Marta Nettelfield

Please let me be the person my dog thinks I am"...anon

Lobo

VB CH Sarkel's Sweeping Changes CD, AGI, AGNJ, HIT, HIC, CGN

 

It's hard to know where to begin describing this amazing dog. He is a dream come true – I couldn’t ask for a more devoted canine partner and companion. We have so much fun together, be it in the conformation or obedience rings, on the agility field or, in the herding arena.

Lobo typifies all that a boxer should be – temperament, brains, workability – all in one handsome fawn package.

 

Remembering Lobo July 8, 2000 - December 14, 2009

It's easy to throw adjectives around when you write about a much loved being that is no longer with you.

In Lobo's case, there are many that come to mind, but the two that stand out in my mind are "great" and "magnificent".

In his looks, you could see his magnificence. He had the ability to take your breath away. He was a very correct dog with wonderful movement. The few conformational flaws he had seemed insignificant compared to his overall presence.

Lobo's greatness was in his talent and temperament. He would willingly try everything. He showed everyone that indeed, boxers can do it all. From the conformation ring, to the agility field, the obedience ring, the herding arena and tracking field, Lobo did it all. Though sometimes, in true breed fashion, his ideas and my ideas did not always synch. Add to that, Lobo was the best damn navigator a person could ask for. We traveled many thousands of miles together, for dog shows, weddings and just plain visiting folks.

For all the ribbons, awards and commendations Lobo received, it was in his temperament that his magnificence and greatness truly came together. He was drawn to the elderly and disabled. Two instances are representative of this.

In April of 2003, Lobo and I were ringside at a dog show waiting for our class to go in. I was watching the ring, then happened to glance down at Lobo to see his tale wagging a slow tick tock. I followed his gaze and saw an elderly woman in a wheelchair across the ring. She was looking and smiling at Lobo. I let Lobo pull me over to her. He laid his head in her lap and allowed her to make a big fuss over him. She told me that she and her husband had boxers for years and they missed them so much. She thanked me for bringing Lobo over to see her and I said, "no, it was Lobo that brought me over to you".

In September 2007, a client from way up north asked me to come up and help her with some computer problems. Knowing that I didn't like leaving my dogs, she told me to bring them. I thought 4 boxers would be a bit too much, but there was never a thought of not taking Lobo with me.

Lobo slept on his bed while I worked. After finishing up work the first day, we headed down to the "Tiki Bar" which was in the client's indoor pool area. We went through the kitchen and my client's daughter was in her chair. Lobo pulled me to go over and see her. I told him no, and we continued downstairs. My client's daughter was extremely affected with cerebral palsy, and I wasn't sure how she would react to Lobo, so I thought it best that we keep our distance.

The next morning while finishing up work, Lobo settled on his bed. The nanny came into the office with the little girl and Lobo got up and determinedly trotted over to her. I went to intercept and her mom told me to leave him, it was okay. What happened next left all present in tears. Lobo very gently laid his head against her leg. The nanny picked up the child's hand so and ran it over Lobo's head and neck. Lobo stood like a rock and the smile on the child's face brightened the room. This went on for several minutes. I had never been prouder of my boy than at that moment.

Lobo was a guy magnet - quite useful to someone single. Brianne was known to "borrow" him for a walk around the park when there were interesting young men around.

Lobo could also be, as his Auntie Joanne dubbed him, a "pissypants". In his defense, I have to tell you, he came by that attitude honestly.

In his very first weekend of showing, I engaged a professional handler. I figured there was no point in both of us learning at the same time. Lobo had no problem winning his first class. When it came time to go in for the breed, my handler had a conflict. She told me that this guy (another handler and I use that term loosely even after all these years), would take Lobo in for breed. I wasn't pleased at the turn of event, but didn't have much choice. Just before the dogs went in for breed this guy hurries over to me, grabs Lobo's leash, gives him a couple of pops and runs off with him to the ring. All I could think was, "uh oh, this isn't going to go well". And it didn't. Lobo showed like a young foal that was just being halter broke. You'd think he'd never had a leash on. Even after all that, he took BOB. The handler came out of the ring and threw his leash at me telling me what a jerk my dog was. We know who the jerk was, and it wasn't Lobo. Puppy Group was up next. My original handler was back, but guess what? Lobo was having nothing of it. She informed me that I was going to have to take him in the ring. Talk about induction by fire. I was in a sweatshirt and shorts with no time to go back to the hotel and change. With my trusty advisors Cindy Thomas and Josie O'Reilly sitting at ringside, Lobo and I managed to find our way around the Group ring. I'd glance up frantically looking at Cindy and Josie and they'd remind me to get his tail up, fix his stack, get his head up. With their help and support we not only survived the Group ring, but Lobo walked away with Best Puppy in Group. In parting, the judge said to me, "you've got a wonderful dog there, don't let anyone screw him up". Indeed, in competition, no one other than me ever touched his leash again.

Lobo finished his CD in one weekend with two High in Class and one High in Trial. To make it more special, Lobo earned his final leg under judge Merlin Vanderkinder. "Van" had last seen me with another fawn boy, my beloved Hondo. Hondo and I never managed to finish an entire obedience course with "Van" (god knows we made several tries) , so it was a very special honor to be able to present Lobo to him and have him award Lobo the final leg of his CD.

Agility was Lobo's passion. He retired one leg short of his Agility Excellent title, and one leg short of his Intermediate Jumpers and Weaves title. Campaigning Lobo in Agility was a joy.

Lobo loved herding but unfortunately we did not have the training resources anywhere close to be able to pursue it. I have no doubt if we had, he would have added to his titles.

Lobo never really "got" tracking and I didn't have the ability on my own to be able to help him understand it. But he was the best damn hot dog tracker in the world.

In 2006, Lobo was one of a group of three extraordinary boxers to receive the inaugural Alberta Boxer Club Versatility Award.

Lobo made many friends in over the years and I know he touched everyone he met. He epitomized all that is good about the Boxer breed. He was a true ambassador for the breed.

If there is a legacy that Lobo can leave, I hope it's to remind people that the boxer is so much more than just a conformation dog - they can and will, do all that we ask - we just need to ask.

In revisiting Lobo's accomplishments I can't help but feel proud of them. But right now, they pale in the face of my grief of losing my best friend, my heart and my soul.

Godspeed my sweet Prince.