It still hits me suddenly, really deep in between moments, and I sob like a little puppy, yearning for Tekki which often filled the rooms with her presence and love. Because there are all these gestures, and the facials which have difference nuances, mean different things.

When you spoke to her, and she didn't understand - she would put her face in a diagonal, kind of like a question mark. And I absolutely loved that facial expression when she did that. She listened, but didn't quite figure out what it meant. Then she looked so incredible sincere and cute.

Or when you would say "what's up" in italiano - she would suddenly jump like little pony, towards the kitchen. And if I froze in my movement, she should look at me, almost as if saying "what are you waiting for". Then then she would come back. If I then would move a little bit (or jump lightly), she would jump even more, and with this deep enthusiasm pointing towards the kitchen. "give me something".

She even would point out, what it is she wanted, if you asked her, "what is it you want" ? Either jumping in that direction where the good stuff is, or even with her paw kind of punching on whatever it is (like a drawer where we kept the Swedish Knäckebröd). Or the fridge, where we stored the carrots .

Man, we have laughed, and laughed and laughed, so endless many times - especially since Sal and I as well Tekki lived all together under the same roof here in Stockholm since Autumn 2020.

 

She came close

I touched animals and caressed them - but with Tekki i actually became really close during her last two years. I wouldn't kiss an animal (not that I remember having done that) - but with Tekki over time, she became so dear to me, that I did. (So did Sal, when he said good night to her in the evening)

Tekki also had her own identity - like a real entity I realized. So, she wasn't just a dog (and everything that makes a dog a typical dog being) - but then there where things where she was Tekki, something all by her own, and not just a copy of another dog. Showing me through communication, facials or the way she radiated, what she liked, get bored of, or doesn't approve. When i crossed a line, she showed me that ! "Not OK", that kind of style.

And I learned from that.

So, over time, she grew on me, as not just being a cute, fun dog and everything - but also being an entity/nature/being of her own. Especially during the last 9-12 months this had sunken deeper into my awareness; that she actually is an real being of her own. So, it wasn't an animal entirely obeying the owners and "child imprints".

I think it was a combination between her having a personality of her own, but also that I got a growing respect for her as a being. Together this combo created a very interesting time, to reflect, think and ponder upon, and my way how to approach her / respect her.

 

Hugging her gently, whispering

Towards the end, I so loved to hug her gentle, or whisper near her ear - and she would stand still and seemingly enjoy. She loved us, and we loved her. I would be the wildest player in the household, almost daily playing pretty wild (as long she supported it and didn't get bored, I mean). SO in all kinds of creative ways, we joked around, Tekki and I. And Sal would just smile or laugh out loud.... So, many times we did this.... so many times.

I never grew tired about it.

Then when came home in the morning, she knew that I would gently hug her, and then say "Are you hungry ? Do you want Schappi-Schappi ?". Now that German word for food, gets quickly popular with dogs because of the sound, you know. Tekki knew quickly and EXACTLY that the was about food....

another word i often used as "Gassi gehen", which has a distinct sound, which works very well with dogs, and means "going out".

 

7 in the morning food, Tekki's breakfast delivery

So, at 7 in the morning, she would get breakfast, and fresh water. Then she would go back into her cuccia, and lie down on her big pillow inside. Later, when Sal woke up, she would of course go up to, stretching her paws and then her legs - which always looks so funny. Then she would follow Sal everywhere. Sometimes get the boll ("Palla"), and if i came to her, she would just fall to the side, expose her belly, and loved to get tickled and caressed. She was completely open in her way. And i have never seen a dog always wiggle with her tail, happily wherever she would go or be. She would always wiggle with her tail.

 

When Sal and I kissed

or pretended to kiss, oh, she would come immediately to us, and beg for attention, with her tail wildly waving . Or she would in excitement get the palla (boll) to play. Or jump onto the sofa, also wanting to be part of being close. So cute. So unbelievable cute !

 

She was a very gentle, happy spirit

and with defined boundaries which i would call "her own space and personality". You know, like when you get tired of someone, or something - she would show it. Without big gestures, but she would make it clear in a subtle way.

She was not a cuddly tog in terms of coming and lying close by for long. If she came to the bedroom, she would maybe lie down near Sal, for a few minutes, at best 5 minutes - and then go away. For most of the time.

But you could hug her, that she liked.

 

The sorrow after her death runs much deeper than I expected

with a dog. But then, I also have no experience of attachments to animals like to Tekki. So, I don't really know, how much people mourn their beloved pets. Perhaps it is like this, when you have been with a dog or cat, that they grow so deeply into your heart - that the day they die - it is as if a child in the family has died. Perhaps the grief isn't as long as that of a child, but I wonder... if the grief isn't similar in it's character.

 

The closest thing to similar grief

The closest thing i would feel in the grief over Tekki's death, was actually the separation with/after Perry. There were the same mourning, the strings in the heart constantly pounding, through of deep love and total utter loss (Regardless that it didn't work out between us), but from within, it was pure, deep love (it always was, despite my anger). And afterwards it felt like the death of a partner literally. It took many years to overcome that feeling and finally turning silent (And the irony in all of that was, despite the feeling of death, Perry was highly alive and kicking in more than one way) - but the behavior, refusal of communication and silence, often felt like a resemblance to death.

Which felt ironic, given that none of my beloved onces actually had died.

Anyway. After Tekki it feels this heartfelt at times - only perhaps not as ferocious like with Perry - but the sensation, the "kind" are made from the same material: kind of warm, kind of cutting, kind of heavy heart feeling, like a dull clump hanging on the inside... The lack of Tekki's presence sometimes jumps very sudden at me like a speed ball, hitting it's target. And there it is again... that strange, pounding feeling, and the sensation of eyes turning wet by the thought of her...

 

She was so present... and then suddenly not.

Then, being a visual guy, i often see inner landscapes, plus all the repetitions coming unbidden into my mind... seeing the image of Tekki, ash her body ceased to breathe... and that gentle stare, with clear, glossy eyes - as if she was still alive - but wasn't. The weight of her head to the side, the gentle feeling of her fur... The image of her wrapped into her blanket, lying in a hole with her beloved "palla" (boll) and a few geranium flowers i had picked up form the balcony... it cuts deeply, when the image sinks in. I can see the outlines of her body, the face to the right side...

I know the physics. That animals die. And that everything has an start and an end, in the way we live call earth. I know all this, and i get it. but at the same time, it does penetrate deeper layers of existence even in the mind and soul...

I know that she is transitioning, because her task in he life as Tekki, were accomplished. Her adventure ended, in order to begin a new adventure. I sense all that. But i also like the form of her incarnation, we called Tekki. I love it every bit.

 

Sal's dog became... our dog.

Kind of strange, when I think about it. Tekki was so much Sal's dog - and I met her in 2015 the first time, but it was very different. She was Sal's dog, and she didn't even live with him really at that time, but always outside the house, in a huge fantastic garden, at his ex mother in Law Anna.

Later when Sal lived in Upper Nicolosi in Sicily, the last houses before you drive up to Etna - Tekki also had a big garden to roam around. There I got to know her more - but it was still mainly Sal's dog and I just saw her as a pet; joked a little bit and so on. But I didn't really had that special connection to her. I really saw her mostly like Sal's dog.

This all changed when Sal took Tekki with him to Stockholm in October 2020, and from there on, she became "my" dog, because she was living in our home here in Sweden. And boy i really loved her to be in Stockholm. This i noticed very soon several months later !

 

With that, the feeling of responsibility for her starting grewing on me. And there it all changed... she became literally a part of the family (with me included), and she got fond of me, too. We even developed special ways and plays, which where typical for Tekki & Ralf. Thingss she would only do with me, not with Sal.

Truly beautiful, truly respectful, and truly beloved.


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