The Courageous Brittany died on
November 9, 2021 – He was 16
Tango said goodbye with a silent sigh and a smile. He was by my side at 8:15 in the morning. He is now enjoying doggy heaven with fellow Brittanies Daisy, Mona, Touché, and all the other K9 Angels. He was just 16 years on this planet, and that was pushing it. He had a wild ride – ran a fantastic race, and lived to the fullest after being rescued. He met and was loved by so many. – May his spirit live on forever.
Born and died in the California desert, Tango often looked death in the eye. Even after a severe Mohave Desert winter, the dry heat must have been unbearable. He didn't know how to survive on his own in these wild scrublands. Even without this skill, he successfully avoided the desert perils – snakes emerging from their winter's sleep – coyotes his size or smaller – nothing he could eat.
Wasting away 20 pounds to a skeletal 24 pounds, he was saved by a high desert rescue center in March of 2005. Not wearing an identification, he was booked as an "unknown canine, probably of Brittany descent". His stay behind bars in a bare cell, scared and cautious of people, curled into a corner – it was so much worse than freely wandering the desert. And he turned down all interested visitors. … Until Linda arrived.
Linda, who raised several Brittanies, is a volunteer for The American Brittany Rescue organization. ABR learned that a Brittany would be euthanized as no one wanted the dog – the center was a "high kill" shelter! Linda quickly responded to the save. The distressingly sad dog immediately jumped into her arms … He found a loving soul … He was saved from imminent death!
No one knew his name as he joyously met Linda's two Brittany companions. Because of his coloring, Linda named him Copper. But the story had a way to go …
Caring for three medium-sized dogs in a small house was overwhelming for a single mom. Her job was to pull him from the jaws of death, not care for an additional dog.
Cleaned and fed, Copper moved on to a foster home still in the high desert … That's where we met him! I wanted a 'lap dog'… and this dog jumped on my lap the moment I sat down! He won my heart. We rechristened him "Tango" on our adoption papers.
During our long drive to his forever home in San Diego, he got to know his step-sister, Daisy, who came along for the ride.
Once home, Tango didn't respond to any coaxing or any commands. With the help of the Internet, we tried standard dog commands in many languages … never once did he show a response.
And he apparently never played with toys … Daisy taught him how to play..
One day I watched Tango look inquisitively at the water. Living three years in an arid desert, he had no knowledge of bodies of water. He attempted to step onto the water! Suddenly I realized not only did he know what deep water was, he didn't know how to swim. Straight to the bottom he went. Jumping in, clothes and all, I grabbed him and began to teach Tango how to swim! He soon learned to like the pool and to love the ocean even more.
Tango's long legs made him at home in the forest. He'd lose himself as he majestically leaped over the bushes and up the hills like he had springs on his feet. This was his world … Brittanies are hunting dogs – he did his breed justice.
Nowthat he could swim, the new water world created many adventures. He felt at home here. Tango loved the Pacific Ocean and the warm waters of Mission Bay.
He always showed affection to his loving "forever" family at the end of the day.
Daisy, his new step-sister, always looked after him. The two became kindred soul mates and enjoyed romping in the daisy fields and lazing on the beds. Daisy, a late-in-life adoption, was the mothering kind.
Sadly, Daisy succumbed to cancer at the age of ten. Tango was once again a saddened lost puppy. He showed his mourning with relentless barking and howling. We all missed having a second Brittany.
A few months passed, then, on New Year's Day, a four-year young Lexie came on the scene. Not able to keep Lexie, the previous owner brought her to us to foster. As he drove away, Lexie wistfully watched at the gate. Then, seeming to sense the change, Lexie immediately adopted us – Tango was happy again..
A great friendship began and lasted almost thirteen years. It was frolicking, fun, and adventure.
A dog's safe wonderland! San Diego has many leash-free areas, including three beaches plus an entire four-mile-around island in Mission Bay.
After moving to Palm Desert, we often visited San Diego with the dogs and headed to Fiesta Island to romp as free as the birds!
Meanwhile, a great life continued in the desert. Daily jaunts on the golf course kept all in good shape. In the end, though, age caught up with Tango, and the runs became walks – even up to his last days.
I think Tango was a happy puppy!
You are in the great pasture in the sky
by David Crellen, Palm Desert, CA
I believe one of the reasons my dogs live a long life is the diet and environment in which I raise them.
I do not use toxic chemicals such as insecticide and herbicides in a blanket fashion. I.e., no yard pest control or blanket weed eradication. In case of an insect issue, I would first remove the dogs from the area then attend to spot control of the infestation. The same for weed control if I can’t remove the weeds by hand. I research all the plants I use in the yard to assure they are not toxic to animals. There are a surprising number of plants that have toxic leaves or seeds.
I make my own food based on the BARF diet – Bones And Raw Food. Here are excerpts from an article I wrote about the BARF diet:
A dog living on a kibble diet has a high pH digestive system similar to humans. That’s what kibble does. The high pH subjects the dog to similar ailments as a human gets. Whereas, the acidic (low pH) of the BARF diet protects your pet.
This diet gives them the acidic stomach fluids which sterilizes their food. (We humans are also encouraged to maintain a low, acidic, stomach pH for the same reason.)
The raw bones help keep their jaws and teeth healthy and clean.