|This was taken in May, the last time Lloyd and I saw Chester.|
Chester was an eight or nine year old bull mastiff. Mary and Greg got him from a breeder when he was a couple of months old, before they had any children. When Mary got pregnant we were all concerned about how such a huge dog would interact with a baby, but he proved to be very protective of her, and of her brother Baron when he joined Chester's pack a few years later.
For some reason, he didn't like men too much, but learned to like Lloyd eventually, and he was always happy to see me - dancing and peeing in his enthusiastic greeting when I came to visit. He came to trust and like Lloyd too, but was very watchful one day when Lloyd was teaching 4-year old Layla to hit some golf balls. When he saw Lloyd swinging a club around Layla, he moved in growling low in his throat to warn Lloyd that he better not hurt 'his' girl.
|Lloyd and Chester|
|Layla and Chester|
|Lloyd, Chester, Layla and Greg|
Chester always accompanied the family on their long walks in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of BC and particularly enjoyed playing in the river along their walking trails.
He was a great guard dog. Whenever anyone came near the house he'd terrify them with his deep, throaty bark - there was no doubt to visitors that there was a large dog on the premises. I think he topped the scales at 165 lbs. But he was always gentle with his kids and let them crawl all over him and pull his ears and tail. He even slept with Layla sometimes.
He's had health problems this past year and at the end had only the use of one front leg and one back one on the opposite side. He still appeared happy though and it was only when he started moaning and looking sad and sick that the final decision was made. The vet who had been treating him for several years kept him as healthy as he could for as long as he could, but when it became too much for Chester to bear, they had to put him out of his pain. He had bone cancer which gradually affected all his limbs.
|Family picture 3 years ago.|
RIP sweet Chester. We'll miss you.