Kostya was our family boxer for nine years. In that time my Mother had grown very close to him. While growing up my Mom was never a fan of Dogs and would never let them into the house. But there was something different about Kostya. From the day I got him my Mom loved him. She would walk him every day and sometimes twice. Not just a walk around the block but sometime up to 5 miles.
Not long after we got Kostya Mom had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. But we will get back to that.
The first Kostya showed us how much he loved my Mom was one day they were out walking and Mom fell over and sprained her ankle. Well Kostya wasn’t doing to let anyone near her to help! He circled her while a couple of young boys looking to help Mom kept their distance at the growling boxer until Mom reached out and grabbed one of the boys by the hand. This seemed to satisfy the beast that they were there to help and let them get Mom home after that.
The second time his protective instincts kicked in was when once again Mom fell while they were out walking. This time she broke her ankle and needed medical attention right away. Once again the growling beast kept the help at bay. A women stood at a distance and called the ambulance from her mobile phone but she wasn’t going near my Mother out of fear that she would be attacked. Shortly after that I received a call from the emergency despatcher to come and control the dog so the paramedics could attend to my Mom’s injuries. I got to site where my Mom was(about 4 miles from home!) and there was Kostya, standing guard over my Mom. Needless to say he was very happy to see a familiar face and once I got there he decided that he wanted to be everyone’s best friend after that.
Lastly, I as my Mother’s condition deteriorated with Alzheimer’s she would start to forget how to get home on her walks. But Kostya would get her home every time. But not until he got a walk in of course! My Dad would go out and play snooker every Wednesday and Friday night and thanks to Kostya staying with Mom, laying on his side at the foot of her chair, ready to march to the door as back up if anyone decided to visit. Getting a biscuit or two when Mom went and made a cup of tea.
This was only a part of this dog’s amazing life. He was also my best friend during all this time as well and knew we were all dealing with Mom’s disease and would always be there when it got us down.
Ted McGee is a writer living in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.