Aza and Atos

Gift from the ‘Angel of Doggies’

By —— Bio and Archives--October 16, 2007

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If there’s such a thing as the ‘Angel of Doggies’ in a troubled world, his name must be Aza.

When Aza, died at age 12 of leukemia last winter, his human companions David and Sophie Dastych were inconsolable without her.

There were so many special things about the lovable Aza, and one of them was she never left David’s side when he was ill and recuperating from a serious operation.

imageThe loyal canine, along with feline Mickey made up the pet family in the Dastcyh apartment in Warsaw, Poland.

  There seemed no solace for the family without their beloved Aza and tears would well up when Mickey (Miciek in Polish) wouldn’t stop looking for the missing dog.

A few moths after Aza’s death, along came Schnauzer puppy, Atos, who went to work right away trying to lighten grieving hearts.

  For three months, Atos frolicked through a sometimes-mischievous puppyhood, winning over sad hearts on all fronts.

  At six months old, Sophie entered Atos in the International Schnauzers Club Dog Show, held at Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki, near Warsaw.

  With nothing much to qualify him other than his brand new hairdo from a local hairdresser, Atos was taken to the dog show by train with Sophie.

  “Intelligent enough, he had absolutely no training,” said David.  “We noticed how he would try to imitate all the dogs at other contests, and in this show, he imitated them again to perfection.

  The judges not only fell in love with the irrestible Atos, he came away with the first prize in the “baby” category.

  Arbiters from Poland and Italy highly praised Atos for his perfect looks and intelligence, but Sophie had to hide from sight when Dorota, the breeder was showing the ever-playful Atos.

  “After the show, we got many “matrimonial offers” for Atos from Polish and the people from other countries, as there were many foreign dogs being shown from several countries, including Canada,” David said.

  But Atos, a happy bachelor, who only wants to play with Mickey, is considered too young to be a bridegroom at this stage in his life.

  “He needs to first complete a special training course and to score three dog shows to become a qualified international “reproducer”” “David adds.

  The October 6 win was a special surprise for David.  Sophie, who had telephoned home many times during the Saturday event, waited to reveal the news when she returned home with Atos.

  The couple was so happy with the unexpected win, they ran out for a bottle of wine, which they duly drank to Atos’ happy ending in his first dog contest.

  Mickey, 7, was very curious about all the excitement.  He quickly discovered Atos’ bag of food received at the show and during the night ate enough dog food to be ill the next morning.

  That was Mickey’s way of celebrating Atos’ big win.

  But Mickey also suffers from a pancreatic illness and only Sophie’s trip to the vet every two days is keeping him alive.

  Mickey is very lively around home and boasts a beautiful silver and white coat.  Mickey doesn’t like being picked up and carted off to the vet, so he hides inside Sophie’s bed and has to be pulled out when it’s time to go.

  A celebrated journalist, David runs his own media agency in Warsaw.  When things get hectic in the Dastych household, Atos and Mickey, and Aza before that put things back into perspective.

  No matter how taxing the events of the day, there was always a purring cat and a tail-wagging dog waiting to ease tensions.
  Aza and Atos were not related—at least not physically.

  “But there’s a mystery connected to Aza,” David explained.  “Her animal hair had to be cut and razed in some places to allow medical examination, USG for example.

  “Yet when Aza died, her coat became intact again.  It was impossible that it could have grown back normally.  Sophie told me how she saw it and the doctors saw it as well.

  The perfect coat was like a sign from a “better world”.

  David, Sophie and Mickey still miss Aza very much.

  “Could Aza have sent Atos to us,” David asks.


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Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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