Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tajo: a short biography

Tajo was given to Kristine by her late grandfather. They picked him up when he was only 6 weeks old and too young to be taken from his mother; but his mother was nine years old when she gave birth to him and his seven sisters and brothers, so her owners thought the litter was too much for an old bitch to handle. Tajo's father was a true breed, a Golden Retriver, and his mother was 3/4 Labrador and 1/4 Border Collie. Tajo resembled his mother more than his father, and the Border Collie mentality (very smart, active, agile, easily bored) was very strong in him.

One fateful Christmas night, when Tajo was 16 months – still a boisterous puppy - and Kristine was 17 years, Kristine took him to the shopping mall to post delayed Christmas cards. On their way back from the mall Kristine was run down by a car and thrown into a tree by the roadside. She ended up lying with her face down in the snow, unconscious, bleeding heavily, not visible from the road. The car didn't stop, but there is evidence that Tajo tried to wake her before he sat down in the middle of the road and stopped the next car that came along. When the driver got out to remove this creature that refused to let him pass, Tajo took a bite in his trousers and dragged him over to where Kristine lay. From there things must have happened very fast: more cars stopped, the ambulance arrived, and Kristine was rushed of to the hospital in what may have been the last minute – for the first 24 hours they didn't know if she would survive.

In the meantime, Tajo was put into a police car where he remained for quite a while before the police officers were able to locate his family. When he finally got back home, he was unable to relax: for days on end Tajo refused to eat or lay down - he just kept on walking up and down the floor. Eventually Kristine's mother smuggled him into the hospital's ambulance hall, and someone rolled Kristine's bed down there so Tajo could see that she was alive. Tajo was besides himself from joy, all wild and crazy and violently happy as he was at that age; even the hardened ambulance drivers had to shed a few tears - and when he got back from the hospital Tajo was able to relax again.

After Kristine's dramatic accident, Tajo became a hero to her entire family, and to the end he remained a family dog. For ten years he lived in the family house at Tranby, and for the last few years of his life, when his legs started to give in, he retired to Stavern with Kristine's dad. Tajo was a very happy, playful and adventurous pup – and he never grew up. Many will remember him thundering through the forest - preferably with as many sticks as he could manage to get in his mouth, or at least with the heaviest and biggest stick or log he could find.

In his last year, Tajo was unable to run, though he clearly wanted to, and even walking grew difficult. Still, he was never one to complain, and he remained happy and playful to the end.


Blogger said...

Oh my. What a great dog. Moved me to tears. Blessings Tajo.

6:40 PM  

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