16 December 1997 -- 24 November 2011
In Memoriam: Queequeg of Seppala
16 December 1997 - 24 November 2011
"Queek the Beak" has finally departed from SK on the final great adventure. He was one of the house crew for the past couple years, and was doing quite well until a few of weeks ago when he appeared to be becoming arthritic and showing signs of pain or discomfort mostly in his rear. A week ago that suddenly got worse and two days ago he could no longer walk on his own. We actually did think it was mostly arthritis at the time; I no longer think so. He stopped eating and began to be in constant pain just lying down; last night he had diarrhoea and today, several episodes of seizures, clear evidence of catastrophic organ failure. I recalled the death of Ditko of Seppala in 1971, who the vets thought was suffering from arthritis until xrays disproved that diagnosis and he died of adenocarcinoma of the stomach -- the arthritic symptoms were due to referred pain from the abdominal cancer.
So I think we saw something very similar with Queek. By midafternoon between the obvious severe pain and recurrent convulsions Jeffrey decided it was time to take him outside and put a merciful end to his suffering. I think he was unconscious when I carried him from the house, but recovered consciousness briefly when I put him on the ground and made him comfortable there. I told him goodbye and urged him to find Booboo-ji, Tonya, Dreama, Ditko and his parents. He died at 1:50 p.m. this Thursday 24th November 2011, less than a month short of fourteen years of age.
Queequeg was a pure-strain Markovo-Seppala, sired by "Little Man" Sepalleo, my spectacular jet black and white piebald leader, son of Hercules of Sepp-Alta and Karcajou's Dreama of Windigo. His dam was another leader, the long-coated wolf grey female Kidron of Spirit Wind. He stood around 23 1/2 inches tall at the withers and weighed around 55 pounds. He had a lovely, thick, abundant, medium-length wolf grey coat -- the usual Seppala perfection of coat of which show-dog breeders can only dream.
Queek was always run at wheel or first swing due to his size and strength and was a first-string dog who often ran in Tonya's teams. He was a willing worker, trouble-free in harness; a very dependable dog. He left a lot of progeny at SK. Still in residence here are: Jakal and Janna of Seppala (out of Dushka de Sa.Ra.Be. de Cal Segu); Zuryanka of Seppala (out of Collen de Sa.Ra.Be. de Cal Segu); Orlov and Olga II of Seppala (out of Kolyma of Seppala); and Rasta of Seppala (out of Freya of Seppala). So we have six exceptionally fine Seppalas to remember him by, including two Markovo-Seppala progeny Orlov and Olga II.
Queequeg was always a cheerful, calm dog. He was a joy to have around and was well-liked by the other house dogs in his old age. It has been a rough four months here this late summer, fall and early winter, as we have lost not only the great Tonya of Seppala, but Yolanda and her brother Queequeg. These were three of our eldest Seppalas; Kolyma of Seppala (Tonya's sister) was born 10 months earlier than Queek, on 18 February 1997, which means she'll be fifteen this winter -- but at the rate she's going she may well equal or surpass Yolanda's longevity record with us. The only other really elderly Seppala with us now is Collen de Sa.Ra.Be. de Cal Segu, who was born 7 July 1998.
Queequeg will be sorely missed around here. Susan was particularly fond of him; I suppose he was really her favourite Seppala male. I loved him dearly, too; he was such a steady, cheerful dog, very handsome, a fine worker, a grand stud dog, everything we expect a superior Seppala male to be. Rest in peace, Queequeg, old buddy. GOOD DOG!