Seventeen wonderful years and three months.
Nelleke-Lara van de Kooikerexpres passed away on July 4th, 2015
Nelleke Lara van de Kooikerexpres at 15 years of age. Photo courtesy of Henna Palmunen
Nelleke-Lara van de Kooikerexpres. Female Kooikerhondje. Born April 1998. 15.75 inches (40cm) tall. 24.5lbs (11.11kg).
Born in 1998 in the Netherlands, the home of the Kooikerhondje, Nelleke Lara van de Kooikerexpres (aka Nelle) moved to Munich, Germany when she was just eight weeks old.
She grew up as the faithful and loyal Kooiker to a medical student. Her owner, an avid mountain hiker and outdoors person, had searched long and wide for the perfect dog to fit her active lifestyle. So, Nelle joined her on hikes in the Alps. Yes, she has been master of Austria and Bavaria as she stood atop the Wilder Kaiser and other mountain tops.
Nelle took to the training that her owner provided. She participated in Kooikerhondje dog shows in Germany, peeked into movie dog training with Renate Hiltl and participated in agility competitions.
Nelleke at 15 years old.
Trip to Tahoe in her special seat in the front of our truck. February 2015
At 16 years, 9 months, visiting Lake Tahoe area
Nelle knew that the glitter and bright lights (not to mention the rock and roll lifestyle) quickly burn out. She wanted to give back to her community. So she left the glamor to become a Search and Rescue dog.
Joining the ASB (a non profit organization) in Munich, Nelle trained to become a search and rescue dog and served for 6 years. While the Police and first responders would snicker when they saw her compared to the Great Danes, German Shepherds, and other large breeds, Nelle earned their respect through her hard work.
Nelle has traveled much of Europe and North America. In 2006, Nelle decided she wanted to head West and moved to the United States. She has retired from her rescue work and now manages her owner’s career. While she still loves the thrill of the search and being in the woods, Nelle is enjoying her retirement vacations across the United States and Canada.