Kireisa's Money on the Darqhorse
March 26, 1999 - June 27, 2012
Zak was born to our Moka (Kireisa’s Champagne Dream), sired by the legendary Regalia’s Darq Wolf.
One of Zak’s “Claims to Fame” was that, as a very young pup, Moka accidentally lay down on him in the whelping box, and I received a frantic call at work from our son, Ryan, telling me that Zak was limp and not breathing. I remember everyone in my office looking at me as I gave Ryan resuscitation instructions over the phone. The CPR was successful, and Zak went on to live a long life, even though we jokingly blamed “dumb [stubborn] moments” on his oxygen deprivation. Zak was far from stupid, but could sure play the part for his own benefit!
Once, while on a walk around the neighbourhood, he startled a cat, which climbed up into a young tree that was not able to support its weight, and so he fell at Zak’s feet. While I was able to prevent a tragic ending, Zak could never walk past another tree without looking up to see if some animal would fall from it.
He and his brother Panda, who pre-deceased him in November 2011, grew up side-by-side, and never quarrelled in their lives. Panda was the clown, and Zak was the gentleman. Every day, at meal time, he would do the impatient “Happy Dance” with his front feet while I prepared his food, and would be sure to thank me with a kiss before putting his head down to eat his meal.
Zak and I would wrestle and play tug-of-war together. He would really get worked up, roaring and snarling, but it was all a show. As soon as I said the magic word, “Kiss”, he would immediately cease the fierce act, step forward and gently kiss my cheek. This was our party piece, our little game that we shared and showed off, and I would tell everyone “Don’t try this at home” because, of course, wrestling and tug-of-war are big “No-no’s” with Akitas, but our Zak was special – he knew it was our game and he never took it too far.
One of Zak’s favourite pastimes was keeping Gary company while he barbecued down by the pool. I am sure that he figured out it was the best way to get some freshly barbecued tidbits before anyone else! After Zak’s first episode of falling in the pool the day after we moved into our current home, he never again tried to walk on water. As I've mentioned, despite his act, he was extremely intelligent.
While he could be quite dominant with other dogs, he was a big, gentle bear with the family he loved (and anyone who visited). In his old age, he mellowed considerably, even accepting the other dogs in our family, although he would still grunt a “warning” to any pup foolish enough not to be minding its manners.
The day before he crossed the Bridge, Zak meandered about our garden, and then lay down to bask in the sun, enjoying its warmth. He looked so proud and so noble still, at 13 years and 3 months old, one never would have suspected the next day would be his last.
Yesterday, he crossed the Bridge with Gary and I holding him, his great bear head in my lap, and drifted to sleep on the grassy lawn under an oak tree, peaceful and proud to his very last breath. In a symbolic “passing of the spirits”, only a few short hours later, we welcomed Zak’s great nephew and three great nieces into the world. I am sure he lives on through them.
I miss you greatly, Zak, but your spirit is woven into my heart, where you shall live on forever.