Sunday, 2 August 2009

The life and death of a true legend

The God Mother Dog Pilota was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
This is how her story goes.
One day this lady was driving to her summer house. On her way she passed this dog running around in the middle of the road. When she went on driving she kept thinking on this dog, and finally she stopped, turned around and drove back. The dog brought her to another dog, and this dog had a small puppy, Pilota.
The Lady was very proud of how good she was to animals, so she put them in her car and brought them to the nearest village. When nobody knew them at the local bar there, she thought: “Well, why don’t I let them live at my summer house?” So that was what she did. She brought them to her Summer House where they stayed all the time and she was there in the weekends. Thank heavens she loved animals as much as she did, and it wasn’t too bad either, to be able to tell her friends back home that: “Oh I have dogs, I rescued them myself. There is no life for them here in the city though, so I have them at my summer house where my servants take care of them.” There was only one flaw in that; she did not have any servants.
Pilota though was a surviver! She was born without toes on her right back paw, but that did not slow her down one bit. She grew up thinking it was normal to live in an old chicken house. In the weekends they had company and the rest of the weeks the neighbours and a man in the village gave them something to get by with. Everybody on the hill knew her, and when she grew up she loved to run around at the hill, sometimes for days at end. She always returned though. Her mother died not that long after they arrived, but she and her father kept going. Pilota had never lived inside and the fact that she was covered with ticks and fleas, well wasn’t that just the way it was suppose to be?
Pilota was not sterilized so she started to have kids on her own. Pilotas lack of toes was most likely a sign that her parents were related. She lived together with her father and he was most likely to be her kids father as well. They did not survive. Pilota was a wonderful mother the neighbours have told us, but not even she could fight the combination of malnutrition, lack of a proper shelter, the parasites that crawled all over them and most likely having the same dad and grandfather. They all died, one after the other. The Good lady of the house, well she liked puppies, so Pilota wasn’t sterilized. She was a good catholic, and if God wanted the puppies born, that was what he wanted.
The Good lady of the house stopped to arrive. According to her daughter that was because she got seriously ill and died. Which is true. In accordance to our neighbours (also known as her servants) she stopped coming before she got ill. She stopped coming because she got herself a new summer house. This summer house was off course much more interesting than the home to some dogs.

The Good lady died. Immediately afterwards her daughter arrived to collect everything she found remotely interesting. The house was totally emptied out, expect for one thing; the dogs. Who wanted some old moth-eaten dogs anyway?
At this time Pilota was about 8. Than a miracle did happen. She continued to have puppies as normal, but this time one of them survived. Erbie had arrived. Pilota loved him. Off course his head did not really evolve as fast as it should do, and the lack of proper nutrion and all the parasites have made his bones a little weak and his head stopped at the age 2. This did not matter though, because Pilota was there to take care of him, and that she did. She took al the decisions for him, and well most of the thinking as well. For Erbie she was just the life itself.
The years went by. The father died, but Pilota had learned how to take care of her family of 2.

One day when Pilota was in her 16th year and Erbie in his 8th these new humans arrived. They did not arrive alone either, they brought CATS! They arrived to find the dogs looked in a stable. According to the amount of fiches they had done so for several months. They broke into the stable and let the dogs out. Or what was left of the dogs. They were very ill. Pilota herself was missing over half of her fur.
It was not love at first sight. The dogs did not trust any humans anymore, and these humans had cats as well. Pilota was also very ill. She could hardly breath and all her energy was used scratching. No way had they wanted to be touched by the humans. In the morning they walked up the road and stayed there all day, until went to bed again in the evening. Erbie moved about a little more, but Pilota was completely knackered after only a couple of meters.
Nobody thought she was going to make it through the first days, but Pilota had a son to take care of so she wasn’t about to leave.
The humans fell in love with the dogs the second day. They had left them some sausages to eat, but Pilota was too tired to go and get it herself. Therefore Erbie took the biggest one and carried it up to his mum, than he got back and ate the smallest one himself.
It took the cats 2 weeks to be in control of the dogs. It took the humans 3 weeks before them where able to touch them at all, and that was just because they went and hide in a storage room. Erbie was so frighten that he pied himself.
The vets came and saw to them every 2nd day, as having them in a car was unthinkable. The Humans removed over 1000 ticks from each of them, and the vets used 6 weeks before the dogs was declared well enough to vaccinated. Pilota also has a terrible old dog smell and breath, but if the human did not believe in expensive dog food before, they did it from than of. That smell went away with in 2 weeks, never to come back!
Pilota was bathed twice before anyone relaized she had a white chest and tummy!
The dogs started to notice that one of the humans walked off everyday, only to return an hour later. So they started to follow. Unfortunately they behaved rather poorly in traffic, so they started to walk on a leash. Needless to say the dogs hated it, but the humans were for once as stubborn as Pilota so the training continued while the cats laughed their buts off. One day the dogs wanted to go in the car as well. So they started to go to the vets instead of the vets coming around.
Their first time in a bar was amazing. They loved it. They where watching the great life in the big world. It was actually so great that they became regulars. Life was absolutely starting to be great, and they both loved it. They even got friendly with the cats. (The cats did not care that she screamed at them every time they had a ca(t)rate session, they knew she did not approve of fighting, so they just went out of her eyesight). Their favourites were long car drives, than going for a walk in a new place to finish it of with a visit to a bar and watch the local life.
They started to become quit well travelled dogs, and went all the way to the Mediterranean. Off course that wa the only place they did not approve of. Pilota never understood why the humans wanted her to have her paws in the water. “Nah” she said, and stubbornly left the beach with the humans attached behind.
In the beginning of her 17th year she broke her paw in a hit and run. Nothing a “small” surgery could not fix. It did persuade her to go into retirement though, especially when she got a uterus infection the month after and went into surgery again. A couple of month after that she needed to have some lumps in her breast removed. It was to see if she was strong enough for the surgery the x-rayed her chest. The vets looked long and hard, checked her collar, looked strange at the humans, and finally said: “Do you know she has been shot?” Poor Pilota had been shot at, and left to fend for herself. Luckily for us she survived. Otherwise her heart was strong, so she had yet another surgery. It did her good as well.
The coldest and longest winter in 40 years arrived. Pilota did not like it one bit, and it broke her spirit a little. She wasn’t interested in going for walks anymore, and Erbie was allowed to go in the car with out her. She stopped barking out messages about what she meant about the other dogs in the village (which is what earned her the name “God Mother Dog” in the beginning). She was still very happy. She did not hear anymore, but that did not matter as her imagination took care of that for her. She sent Erbie out for one ghost hunt after the other, and Erbie did as his mother told him. Mama was always right, end of story.
The pigs arrived, and Pilota took charge. Not like she could trust a piglet to a human, was there?
After the coldest winter the hottest summer arrived. That got to much for the strongest dog ever. She died peacefully the 10th week with over 30 degrees. The last week she looked so content and happy, even there was no question that she was in pain. Thinking about it know we think she knew it was time for her to leave, but she had peace with it. Her son Erbie was finally ready to manage on himself. Hadn’t she trained him to take walk and go in the car with out her perhaps?

We are quit sure that Pilota left us because she knew we where all finally ready to manage at our own. Otherwise she would have stayed on regardless of how tired she was. She could live on will alone.
Pilota we miss you so much! You will always be in our hearts.
Thank you so much for letting us live with you.


  1. A wonderful story about a wonderful dog who got through so much without any bitterness. You were blessed to have her and she was blessed to have you.

  2. Thank you, TamTam and the rest of the family to share this wonderful story with us ;) I light a candle in memory of Pilota ;)
    Hugs to all from Aud

  3. Thank you - don't know what else to say. So much suffering caused by simple indifference. Your dedication is an inspiration.

  4. thank you for that wonderful life story.