Real Stories About Dogs

Right from the heart of those ones who lived them

Amazing image by Jacee Xie

Yago, the Shepherd Mutt

Sometimes your dog looks at you and you fell you can hear their soul talking. My sister Elvira used to say she could listened to Yago.

We lived in a small town in Trujillo. We were 4 sisters and one brother. Every one was one year senior to their next sibling. But we used to play together in spite of the age differences.

There had been always at least one dog in the household. I remember Yago particularly because he was our designated baby sitter and went with us everywhere, but also because my eldest sister Elvira always spoke to him like he was a person. Like a friend you trust your secrets.

Yago took us to school every day and when the time to come home was near, he would leave the house and head to wait for us at the school gate. Always. Without anyone telling him to.

One day we were going back home with Yago and my Sister Elvira, the eldest of us all, reported she was tired and wanted to have a nap, which was very strange for her. Also she went to bed earlier. Yago didn’t leave her side this day. I mean, the whole day. And night. The next day she said she was feeling weak, so she didn’t go to school. If I remember well, she started with fever that day. Yago didn’t go with us to school. He would never leave her side again.

These were early 1900. Too far from the development of the Polio vaccine.

Yago was present the whole time. He even didn’t want to leave my sister’s bedroom (which was ours too), and therefore he offered us a sweet consolation on all this madness that was seeing our beloved eldest sister going away forever. My sister, however, seemed absent all the time.

Yago was only 5 years old when we had to say goodbye to Elvira. We found him at the side of the road in the to our home, a week after Elvira left us. We never new what it was.

My mom offered me very little consolation, saying Yago was taking care of my sister in heaven. But I guess that’s the way it was.

C. from Trujillo

Kaiser, the mysterious German Shepherd

Kaiser was an alleged German Shepherd that was given to me when I was still at college. At that moment, I had Sarah, an 11-months old beautiful cream German Shepherd that was so intelligent, loyal and sweet that I wanted to take another friend in for her. I started looking for puppies, but all in a sudden, a friend’s friend that knew another friend had a cousin that new someone in his neighborhood had another 11-months old German Shepherd that was being given in adoption because was “getting too big”

I went to see him. It was love at first sight. I have always had a thing for German Shepherds anyway, but Kaiser and I were in love with each other at the exact first second we met.

I took him home. Why not? I noticed that the people from former Kaiser’s house were a bit weary when I got close to him, like waiting for something. But the connection was so powerful between us, I didn’t mind anything else.

With time, Kaiser proved to be a problem dog. Then I understood former Kaiser’s owner’s worries the day we met.

With me and my dad, and with children, he was the sweetest and more obedient creature you can imagine. As most German Shepherds do, he was always looking at my eyes and willing to do whatever was in his paws to keep me happy. He never pulled when walking (if he would have wanted to, he would have dragged me as far as he would have liked to, because he was 52kg, heavier than I, and so strong), he never made me even a scratch, he never disobeyed me. To me and my Dad he was the perfect dog.

However, cats and other people were not so happy about my Kaiser. My granny, my mom, my cousin, a woman that lived just beside our house, and several cats from the neighborhood qualify as Kaiser’s victims. Except for the cats, who ended all dead, human victims were not really hurt, they were most of the time big scares and a couple of them just a small dot of blood, caused by his canine teeth, but at the end of the day they were victims. So we had to keep Kaiser in a very short leash when strangers were around. Even family members.

Even though, Kaiser and I were best friends. He did anything he could to please me. He was a bit dominant with Sarah, but never hurt her. It was only jealous when I came close to her, because he wanted me only for him, but never actually did something to her. Overall, they were a nice couple. They always lived in the backyard and were not allowed into the house. The constant-trough-the-whole-year, perfect, 25ºC in Caracas allowed you to keep your furry friend outdoors, as long as they had, of course, a place to keep safe and warm in cooler or rainy days. The point is that Kaiser was never in any other place, different from a yard with grass.

Kaiser and Sarah shared a house my Dad had been building for ages. We didn’t live in it by the time of this story, so we had to pay al least twice a day, visits to the dogs to feed and check on them.

One night, when coming home to feed the dogs, only Sarah showed up. I was frantic looking for Kaiser everywhere, until we found him in one of the still being built bedrooms. He was lying on the floor.

I was just graduated and had an interview for my first formal job next day, 8am. I didn’t hesitate. I would spend the night taking care of my friend, no matter how tired I would be the next day. My Dad accepted to take him to our apartment, so I could be next to him and have some rest if possible. We took him home. We put him in our 10m square balcony, the only area we could possible make enclosed so the dog would not scare my Mom. Not that he had any energies to do so, but just in case.

The poor creature had been vomiting and with diarrhea the whole day, judging by the degree of dehydration he had. So every hour I gave him chicken soup with a syringe. He started to get better and better. By the next morning, he was on his feet again, but I didn’t dare giving him anything solid, just in case. Since he was OK, I went to my interview, exhausted, super duper sleepy.

When I came home he had made number 2 a few times, but since my Mom was counting as a victim and my Dad was working, no one could take the newspapers away. So I cleaned it up. It smelled really bad, as diarrhea had been evolving into a more viscose matter, and every single stage of it had had a really pungent and horrifying stinky aspect. That maybe was not necessarily needed to be reported. Sorry about that…

Well, when I finished cleaning and feeding my patient, a phone call came in and I went to take it; it was the people who interviewed me, that wanted to give me the position – yay!

I was caught then in a conversation with my Mom to tell her the news, when I started hearing my Kaiser crying. I went to him right away.

There were no newspapers in the floor, since I had removed the used ones when I cleaned up, and the stack of new ones were a bit scattered now, as someone had stepped on them and tossed some away. Very quickly, I took 3 of them and placed then in the same way I had been doing since the night before, hoping that was the reason Kaiser was complaining. It was. My poor dog was holding it the entire time I was at the phone and then commenting with my Mom, and even trying to get some newspapers himself, just to avoid doing a mess to me. I was really grateful. What followed was the biggest, ice-cream like, stinkiest dog’s excrement I’ve seen in my life. My poor dog, in spite of never having been inside a home, of not knowing newspaper and any other place in the world where to poop that a garden, knew that I would thank him for not pooping in our bare balcony.

That’s it. A very mundane story, yes, yet it tells you how much a German Shepherd can understand and just know what their master wants or needs, even without training. The next stories are more sublime, promise. 

I’m happy to report we lived a healthy and happy life after this chapter.

R. from Caracas

Ronnie: The Determined Angel


I was 5 years old when I met Ronnie. He was the kind of dog you’d find in the streets of under-developed countries, as Venezuela. Most of them are about the same size (about 2 feet), very skinny, yellow, dark snout and eyes, black paws. Nothing special, and at the same time, everything in them is unique.

Auntie Hermione always had had dogs. Always mutts, stray dogs that were offered a home there and they gladly accepted, behaving wonderfully and thanking her every single second of their lives, with their always dark loving eyes and absolutely sweet unconditional adoration for her. My auntie had a big heart, full of love for everyone. All her dogs and other pets she adopted saw her beautiful soul and completely adored her back.

At Ronnie’s time, there were 3 mutts, all three yellow, probably not brothers, who knew, about the same size, Ronnie, Renny and Rino were the names. My auntie had a thing for a famous political leader that was killed “because he was going to change the country”, Renny Ottolina. So she liked any name that were similar to “Renny”.

But Ronnie was my favorite.

My aunt had a small garden too, which was used for the double purpose of garden and for-everything-storage. They didn’t have too much money, and there was also more people in the house to take care of: Two divorced daughters, with one child each, a single daughter (no child yet), and the un-married son, with one child himself. Ronnie used to be in the garden along with the other 2 dogs, except when I was there. He never left my side.

The house was never alone. I used to go to visit over weekends because we lived kind of far away. It was a very modest area, and the houses didn’t have fences, as it was a “lovely and peaceful neighborhood”.

I used to love spending weekends over my auntie’s house, in part because I got to be and play with Ronnie, in part because I was frankly spoiled by all the adults over there, especially my auntie. I was allowed to have exclusively Chocolate Nesquik® and crackers with butter for breakfast, which was something my parents would never allow me to.

In a very rare occasion, one day, the rest of the people left and it was only auntie Hermione and I at home. She was ironing clothes in the kitchen. I was beside her, talking the usual irrelevant kids do, and patting Ronnie, who never left my side while we were there. 

Auntie Hermione used to say I had a good conversation, but I really don’t believe so. She was too kind to everyone. In any case, there she was asking me things, answering others, seeming interested in whatever dumb thing I was saying.

Somebody called at the door, and auntie Hermione went to answer. This was a very old, colonial house in Caracas. Those ones are usually narrow but really long, some of them a block long, including the garden, so the entrance door was actually far from us. My point is that my auntie could not see me when she was at the door. Nor hear me.

I remembered my mom was once ironing clothes too and telling me that I should not come anywhere near the iron. I used to obey my parents a great deal.

But auntie Hermione, the poor soul, didn’t put any boundaries to me. Nor to anyone. She used to say I behaved like an angel, only because her children and grandchildren were really naughty and the comparison always favored me, being as I was, a very strictly educated child.

So I decided I was going to try this so deliciously prohibited thing called iron. Not too brilliant from me, I know.

But I went for it. Well, it was obviously a horrible burn in the palm of my right hand. I didn’t scream. I knew I was doing something wrong, and I was determined to bear the consequences (in this case, a searing pain) without a word, because I deserved it.

Ronnie thought differently. He sensed my pain, and became nervous and started to cry at me. I tried to calm him down, because I knew he was going to give me away, but he was determined to have me checked by someone who knew what they were doing.

As soon as my auntie came back from the door (I don’t even remember who it was, but it was definitely a quick visitor, because no one came inside the house), Ronnie went crazy with my auntie. He barked, growled, cried, jumped, did everything he had to get her attention. And boy he did. My auntie knew very well the dog and knew he wanted something. She started asking him, but as soon as the little fella went pointing me like crazy, my auntie knew something was wrong with me. I was holding as strong as I could my hand with the other one. But I had tears in my eyes.

I got a second-degree burn in my hand. It was really red and painful. I was tended immediately by my auntie, who gave me stuff I even don’t remember, “to prevent the blister to go too big”. I don’t really recall everything she did to my hand, but it was a bunch of things she did. The only thing I do clearly remember is her, going to call my Dad, and me, begging her not to. My Dad’s a doctor, a neurosurgeon actually, but he was obviously the “GP” for the whole family, the first point of contact. He came as soon as he could.

When he saw my hand, he smiled, praised the way it had been tended to, and said that because it was taken care of so quickly, it would not develop a big blister and not even a scar. He kissed it and made some comment to distract me from the awful pain, but in the name of love, it worked.

My auntie looked at me, with her loving eyes, so full of patience and understanding, but always looking for justice too.

I told my Daddy that if it hadn’t been for Ronnie, no one could have known what happened to me, maybe until it was too late, because I was determined not to say anything. But the dog cared for me even more than I did, apparently, or maybe he just knew children don’t always take the best decisions. So he did everything he could to inform the situation to a responsible person.

I don’t have a scar in my hand. For that, I need to thank Ronnie, who is definitely now in Dog’s Heaven, running like crazy, eating everything he wants, and playing all day long, smiling like happy dogs do.

They never told me how he died. One day, I was 7, and when I was left at my auntie’s house and went to the garden to greet my friend, he was not there. A horrible void was instead. I asked “where’s Ronnie!?”, and my always sweet, patient, with loving-eyes auntie told me, “he’s now with God, my child, taking care of more people over there, that really needed him”.

R. from Sydney

Yuti: a real trooper


I remember this dog from my childhood, that was always around us. Yuti was a mutt that definitely would had to have German Shepherd in his genes, as he had this beautiful long ears and almond like eyes, so kind and so loving, and was medium to big size dog.

I was about 7 years old, I think, and thought Yuti had always been there in our lives. I’m not so sure about how he came to the house but believe my mother told me he was a gift from a friend that had a female dog that just had been a mom, and he didn’t quite know what to do with 12 puppies… As it turns out, we got to keep one.

Yuti was always with us. He ate the same food we did, played with us (I’ve got two more siblings), always went with us when we were going to school and then went with our mom when she went to pick us up, used to watch TV with us in his mat, and was a very important part of the family. He never received though any formal training. He was a so gentle and well mannered, never did anything wrong within our house (like eating things, although when he was a puppy he had to scratch his desperate gums with our dining table’s legs). He just new, everything we wanted, he just knew what was right and what was not.

My father had a groceries store a few blocks away from home. Yuti went with us, first trip in the morning, and then, when he came back from taking us to school, he always went to work with my Dad. By the time we were going to be picked up from school, he went home, and then went with mom to school. After that he went back to my dad’s store. So most part of the day, he spent it with Dad.

Years went by, and as it always happens when you have a dog, it’s just part of the family and it’s just there. But it came the time when Yuti grew old and his health deteriorate. But he was a trooper. Until the very last day of his life, he went to school with us and with dad to his store. With Dad, everywhere he went.

One morning, though, he didn’t wake up. He just didn’t. He’d passed away in his sleep. This morning it was a big mayhem at home, we didn’t go to school, Dad didn’t go to his store. The entire family had to mourn our beloved dog and properly bury him. I’ll save the details of this emotional day because tears have already started running down my cheeks and I need to finish. I’ll only say it was one of the most painful days in my life. But anyone that has loved and lost a dog knows this.

The next day, life went on, as painful as it was. We went to school and when mom came back home, my Dad had something to tell her. He was not able to get to work alone. He needed someone to get him there. He was partially blind. No one would ever have known it, except for the dog and  Dad’s closest employee and friend. Good old Yuti took care of him for more than five years, helping him to cross over with traffic lights and to walk in the streets. My father was declared legally blind, unable to go alone in the street when he finally and reluctantly accepted to go to the doctor. Without training, without a word, our Yuti was perfectly fulfilling a service dog role for our Dad for more than five years, no questions asked. God bless our Yuti forever.

S. from Barcelona