Longtime followers of this site will remember that Spark is based on two of my German Shepherd dogs. The one who talked with his tail was named Sam and he died in 2019. Last week, our old female shepherd named Chloe passed away of old age. Both dogs were very intelligent in their own ways so they were special to us.
Chloe was always rowdy, learned quickly, and was diligent as a backyard guard. She was something of a gourmand, preferring special food, especially chicken and rice. She also loved puzzle toys for dogs, was always ready for a trip anywhere (though she did not like water), and loved chasing geese at a nearby private lake (she never caught one, but loved the chase).
Chloe’s mother was a real German police dog so she had a few things she would not do including play fetch. She would chase the ball and pick it up but never return it. She was always the warning barker and very alert for aggression.
When we first acquired Chloe as a puppy, she was very serious. We always said she didn’t unpack her bags for about a year. It was that long until she actually wagged her tail when we arrived home. But Chloe always loved attention as well as playing.
Her way of playing was to charge me and try to take me down with a snarl. She was just playing and never did anything, but she loved acting like she was much bigger than fifty-five pounds. We thought she was very rough, so we took our time getting her to socialize with people which she figured out. In the end, she loved visitors as long as she knew them herself or knew that we welcomed someone into the house.
While Sam was the one who talked with his tail and got a lot of attention in blog posts and my newsletter, Chloe was the “face” of Spark. She was an almost perfect model for the color of Spark’s coat as pictured on the book covers. Have a look at the carousel of pictures of Chloe if you have a chance.
Chloe’s passing was not unexpected like Sam’s since she was aging and struggling with hip troubles. She seemed to have chosen her place. Last week, she wanted out during some very nice weather, appearing very energetic and lively. I checked on her often since she usually wanted in soon after going outside. But she liked the weather which was sunny with very mild temperatures and some nice breezes, so she stayed out for several hours on Monday. Last Tuesday, she wanted out again and I checked on her several times. She seemed content, unconcerned with coming inside the house. But when I checked on her about 2PM, I found she had passed away in her sleep amid the shade and the gentle breeze on the back deck. Here’s to Chloe and her faithful, exuberant spirit – RIP.