Gorgeous, willful, imperious and as sweet, gentle with all beings, intelligent, sensitive as anyone could be. Wild, wayward, impetuous, generous, deep, soulful, loving...a guide, a shaman, a spiritual leader, an awesome athlete, a charimsatic imp, a born charmer, and the one responsible for our Flock, our Pack, Ulli, the rescued Newfoundland, has now joined the Immortals. Only a group as grand as that could deserve someone so great.
We're not sure how we mere mortals had ever been so blessed as to be in the Presence of this precious Boy, who single-handedly rescued me from almost certain death in the profound grief I was drowning under, having lost Sunny.
In steps the Hero:
Ulli Thoughtfully Gnawing His Fave Toy
So full have the last twelve years been, so wonderfully vibrant, due, mainly to this scion of Life, this restless and personality-plus talent, this beautiful and entrancingly enigmatic icon, that the rest of life seems so dull now that he's ascended into the Heavenly realms.
Ulli Loping Along His Beach
Gone? My Precious Ulli?Unthinkable.
And yet, the years had mounted.
For a giant breed dog, twelve is a very long life.
And he was vital to the very last day. Eating, Walking. Talking. Doing his usual things.
He's been gone to Heaven since 2:30 this morning.
It's unbelievable. Unbearable.
My stalwart, my strong, protective, kind, shepherding Presence to lean on, to trust with everything and everyone.
He would even corral the cats if they got out into the yard, carefully and kindly, so that we could get them safely back into the house. They aren't allowed outside ever.
He knew it.
He knew so many things.
The intelligence in his huge head with its' huge, melting eyes, was so vast, along with his wisdom and soulfulness.
No wonder they use Newfoundland Dogs as Nannies.
They are vastly more than most dogs, and I am trying to say it diplomatically.
They are just awesome.
Ulli Napping With His Own Rescued Kitten
Loki, Rescued by the U
After having adopted the little orange boy kitten, the big puppy would stand proudly and watch Loki drinking water from his own bow, he having given way. He deferred to his own kitten, and later, cat, in every way, a little proud papa, even as a child.
Sweet Baby U (pronounced, "Oo"), concentrating so hard on how to do everything! He brought joy and determination to everything he did, and was a constant source of love and exuberance! He mastered everything so easily and quickly! From swimming in his own water bowl, first, to surfing!
The way he did the things he did, as in that song...
A larger-than-life personality that even his huge, thick frame couldn't contain. His vibe, his aura or electrical current was so strong, his energy, that he would bound around like a much smaller dog, run like a wild stallion, tail up, long tongue flying backward. He was astounding.
My little Boy, when a child, was so adorable!
He had been among 16 little babies dumped onto the shelter system by a breeder who could not pre-sell them, and since they were so small, only 3 weeks old, animal rescuers like me were asked to volunteer to raise them, and naturally, the first time we saw each other and I held this tiny furball in my hand, our eyes met and I was spellbound forevermore.
A giant breed puppy is meant to stay with his mommy for at least four months, and preferably, six. They are slow to mature and, being large, need the tough-love that only a dog mommy can provide. I know i anticipated his every need, this little doll's, and he became very spoiled, so we kept him apart from most public areas until he was well into adulthood, but he had his own family of dogs and cats to play with! And birds, hamsters and mice too.
We also rescued his Brother, not by blood, from a shelter in Montana who was, they said, a St. Bernard mix, so we thought they would be a great team. We flew the other, a few months older already, in, and surprise - he never grew past a smallish mid-size! Ulli always showed largesse toward his siblings and everyone else, though.
But there they are, above, tussling with a little ball, as the previously larger puppy became shocked at how much larger his little Bro was growing, while he, alas, stayed the same!
Ulli About To Surf
I never thought I would raise a puppy, since we like to help rescue the older ones or special needs ones, but this Baby was in dire need of someone who would devote 24 hours to him for months, so it was a great blessing to us both.
Ulli on his Longboard
In his long-for-a-giant-breed life, he was a legendary surfer, a skateboarder, an amazing ball-player, and the master at balloon bopping, among many other athletic skills.
That's My Balloon!
Ulli was a terrible tease, and with his native charm and that beguiling sidelong smile, could get anything he wanted from me and from his Daddy. He was a potent force, a magnetic energy, a charisma, a constant source of amusement, fascinatiion, and the Life Force itself. His departure from our dimension has left an enormous emptiness and a dulness. Life's sparkle and excitement has fled.
a darling, beautiful face
a stallion's elegance
a gorilla's determination
just like a bear
but faster stil
a baby's face
an iron will
like no one else
and will always
My Giant Boy
The little Brigand would act demure and uninterested if there was a chance to snag a loaf of bread or some other forbidden treat from the table, then wait until something had led us away for a moment, seize the prize and gobble it whole standing right there, then flash that gorgeous, winsome smile with mischieviousness in his eyes, knowing that there could be no reprimands for such a charming scamp.
Teeny Tiny Babydoll