Natalka the dog left a legacy of love

Natalka, our faithful canine family member for almost 11 years, died peacefully on the evening of Friday, August 9, 2019 on the deck of the Argan-Parker family home. Her sister Dominique was by her side. Half German shepherd and half mystery dog, Natalka was a rescue dog who brought love to our family and terror to unwitting strangers who dared to come near our backyard. Despite her sometimes ferocious bark, Natalka never harmed anyone, either human or animal. Indeed, once introduced, visitors received her special welcome to our home. She wanted to know all about them. In this way, she developed many human friends.

NatalkaDiagnosed with terminal lung cancer a mere 10 days prior to her death, Natalka died with little suffering. She suffered a torn ACL three or four years ago, but after a lengthy recuperation period, she was back to her normal routine of daily romps along Mill Creek and in the North Saskatchewan River valley. Less than two months ago, during a visit to Calgary, she gave chase at warp speed to a hare. Who knew the end was near for our precious puppy?

The day before her death, Natalka went for a walk to and from Holyrood School, about a kilometre. The day she died, she had a shorter walk and ate all the protein foods placed before her.

Natalka climbed mountains and swam in streams and rivers. She had a keen sense of time, always knowing when the 4:30 pm dinner time was drawing near. Earlier, she had successfully negotiated moving up mealtime from 5:30 pm.

Natalka understood much of what her humans were saying that pertained to her, and she always made it known when she wanted to go out the back door or return to the house. Which was plenty often. If she was sometimes indecisive about where she wanted to lie, she was always spontaneous.

Natalka’s greatest legacy was the love she brought to our family. Her four sisters – Natasha, Jen, Dominique and Theresa – adopted her as one of their number and doted on her with unbounded affection. For mama Nora, she was a faithful companion and fellow walker through our neighbourhood and Edmonton’s trail system. Natalka united her sisters and her family with stronger bonds than they had known before. Even her papa Glen, who initially was cool to her presence in the home, came to love her with all his heart. Our family became closer because of our love for Natalka and her love for us.

We look forward to being reunited in heaven with Natalka.

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