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Dog heaven by stephanie vaughn
"I would give anything to see a dog, to be touched by his eyes and to watch the playfulness of his tl" - J. K. Rowling, on a visit to her childhood home.
Falling in love with a dog:
I have always loved animals and from an early age wanted to be an animal behaviorist. As a child I had my dog, a Jack Russell Terrier named Tipper, and a cat, a tortoise and a lizard. The only things I loved more were my toys and my dolls. I can still remember as a child running around the house looking for my teddy bears or dolls and crying when they were broken. When my sister was given her own teddy bear I remember her not knowing how to hold it properly and crying when it fell on the floor. This is when I realized that I loved teddy bears but I wanted my own animal.
Tipper was a happy dog, not afrd of anything. I was always afrd of the dark when I was a child and I used to cower in my bed listening for the rustling of a bat. Tipper used to come into the room with me and sit on my lap. At that time I thought this was strange as most dogs did not like to be with children.
When my mother died at the age of 44 my parents left the house and moved into a flat. Tipper was with me all the time now and when I was in bed he would climb onto my lap. He was happy sitting with me. I was happy too, I felt loved and safe. One night my mother called me into her room. She had gone into the bedroom to get a magazine for a light on the table, she came out with a huge surprise. It was a beautiful cat, an American Shorthr. She had been looking at pictures of a cat in the window of a shop and she saw the cat and wanted to bring it home. She told my father to look after it and if I liked it she would let me keep it. I was amazed that the cat had come into my life and loved it at first sight. I could not believe that I had a cat. It was very timid, and frightened at first but it soon settled in. I used to take it outside and play with it. We called it "Fancy Pants" as it would walk in and out of the room as if it was in a dress.
As Tipper grew older he began to change. I remember one evening he started to cry. I got up and went to see what was wrong. I saw blood coming from his eyes, I was afrd he had hurt himself. I went to call my father but I saw my cat Fancy Pants lying dead on the floor. I was in shock. I started to cry but I still loved him. I loved him so much I didn't tell anyone. I cried for days. It was the first time I had been hurt by someone else, someone I loved. I did not think I would ever love agn but I did, a German Shepherd dog.
My German Shepherd was a boy and he was named Duke. He was big and strong and was always happy. He was the strongest dog I have ever met. He had no fear of me or anyone. He was my dog, he was part of my family. I taught him tricks, and he loved to please me. The other day I was in the garden with him. He was sitting looking at something, I thought he was doing a trick but it was no trick. He was looking at the sky. He looked strght up at the clouds and then he was barking and jumping up. I looked up and I was amazed by what I saw. Above me, in the sky, there were thousands of stars. He loved looking up at the stars. I never thought about it, it was as if he had known something. I will always remember this moment.
He lived long but died of cancer. It was terrible to see him die. I cried my eyes out. We were on the top of a hill overlooking the sea. He had always loved going for walks and he would sit looking out over the horizon. It was at this time I became the animal behaviorist I wanted to be. I was looking at Duke, looking at the sky and then I saw something else. It was the moon, floating above us. I had never seen a full moon before and I was fascinated by it. My heart felt so full it was almost bursting. I looked up at the sky and saw the stars but there was something new, I saw the moon. It was just like seeing the moon for the first time and I just stood there and cried.
The second love of my life was the sea. I used to love to run along the beach with Duke. It was a magical place, the sea was so big and deep. It was so wide and I used to think it could swallow me up if I went too close. My favorite thing was when the tide was coming in and I could see the sea foam as it came over the sand. It was so exciting I could not help but laugh.
Duke loved the sea too. He would sit in the water and swim like a dolphin. Duke died at the age of 15. He had cancer and it spread throughout his body. I will always remember how he lay in the sand, his legs outstretched, his head on my lap. He was so big I was afrd he was going to swallow me. I sat there and cried with him. I will always remember my beautiful German Shepherd.
He taught me how to be human agn.
I have never forgotten the moment I first fell in love with a dog. I don't know where it came from but I fell in love with a German Shepherd and that was a different kind of love than any I had had before. It was a wonderful, pure and complete love and I had never felt anything like it before. My life changed from then on and I am so grateful for it. The world became a magical place to me, where I would walk with Duke in the sunshine, we would swim in the sea. The stars were always with