In Memoriam

Raven Kreke's Millenium Falcon: "Han"

(1/1/2000 - 12/5/2007)

Click on any of the inline images to see a larger version of the picture.

Han was a red Doberman pinscher born January 1, 2000. Raven Kreke (the breeders) decided that all the puppies in the millenium litter should have a "millenium" name. We suggested Millenium Falcon for our puppy. And if you think that's a pretty strange name for a puppy: one of his siblings became "Millenium Bug", fears of the Y2K bug being still a big deal at the time. We never did inquire after all the other Millenium names that got used.

When we first saw the puppies, they were all wearing different colored collars and were just called by their color. Han was puppy Green. His brother Purple was the most forward at mealtimes, and was being called Brain Damage after he got a can of dog food dropped on his head. Kinda hard to imagine that Brain Damage was more forward at mealtimes than Mr. Foot-in-Foodbowl here. On the way home with the puppy we stopped at a petfood supply and bought a kennel and food bowls that would be the right size for the full-grown dog.

We also soon had to get a new collar, in a more elegant color of course. Large breed puppies eat, and grow, at quite a pace. His tail had been cropped when he was just a couple of days old. He still had long ears, leading some people to ask if he were a dachsund. Maybe some sort of strange long-legged dachsund? The feet rather gave away any idea that he would stay small.


After a few weeks we carted him back to Raven Kreke to go get his ears cropped along with all his siblings. Apparently he screamed for hours after Candy dropped him off; he had bonded very well to his new human Mom. He got to wear various bandages for awhile as his ears healed. Note the fine feet in the pictures from this age. Looks like they came off of some large antique furniture! And he sits with the world's smallest butt-print. He was also developing great skills as a lap-dog. He still fit in a lap then, though he was already rather bony and could seldom fold his legs up comfortably. Puppy Han running was a strange spectacle, as he had not figured out what to do with all those legs. So they stuck out as he flailed them about in various directions and he tended to fall down every time he tried to turn a corner.

But of course, since he is a Doberman he was always elegant and dignified even as a puppy.




We don't have a very large back yard, but it was big enough for the doberpuppy to wander about, find a stick, and settle down to chew it up.

The cute but clumsy puppy grew into a handsome and clumsy dog. Actually, Han did finally figure out what to do with his long legs and can cavort about quite gracefully. But he does get friendly evaluations as a "big goofy dog", or less elegantly evaluated as "all legs and asshole". Inside, he runs to and fro from front to back of the house, churning his legs on the hardwood floor like a cartoon animal and sliding to a stop on the rugs. It's a bit alarming to walk across the room and have a 90-pound dog rocket past, skimming lightly between your leg and the dining room table. He almost never runs into us. Sometimes Nebel will sit on the table and bat at Han as he runs past; or lurk under the table and jump out for a quick lunge.

He still sits with a remakably tiny butt-print. His left ear pricks up quite nicely, but his right ear is kinda droopy. Only if he gets really, really interested in something he'll pick up the right ear.

When out with the dog, Candy still runs into people who don't know what he is, presumably because he's red-and-tan instead of black-and-tan. Often people come up, get close to the dog, then hear that he's a doberman and back off. Han loves to be scritched under the chin, but is cautious of people who reach out to pat his head. He gets to visit the pet supply shops, the Land Rover dealership, our mailbox place and a few other businesses. He even likes to go to the vet, because he gets petted there.

Oh, and he gets treats at the vet ... and at the pet supply shop ... and at the Land Rover dealership. Han is very big on treats and likes to go anywhere that he gets cookies. At the Fremont Dog Park, here's Han in a display of the famous Doberman loyalty. Candy (on the left) just has a camera. The lady on the right has a treat for her husky. So who does Han pay attention to? "Candy? Who's that? I follow the orders of the person with the cookies."

Actually, Han does act fanatically loyal and protective toward Candy. Good thing Han likes Warren, too, or he wouldn't get to touch Candy. Han is great to have at the door when a salesman calls. A simple, "I don't know if I can hold him," and the unwanted visitor is gone.

We now get doberman withdrawal when we go on trips. He makes a great passenger in the car, but even hotels that do allow dogs only tend to allow small dogs. And Han is way too busy to spend all day curled up asleep in a corner at a show.