This past weekend, we celebrated an event at our house that is a little hard to believe. Five years ago, I had no idea how our lives would be changed by what happened. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t even at home. Bunny and I were with friends at Dewey Beach in Delaware at Greyhounds Reach the Beach. I got a text early in the morning of October 8 and looked at my phone to see pictures of tiny little balls of fur.
I didn’t know then which of those balls of fur would be ours, but I knew that we would get one of them. I had hopes that we’d get one of those black balls of fuzz, but I knew the decision was going to be based on things other than what color the puppy was. As it turned out, the dog who was the best fit was one of the little black fuzzballs.
Even when we’d met the puppies and made our final decision, I still had no idea how our lives would change. Küster gave us a hint on the very first night when he climbed over the baby gate we’d put up in the hallway for him and marched into the bedroom to let us know he was there. He’s kept us on our toes ever since.
Sharing life with a working dog isn’t always easy. They require a lot of work, time and attention, not to mention endless training. Seeing a dog grow up from a puppy is a unique and special experience, and I am so thankful that we’ve had that opportunity. Our bond with him is different because we’ve watched him grow up. I remember my husband having a lot of sleepless nights worrying over whether or not Küster would pass certification tests and become a full fledged search and rescue dog.
Fortunately, the Black Tornado did pass those tests and he is a working search and rescue dog. For me, though, he is so much more than that. He is truly one of the friendliest dogs I’ve ever met. When he goes out for public appearances for the search group, he is in his element. He takes in the whole world through his nose first. I’ve laughed at times he’s been surprised to find me at the end of a trail, even when I was hiding in plain sight, because he was so caught up in cataloging the scents he was encountering. He is always happy, whether you just pet him on the head or take him on a big adventure.
I can’t imagine a day when he doesn’t work, although I suppose he will retire the way all working dogs do one day. I am fairly certain that it will be a long time from now. Actually, I sincerely hope that it will. I have hopes that one day, he’ll hang out on the couch with me in his old age, but he’ll probably still have too much energy for that even then. One thing I do know is that we have had five fun filled years together and I am so happy for every minute of them.