Posted by: arcticpackseppalas | August 3, 2020

Navajos Little Miss Swann for Arcticpack. 08/05/08 – 04/05/20

The Matriarch.  

 

Although her official name was Natalie, she lived her life answering to ‘Squeaky’.   She was the boss, the Queen bee, the lady in charge.   Everyone loved her.  She was such a classic Siberian.   A pretty social and easy going dog, she only ever got in trouble over food.  She loved her food, and would start a riot over a tiny bit of kibble if she felt she had to.   She was very much like her uncle Norris appetite wise and she never missed a meal in her life.   She was a bright, white star in a sea of ginger here and her larger than life personality along with her stand out colour only continues to make her absence even more pronounced.  

 

 

It’s no secret Squeaky was Cam’s dog.  She adored him and with the help of our vet, she passed peacefully in his arms, me by their side, just the way she would have wanted it.   She always kinda tolerated me but i’m pretty sure only because I provided the food and often looked at me with a ‘what do you want now, peasant?’ sort of look.   Her eyes were always shiny and smiling with love when she looked at Cam.  She was a hilariously regal and superior dog, but also a lot of fun.   A proper character for sure, she kept the other dogs in line without ever needing to get nasty.  They just pretty much did what she said, well apart from Gracie, but then she is a whole other story!

Squeak came to us as an 8 week old puppy and honestly, she was one of the one of the most beautiful things we had ever seen.   Pure, brilliant white with a tiny black button nose, she had such a sweet nature and was very clever. When she was hungry, she would go get her bowl and drop it at your feet and learned ‘high five’ pretty quick, which continued to be her favourite party trick throughout her life.    She was such a happy little girl and it still makes me so sad about the trauma she had to go through at such a young age.    When she arrived, she bonded immediately with Tashya our GSD puppy who was only a few months older than her.   The two of them were inseparable and despite the huge size difference, they played for hours, rumbling about.  Their favourite game was throwing a ball about for each other.  One would pick it up in their mouth, then launch it for the other to chase, then vice versa.   They were very funny to watch.   Sadly, at only 9 months old we lost Tashya very suddenly and unexpectedly.   Squeaky was only 6 months old and like us, was devastated at the loss of her best friend.  Tashya died overnight at the vets and in hindsight, we should have let Squeaky see her to say goodbye.  Instead, unable to understand what had happened to her friend, she spent weeks looking everywhere for her.  She would check the van and all the dog boxes outside daily, her wee face hopeful and expectant that she would find her.   I don’t think she ever got over that loss and she certainly never bonded with another dog again the way she had with Tashya.  Even years later, at our local agricultural show, she would remember being there with Tash and would watch the crowds.  If she caught a glimpse of a GSD she would immediately sit up, watching, all excited only to visibly sadden and lose interest when she realised it wasn’t her.  It was incredibly hard to watch.   Throughout her life, Squeaky continued to play with a ball.  It was her favourite toy.   With the absence of Tashya, we would throw the ball for her and she would play fetch with us for a while.  On occasion, we would find her throwing the ball for herself, they way her and Tash used to play together.  

 

 

Despite her heartbreak early on in life, she established  herself in the group and grew up to be what can only be described as ‘The Queen’.   She was very much an Auntie and every puppy that came after her learned the rules in a firm, but fair manner.   She was wonderful with puppies.  She would play with them for hours and her favourite form of discipline for unruly youngsters was to get them in a headlock with her front legs until they complied with the law.   She was never aggressive with them as she never needed to be.  Everyone just did what she said.  After a bit of a shaky start when Vixen arrived, things smoothed out between the two of them and they did become good friends.   Her only true arch nemesis was Crazy Face Grace.   Gracie was a wild little puppy with no fear, respect or regard for her own safety.  Squeaky was exasperated with her and got so frustrated that no matter what she did discipline wise, Gracie always flipped her the imaginary bird and did whatever the hell she wanted.   They did get in a couple of proper hormone induced brawls as Gracie got older, but DisGracie has gotten in a brawl with everyone at some point, so it was more a reflection on her, rather than Squeaky.  

Naughty Omar in a headlock

 

 

As a young to middle aged dog, Squeaky was dreadful indoors.  She would just trash stuff for fun.    She was never stressed, or bored or left long, she just liked to destroy stuff, even if you were in the next room.   I remember we had a big, old duvet we had folded up for a comfy bed for the indoor dogs.  We got up one morning to Squeaky sitting proudly in the middle of it, shredded into tiny pieces.  Her face just said, ‘well, what you going to do about it?’.   As she aged and got towards double figures, she moved indoors and was mostly trustworthy.    Although we did have to move where we kept the stash of tins and foil packets of dog meat we have for feeding the old dogs.  She would just help herself to a tin or packet and chew them open to eat the contents.  How she never cut her mouth to shreds I don’t know.  She was such a greedy dog!   

As a working dog, she was never quite as enthusiastic about it as the others as she was quite affected by hormones after her season.   She did work in harness in a bigger team and ran at several races, but as she got older much preferred to go for bike runs with Cam and her Uncle Norris.   She was a super working companion for Betty after Bett’s lymphoma diagnosis and subsequent spinal issues.   She knew her turns and quickly learned to help Betty on the trail, keeping her away from the ditches at the side etc and was happy to go at the steady pace Betty needed at that time in her life.   Despite enjoying running with Betts and always keen to go, once she had to retire, Squeaky decided her services were no longer required and also retired herself.   She was content to go for walks with her then retired Uncle Norris and Hexie.  

Running at wheel

 

with her Uncle Norris

 

As a young puppy she was awful off lead and as a result, didn’t get as much free running time as some of our other dogs have had.   I thought she would be the same as an elderly dog, but I was wrong.   Even before she got to an elderly age, she was actually very good at recall and this allowed her some wonderful off lead time in the open fields at home in the last several months of her life.   It was a time for me and her to spend together and I miss that.   I miss her talkative voice and her padding her feet when she was excited for her dinner or for going a walk.   She had such a wonderfully cheery and expressive face that always had a cheeky smile.  A light seemed to shine from her and she was always eager and full of fun.   Her loss seemed to make everything dark.  She was the last of the ‘Aunties’ our puppies had growing up and we have all been left without her guiding light.   As is always the case when a personality like hers is lost, the dogs feel it just as much as us.  Her passing is the fourth friend we have all said goodbye to this year and everyone is adrift.   The younger dogs are having to find their own way and own group dynamics as they move on without their older, respected and more experienced companions.   

High five from the Queen

Up on the bales in the fields.

In the last several months of her life, she started to slow down a bit and seemed to be putting on weight.  Diagnostics confirmed she had a pretty huge mass in her abdomen.  Surgery was not a particularly sensible option for her, so we decided to let her be.  With pain relief, she lived several comfortable and happy months.  Pottering about, sleeping on the couch, eating and going for walks in the fields.   The tumour grew quite quickly though and she started to stop doing as much, slept more and it was clear she was starting to struggle.   She had a last walk off lead on the beach at sunrise, and a few days before her 12th birthday,  we made the incredibly sad and difficult decision to let her be at peace. 

 

Dearest Squeaky, thank you for everything you did for us all here.   We hope you are reunited with the girls and your long lost friend.   Keep those boys in line for us x  

Sleep tight, we will love and miss you forever xxxx

 

 

 

 


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