CH Wayeh's Cherokee Summer CGC WTD "Summer"

 

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Wayeh's Cherokee Brave "Cher-Cher"
"Cherokee"
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Breeder/Owner/Handler Billie Stewart  

He'd been sick on and off for months.  We'd tried different meds, bought a fan for him to lay under, prayed a lot.  The week before he died, we'd almost put him down, but he bounced back, seemed to be doing well...  This dog meant more to me than he should have.  He was a dog that got me started in Malamutes, that began my love affair with Wayeh Malamutes. 

He loved kids, he loved other dogs, males and females, he loved puppies.  This was a generous dog with a heart as large as all outdoors.

It was an odd twist of fate that I waited and waited for a Cherokee daughter, and had to "settle" for a granddaughter, named for him, my darling "Cherokee Summer" And then we inherited the kennel when Billie died, and brought Cherokee home with us to Tennessee along with the other old Wayeh Malamutes...  So loosing him a year later was like loosing Billie all over again.

Posted to the lists on the day of his death:

The old man was in with me all day until about an hour ago when he asked to be let out -- went to the door and banged with his big demanding foot.  He went outside and laid down under the azaleas under the kitchen windows, his cool spot, personally excavated.  I noticed something was wrong because his daughter "Justice" IABCA-INT Vet CH Wayeh's Just Before the Dawn, CGC (all the dogs in the back kennels) was laying at the gate, staring at one spot, with her chin on her feet.  It was silent in the kennels when I found him. After 12 years and 3 months, Cherokee had laid down and gone to sleep.

Cherokee was a therapy dog with Billie Stewart at the Jail where she counseled the prisoners twice a week.  He goes with me to rescue fundraisers and breed info booths and lets the kids "maul" him. He recently sired a litter (accidentally, naturally, and with a grin on his face, too, at 11 years, 11 months of age).  Known for making friends inside and outside the show ring, he also had this "gift" of picking puppies out of litters and raising them -- usually MALE puppies.

As a baby, he lived with his littermate brother "Buffy" Wayeh's Walasi Buffalo and then his uncle Lazerus Wayeh. As an adult Cherokee picked his nephew "Shony" Wayeh's Shoshone Sunwalker out of the whelping box -- literally! and raise him until Shoney was 2 years old.  Shoney being a long-coat, never finished, but he produced "Shadow" AKC/IABCA-INT CH Wayeh's Arctic Wind's Shadow CGC TT TDI (Billie's favorite who we lost tragically young 3 months after loosing Billie!). Shad-Lad and Cherokee lived together until Shadow was 2 years old.

As an example of Cherokee's management "style,"  if Cherokee and Shadow  were turned out in the yard together and Shadow was in a prime spot -- instead of confronting Shadow, Cherokee would go into an opposite corner and find something just fascinating, absolutely irresistible, and start playing with it.  Shadow couldn't resist and he would come over to see what it was.  Cherokee would toss it, Shadow would chase it, and Cherokee would go get the prime spot to lie in.  But the strangest of his roomies was the Miller, an intact male Whippet.

Then Cherokee chose Shadow's daughter, my "Summer"  AKC/IABCA-INT CH Wayeh's Cherokee Summer CGC WTD, out of the whelping box (stole her like a thief in the night is more likely, and Billie called me in a a panic!) and Summer came here.  By the time Summer was bred, we had lost Billie and Cherokee (and the others) came to live here.  Cherokee ambled into the whelping room, sniffed the litter over and grabbed my "Tom T." National Jr/National CH Wayeh's Tom-Tom of SnowSong CGC RN WTD WLD IWPA-WWPD by the head (not the scuff, the entire head) and met my eyes directly and walked out with him.  So he chose Tom T. as well.

The final choice he's made is from his own (and last litter) bred at age 11 years and 9 months to "Hope" U-CD Wayeh's I Believe In Hope CGC TDI WPD.  We called it the Miracle Litter, we didn't dare to believe...  Cherokee laid at the whelping room door during the whelp and whined the entire time.  Five fat wiggling puppies. 

We will miss you, Cher-Cher, Kisses for Billie.

--Sidney Helen Sachs

Tribute from Susie Richardson:

Billie Stewart was a long distance friend of mine. Cherokee and my Dakota are only a few months apart in age (Kota is older). So this has hit me hard. When I'm hurting, I write. So this is for Billie. I know she can't read it... then maybe none of us "knows" what she can see or hear or read. So Billie, this is for you.

The day you left Earth and headed for the Rainbow Bridge, the old man Cherokee must have had his heart break in two. He must have been counting the days, but he had some things he had to do first. He had to stick around and give Sidney a miracle litter, so that she could carry on with Wayeh and he had to raise those puppies and see them off to their new homes before he could rest his tired old head. Then in the same elegant style that he had lived his 12.3 years on Earth, he simply went to his favorite spot, laid down and went to sleep. Or so it would seem to Earthly eyes.

But our hearts know better. Tonight the Bridge is again alive with joy. Cherokee is with you again, Billie. I wish I could have just one small glimpse of what that must have been like. That big seal dog running out of the clouds, air puffing from his nostrils, grin spreading across his face... I bet he ran smack into your knees and took you down for the count, just so he could smother your face with wet kisses.

I cannot think of a single better way for Cherokee to end his short time on Earth, than to simply lay down under the Azaleas and close his eyes. It's what you would have wanted for him, that much I know. In fact, I'm sure it was your request, that HE should have an easy passing, to make up for the horrible one you suffered yourself. More than that, I'm as sure as I can be, that you would choose to take the painful end, so that he could drift away
peacefully. To everything there is balance. Cherokee's quiet sleep is proof.

This is very hard for me. My old guy is so close to Cherokee's age, only two months separates them. So many of Kota's "kin" are gone now. His half brothers, Tongass and Tuffy already wait at the Bridge. His mother, Mookie, and daughters Kenna and Inde; sons Saks and North also wait there for him. Cherokee's passing has made my ear twinge in the direction of the Bridge and I can hear them calling to my old guy.

I pray for such a gentle end as your Cherokee had. They deserve this. HE deserved it. So tonight, here on Earth, I pray for more time with mine. More than Sidney had with yours. Watch over her, Bill; she loves you so.

Your friend, Suz 

Pictures

(Click on thumbnail to see larger version)

cherokee4.jpg (18301 bytes)
2m
cherokee-4mo.jpg (15962 bytes)
4m
cherokee-5mo.jpg (24830 bytes)
6m
cherokee-11y10mo-b.jpg (16403 bytes)
12yo
Cherokee 4yo
4y
cherokee6.jpg (51955 bytes)
10y
cherokee-woods.jpg (7754 bytes) cherokee-fields.jpg (5617 bytes)  cherokee-gaiting.jpg (22134 bytes)
cherokee2.jpg (30589 bytes)
In Billie's truck 1y
cher-crate.jpg (12927 bytes)
11y Cher stuffed himself in a 21" crate 
-- because we were going to a show!
Cherokee-kids.jpg (16398 bytes) Cherokee-kids2.jpg (16396 bytes) cherokee-moving.jpg (14309 bytes)
cherokee7.jpg (26595 bytes)
w/ male Miller Whippet
cherokee-laz.jpg (32055 bytes)
w/ Uncle Laz
cherokee-rosa.jpg (38254 bytes)
w/ Rosa
shadow-cherokee.jpg (16413 bytes)cherokee-shadow-lovey.jpg (21834 bytes)
Cher, nephew Shadow, Lovey
sled-cher-tom-3.jpg (14936 bytes)
w/ Tom T.
sled-cher-tom-3.jpg (12254 bytes)
sled-cher-tom-4.jpg (13315 bytes)
sled-cher-tom-5.jpg (16183 bytes) sled-cher-tom-6.jpg (23597 bytes) sled-cher-tom-7.jpg (19660 bytes)
sled-cher-tom-8.jpg (23078 bytes) sled-cher-tom-2.jpg (17046 bytes) sled-cher-reo-tom.jpg (22627 bytes)

 

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Contact Wayeh    *    423-365-6039    *    Spring City, (East) Tennessee
Wayeh Alaskan Malamutes last updated 08/29/2010

Member Oak Ridge Kennel Club since 1996, member TN Working Dog Association since 2008

Temperament, health, structure, working ability, and then type --
because a good Malamute has to be a good dog first.