Monthly Archives: April 2019

Arvo, my friend………………. by Marleen

Our big Mastin Arvo died last week, after almost 12 years of living together in friendship.

Arvo shortly before he died

The previous owner of the Paraíso felt that I would need a big dog for protection and he also knew people who wanted to get rid of a Mastin puppy.  My friend Leo and I went along, just to have a look at him, and think about it afterwards………..However, we never did that. I was lost the moment when the owner put him on my two hands: an adorable 6 weeks old Mastin puppy not bigger than a cat. It was difficult to believe such a small puppy would be able to protect anyone, but we could not resist him anyway and took him home there and then.

Arvo, named after the musician Arvo Pärt, grew up running around the farm in freedom and in harmony with the other dogs and cats. At one point he indeed developed the idea that it was his duty to protect the people here and that´s what he did. Nobody unknown would enter the property when Arvo was running around free. If he showed his teeth and growled, he was definitely impressive. With other dogs, and people he knew, he was very friendly.

The ¨oldies¨ Jolly, Lady, Arvo

More recently, Arvo was found to have cancer and after the operations he moved a lot less than before, although during the night he would like to disappear into the forest and sleep there. Before breakfast he would be back again. About two months ago he stayed away for five days and nights in a row and when he finally came back, he was starved, dried out and deadly tired.

He didn’t seem to recover from his escapade. Arvo stayed weak and even wasn’t so interested in eating anymore. A blood test showed that he had hardly any red blood cells left. Medication didn´t help anymore, so we knew we had to let our old buddy go. Arvo died on a sunny day the end of March. We gave him his final resting place on his favourite hill from where generations of volunteers have heard his characteristic howl.

Arvo had some nicknames: the straw king, six hills giant, big puppy. He was all of that and more, and will never be forgotten.

The straw king, trying to take a nap inside an IKEA bag filled with straw
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