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Mami wrote:

Rudi (Zimyrs Oban 15.09.1993-10.04.2008) was a Giant Schnauzer born and bred in Finland by Zimyrs Kennel.

Rudi 2005, nearly 12 years old.

Rudi was a lovely dog - intelligent, strong, robust, healthy and loving; a true Gentleman Giant. Rudi was my first Giant, and he made such an impression that it was always obvious that he won't be the last (what a fool, now I have Obi- a bit different!)

Rudi took everything at his stride- even flying from Helsinki-Vantaa to Heathrow in Finnair cargo March 2002! I was worried, but he was like nothing happened; whilst he was scanned for his microchiph at the Arc, he was sniffing the evening air, confident that Mami would be there to pick him up.

He settled well in the UK- his only problem was the cars - the bl**dy things were on the wrong side of the road! It took him a while to accept (like any newcomer to UK) that things are slightly different in the UK...

Rudi lived a long and happy life. He impressed and was admired where ever he went. How many times have I heard: "Isn't he lovely?! What sort of dog is he?" He converted many non-dog persons during his long life, including auntie Eija.

I wish I had some digital pitures of him when he was young and strong to share with you.

Mami's Little Darling, both piccies 2006.

Rudi was the perfect dog. Well behaved, solid, reliable; a beautiful dog with a beautiful mind- he was desperately loved by everyone in his extended family, and we all miss him terribly. We never wanted to let him go, but in the end we had to.

Rudi, we love you and miss you.

Thank you for our time together, you taught me a lot. Thank you for making me a better person.

I know that you are running around with the great enthusiasim that only you, my Sweet Little Boy, could have. You are having great time over the Rainbow Bridge and plaing forever with your friends! Anu, your childhood swwtheart, will be there with you. Until we meet again...I can not wait to kiss your smooth head once again, and smell your paws...

                                              XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Meadow stayed with us from Spring 2002 until her death October 11th, 2008.

Meadow, a German Shepard-collie X came to live with us from Wood Green Animal Shelters spring 2002. Rick brought her in to foster as she was a "broken, frozen" dog due to terrible abuse- well, we all knew what was going to happen! Meadow stayed with us for rest of her life.

Meadows' life was never easy. She was so badly abused by her previous owners that her mind never fully recovered, and she lived the rest of her life  feeling scared and nervous. First couple of years were really difficult for her and us. She found it impossible to be left home without human company even though she was nervous of us (especially me, and she always remained so). She could not settle, she kept pacing around and after Rick endlessly, she did not sleep and she only ate during early morning hours when everybody were asleep. She was a sorry sight, skinny, timid and jumpy. Sheer panick in her eyes when anyone even looked at her. It took her over a year (!) to settle enough that she actually slept. It was lovely seeing her for the first times to actually settle in her armchair and fall in deep REM sleep with her little paws twitching and her eyes flickering!

Slowely and surely with Rick's love and patience, and Rudi's normal interaction with people Meadow was able to come out from her cell. She realised that not all people ment harm, and she was able to get emotional support from Rudi. She saw how Rudi interacted with people, and she little by little was able to open up. Lucky for her, Rudi being a Giant, everybody  focused on him, leaving her alone to build her emotional coping mechanisms --first she started feeling more relaxed with the presence of strangers, and slowely she started to approach people on her own accord! Little sneaky peaky sniff from behind, that's what people got whilst they were fixated with Rudi : ) A cold wet nose on the back of the knee.

After a couple years we were finally able see little climpses what she could have been without the abuse - an absolutely delightful happy and soft gentle little soul. When out walking with Rudi and Rick, she sometimes seemed to forget her past, and had little excited moments when she was relaxed and smiley with soft happy eyes, and tried to tease a play out from Rudi or Rick, bouncing towards either. What a joy it was to see! However, these moments lasted only for seconds, and she soon remembered herself and went back to her emotional prison.

She never learned to play with any toys, she always found the interaction with even Rick and toys too much to cope with. She and Rudi played together really well, and she had no problems with dogs in general. They never hurt her, so there was no need to be fearful.

After about three years with us she become an ok dog to live with- she could be left home up to 5 hours with Rudi, she could be quite safely off the lead in familiar, open places (if she got startled, she'd just run in blind panick), and at home she was a happy and relaxed(ish) dog. She stopped her anxious pacing around, pulling on the lead to get away from any given situation, being jumpy for any sudden movement and she was eating twice a day in the comfort of her arm chair. She was putting on weight slowely, and her coat become long and shiny. She used to have a really strong smell of her, and she had constant tummy upsets, but they all subsided when she got less stressed. Over the next few years she gained courage and emotional strength and stability enough that I could call her a relatively happy dog. She adored Rick and Rudi, and tolerated me. Obviously it was something I had done ; ) She had become an easy dog to live with, a convenient member of the family. She had come home.

Unfortunately she lost her companion and emotional support with Rudi passing away. She appeared to cope well with the loss, and we got Obi 7 months after Rudi had gone. Meadow never really enjoyed Obi's company. His "in-your-face"-approach and sweet oblivion of the path of distruction he left behind were a bit much for old Meadow to cope with.

She got ill with mammary tumors early 2008, and was put to sleep on October 11th, 2008.

Rudi and Meadow, Isle of Wight, January 2003. Happy times.


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http://www.indigo.org/rainbowbridge_ver2.html

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