and Simon so special to us. Was it that they were Dobes? We've loved all our dogs but we both had such a strong bond with those two in particular. We got both of them as puppies which is different than every other dog (except Devon) we've had. Both Simon and Haven were typical Dobes in that they were very cuddly, sought attention almost constantly and had immense presence. They were both very sensitive to our moods, too. We couldn't ever argue in front of them--especially Haven--or they'd think we were yelling at them and act distressed.

But that also describes our GSP, Katey, who also lived to be 16. She was our first dog (other than the ones we had as kids growing up) who we inherited from my parents when they moved overseas and decided it would be better for her to go to us than to take her to Saudia Arabia. I knew nothing about dog training back then but Katey went with us everywhere, even to parties, weddings and cross-country car trips. And of course we missed her when she was gone, but somehow not in quite the same way we miss Haven and Simon.
And we also had Jemma for almost 14 years. She was the first Dobe I ever had, adopted from the local shelter. She was a wonderful, sweet dog who was my first competion dog. I got a CD on her and a TD and we visited nursing homes together for several years. And, of course I missed her after she was gone.

But I don't remember wanting to somehow be able to replace either Katey or Jemma with dogs just like them.  I missed them, I wished they could have lived forever, but I never wished I could find another with exactly the same personality and traits.
Does anyone else feel this way? Is there a pet you had that you've never really "gotten over"? If so, why do you think you feel that way?