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A lifetime with dogs

A lifetime with dogs

Lene is a true long term dog lover. From she was 17 years until today where she is 59 years, she has been in a relationship with a dog almost continuously. It all started with a black Labrador named jasper and today Lene’s relationship is with a Danish Swedish Farmdog named Buster. We are very happy that Lene will share her thoughts on what her relationship with dogs has meant throughout her life.

Tell us, what did it mean to a 17-year-old teenager to suddenly be in a relationship with Jasper?

I had wished for a dog for many years, many of my friends had grown up with dogs, so I had a solid idea of what it would entail to have one, but my parents had up until then always refused such idea. Then one day, a friend of my father got the cutest Labrador puppy and he told my father that all the Labrador puppies were placed into new families, except for one male puppy who, for reason I am not aware of, no-one wanted. As soon as it dawned on me, I begged and begged my parents to get the little male puppy, promising I would care for it. So, it was in fact me who really wanted a dog.

I named him Jasper. Jasper and I would spend hours being out and about. We both loved the long walks in nature regardless of the weather. We did lots of training together and accomplished great things. I really feel we became best friends and together we became part of a community with my other friends who also had dogs. There is no doubt from my side at least that I truly loved Jasper, he was my first dog, and I was completely devoted to him.        

You told us coincidences let to you having had many different dog breeds, which we find quite fascinating. Was there a difference in the way you could interact with your dog depending on the breed? For us it seems a Labrador is far from a Newfoundland dog and then again, a Danish Swedish farm dog is something entirely different.

I understand that there is quite some difference between the breeds, I have had but there are also many similarities, and it has been the latter, we have cultivated. So, to try to answer your question, not apart from the physical size of the dogs, I have not noticed the difference deriving from their various breed. All my dogs have loved to be out and about in nature, to be actively challenged in various activities prepared for dogs and this outdoor life has been the core in my relationship with all my dogs.

Emotion wise it is the same, to all my dogs I have felt a special bond of devotion, loyalty, and love. I guess it is a bit like having lots of children, you can’t help loving them all (Lene is smiling).      

Many people still take their dog with them into the grave around the world, a practice which is not supported here in Denmark, where we live. Is this something you can relate to that people who have lived and loved their dog in their testament chose to have their dog put to sleep to join them in heaven?

It is a very difficult question to answer. I guess there is a rationale for both understanding and not understanding. I would assume in all cases, people do it out of love for their dog. Let’s say a dog has been living with an old, retired women for 7 years and there is no one else the dog knows well, as the dog and the woman have been together every minute for the last 7 years. Then who could possibly care for this dog, in the eyes of the dog, should the women pass away? On the other hand, had the dog been much younger, you may argue, it could adapt to a new loving family who knew how to approach a grieving dog but really, I don’t know, this is a very complex question after all.

YOU CAN FOLLOW Lene AND Buster’s ADVENTURES TOGETHER ON INSTAGRAM. For more stories about life with dogs click here.
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