When we lost Les' long time buddy Saber late last winter, it didn't seem that we could ever replace him. And we haven't. Each of our shepherds, and there have been many over the years, still has a safe place in our hearts. Saber was unique...our "most happy fella'" (see blog post).
Over time we've missed having another little fella more and more...and even Belle has grieved; she has missed her running buddy. That spot was filled recently when my granddaughter returned home to stay for awhile and brought her beautiful Siberian husky Havoc. He is her rescue dog (a policy I admire greatly) who has been thrilled to have a large area to call home after having lived with her in an apartment! He and Belle love taking that nightly run together, patrolling the perimeter to warn any local deer to "proceed around, rather than through the yard", which of course, is useless! She has convinced him however, that it is their duty and they have a great time running at powerful loping speed to make sure our kingdom is secure!
One day a few weeks ago, Les announced that it was time to get a puppy...one he could "train" to ride in his truck with him. We searched existing ads without finding the right one...on a hunch I called the lady we've bought shepherds from in the past. She specializes in the black and silver and her dogs are superb.
She only had a few young females listed on her website, but my hunch paid off. She did have one male about 6 weeks old, but she cautioned me he was sable, not our beloved black and silver. I asked her to send a picture.
That was it.
I wasn't sure just how well Belle and Havoc would receive a new little fellow. Havoc came bouncing off the porch wagging his tail...he was thrilled to have a little person to play with. Belle was more reserved. I swear she raised her eyebrows when she saw him and looked at us with a "That's a PUPPY" expression.
Chief has quite taken over our hearts now...in less than two weeks he has almost doubled in size and weight, is crate trained, can make it on his own both up and down the stairs with great speed, and has proclaimed most of the yard as his territory.
One day soon baby fluff will give way to the sleek coat, baby teeth will no longer cause pain to passing ankles, the ears will stand alert and dignified, a larger collar will be required, and perhaps at last the squeaker in his favorite toy will wear out from overwork (we can only hope).
One of these days he will be able to make a bounding leap into Les' truck to ride with him, he'll join Belle and Havoc patrolling the perimeter, and will have chosen his favorite resting spots indoors and out.
Until then, we'll revel in those beautiful eyes that mirror their sweet souls, give him hugs and receive happy licks in return, and watch him grow and learn from day to day. And all along the way, I think that just over the Rainbow Bridge, Saber is watching, nodding his head with that happy grin that only he had, and sending Chief warm thoughts to "take care of Les, little fellow, and be a good buddy. And give him lots of love, from me, all along the way."