Sunday, April 26, 2009

Requiem for Anakin

Anakin had been dropped on our property in Colorado in 2002. We
watched him from a distance, with rifle at the ready, for several
days. He never attempted to hurt any of our animals. After about a
week, he began to come closer and we eventually set out food and then
brought him in.

Our daughters were wrapped up in the Star Wars phenom and chose to
name him Anakin. As a white German Shepherd, I thought this would be
OK. If he ever started to turn gray or black, I would worry... or at
least change his name to Darth Vader. The name was a nver ending
problem as no one could ever get past the Ani nickname without calling
him Annie... and she.. I'm sure Ani was never really worried about it,
but it drove me crazy.

He was very smart and had only to be told once. After being told once,
he would repeat that flawlessly or never do it again, depending on
what he'd been told. For instance, the first night he came inside with
us, he followed Quigley's lead and jumped into the bed. Ani's quite a
lot larger and he surprised me and I said "down." To his dying day he
never attempted to get on the bed again.

Sometimes, he learned by observing. We had a rabbit warren break out
of its room and we spent hours trying to catch them all. Ani watched
patiently as we scooped up rabbits and put them back in the repaired
room. From that moment on, he would bring us rabbits... terrified,
soggy, but generally undamaged rabbits in his jaws.

Once he watched us skin a chicken (we don't pluck) for dinner. He
patiently sat in his yard the next day and removed every last feather
from a chicken and presented the living, nude bird to us later on.

He was terrified of trucks and never chased cars. However, when the
decision had been made to travel, we weren't going to leave the dogs
behind. We picked him up and put him in the truck. After a couple of
stops for walks, simply saying "truck" would get him up into the back

Although he was never trained, he had that herding instinct and helped
quite often in the moving of our flocks of sheep and goats.

He was my dog. I'm often guilty of staying up late and he would
patiently sit in the living room while I finished up one project or
another. Only when I went to bed would he come and curl up under the
bed or across the bedroom door.

Through thick and thin he was my faithful companion for 7 years.

He'll be missed more than I could have ever known!

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