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Rene' Villela , Mar 30, 2009; 09:20 a.m.

In the memory of JIROH (my Black Lab) who passed the way today at the age of 11 1/2 years.
I went to choose him at the breeders home when he was 25 days old. I took him home 15 days later. He seemed to be the slowest of the litter and he was also the smallest. The first night at home he made a mess but on the second night he had already learned to use the pads and when we woke up in the morning the house was clean.
I started training him right away. Within a few days he knew the signs to sit and lay. I was amazed. At three months of age I was taking him with me to a trainer, not to train him but to teach me how to train him. I started training him to learn agility and freebie. At only 7 months we competed in a tournament together with some pros and amateur. He took the 7th place. Before becoming 1 year old I started to train him to become a rescue dog. At the age of 2 years and 1 month he passed his test and was the 1st SARD Search And Rescue Dog) in my prefecture. I retired him from All Japan Rescue Dog Association after 6 years of service at the age of 8.
I am happy he seems to have died fast and in peace within 30 hours.
His name JIROH, means second song and that is exactly what he was. We'll miss him!

Sept 27th 1997 - March 30th 2009


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Glenn Cummings , Mar 30, 2009; 09:30 a.m.

Rene'...beautiful dog along with a beautiful biography.
Attached is Hogan (at 1 year) golden retriever


John Vanacore , Mar 30, 2009; 10:02 a.m.

My sincere condolences Rene on your loss.
What a beautiful story of your dear friend. I'm certain he will be terribly missed.
Here's my Ruby..a yellow lab at 11 weeks old. She's now 4, and what a sweet girl she is. She greets me every morning with wet sloppy kisses. She's a real "couch potato", but loves her fluffy bone, her soccer ball, and her human brother and sister.
I dred the day when "Her day" comes.

My Ruby...

Matt Laur , Mar 30, 2009; 10:04 a.m.

That dog/man bond is a powerful one, Rene - certainly a big factor in my daily life. And when you invest a lot of yourself in giving a working dog (like your handsome retriever) a purpose and a mission - and see how that shapes your relationship with the dog and helps him to thrive - well, there's nothing like it. It also makes their loss all the sharper, and for that I extend my sympathy. But you sound like you have healthy perspective on a dog's all-too-short life, and did right by making the most of it for both of you.

My older German Shorthaired Pointer, Saga, is in his prime, still - but showing some gray whiskers (just like me!). I hope that he has another six years in him, but we try to live each day in the present - since that's how dogs do it. They don't spend their days dwelling on their eventual departure, and perhaps there's something to that. I'm headed out the door to take him for a walk, right now - and perhaps we'll scare up a rabbit or stylishly point at a spring robin or two.

Whew, I'll really miss him some day. But today, the world needs exploring. And that's dog heaven.

Sanford Edelstein , Mar 30, 2009; 10:26 a.m.

This dog was hiding from a much smaller dog.


Vincent Peri , Mar 30, 2009; 10:42 a.m.

Excerpts from a Dog's Diary
8:00 am - Dog food ! My favorite thing !
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing !
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing !
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing !
12:00 PM - Lunch! My favorite thing !
1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing !
3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing !
5:00 PM - Milk bones! My favorite thing !
7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing !
8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing !
11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing !

Excerpts from a Cat's Diary
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return.

He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now....

Peter Hamm , Mar 30, 2009; 11:00 a.m.

Finney, he's getting old now, and will only be with us another year or two I fear, but he's a great companion.

Lil Judd , Mar 30, 2009; 11:24 a.m.

Rene' - my heart goes out to you & your family. How are the boys handling it? They may need some extra support to get through it. I've had to go through that so many times - it just does not ever get any easier on me. :-(
I here offer two photos of two different dogs from my life.....
This is my first dog ever which was mine - my Mullet - I took it when I was nine with my very first camera a Kodak Instamatic 133 I believe..... It's here to offer you a smile. :-)

Here are two of our present dogs (this shot is taken with the D200) - the little one is "Jackie O" & her I found on the street wet & lost. She's ready to pounce on one of the barn cats. We did not ever find her owners.... The large sleeping one is Soya. She & her five siblings were dumped on the mountain as pups. It took me a year to get them all off the mountain. She came home within two months of being found. It was a year of feeding dogs & trying to catch them. It was not easy.

I'll be thinking of all of you Rene' - I know this was a harsh loss for the family.

Lil :-)

Wayne Cornell , Mar 30, 2009; 11:39 a.m.

Our thought go out to you.
Let us all try to be the kinds of people our dogs think we are.

Lex Jenkins , Mar 30, 2009; 12:00 p.m.

Scraps was my last dog. Probably my last dog ever, now that I'm in a small apartment and have to answer to the two cats who allow me to live with them.

I adopted her from my mom, who'd moved out of state and couldn't take the dog, and I lived on a large rural place at the time. A wiry medium terrier, her real name was Zooey, but one of my daughter's friends exclaimed "That's a scrappy dog!" She would also patiently wait by the picnic table for scraps, never begging or being a pest. The name stuck.

Scraps was the gentlest dog I've ever taken in, and there have been many, including labs, poodles, various hounds large and small, a pit bull and two chows. All were adults, some even elderly, when we adopted them, so few stayed with us more than a few years. Scraps never bothered our free range chickens, never barked without a very good reason, was scared of our cats and was a mighty pest control officer. Within a few months she'd completely solved our mole and gopher problem.

For some reason she also regarded possums as the enemy. She'd pounce them, grabbing and breaking their necks with a few blur-quick shakes, then amble back to lie down at my feet. Just a quick, efficient execution, never any torment, torture or real violence. Damnedest thing I ever saw. Didn't really please me since I'm a lifelong fan of Pogo. But it was her only fault so I let it go.

She also brought me odd gifts, mostly skulls she'd scavenged from the countryside. Occasionally she'd trot up with a tiny skull from a cat, squirrel or raccoon, and leave it undamaged for me. But her best gift was a goat skull, salvaged from a nearby farm where the farmer raised and slaughtered goats. That skull has been one of my favorite models for years and is featured in my photo.net portfolio.

I'm guessing she was close to 10 years old when she became ill for the first time. After visits to the vet she'd rebound, scamper around like a puppy and then fall ill again. One day she didn't show up and I couldn't find her on our rural property. I figured she'd crawled under the porch, one of her favorite nap spots. I was still recovering from a car wreck and couldn't look for her, but my cousin's husband helped. We buried Scraps alongside a 30-year collection of other adopted pets who'd come and gone: dogs, cats, countless hamsters, gerbils, turtles, birds and even a ferret. I've almost lost track of the number of mature pets we'd adopted over the decades and when I think back on it now it was almost a continual revolving door retirement village/menagerie.

Scraps. Nikon F3HP, 180/2.8 non-AI Nikkor, T-Max 100 at EI 250 in Diafine.

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