I was very upset when I learned sweet Nadja was gone. Nadja was my Triumph's grandmother. 

    When Karen and I went to Triumph and Phantom’s breeders' home for the first time to see a litter of puppies, Noddie fell asleep laying on our feet in their living room. I didn't find out until months later, that this act of acceptance by her, helped me adopt Triumph and Phantom. Even if the breeders liked the people interested in adopting, they wouldn't deal with them if their radar Noddie didn't take to them.

    We took Triumph and Phantom to visit the breeders a couple of years later. Triumph kept caterwauling and trying to open the front door because he wasn't satisfied staying in the porch. This was because I was in the house, he's nosey, and he always likes to know what I'm doing. 

    Alpha-female Nadja was called in from outside and assumed a high ground position on the couch in the porch. Triumph's grandmother then growled at him. He whined, but he lay down on the floor. He stayed down for about five minutes, then started to get up because he thought his elder was dozing. Noddie opened one eye, and Triumph lay back down and went to sleep. I was amazed by this exchange. 

    Noddie was called the Bag Lady. Under her beautiful thick coat she was such a fragile and frail pet, and she tottered around like a poor little old bag lady. Triumph was 132 pounds and could easily have physically overpowered her. However instead he demonstrated respect for the often mentioned hierarchical order of the pack. Previously I had only seen the might makes right versions of dominance and submission.

    They didn't tell me she was sick with cancer when I was there. In a way I'm sorry. I did spend time gently grooming her, and I'm happy I pet her that last time, but I don't know what more I might have done had I known...

    One morning shortly before her nineth birthday they found the dear old pet laying in the grass. They thought she was asleep and said "wake up lazybones," but she was gone. 

    For several years there has been a picture advertisement of Nadja in the CKC’s Dogs in Canada annual. Alexis, one of her young human charges is hugging her. Noddie's sweet heart will also live on in Triumph and the other loving Kuvasz she gave to people like me. But I'm very sad she can't teach me anymore, and I've lost another love. 

    I’m so bothered by the death of dogs, I really can't say it is better to have known and lost them, than not to have known them at all. 

    I wish they would all outlive me.