Tag Archives: death

Si?ab: A Tribute to a German Shepherd #Dog

adultSiab blog
Everything in a writer’s life shapes her writing whether that is joy or sorrow. On Saturday at approximately 9:30 a.m. my beloved German Shepherd, Si?ab Vom Das Massiv, died. My wife and I were with her when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Her beautiful and gentle soul has been a guiding light in my writing and in my life. She was my Muse. It was she who guided my decision to write Death by Dog, a Special Crimes Team anti-dog fighting novel.

For several years, I bred Si?ab to a wonderful working line GSD, Griswold Von Grunheide owned by #SuzanneEviston, a police dog breeder and trainer. They produced excellent pups. Shortly after the sale of the last pup from Si?ab’s last litter I read an article in the newspaper about a German Shepherd who had been beaten nearly to death and tossed in a dumpster in Seattle to die. Fortunately, some kind soul heard a whimper from the dumpster and rescued the dog. He survived. I shuddered and quickly checked the photo of the dog. It was colored differently than any dogs birthed by Si?ab. I inhaled a relieved breath; however, the seeds of Death by Dog were sown.
dbdcover1

Dogs and books have been constants in my life. One of my first memories is of a dog named Trixie, a German Shepherd rescued from the Animal Shelter. After I learned to read at the age of six, I often hid in the attic of our old three-story house next to one of its grimy windows. As the dull light seeped through, I read for hours with Trixie lying next to my leg. For those hours, I was transported from my violence-ridden neighborhood into a different world.

My imagination fired by the stories I read had me scribbling stories of my own. My grandfather, Pap, would have me sit on his lap and read my latest story to him. He suffered through every childish word as if he listened to the next Pulitzer Prize winner.

As spring gave way to summer of my fifth grade year and school edged toward its three month closure my teacher, Mrs. V., made me promise to continue writing during vacation.That summer my family moved out of the neighborhood where I had grown up, yet I faithfully kept my promise to Mrs. V. Though Trixie died a couple of years before we moved, that June my mother took me to the Animal Shelter where I purchased a black Lab. I named him Laddie.

During those long summer days Laddie gamboled by my side as we walked up the grassy slope to the copse of trees at the back of the property where my mother had moved us. He would sniff and wander about, and then return to lie down by my side as I scribbled story after story. By the start of school that fall, I was hooked on writing.

Later in life during those times I found myself either living on the road or homeless, dogs and books remained my constant companions. They stoked the guttering fires of hope; they fueled the flames that burned inside of me. And I wrote.

I wrote articles for newspapers about racism and the horror of the child welfare system. I wrote poems and flung them into the world through the pages of anthologies and newspapers. I wrote short stories and published some of them in small magazines. And always a dog lay next to me.

During the past ten years, Si?ab led me into the experiences of #Schutzhund and #agility.
SIAB_TUNNEL

She followed me as I planted trees and fought back invasive blackberries as my wife and I transformed a neglected farm into a wildlife/wild bird habitat. She trotted next to me as I rode on horseback through forests and along mountain trails; and camped far from city lights.

She never knew a stranger unless he threatened my wife or me, and then her teeth would warn him away. Children mauled her as she lay waiting patiently for her turn on the agility fields. Inevitably, people who met her came to love and respect her gentle soul.

When my wife’s old German Shepherd, Katrina, died last spring, Si?ab spent a lot of time during those first few months comforting my wife. These past few weeks, undoubtedly sensing that her time to Travel to the Other Side loomed close, she spent nearly every waking and sleeping moment next to me as if she knew how much I would soon need those memories.

Now the job of comforting and inspiring me falls to Isis, Si?ab’s daughter. This morning she wrapped herself around my legs and pressed against me; she dispensed kisses and laid quietly on the couch as I drank my morning tea—a job Si?ab always performed to get my day off to a pleasant start.
Start day w Siab

Dogs and books. They have been constants in my world, grounding me; inspiring me. They give me strength and courage to face life and to send out words that I hope will–someday, somehow–help transform the world into a better place.
5 GSDs in a row
Siab Rainbow Bridge

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#Highway530: In Memoriam

A TRIBUTE TO THOSE WE LOST AND THE FOUR LESSONS THEY LEFT BEHIND:
March 22, 2014 10:37 A.M.
aDarkTime

Oso_landslide_(WSP)

Sorrow seemed to swallow us whole.
light in darkness

We came together–to search for an elusive miracle. We found that miracle in each other, and in the children who shouldered a burden that no child should ever have to lift. They came–from the young Cub Scouts who raised money to the children who helped serve food to the workers to the teenagers who stocked shelves.

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In a community grieving, we found the first hint that
light

We came to accept that
NoMatterHowLong

Eventually, we realized

thoseWhoSeemGone

Four lessons grew from the soil of that tragedy:

footsteps

beauty

savor

Though life holds disappointments, broken dreams,and sorrow
butterfly

This blog post is dedicated to the 43 people that were lost when the Highway 530 Mudslide took out the small community of Steel Head Drive and the surrounding area once known as Hazel, Washington.

Many of these image quotes can be found in Biker Granny’s Motorcycle Philosophy
http://www.amazon.com/Biker-Grannys-Motorcycle-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B019APE7W2

For photos taken during the search and rescue efforts after the slide:
http://www.seattletimes.com/news/highway-530-mudslide-east-of-arlington/

FROM THE FULL ARCHIVE OF THE EVERETT HERALD’S COVERAGE OF HIGHWAY 530 MUDSLIDE: CURRENT ISSUES FOR SURVIVORS AND VICTIMS OF SLIDE:
http://www.heraldnet.com/section/osomudslide
FEB. 26, 2016
Now, there will be no mudslide trial before mid-to-late September.King County Superior Court Judge Roger Rogoff changed the schedule in a Feb. 18 ruling that came after lawyers for Snohomish County, the state of Washington, and a timber company all said more time is necessary.The delay was opposed by lawyers representing the families of the 43 people who were killed and dozens of others who were injured in March 2014 when a wall of mud and trees raced across the Stillaguamish River valley.“It cannot be underscored more deeply at this stage that Plaintiffs deserve their day in court,” the lawyers wrote. “The trauma of survivors and surviving family members endures while this case is prolonged and remains unresolved.”

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