Yesterday was one of the hardest days Norm and I have had to endure since our marriage. Our beautiful Swiss Shepherd Navajo passed away suddenly. He came running into the lounge with his legs going all over the place and he ran across the lounge to my desk and collapsed. By the time I could get over to him his eyes were fixed ahead and his tongue was blue.
Our builder Mark was here and we called him downstairs and he lifted Navajo and he and Norman ran out to jump in the car and go to the vet. Mark is trained as a paramedic and he did CPR on Navajo all the way there. However I know that he was gone almost as soon as he hit the floor.
The vet said that due to the suddenness of his death it could have been a cobra, but it could have been a heart attack or a stroke. We opted not to do an autopsy as the reason does not matter, the effect is the same. He is gone.
While Norm and Mark were away at the vet I was sitting on the couch and wailing and our cat Blue who we always think is a self-centered arse, got up and ran over to me and tried to comfort me. He climbed in my lap and kept meowing and tapping me with his paw. It just goes to show that even grumpy animals have depths we do not always realise.
Yesterday morning before his collapse I had been sitting at my computer writing my blog and a little sunbird flew up to the door in front of me and sat on the security gate and looked me in the eye then flew off. I always know these are messages from my grandma. I did not know what it could have been about, I thought maybe it was because it was my Mom’s birthday. But then today when I was again sitting at my desk I was thinking about the bird visit and realising it was my Gran offering me comfort or a warning and then the photograph of her that I have in the ancestors corner of my desk rolled onto its side, right in front of my eyes.
Last night Norm kept being woken up to the sound of Navajo barking. I know that their souls are very close soon after death and I hope that it was Navajo offering Norman comfort.
I sent a message to the breeder we had gotten Navajo from and I did not receive any response and then I checked her page and saw she had not posted in over a year. We googled her name and found out that she had died. We had not heard that news and it made me sad. I like to think that she is with Navajo, with Lily’s dog Bacardi and with my friend Rose’s dog Ozzie who passed recently. Hopefully she can train Nava better than we did as he pretty much just did whatever he wanted regardless of what we asked him to do. We never managed to succeed in getting him trained, despite how intelligent he was. He was a very clever dog but to be honest we did not try very hard as he was usually well behaved in his independence.
I still remember the day we went to the breeder’s home to meet Navajo. In those days his name was Ivanhoe but we were not fond of that and we chose Navajo because of my heritage and because it had a similar sound to Ivanhoe and he picked it up no problem.
We reminisced about the day he actually came home from the breeder. He had stolen a whole crate of raw eggs that morning when the breeder was feeding them all and when he arrived at our house he had the most explosive horrendously smelling runny tummy. He was so embarrassed and we were all so nauseous. Bless him, he had such dignity he must be mortified I am telling all of you this.
He was such a gorgeous puppy.
It is so strange to think he was once the same size as Pixie and Panda.
He so wanted to be part of the pack as there were dozens of Swiss running wild at the breeders home.
He went through a funny looking phase where he was mostly ears and stubby little legs.
When we first brought Navajo home the cats did not know what to do with themselves. Navajo had never seen a cat and was very curious about them. The cats moved outside and refused to come into the house for weeks. Eventually they were completely comfortable with him and he and Lola ended up having a very special relationship.
Sometimes he was a bit heavy handed with the little ones but they knew he meant no harm. He had a special voice he used to talk to the cats.
Blue would hide and run when Navajo saw him. This little game went on every day for weeks til Blue tired of it.
Once he settled into life with his new family he was very happy. He slept by our bedside, he lay on the stairs between his Daddy and the front door. He was always present to guard and keep us safe. He and Panda kept close watch together.
He and Panda had a funny relationship. Navajo seemed to think Panda was his baby, he groomed him and was constantly on guard to protect him from any harm. He followed him around the garden and wanted to lie next to him if Panda would allow it.
Pixie and Navajo had a sort of love hate relationship. They both thought they were the boss. But they always joined forces to defend us from the garbage truck on Fridays.
If Pixie was getting attention and Navajo wanted to distract her he would steal her toys and bring them to us, knowing that Pixie would want the toys and he could nip in for some love. Or sometimes he just liked to tease her.
Whenever we had people sleeping over Navajo would always bring them a present of some sort in the morning. He would grab whatever he could, a pillow or a toy or even his bed and trot in with a swagger and a smile.
Navajo loved to lie on the hill in our garden, from his vista there he could see both gates and the front door.
He loved going out in the back of Norman’s truck, he begged to go anywhere each time Norm put on his shoes and picked up his car keys.
When he got a bit older we bought a ramp to get him in and out as he could not jump because of his leg.
He loved going on walks with his pack.
His favorite treat was peanut butter. He would take any sort of medication if it was wrapped up in peanut butter and he loved it when the jar was empty and he was allowed to lick the dregs. He would carry the jar around for days and growl fiercely if anyone tried to take it from him.
We sometimes had to give him panado or CBD when he was in pain. He injured his back ankle when he was young and it ended up becoming arthritic. This affected his gait and would put his back out of alignment. He was on a regular cycle of seeing the chiropractor every 5 weeks to keep his back aligned and going every 2 or 3 weeks to the physio therapist for laser treatment on his ankle.
We are going to miss this boy so much. He was so full of love and had such a big heart and we keep seeing memories of him all around us.
Hold your babies close, you never know what tomorrow may bring.
Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox