My Sighthounds ... and Me

A Lamb in the Wolf-Skin - a Fairy Tale …

Narration taken out of the manuscript “Goran – adventures of a young Saluki”

Photo: Renfordt/Brandt

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful Saluki in Kurdistan. He was certainly purebred and lived in a village of the Kurdish mountains. And because he was so beautiful and kind, all inhabitants of the village admired him very much. Therefore the Saluki got the name “Shab gard”. This is a Persian word and means a “guard of the night”. Well, this wonderful Saluki was more than a guardian-dog, as he procured for his family, which needed him for protection and for food. But Shabgard also had a soul, which everyone could see, when looking in his eyes. Generosity and gentleness were to be read in them and these were returned as a loving gift to his people.

From time to time Shabgard could catch a small hare on the meagre soil of the uplands, which he lay submissively down in front of his master's feet. The man skinned the hare and roasted it at the fire-place. The dog often had to chase to provide for the master's family and by this, he prevented that they all had to starve. They all – humans and animals - knew the feeling of hunger, which can awfully hurt. So it was well understood that this Sighthound had a special position within the village community. Also it was a great honour to the dog being permitted to slip under his master's warm bed cover during cold nights. After the family had satisfied its hunger, the hound also got his part, which consisted of the remainders of the bag.

In spite of this appreciation, which could not get the other dogs of the village, nobody was able to prevent the disaster, that was approaching one morning.

When Shabgard came home from the daily hunt, the village was totally destroyed. No human could move anymore and everything was so quiet. That all made fear for the dog. What had happened? Shabgard ran to the house of his family. Also his master was lying on the ground. He touched him and wanted to wake him by a strong biff of his nose, but he did not want to move. Then the dog suspected that something unalterably bad had happened. So he left the village and walked up into the mountains. Now he had no master and was an abandoned dog.

The days and weeks were passing and Shabgard lived alone in the mountains since several weeks. It was very cold at night. Fortunately he could sometimes catch a fish or dig out a small mouse. Once he had special luck and caught a lean hare. At night he rolled together and slept in the shelter of a big rock. His thick coat prevented him to get frozen. Cannon fire was to be heard everywhere and gave an echo in the mountains. This frightened the dog and made him run further and further ...

After some weeks he crossed the border to another country somewhere.

The next morning a young farmer discovered the Saluki, when he was just trying to open the chicken house. Hunger had left him forgotten any fear. The man gave him a slice of bread, so he was able to pack him at his neck. The dog had been pulled into the house.
Soon a new life should begin for the dog - the farmer got some relatives who visited him from Germany. One of these men took him into this country, Germany became Shabgard's new homeland.

When Shabgard came to Germany, he still possessed his thick, silver-grey coat, which he got in the cold mountains of Kurdistan. But soon a noble Saluki with a kind character had to be seen under the wolf's fur. His generosity and intelligence let him soon forget his bad experiences he made in the mountains.

Shabgard beautiful characteristics and his marvellous character has passed on to his offspring. Also Shabgard became the title of a German Champion and the Champion of my heart.

Being proud to meet this extraordinary Saluki in Hamburg, I now possess a son of this gorgeous dog. Shabgard will certainly remain in my memory, and he will live in his sons and daughters further on.

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