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Donate in Nigel's Name
Donations were made in Nigel's memory by Doctor's, Staff, and Student's at the WSU Teaching Hospital and Conrad K. and Donna C.. His memorial was created on 8/20/2013.
Nigel had a hard beginning. We first saw him as a very young puppy at our vet clinic, Aerowood in Bellevue, on September 1, 2002, after he had been brought in by a Good Samaritan, who found him lying on the side of a street. Both his front legs were broken; presumably he had jumped or fallen from a vehicle. Dr. Donald Kelts at Aerowood (WSU Vet College graduate, 1972) did Nigel’s orthopedic surgery, and then he came home to live with us and our family of other German Shepherds. During his recuperation, he drove to my work in Tacoma with me each day, being carried stoically out of our SUV three-four times a day into Fireman’s Park to relieve himself, hobbling along heroically on his two heavily bandaged front legs. Later, though healed, his front legs were always stiff and painful for him, and became a life-long difficulty for a boy who would become a 110 pound, big-shouldered German Shepherd.
Poor dear, at about one year of age Nigel began to exhibit “fear-aggression”, and some who examined him thought he should be put down, as he was fast growing into a large and truly fearsome-looking German Shepherd. But, from the very outset, Nigel loved everyone in his family, and we loved him, so instead we embarked upon many different behavioral corrections and treatments, including several years of daily medication with Prozac, prescribed by the behaviorist, Dr. Nicholas Dodman (at Tufts Cummings School of Vet Medicine). Not much really seemed to alleviate his condition though, and so Nigel was forced to live a sheltered existence in our home and backyard, secluded from other people and dogs. He was certainly a handful on those few occasions when he needed his annual check-ups or nail trims, and we are eternally grateful for the enduring patience and understanding of the staff at Aerowood, and also for that of the doctors and students at the WSU Vet College, when Nigel came for his bilateral arthroscopy in 2006, and then again for the removal of a benign mass in 2010.
Nigel truly had the heart of a lion, and was the indomitable protector of all in our household. Vigilant always, and unrelenting in his determined care for our welfare, he was our household Commanding Officer. The depth and resonance of his warning bark were unmistakable, even from afar. Although just the momentary stare of a stranger could make Nigel go off like a grenade, when we daily gazed deep into his beautiful eyes, he serenely gazed right back at us with that bond of love, trust, devotion and simpatico that only the sincerest, noblest, and most intuitive souls can be capable of returning. But he was also such fun, and so earnestly good natured; eager to hobble after a thrown Kong toy, or just content to survey our family when he lounged in the sun in our yard - and he never, ever, was at odds with our other family members, even as our ever-changing family of rescued dogs and cats has come and gone over the years. Reassuring to the new pups, and thoughtful to the in-coming oldsters. He was the most profoundly endearing and loyal soul. There will never be another like Nigel. Not ever.
O, My Nigel, My Nigel, how I miss you so! With all our deepest, everlasting love, be in peace – Mike & Holly A., and all your family.
Comments by: Conrad K
Nigel was a wonderful and noble dog. He was so lovingly committed to his family, and his family to him!
Comments by: Donna C
In memory of Nigel in and with gratitude to his caretakers whose dedication to those less fortunate is greatly appreciated.
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