Without my Friend

My Friend Jahro

My Friend Jahro

My family was never lucky in choosing a dog. The first one was a spaniel. My parents called it Baldo. The more he started to feel at home, the more he started to think that he was ‘the leader of the pack’. I remember the crucial day: Baldo was standing in attack-mode; growling dangerously and showing his teeth. On the other side the family; my dad in front of us, holding the kitchen-chair between him and the dog like a true lion-tamer. I don’t remember how it ended exactly; but it was Baldo’s last day in our house. Several years later suddenly Dinkey was there. A teckel. He only liked my mom. Taking him outside was a crime. He just didn’t want to move and you had to drag him over the pavement until the house was out of sight. That’s probably why they are so short-legged. When he finally understood that his resistance was senseless, he started to run; with me on the other end of the leash, to get home again as soon as possible. After a few years he started to suffer from a skin-disease. The worst part was his belly and a relatively large part of a teckel is belly. He almost got mad of the itching an bit his belly till it was bleeding. All medical attempts to cure him didn’t have any effect; so after a long struggle my parents took him to the veterinarian for an eternal sleep. Our last dog was a ‘Drentse patrijs’, called Jahro. He was the biggest one and made for chasing ducks. After I got seriously mad with him, when he bit me in a fingertip, he accepted me as his ‘dominant superior’ ;-). From that moment on he listened to everything I said. I loved to take him outside and let him off the leash in the Dutch Woods around Lochem. And he had the time of his life during those free moments; getting rid of all the energy that was stored in his muscles. Once he disappeared into a small pond in the garden of an ‘old peoples home’, chasing ducks that were swimming around there. Once in hunting mode he was totally focused and ignored every command of his ‘dominant superior’. The headmistress of the ‘old peoples home’ wanted me to jump into the pond to get him out; but I refused. Then she called the cops. Just after they arrived, Jahro finally understood that he was not capable of catching any duck and came out of the water. So I punished him and put him on the leash again. We didn’t get arrested and the old people behind the windows had had their most exciting day of the year. Months later he started to suffer from epileptic attacks. I still get tears in my eyes when I remember him, lying in his own urine; growling at the totally unknown things around him; including me. He lived on for a while; sneaking upstairs when he felt another attack coming up. I felt really sad when I got the message that he had died; one of my best friends. The shots of the trees, I posted lately, are along the track I always used to walk with him. So are the next shots.

Without my Friend prt1

Without my Friend prt1

Without my Friend prt2

Without my Friend prt2

Without my Friend prt3

Without my Friend prt3

Without my Friend prt4

Without my Friend prt4

Without my Friend prt5

Without my Friend prt5

Without my Friend prt6

Without my Friend prt6

Without my Friend prt7

Without my Friend prt7

Without my Friend prt8

Without my Friend prt8

Without my Friend prt9

Without my Friend prt9

Without my Friend prt10

Without my Friend prt10

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35 comments
  1. What a mix of memories Harrie . . . . how sweet does Jahro look in this shot!

    • A bit tragicomic… Yes; one of his first days with us. Thank you, Patti.

  2. Malin H said:

    Losing a best friend is never easy… A beautiful post and stunning images.

    • I have so many fine memories keeping him alive… Thanks, Malin.

  3. Jag said:

    Wonderful memories and pictures. Prt 5 is great.

    • Thanks Jag. Prt5 is weird; I never understood. It looks like a lane; but there is nothing where it starts; and there is nothing where it ends; just two rows of large trees.

  4. Jag said:

    Nevertheless it looks great.

  5. may your friend continue wagging happily
    in your compassion & creativity.

  6. Who knew Harrie you got a bit of pen in you great story with pictures too, who knew, great work my friend keep that pen of yours working
    As always Sheldon

      • You’ve been more and more Harrie I’ve just stepped up to the plate and hit a few, it’s only because of people like you I have been wanting more. I am humble and honor by everyone who shown……….

        As always Sheldon

        • Keep going, Sheldon; find and express yourself; search and try new ways. It’s not always easy. See you!

  7. amberafrica said:

    Beautiful post and memory of your friend!

  8. It’s not easy to lose a friend. And a dog really can be a part of ourselves. I like the way you remember him by showing the ways you walked.

  9. What a fine friend Jahro must have been. By coincidence we were dog-sitting this last weekend – Jenny the collie only stayed for three days but already I miss her very much. I had forgotten what a joy it is to have a dog around the house. There was a recent scientific study which concluded that dog owners live longer than those without – the exercise they demand was the maior reason stated but I think it goes deeper than that.

  10. It’s so hard to lose an animal companion. I still miss my first cat friend, Jack, after six or so years, and terribly for a few years after he died. He was family to me and the greatest joy. Also my consolation, so finding same when he was gone was very difficult.

    • Yes, it’s hard. I guess Jack was your own cat; then it must be even harder. All the dogs in my story were my parents dogs and only Jahro and me became friends. A few years after he arrived, I went to live on my own in another town for my study; so I did not see him regularly. But every time when I visited my parents, Jahro jumped all over me and could not wait till we went out. So much joy; great!

  11. Bjorn said:

    An excellent, heartwarming piece of prose. It almost doesn’t need the photos, although they’re really fine too.

    • Thanks, Amigo. I can easily imagine him walking around in those shots.

  12. Jeanette said:

    He brother,
    Met tranen in mijn ogen lees ik je mooie herinnering. Zo dichtbij en voelbaar. Bedankt. Liefs en tut Jeanette.

    • Dank je wel lieve zus. Majka moest opa en oma interviewen voor haar studie; dus ik ging ondertussen even ouderwets het bos in en dan is ie er altijd wel bij. Dikke!

  13. vastlycurious.com said:

    I so truly relished this post. First your story and then the photos of the country I miss every day.

    I had a Cane Corso for 2.7 years. Obedience school scholar. Loved everyone and was my running companion. He was the perfect specimen of the breed. (A breed I never studied prior to adoption). One day we were running along, he weighed 154 lbs and I weighed 123. The leash was a formality but required. I remember being dragged flat out across about 1000 ft and he attacked a tiny red poodle. Tossed him twice in the air and I was completely unable to control him. The owner gathered up what was left of Ginger and ran away. I went home and considered my options. The police were the only choice. This was a good call because the owner had already reported it. I was heart broken. As it turns out Cane Corso’s were bred as war dogs to take down men. I kept him inside or the yard and on an adoption site until a man in NYC took him away with signed release form. Since that day I miss having a dog so much but if you cannot control your beast you have no right to own one I think. The story of Jahro left me teary.

    • Thanks for your sympathy and story. Quite an adventure as well. And sad because dogs can only follow their instincts. My experience, when meeting other dogs, in those days was; let both the dogs of the leash, and in a few seconds it is clear who is de boss and who isn’t. And the boss won’t bite because ‘he knows’. But most of the time the other owner and his leashed dog got scared, which is unnatural behaviour. When I shouted hard enough, I managed to control Jahro in those moments. Never considered to get yourself a (little) smaller dog that wasn’t bred for taking men down in wartime?

      • vastlycurious.com said:

        Yes surprisingly I also had a 2 1/2 lb Yorkie named Truman who was 100% percent the Alpha in the house
        So maybe Nero had suppressed anxiety. I laugh now but not then. I really like big dogs. Miss having one a lot !

  14. Beautiful memories and tributes. This reminds me of my dog who passed away four years ago, still remember him very well..veel strekte Harrie!

  15. How’s it going Harrie it’s always a pleasure when you come and visit, thank you for being who you are, stay true, see you soon
    Sheldon

    • It’s going OK. You’re ‘on the loose’, according to your blog-activities. I like that. Keep going my friend; see you.

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