Chester was an older dog when he came to live with us. He had a few interesting characteristics, including hoarding. When I’d give him a Milkbone, he’d take it to his favorite spot in the yard and guard it awhile, sometimes all day, before eating it. Sometime’s I’d find mouthsful of dog food on the sidewalk or in the grass where he had carried them, I suppose to save for later.
I also think someone – a woman, probably – had been very mean to him. When I’d work in the garden with a hoe or rake or broom, he would flinch away from me and watch me warily, as if expecting me to hit him. This changed after awhile, with no more flinching but he still kept his distance if I had something in my hand. But he loved me. I was his favorite.
When on my daily walk, Chester would heel beside me and keep his head within reach of my hand. If I went too many paces without patting him, he’d lift his head up to touch my hand.
Over the last few months he had been losing weight and felt downright bony along his back and ribs. He didn’t seem to be able to gain weight. He also was slowing down. He was frisky in the mornings but was lacking energy as the day wore on. I think it would have been a hard winter for him this year.
Chester was a shy dog. That’s not usual in a German Shepherd, He was quiet, too, till night time. Then he’d station himself outside our bedroom window and bark. Thankful that we didn’t have neighbors to complain about it, we finally got used to it, and after awhile it felt like a lullaby.
When he barked he actually sounded like a person saying “Woof”. That would crack me up. “Woof, woof woof”; “woof, woof woof.” Oh Chester.
Yesterday he was killed in an accident. He had followed the crew to the field and lay down under a hay trailer to be in the shade. When they started the tractor they didn’t see him there. Farms can be dangerous places.
I’ve been fighting sadness all day. Miss Kitty, our other dog, hasn’t been herself. She’s been lying in Chester’s usual spot, as if saving his place for him.
I will miss you Chester Bester. You were a good dog.