A Secondhand Dog THE SECOND INSTALLMENT
BY RICHARD REYNOLDS
I’ve been fortunate enough to have several really great dogs in my life. The thing is, all of them were bred by someone else. They came to me by design or by happenstance, or a combination of the two. “A Secondhand Dog” is the story of one of them. Am/Swedish Ch. Trevelyan’s Quiet Playing Games began his life in the Netherlands, was a show dog, stud dog, and most importantly, a heart dog in Sweden. His human was ripped from him by cancer and his prospects appeared bleak. “Marcus” eventually came to the United States where he found a job, changed his attitude, sired some national specialty winners, learned to course foxes, and picked up just a few Conformation wins along the way. This is a story of tragedy, grief, kindness, and ultimate triumph that only “dog people” can truly appreciate. What follows is the second of four installments. I hope you’ll join me in sharing the experience of a lifetime. M uch has been written about the manifestations of grief in dogs when they suffer the loss of another dog or pet; far less about the impact of the loss of their human. A human can reason with their grief. They understand what happened, even though they may reb- el against it. You can’t explain the loss through death to a dog. Try as I might, I can’t see that experience through the eyes of a dog. We have defined stages of grief, but my thinking is that the dog has them all simultaneously with no explanation and no real means of finding solace. Marcus and the other dogs of the Isotop’s pack spent those first days looking everywhere for Malin. Their sense of loss was palpable, as was the strain on Malin’s family. I had pretty much given up on the idea of ever having Marcus, so I was more than shocked at the telephone call from Eva asking if I still wanted him. The short- est period of time known is not the nanosecond, but rather the pause before I said, “Wow! I sure do.” Marcus arrived in the United States in the arms of Patricia Erikkson. He was freshly bathed and groomed, and at first glance appeared as hale and hearty as ever. I had some dogs to show that weekend and, to a degree, Marcus got con- signed to a crate. We couldn’t wait to get him home. The house contingent at that time included three Dachshunds and Marcus’ son, “Catcher,” who had come from Ninna Odehag (Kennel Notice) in Sweden. A rather elderly Dachshund, Rose Farm’s Range Rover, had miraculously survived and recovered from a ruptured disc and had returned to his prime passion of hunt- ing woodchuck on a fairly regular basis. “Ranger” was a gentle soul (unless con- fronting quarry) and represented some of the best breeding from the late Dee Hutchinson. He was a late bloomer, but once he started hunting, he was surpassed only by his own son, “Huey.” He was one of the few American Dachshunds to pass the Natural Den Test administered by the Deutscher Teckelklub. By now, though, he was content to ride shotgun in the truck, lie in the sun, and maintain his spot at the foot of the bed.
‘Marcus’’ show career was rather short-lived when his other life skills became evident.
‘Marcus’ (on the left) arrives in the United States with Patricia Erikkson and Eva Byberg.
100 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, APRIL 2023
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