Joined our family on December 21, 1999 and died on August 8, 2006
Owner: Don Hartnett
Blitzen, our 4th dog and second German Shepherd, passed away on August 8th, 2006, not too long after his fourth operation. He was a great dog as were all of our dogs (Simba, Ryan and Hintza). All of them were loyal members of our family and provided for the protection of the family, especially for Celia, Meredith and Felicity. We have many wonderful memories of Blitzen and we miss him every day.
I was glad to get Blitzen as my Christmas present in 1999 when Celia asked me what I really, really, really wanted for Christmas that year. Because he was my Christmas gift (as picked out by Celia and the girls from the San Francisco Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue website) most people thought that he was named after Blitzen, the reindeer, but Blitz in German means "lightning." Blitzen was really great with the girls through their high school and college years and the sweetest sound to my ears when the girls had company was "DAD, GET YOUR DOG OUT OF HERE!!!!" I always knew he was doing a good job when I heard those words.
Blitzen always made a point of being in the same room as whoever was home and for the last seven years I never could never even go to the bathroom without Blitzen insisting on coming in with me. He was the best chaperon you could ever hope for. He cornered two San Carlos Police Officers in our backyard the night someone tried to get in through the rear sliding glass door, he ripped off (stood up on his hind legs and put his paws on the shoulders of a teenage boy-just playing) the t-shirt of a boy who was visiting the girls, would not leave the girls alone with guests and was a constant companion to Celia, especially when she had her home office.
Blitzen was a great hiking partner and when he was well we tried to hike from 1 to 3 miles every day. Hikers would usually comment on how handsome he was and how well disciplined he appeared, although he had to sit and have his collar adjusted to the high neck (in the sweet spot for control) position when other dogs passed by. They would ask what breed he was and I would reply "knucklehead." Blitzen had an impressive assortment of favorite toys, and enjoyed playing "I'll fetch the ball and you fetch me" and tug-of-war.
Although he was an 103 pound all black alpha male German Shepherd, he was very gentle with the neighborhood children who would come over to visit him in the front yard. The little girls down the street would wear their bicycle helmets when they came over to play with him just in case they got knocked over, but this did not usually happen because Blitz played nicely with them and kept his ears down as a sign of kindness when around small children.
Hintza (our first dog and also a black alpha male shepherd) and Blitzen had many similar characteristics, especially in the area of command presence. They both were leaders because German Shepherds herd from the front and want you to follow them.
Blitzen was a great friend to me and his ashes are located in the Pacific Ocean near the Princeton Harbor (in Half Moon Bay) along with the ashes of Simba, Ryan, Hintza and Gregory (our stillborn child). It is comforting to know that all of the dogs will be looking after Gregory.
Don't forget to give your dog, cat, horse, etc. a good pat on the head. If they could talk, they would say they love you every day!
By Don Hartnett