Dog trains man

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Joy Dog

It's Tilde's 6th birthday today. Maybe. She was born somewhere around February 17, 2013. That much we do know.

Relationships are build by the larger events in life and who was on your side during them. We have seen our share, Tilde and me, both good and bad. Where these events certainly have changed me, they never really seem to have had any effect on Tilde. Loving, energetic, unpredictable, her qualities which are still true today as they were when we first met. She is still my Storm called Tilde.

We haven't experienced a lot of "accidents" and "embarrassing" situations like we had in the beginning. But not because Tilde has changed. I just learned to be prepared for the unthinkable, to expect the unexpected. We still laugh, Merete and me, when we realize we have just prevented yet another Chickengate from happening.

To have that laugh each day, is maybe what defines Tilde best. She makes us laugh every day with her antics. The simple things like her cravings for a good belly rub and how she wriggles in the most unlikely positions to show how much she enjoys it. She is our Joy Dog, who makes every day count.

She lost it only once, her Joy Dog attitude, when I was hoisted into that helicopter more than a year ago and left my family for more than a week. Tilde was clueless and bereaved left behind.

She didn't lie down in front of the door waiting for my return in romantic Hachiko style. No, instead she clinched herself to Merete, who had suddenly became the only family Tilde felt she had left. Even months after my return, I still couldn't take Tilde with me for a short walk alone. She insisted Merete to come with us, or not leave at all.

No surprise, when you also count in the temporary homes she staid at during her life. Then you realize we are her fourth home, interrupted by three shelter visits. I can guess what she was afraid of was unfolding.

With time, she learned to relax again, and our Joy Dog returned to living in the moment. So maybe today she hasn't changed in the bigger picture, but taught us a reminder of how dogs live complex emotional lives too, and you don't always notice what is not revealed to the eye. True even for Joy Dogs.

We passed another milestone today on Tilde's birthday and there is a lot to be thankful for. Especially how she embraced her little sister Zerline. They make such a great pair these two, maybe because they look a lot more like each other, than either of them would care to admit. As a human, who can't keep himself in the moment and always has to look ahead, I dare say the best part of the Joy Dog's life, together with her mini-me, is only just getting started.


  1. This is lovely Leo - it made me laugh and cry in equal measure. Happy Birthday lovely Tilde. A huge cuddle from me xxx

  2. What a wonderful story - I love how Tilde "lives in the moment" and I'm so glad that she has a good life now after the sad times that she had to endure in the past. Thanks for sharing!

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