“THE SPIRIT OF ERIC”
Some years ago I owned a mountain of a G.S.D. named Eric. He was a massive example of what I call a “true” G.S.D. I have owned G.S.Ds. all my life, so too my farther and my Grandfather (SGT. Hurricane Hutch) before him. He possessed the most wonderful temperament I have ever witnessed in a dog. One day in particular Eric and I were walking along our regular path, by the side of the beck that runs parallel with the estate were I live.
I noticed that a class from the local school was walking toward me, some 20 or more strong, they were I guessed enjoying a Nature walk. Predicting a possible dangerous confrontation with this large group of children and wishing to avoid any regrettable mishaps. I called Eric to me, placed him on the lead and moved away from the bank of the beck. I noticed that the teacher who was with the children had seen me and sensed she also was concerned for the children. When suddenly the whole group made a mad dash for Eric and I. Fearing the worst and wishing to avoid any trouble, I took hold of Eric’s collar with my left hand and placed myself between him and the oncoming hoard of the now charging children. Speaking softly to him words with a calming influence, he understood we were not in any danger from this army of loose and excited juveniles.
As they approached to within a few meter’s, one of the children asked “what’s his name”? another “does he bite”?another “is he a police dog” ? I spoke softly answering their questions in a calm voice. The bravest among them walked causally up and stroked Eric on his head, Eric did not blink he just stood there like a rock. Seeing that the brave youngster had not been eaten alive, the remaining children gathered around Eric and I. Soon their hands were all over him like a rash. Still he stood motionless unconcerned that he was being mobbed, he just new that all was well. The teacher arrived slightly out of breath and expressed her apology for the children’s behaviour. We spoke for a minute or so while the children continued with there adoration of Eric. The teacher then shepherding the children away, from what she thought was a dangerous situation, bid Eric and I goodbye, with eyes wide open as if she had just avoided a blood bath. How wrong she was.
I was so so proud of Eric that on the way home, I called into the local shop and bought him a steak and kidney pie and allowed him to eat it immediately. That was just one occasion that Eric gave me good reason to be proud of him. There were many other times too but they are for another post. Although he was a gentle and peaceful dog, he could fight.
Eric began to fail at 12 years old and it broke my heart into pieces, when the vet said that there was no more he could do for him. I was crushed to the ground and I wept like a child. It was some weeks later when I decided to dismantle his kennel and burn it. While the fire was ablaze, I thought it looked quite dramatic as the flames shot up into the night sky. So, I took a couple of snaps of it with my old camera. It was not until a few weeks later, when I had the pictures developed, that I saw what you are looking at now. A perfect image of a G.S.Ds. head. When I saw this, the hackles raised on the back of my neck, and a shivering wave passed through my whole being. I was amazed at what I was seeing. I just could not believe it. But it was there right before my very eyes. “The spirit of Eric” saying goodbye to me among the flickering flames. Simply amazing !!!
This is not one of my jokes, it is a truely genuine picture and has not been tweeked in ANY way whatsoever.
They say that there is no such thing as perfection. But to me, Eric was the personification of perfection.
I miss him to this day. A once in a life time dog.
“Cherno” is different, although he is a friendly dog, one just does not mess with him.
If you get my meaning !!!
Some of you may have seen these pictures before. But I make no apologies for resurrecting this old post and adding to it.
Perhaps it is because I have been dreaming of the past so much today.