Saturday, July 5, 2003

Josephine and My Mother

There were buddies from the start.

In 1991, my mother had just moved to Wisconsin and a few months later Josephine came charging into our lives. Over the next 11 years I got an assortment of dogs and each time Mother would say... "What about poor Josephine?" And Josephine would look at her and then at me as if to say "See.. she loves me".....

Eleven years later, after recovering from a hip replacement, Mother who was now 91 years old, started going downhill and the time had come for her to go to a home to live.  Daughter Candace, whom she was especially close to, called me one day and said that she would like her grandmother to come back to Pennsylvania to live out her days in a home where she used to volunteer.  So in September of 2002, she did just that and never saw Josephine again.  I took other dogs on a trip there to see her but Josephine was left behind.

In the spring of 2003 Mother was going downhill and so was Josephine.  On June 28th I took Josephine to the vet because she was horribly thin and now wasn't eating.  The diagnosis... kidneys were shutting down and the vet suggested that I take her home and enjoy her but most likely her time will come very soon.

On the way home from the vet that day I called Mother who mentally was sound even through her body was slowly shutting down and told her about Josephine.  The next day I spoke with her in the morning and she wasn't coherent so I called Candace to find out what was going on.  The doctor was called and the diagnosis... her kidneys were shutting down.

During the next 5 days Mother was in and out of consciousness and often talking with her mother.  Josephine made the rouJosephine's daisies 7-03-03nds and only ate what was not good for her.  It became apparent that she was still losing weight and the appointment was made for the vet to come to the house on July 3rd.  People kept showing up.... Darcy, Janeen, Marissa, Tim, Kate..  Kate's kids had made a box for her and painted the outside and Darcy helped me pick a tree to be planted near her resting place.  She crossed peacefully and was laid to rest in the yard.  Soon after that daisies were delivered from Candace and Sharon.

The next day Candace went to visit her grandmother and told her Josephine was waiting for her.  Not 12 hours later, she also crossed.  

Did they go together?  Did they plan it?  I always thought so.  When I had a conversation with Marilyn for the first timIMG_1853e I asked if we could contact her and here are the results.

Marilyn said is she long in body… not stocky and square… Yes.    She was your first dog or changed your life. She’s rolling on back to rub her body…. She’s saying “tell her I’m on my back”.
(All true. She liked me to scratch her belly and at first I didn’t realize that but not long after a photo came on my screen saver where she was on her back and I was scratching her belly)

**********So……Are you with Grandma?    Yes…. They walked together… one went first, paved the way and waited so they could go together…..
(I explained that they crossed within a few days of each other and that Josephine went first. Marilyn just didn’t think that was the way it happened.  I explained that Mother was in and out of consciousness for about 4 days before Josephine crossed and that she was talking with HER mother. Marilyn immediately said something to the effect that she didn’t go then because SHE was waiting for Josephine)

She WAS personality plus.    …..if she could cause trouble SHE WOULD!   …..she had a mission though…
(Well, we all knew that was true, don’t we?? ...the trouble thing! She was always trying to see what trouble she could get into (fun for her) up until days before she left me when I left her in the front seat of the van to go back in the house to get something and I come back out to see her trotting up the road) She was however an awesome therapy dog and made a difference in peoples lives for probably 10 years.

Jo on dog run.tif

Josephine - roof11  










Click here to go to Josephine's Memorial Page.

There is a post script to this story…

July 5th is Candace’s birthday.  She felt it was an honor that her grandma crossed on this day.  The two of them had many of the same interests  - their love of music and passion to paint or draw.  Candace prayed for a sign that everything was OK and the way it should be.

That night for her birthday her family went to visit another family.  During the visit, the host’s son played an unfamiliar piano piece.  Unfamiliar to me that is and most people but not to Candace and her grandmother for it was their favorite song.

This was the sign that she prayed for and she knew it.  She also knew that everything was as it should be.

Monday, June 30, 2003

What is a Shiloh Shepherd?

Do you remember a specific "German Shepherd" you used to know as a child (or if you are under 40) one that your family or friends told you about? He was the dog with that super, almost human intelligence; that big family protector that was so very gentle with little children, yet would give his life for his master without question. The dog that would walk you to the school bus, and then show up again exactly on time to wait for your return; the hero that everyone talked about; the one that seemed half human. His personality consisted of Lassie, Strongheart, and Rin Tin Tin all rolled into one.
Well, that dog is still here today, and he is called a Shiloh Shepherd™.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Do I really need another dog??

I remember the day when Joanna emailed me and asked if I had ever seen a
Shiloh Shepherd. No… I hadn’t. That afternoon I was at Great Lakes Vet and was reading a magazine waiting my turn. Lo and behold.. the centerfold was a Shiloh…not one but many. Oh… bigger long haired German Shepherd look-a-likes.
Later that day she sent me an email with a picture of Kobie and it was love at first sight. I contacted the owner who was placing her because she was jumping their 3 foot fence and going to a park across the road to play with the kids. Because she is a mostly black (I later came to know what a bi-color is… black with tan feet), she was pretty scary to people. Little did they know, she was a year old pup just looking for some fun. The owner was used to smaller dogs such as shelties and was planning to put up a higher fence for her but unfortunately, the city of St. Charles IL had other ideas of what height he could put up…. and it wasn’t 4 feet!

So several days later, the owner drove Kobie to my house to meet me and the rest of the pack.  One at a time we introduced them and there were no problems.  Kobie is a peace maker and it was evident that day that she was going to fit into the group.  At that time Josephine was with us, as was Ari, Teddy and Olivia.  I had 3 acres with an array of feIMG_4286nces and separate yards so it was no problem having her join the family.   

After visiting for several hours, her owner said: “Well, I think Kobie has a home”.  He was a very concerned owner and had taken her several places before but left with her not feeling good about that situation.  Some people would have kenneled her outside and that was not acceptable for him and another was liked the fact that she was black and that would be better for a guard dog.  Little did they all know what a peace maker Kobie was and that I would call her my guardian ange


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