Blogs by Edeltraud F. Fellendorf
DOG - FOOD
1/4/2010 5:43:25 AM
By Cindy Rodriguez, Commander, U.S. Navy (ret.)
I was letting my dogs in from the backyard this morning when I noticed the dog that usually wakes me up in the morning with a kiss was eating an unmentionable delicacy. I was a bit shocked because I didn't know she was into that sort of "thing." It was also a terrible way to realize I had neglected my poopie scooping duties yesterday. Despite the 17 degree temp outside, I managed to collect all the poopsicles to prevent any future temptations. This of course is a perfect segue into the topic Mom told me to touch upon today, her childhood dogs.
Mom is a huge animal lover. All those pleading commercial letters about neglected dogs, horses, elephants, and chickens always get to her. Just last month I stuck a letter to a horse rescue in the mailbox for her. I know it contained a donation. She's also been an avid supporter of the Nevada Humane Society in Reno for many years. Unfortunately for her, she didn't have much luck with dogs in her early years. It's still very painful for her to think about today. When we were discussing this blog topic last night, she started to cry. Even after all this time she misses them and gets upset thinking about their terrible fates. Today's blog is in memory of Nettle, Lux, and Cherry (details taken from Mom's book).
Nettle was Mom's first dog. She was a 10 lbs Dachshund with an 80 lbs attitude. One of the most difficult things Mom had to do when her parents left Silesia for Berlin was give up Nettle because they didn't know where they'd be living. Mom was nine-years-old at the time. Nettle was given to her uncle and his family where she went on to have two litters of puppies, and a good life. Nettle had free roam of the town. She would wander about then always return home by the afternoon. This went on for years. After the war, when the Poles were moving into Silesia and the Germans were being forced out, Nettle didn't return one day. Mom's uncle and his family spent days looking for her until a friend of Mom's uncle told him Nettle had been trapped by a Pole, killed, and eaten. Times were harsh and food was still scarce.
Lux was a sleek and intelligent German Shepherd. Because she missed Nettle so much, her parents got Lux for her after they found an apartment in Berlin. Lux and Mom were inseparable for two years. One day her parents received a letter in the mail notifying them that they must take Lux to a certain military facility to be tested. Apparently the Army was looking through the city's registered dogs for German Shepherds. If Lux passed, the Army would confiscate him for the war effort. Mom prayed for days he would flunk, but she also knew he was very smart. When the day came, she accompanied her parents and Lux. He was taken away and the family waited there while the test was being conducted. Some time later they were informed he had passed.
What Mom didnít expect was that they would keep Lux and not let her say good bye. She cried hard at this unexpected news. Mom and Lux's special link was abruptly and permanently severed. Seeing how broken hearted she was, the soldiers promised to keep her updated on his whereabouts. True to their word, her parents later received a letter from Luxís handler himself. She was able to meet him and Lux one last time before they were shipped to the front. Another letter came months later, which explained Lux had been wounded in the stomach, but was expected to make a full recovery. A final letter was received from the handler notifying the family Lux had been killed in action on the Russian front. Besides the letter, inside the envelope was a small medal Lux had been awarded for his sacrifice. Instead of keeping it, his handler had sent it on to Mom.
Cherry was the last dog Mom had in Berlin. She was a small little mutt with no pedigree to speak of, but her cuteness made up for her scrawny looks and lack of bloodline. Cherry was a stray when Mom found her wandering the streets of Berlin. Mom was 17 at the time. She had Cherry less than a year when she decided to take her for her usual walk. When she was outside, she realized it was cold and went to retrieve a sweater. She left Cherry at the stoop of her apartment house with her leash on as she had done numerous times before since Cherry was very obedient and would sit and wait. She was gone only a minute and when she returned, Cherry was gone. Her mother, friends and neighbors all helped look for her, but she was never found.
Years later, the dying daughter of a friend of my Momís family by the name of Inge made a confession. The guilt had gotten to her and she wanted to die with a clear conscience. She also believed her disease was a punishment for what she was about to finally reveal.
Inge said her own mother had stolen Cherry. She had quickly taken Cherry home to her husband to be killed. Inge's mother stole Cherry because the husband of her friend had Tuberculosis (TB). Inge's mother believed eating dog meat could help cure the condition. After Cherry was killed, she was given to the man with TB to be eaten. Mom was very upset when she heard this, especially since Inge's mother was a close friend of the family, and she and her husband had even helped look for Cherry. Cherry would have gone to her right away since Cherry knew her. Like my Mom, Cherry thought she was a friend.
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