IAM Tseiko 5/16/1995 ~ 8/10/2012
When Tseiko was born out of Akei, my girl, 17 years ago, he was 1 out of 3 pups. Why he was the one that would stay with me, who knows? Why we, as humans are drawn to specific pups is one of the wonders I will never know. But, he was destined to stay…and stay he did.
Early puppyhood was normal until one day when he and his littermates were 4 weeks old. They had eaten their first meal of gruel the night before. Akei was out in the back yard pottying and I heard the most mournful howl. It was like one I had never heard before. I ran out back and found her on the ground underneath the big Virginia Poplar…tongue hanging out. Frantic, I looked to see if she had something lodged in her throat and couldn’t find anything. Loaded her in my car next to me and raced down the big hill literally doing CPR all the way to the closest vet (I’m an EMT). Got her inside and he said that she was dead. I said, she can’t be…she is my girl and she has 4 week old puppies. We defibbed her once, twice, thrice; but she was gone, and not coming back. Long story short, under most circumstances, I would have come home and just gone to bed for days, but came home and instead saw….6 eyes looking at me over the lip of the whelping box. So, I did what we all do…I carried on with tears streaming down my face. Thankfully, Akei held on long enough to get them through their first few meals of gruel and the start of their weaning process.
But this did have an effect on him and for years he would fall asleep with an unusual practice. He loved the big soft white squeaky balls. But those were the only balls he would not destroy. He would suck and pad them, like a nipple, until he fell asleep. He did this for years and years.
Now, other squeaky toys were a different story and for these we called him “The Surgeon”. He demolished the stuffing in a minute or less, got the squeaker out and then pulled the actual squeak out with his front teeth. Then and only then was he satisfied. His job was done! He didn’t swallow any of the parts, mind you~
Tseiko had several nicknames as do so many of our beloved Siberians. One is Tseik…Tseikmeister…Psycho~Tseiko…The Surgeon (which I just told you about) and Mr. Smooth. One day after work, I poured myself a glass of wine and was drinking it on the couch. I put it on the floor and made the mistake of falling asleep. When I awoke, it was empty and Tseiko was taking a nice nap next to it! From that day forward, whenever wine came out, he was always around. And he would just quietly and calmly walk by and, if it was close enough, that tongue would just come out and take a quick little lick as he walked by. So smooth!
One morning I got up extra early to make coconut macaroons for my dad’s birthday. Tseiko was never a counter surfer. He was such a GOOD boy! So I left them on the cooling rack in the middle of the large round kitchen table. It had a table cloth on it and 4 chairs neatly settled in to their proper places. Off to work I went. I came home and Tseiko was no where to be found. He usually met me at the door. I found him under the bed. I called him out in my happy voice and out he came. All was well. I looked around and something was awry. The chairs were all in their places…the table cloth was undisturbed…the cooling rack was centered in the middle of the table but every single coconut macaroon had disappeared! 24 hours later, I found the culprit as I picked up poo in the backyard. I still don’t know how he did it without disturbing anything ~~ So smooth!
He did have some odd eating habits, though. Many times he felt that if I ate it, he should too. Coconut, raspberries, and pickled beets…, really?
Tseiko had 3 litters over his lifetimes with a total of 7 puppies. All the pups were from the same bitch, Akua. He outlived them all and his siblings, as well. You can see some of his pups in the photo gallery that is on this memorial page.
He loved recreational sledding, walks, “getting loose”, car rides and being the usual head honcho Siberian here.
Tseiko was great until about the last 6 months of his life. In fact, the winter action shots (in the photo gallery on this page) with my black Siberian, T’Kaya, were when he was about 14. The picture when he was jumping onto the grooming table was taken when he was almost 16 years old.
But, age catches up with all of us and I saw the changes in him, too. He always slept under the bed in summer. That was his “castle”, his “fortress”, his “den”. And one day in recent history, he became splayed under it. I heard his cries for help and I came and got him out. That was the last time he went under.
Then, he became less willing to try to get up on top of the bed where he had always slept with me during the cold nights. He would pace back and forth and look up and I knew he wanted up. But, even when I helped him get up, he wanted to get down. So, slowly but surely, he went onto a flannel blanket bed on the living room floor where he became happy, comfortable and slept the last 6 months.
Changes, changes…in sleeping~eating~toileting~walking. But, HE was always the same. Same temperament, same Siberian, same love of my live.
God Speed Tseiko….
The King and I.