Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ode to Isis

Isis and Alexandra Lalieu

History is full of famous dogs who are known for their loyalty and love for their masters. These dogs include Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Hachiko of Japan, and Toto, too. Another name needs to be added to this list, and that is Isis, a beautiful Doberman Pinscher, beloved by all of the students of Upstate Karate of Mountaindale. Isis was an incredibly obedient dog who loved her owner, Alexandra Lalieu, with every drop of her soul. They often arrived together at the Main Street karate school, where Isis would relax quietly all afternoon and into the evening while Alexandra taught her students the art of Soo Bahk Do. Except that Isis would always be carefully listening for the sounds of the commands for the closing ceremony of each class. As soon as they were heard, Isis would poke her head out of the office curtains to see who might be interested in playing with her in between classes. She would patiently await permission from Alexandra, and then bound out to the glee of all around.

Isis was also a working dog who assisted Alexandra by demonstration in Dog Training classes. Ms. Lalieu is a very talented Trainer, who taught Isis in Dutch. This way, Isis could obey the Dutch commands without confusing the Loving To Please dog clients who were learning in either English or another language. The ‘tricks’ that Isis could perform were spectacular. There was obviously a tremendous amount of mutual love between Alexandra and Isis to achieve such a high level of canine obedience. Isis’ desire to please was palpable, whether she was in Heel, Stay, waiting to eat a treat on her nose, or not stepping in the martial arts training mats. Of course, my absolute favorite game with Isis was playing Hide & Seek with her squeaky tennis ball. At this, she was the Master! I might come up with a hiding place to stump her for a few minutes, but she ALWAYS persistently sniffed for that slobbery ball until she proudly found it and would then immediately give it back to me to play again, after she had chomped it a few more times for some victory squeaks.

Doberman Pinschers are often bred to be aggressive and fearsome as guard dogs. Isis was always loving and gentle with all of the students. She had a wonderful temperament. It began with her looks. She was sleek and muscular in her build and noble in her stance. She had a natural long tail which hadn’t been docked as a puppy, and also retained her natural ears, which Alexandra had ordered not to be cropped at birth. Her joyful, expressive face and her loving warmth will be missed by the Lalieu family and all of the students of Upstate Karate of Mountaindale.

written by Barb Schmitt