Hello and welcome to my story of 2015.
Sumo .............. the story ends.
This year, 2015, there has come an end to my adventures. When in May 2004, almost 8 weeks old, hands picked me up and I was lifted from my nest and was separated from my siblings, I had not suspected that my life would be so moved. Because moved, that's really how my life has been. The 4193 days that I was on this world, there was not really one day the same.
The first few years were quite normal as any dog, or most of the dogs hopefully had. A warm house, enough attention, lots of exercise, and eating and treaties at regular times. A girlfriend, Rhea, with who I could play and battle sometimes. I've never seen a dog again who had so much fun with a tennis ball.
At that time I developed into a strong dog with great stamina, but also as a sensitive dog who could flawlessly sense emotions and different moods in humans and I could respond to that. I noticed real fast when someone was sad or had pain, and at such a moment I was always very close. And if I was really happy, I could pull up a piece of my lip, to show some of my teeth, so it was as if I laughed. If anyone was on the sofa, it was always possible for me to squeeze myself in the craziest positions. So I always pushed a bit and always got the best place to sit. And if I slept very solid, my cheeks were making the sound of an old motorboat. In those years I trained a lot, the strength and conditioning that I have built helped me through the years when I had medical problems. A dog in good shape recovers slightly faster. As the first of my breed I ran the endurance test, after that, everyone who had a knowledge of dogs had great respect for me. I did it, not fully trained. And I really did have ailments. More than I actually anticipated. Then it's fine if you have a boss who you can trust and could tell me if anything was wrong, and do things to make you get better.
In 2009, my life was completely different. Everyday life came to an end. This period has been very hard for me, both physically and mentally. I could not understand how someone can just disappear from your life and never took any interest in me for the rest of my life. Then apparently I was just not special enough. It took a while before I could laugh again. It took my boss a lot of time and energy to get me up there again. But he had promised me when he was gone a few weeks, he would never leave me alone. Fortunately I never met any more people for the rest of my life who have hurt me, it remained at one. Although I had a great pain threshold, that has had a significant impact. That event has changed me, I really didn't trust people so fast anymore in the future. You can get my respect, but you have to earn it. So I would decide how far people could go with me from now on. There followed a difficult period, we moved 4 times in a year, slept in places where it was really not so nice but I was always with the one I could trust and who would do anything for me. Whatever life would bring us. Our friendship had an unbreakable bond, nothing could be able to get us apart. We were always together. Where my boss was, I was, and vice versa. But we met new and kind people who saw what a special dog I was. So again I learned to trust people, so I could show my special smile again. Manipulating humans I was a expert in, after a while, I had my way. After many wanderings we found a nice home, close to the sea and surrounded by nature. I loved being by the sea and could really enjoy getting sticks out of the water. Just lovely to walk endlessly, through every kind of weather. Wind, storm or rain, that didn't bother us. Got new friends who meant a lot to me and were always there to see how I was doing. And that was more important, friends who really understood me. Life began to look rosier again. It got even better when Aiko came to our house. A new girlfriend at home, where I have spend lots of hours playing, biking and running. Nothing would happen to her, I always protected her. As I have always protected everything that was dear to me. She was my friend and we got along really well.
I am a dog with feelings and emotions, who or what belonged to me, I loved. Over the years I had some conflicts with other dogs, especially when Aiko was in heat. If they got too close, or showed any type of agression, they picked the wrong dog to mess with. I was already quite well known by all the media attention that I've had over the years. All nice, the attention of newspapers and dog magazines, but that isn't what real life is all about. Aiko has learned a lot from me. Where the best spots are, where to find the tastiest water during a long walk, how to get attention without making much noise, how to get into a car as quickly as possible when someone left the door open, how the neighbors can be manipulated if the gate is not opened quickly enough, and other such things. Aiko has found a good home, a boss who does everything for her, no matter how crazy it might be and whatever will come her way. I know that better than anyone. The years went by and I got older. Romping and frolicking going to cost me more trouble. I hated that, getting older. You don't recover as quickly from aches and your muscles become diminished. And so started the last period of my life.
In 2015 I turned 11 years old. For a large breed as I am, that's quite something. But you know that the end comes there once. The last few weeks were not so good. Trouble getting up, muscles that are wasting, a hernia. We also slept on a mattress in the living room. I always slept with my boss, anyway. And he with me. To make things easier for me, we all slept on the floor.The day before my last vet visit we both knew what was going to happen. My boss asked me with tears in his eyes how to move on if I wasn't by his side anymore. I licked the tears off his face, laughed to him in my own special way and moved myself real close to him. Although I really loved car rides, I wanted to go to the vet walking. Just the two of us. Now and then we stopped for a while and I looked at my boss. After so many walks, mileage through nature and everywhere that we have been, hard times that we had overcome, we were really walking the last time together. I'm not going back with you, it has been nice. How many miles have we traveled together, I remember every single step. Everyone who has played a role in my life, big or small, I will always carry them in my heart. I don't forget anyone who has been a part in my life and have no regrets. I did my best.
Monday, September 14, 2015, was the last visit to the vet. The ultrasound showed that Sumo was really sick. On sheer willpower, he has run the last kilometers to his end point. He knew, from the moment we left our house, that the end was near and so quietly he underwent everything. He lived his life, with pride, always gave warmth and love and dealt with life as it came. There have been really hard times when Sumo has pulled me through and was a real lifeline. When life was really very heavy, he showed to be a very special dog. Never give up. A very important lesson he taught me. Now the terrible moment has come when we must say goodbye. At 15:15 he got his last injection. He fell asleep and one moment he opened his eye and looked at me. Go to sleep, Suum. You're so tired. I am here with you. You've done more than enough. He sighed two times and at 15:17 his heart stopped. My big and strong friend. For 11,5 years you were really the most important thing in my life. You gave me much more than I could have ever expected. Sumo is cremated at September 17, 2015. When I went to pick up his urn, it was a dark and rainy day. But when I walked out along with Sumo, there was a very little sunshine through the gray sky. Come on Suumpie, lets go home. I promised you that I would never leave you alone, no matter what would happen. And I looked at the sky, to that little ray of sunshine and I smiled as you always could.
Tosa Inu, Tosa Ken, Tosa Token, Sumo Dog Japanese fighting dog, wrestling ...... dog names for your breed. You were much more than that. You were Sumo. A special dog with human characteristics and a true friend, till the end. The warm light that you left, will always continue to shine. Thanks for all you have done for me. Without any doubt, I would do it just the same all over again. All 4193 days.
Ton, Zierikzee, 2016