Akko in memoriam

The last photo of Akko. December 2020

On the 30th of November 2020 yet another incredible family dog went to eternity. Akko, the only male German shepherd we have ever had, managed to see his 12th birthday on the not too distant horizon only two months away to the day. So he reached 11 years and 10 months which is quite respectable for a dog of his breed and size. Akko was a gentle giant, I have seen only two larger German shepherd males, one was at the dog club, the other was Akko’s own father, Eros von Frankengold. My late father would often say of Akko: “He’s a big dog isn’t he” and my reply was always the same, “Yes but he’s a soppy old thing.”

Akko was born in our house on January 31st, 2009 and I was present at his birth in an assisting capacity to his mother Diedjie (Deedee). Akko had six siblings, and all were sold except Akko after we took the decision to keep one pup. It was one of the best decisions we have made. In 2015 on December 13th Akko became the only dog in the household as it was then that we were forced to part with Deedee due to age related ill health. Having been given the opportunity to sniff at his mothers body he quickly understood the situation. He did not search for her but seemed a little downcast for about a week.

Akko turned out to be one of the calmest dogs we have ever had, and he was incredibly good with babies and children with whom he was completely trustworthy. In actual fact he never once showed any aggression towards anyone, ever, and our vet commented that Akko and his mother were by far the easiest German shepherds to handle in their practice.

As I write these words it is about 2½ weeks after us having lost Akko and it has taken me this amount of time to be able to sit down and compose yet another dog obituary without becoming too emotionally upset. The impact Akko’s loss has on us is somewhat softened by the fact that we still have a German shepherd in the house in the form of 16 month old Kayla. However, it was nevertheless heart wrenching to dismantle Akko’s orthopaedic bed, stow away his food bowl and other paraphernalia that is directly associated with him. Akko was, according to the Swedish canine register (governmental) the last surviving of his siblings by about 13 months. His fur had a lovely musky smell and each time I pass his mattress this wonderful smell comes to me.

Akko’s loss marks the conclusion of a special period in our lives and there is a distinct if strange feeling that we have come to the end of an era. Akko’s mother Deedee was very dear to me because it was so obvious that she loved and trusted me, and our relationship was enhanced by her intelligence and understanding of all situations which I am sure was the result of her having a mental stability that was exceptional. With the loss of Akko and him being the very last of her final litter of pups (she had two litters) the last remaining tangible link with Deedee feels as if it has for ever been lost which has given Akko’s passing an added dimension. Having reared those pups up until eight to ten weeks age and then continued to train and foster Akko, our connection to him was different from any of our previous 4 German Shepherds. Akko had never known any other home or family. Although he was as previously stated a gentle giant, his “intruder alert” bark was so powerful that we always felt secure in that no one but the completely foolhardy would ever try to break into our house.

Akko’s star began waning at around 10 years of age when he started to quieten down and he was very content to lay out on our lawn or in the dog run and survey his surroundings. A week’s holiday in the mid-west of Sweden in September 2019 was a little marred by the fact that Akko had difficulties in going up a mountain and we had to ascend it in lateral stages instead of going straight up. On this journey he also travelled for the first time in a cable car up a mountain and he acted as though it was purely an interesting experience. As he approached his final days he became all the more wobbly on his back legs and finally when he required assistance to get up from his bed in the morning with an obvious whimper of pain, his fate was sealed. The vet was contacted, and it was just a matter of putting him in the car and going there. Akko went to eternity quietly taking his last breaths in the back of our car with his head tight up against me.  It seemed completely fitting that as I was there with him when he first came into the world, that I should also be with him at the end of his days. Memories of him are all fond ones, we’ll never see his like again.

Bless you Akko wherever you are.

Akko & granddaughter Lisa
Akko welcomes Olle to the family