Today is my late Rottweiler’s 10th anniversary
Years ago, Contador Harrison had a black Rottweiler dog named “Nokia” who was more person than pet. I vividly recall when my mother and I were visiting our outback farm in Wagga Wagga, I would hear a knock at our boondock’s living room and it was always “Nokia,” my mom would say, and sure enough, there he was on the stairs, waiting for me to invite him to be with us. Pets can be lost due to accidents while others die after a prolonged illness but mine was as a result of age. The grief and sadness that gripped me remain the most severe losses of pet I have ever suffered. When he died, I remember feeling a profound sense of loss and dreaded going to my work place in Collins Street the following day. “My Nokia died,” I told my departmental head, wiping my eyes with a black handkerchief. Even as I explained, I knew I sounded insane as it was unusual to have a black obsessed with dogs let alone pets. It was unfortunate that my boyhood pet lived a much shorter life than I have and have faced pet loss and grief that couple of times in my life but not like my “Nokia” Rottweiler.
The name “Nokia” was inspired from the then Finnish and global technology giant Nokia, headquartered in Espoo. Perhaps that explains source of inspiration for me to work with Finns couple of years later up to this day. I consider Finnish most honest, transparent and intelligent people I have ever met. In my Melbourne upbringing, pets were always handled remarkably well. I recall one of my childhood friends kicked out his girlfriend few weeks before the death of my “Nokia” and settled comfortably well with his Pit bull terrier as a spouse. My “Nokia” had the ability to love me without much fuss and endeared itself to my heart as the same case with my parents, relatives and friends. I celebrate his demise anniversary for various reasons. Any time I would suffer racial abuse and at times physical assault from our light skinned brothers who never understood why an aborigine (bush people as they are known in the upmarket areas of Oz) would school with them, my Rottweiler was there to lower my blood pressure, alter my heart rate and remove belligerence in me.
It was truly the “greatest and the best friend” I have ever had. As the only pet I could manage to keep with upkeep costs paid by my mother, the Rottweiler filled my heart with joy and comfort. The death of my “Nokia” was not expected process despite the fact that it was 9 years old and it took me a lot of time to pass through the grief. My mind is spinning at how much I miss “Nokia” and how empty the house feels whenever I travel to Melbourne. With his passing went a huge chunk of my childhood. I was a teenager when I selected him out of a number of them in a dog show in Melbourne. In my Rottweiler experience, the loss ripped into my life and its absence has never been healed. Well, there are a lot of people on this planet whose even mention of the word dog is like an insult. But whether you like them or not, Contador Harrison grew up among millions of Australians dog owners. Now if you’ll excuse me, today marks the 10th anniversary since my “Nokia” died. May he rest in eternal peace!