Thursday, June 16, 2011

Maddie's 'Big Day Out' with Kurt er, Carl, er...Kurt

When I turned 40, I discovered a whole new life --my new baby Madison played a large role in that, as she was entering into my world and the world of us.  But during this stage and leading up to her birth, Kurt and I used to spend time together 'talking' about what to expect and if I was up to it!  He was sure I could handle it all, but I felt I was on shaky ground to begin with.  But Kurt had faith, and as we sat in the sun on those early cold Winter days in the beginning, he would put his paw on my arm and let me know that all was OK.

When Maddie arrived, there were celebrations, and upon arriving home we opened her 'bunny rug' so that Kurt and Georgie could inspect her, and give their nod.  Georgie almost jumped upside down, and Kurt just sat and grinned at me.  He knew.  He was happy. 

As time passed, and Maddie started to grow up a bit, we would let her discover her bearings in the gardens surrounding our house, closely followed by Kurt, as her guide and protector.  Wherever she wandered, Kurt wasn't far behind, and soon they became firm friends. 

The day finally arrived when Maddie started Day Care, at about 15 months, and Kurt was a bit reluctant to have her leave us so soon.  But as I had been given a position at the local university, there was very little option left for us.  I explained this to Kurt, but he still had his doubts.

During this process, my sister who lives in Michigan, began sending us books about Carl - the Rottweiler--beautiful picture books about Carl and his young side-kick, someone very similar to Maddie, although her name was Madeleine!  I would open these books for Maddie and Kurt, and tell them the 'story' according to the pictures, and they would sit, entranced, (except for the times that Georgie would distract Kurt as he was on guard duty after all!)

Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board BookAs time went by, the various books would arrive for Christmas presents or for Maddie's birthday, and there was excitement as she and I would sit down and discover the next adventure that had been written about 'her and Kurt' in this latest story book.  She was fascinated, and would ask me time and time again to tell her the story of the Christmas shopping adventures, or the Day Care adventures or the other adventures that Kurt (Carl) took her on.  It wasn't until many years later, that the story books and their wordless stories, became apparent to Maddie and she realised that Kurt had been her substitute for Carl.  But what a substitute!  On the days when Kurt, Maddie and I would sit and 'read' the books together they would look at the pictures and marvel at their adventures, wondering how they had been allowed to do what they did!  I always smiled, and told them how special they were, and of course, that was enough!  They already knew that!

Note:  For those readers unfamiliar with Kurt and Georgie.  Kurt was our professionally trained guard dog, who had since retired and lived with us at home.  Georgie was his side-kick and a great little friend to the world.  She was a black and tan Australian terrier, (or blue, as they are called), and was a constant ball of energy and love!)

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