Can't post the tribute I have been going over and over in my mind but I will soon. It would probably be good therapy for me.
Had to put my gal down today. Lucyana's Chicago Hope MH and Qaa. Hope was 13 years old.
Knew this day was coming but when reality hit it hit hard. For sure one of the toughest days of my life. Feel better now after being there with her and knowing she is now pain free and running around chasing ducks, creeping, and all that good stuff.
What a great lady she was and we will miss her dearly. Rest in peace my sweet girl.
I lost my beloved Dusty March 14 2011 its the saddest day of my life, as I sit here reading all these wonderful tributes it brings peace to know he has so many wonderful friends.
Remembering Henry today 10/27/98 - 08/03/09....I still miss you...love mom
Tough thread, but so very worth it.
I don't really have a poem but here goes
Here's to Narco ( 1997 -2010).
I remember the day that I came to pick you up.
Twelve little black bundles of pure energy, crawling and squirming, jumping and pawing. Each one was nice and then was you.
I separated you from the brood, You had a fierce independant streak, I place you in a cardboard box filled with blankets, you crawled out, I place you back in and away you went.
As you grew, I knew that you were going to be "the best"......the best one that I had had yet.
Amazing trails, those birds were lost for sure......Nope not once you got wind.
Blinds on long sailing winged Canada's and Greenies.....I could hardly believe how you carried those lines.
Oh, the miles we covered, whether in sport or on the job, you were there.
That day, last September, when I held you as you went to sleep....sadness personified....
Sleep well my friend.
Nine years ago last August my wife and I picked out a cute little chocolate lab female. Actually, that is not correct. She really picked us. The other pups were did not show us one bit of interest and she would not leave my side.
I knew a little about hunting dogs. I knew that I wanted to make sure that the parents hunted. That was about the extent to my knowledge. After taking a leap of faith, I really got lucky. She was more than I ever had hoped. She was my buddy and my best hunting partner. When I would get out the camo, I'm not sure if she was wagging her tail or the tail was wagging her. She rode countless hours with me and would sit patiently in the drivers seat for my return when I would go into the store. Her greying muzzle at 4 made her look old beyond her years, but at her fighting weight she was a pretty good looking girl. I ran her in UKC and I have to admit, that my early lack of knowledge restricted her ability to go further. With that said, she was one hell of a hunter. She was all business in the blind. You wouldn't even know she was there - unless you missed - then she would stare right through you. I know she was thinking "if I only had thumbs, I would have to take this guy with me. How in the world can he expect me to retrieve something that flies away?"
During the past year, she decided that the fence in the back yard was just a suggestion. She usually just went down to the pond. Tuesday night she got out of the fence (she never escaped at night - I'm not sure what she was doing). About 8:45 my doorbell rang. A lady was at the door and asked if we had a brown dog. Her horrified look told me that the reason for her visit was not a social call. My hunting partner was killed on impact.
RIP Hunter's Banded Suzie - the tears as I type this remind me of how much you meant to me.
My first post here. This thread prompted me to register and join.
I want/need to talk about two dogs.
The first was AKC registered Gabrielle's Mocha Cinnabear better known as Mocha usually just Mo. Obviously a chocolate lab. Fair bit of Chief breeding. I got her in 1980 from a good college friend during my first summer of fieldwork on my MS degree. I can remember her just over 6 weeks delivered to me in a field cabin in the woods on deadhorse creek in Oregon - the first night her whimpering in a small box beside my bed where I could reach down and pet her - the next day scared to death of a small 6 in wide half inch deep rivulet crossing a trail in the Gearhart Mountain Wilderness area - that fear didn't last. Later that summer on a hot day she managed to bite a can of mountain dew in my car and create little fountains of dew that she eagerly lapped away at - what a mess. The next year she learned the hard way not to try to race yellow jackets to a ball of raw hamburger we tossed aside so we could eat. Then it was on to my Ph.D. and she learned about cattle as I tried to get her to at least be a gate when I tried to move them. Once she failed to stay in the truck around some steers and got stomped and I cared for a monster cyst for a few weeks. She quickly figured out how to heel beside my horse. She taught me about carelessness when I unthinkingly tossed a stick into raging spring runoff whitewater and she dove after it and disappeared into a gravel bar of trees with logs and debris and water raging through and around them. I've no idea how she got out but she did. She never hesitated to go into water but didn't care for the roar of whitewater after that. Another time I was changing film in a camera 25 ft up a tree with no branches and I heard a noise and there she was at the top of a double extension ladder panicking as there was no place to go. As I grabbed her she kicked the ladder away from the tree but luckily it fell back against the branch and I caught it while holding onto the dog. When I gathered vegetation data she would sleep and I would sneak away and either she would track me down or I would roar the engine of the truck and start driving with her quickly in hot pursuit. It was all a game to Mo.
I finally got her OFAd at 5 or 6 (came back good) and had her bred - her only litter - 9 wonderful chocolates - 7 of which were sold for around $330 average (2 to the stud owner). She even paid her way through life.
She saw me through two graduate degrees, several girlfriends, my marriage to my wife and her two sons and their dog, the birth of my daughter and the birth of my son. She took a major backseat in my life then and never complained. She took the loneliness of being in an apartment or house while I was at school. Her bladder was tested often. Her manners were impeccable once she got over her youthful rambunctiousness - I could walk through a crowd that included other dogs with her off leash at heel and never worry.
At around 14 - one evening she was hurting and came to me and I brought her in telling my wife I'm taking her to the vet in the morning. On the floor beside our bed just like that first night 14 years earlier she was whimpering and I did more than just pet her - I lay on the floor right beside her. She laid her head over my arm and breathed a big sigh that I can hear right now as I type this - relaxed and went to sleep as did I. Yes I woke up in the morning beside a dead dog. Saddest day of my life and yet I am so thankful to Mo and whatever powers that be that I was there at the end.
There are many stories I could tell about Mo - some even involve hunting - but at the end of the day she was my rock when I needed a rock - and for that I am eternally honored and grateful to have known her and look forward to seeing her again.
A quick edit just so you know I do not intend to be a post and run kind of member - even as I typed this - lab number 3 a 3 mo old yellow named Molly has been ankle biting me trying to get my attention.
Time to tell about lab number 2.
After Mo passed near 10 years went by. I certainly had dogs but at this point I was buying a few purebred cows and we had sheep and the odd goat. I got a border collie named Tex from a friend and we still had my wifes dog a blue heeler cross. Tex had the "eye" (stock dog people know what that means) and was a great help in handling animals but border collies are not family dogs - they are one person dogs and I wanted another family dog so when Tex aged and the other dog had passed I decided to get another chocolate lab. I searched the net and got a Cuda grandaughter on one side a Rascal great-grandaughter on the other. Of course there were no shortage of other "titled" dogs in the pedigree. She came from Iowa and I remember to this day picking her up at the Calgary airport after her flight from des Moines to denver and up. She rode on my wife's lap the 4 hours to home. Her name was Maizie since she came from corn country.
I had high intentions of training her as hard as I had trained Mo but work, life and family got in the way. Actually years later I can admit the truth was simple - I didn't MAKE the time. That and the fact that she was one hammer-headed high energy dog compared to Mo. I don't know if she had an off switch. She would retrieve like crazy - doubles were routine and triples she could do - and never quit. I used to run her for miles (3 to 5) behind my truck in the winter at temperatures well below zero F just to take the edge off her - face covered in frost she would ask for more an hour later (I don't think EIC was a problem). When we moved to Vancouver Island she became my wife's constant companion on walks in local parks. She had absolute respect for me (we had some discussions) occasionally minded my kids, and minded my wife pretty well and would go absolute ape banannas at the idea of a walk - leaping around yipping like a puppy - even at 8 years of age. She was smart - would retrieve your shoes get her leash anything to go out - her vocabulary was amazing she learned so fast. She was smart - not border collie smart - but smart - definitely smarter than Mo.
I never got around to having her bred as was my intent as I know having at least one litter really helps with the psyche (mellows them out) of female dogs. I also never actually hunted her as I was more into deer, elk moose and the like (besides my shotgun had been stolen and I hadn't replaced it).
Then in 2010 my brother passed and in August we went to a celebration of his life. I was going to take Maizie but at the last minute we didn't and I stupidly let my daughter convince me her "boyfriend" could look after Maizie for a week. I knew at some point that dog would look at him and say "one of us is boss an it ain't you" so one night so despite my telling him to always have her on a leash he didn't and she ran off. He did all the right things trying to get her back but we have never seen her since.
A year has gone by and our cats were getting way too smug and insolent and my wife was after a companion for walks and we just like having a dog so we now have a 13 week-old yellow (neither of us wanted a another chocolate now) named Molly. I intend and will try my hand at trialing/hunt tests with her and start bird hunting again. In my mind I owe that to Maizie. Maizie where ever you are if you are alive I apologize - you deserved better than I could give you and rest assured every brown dog I see I look hard at to see if it is you.
As challenging as you were Maizie we all love you and miss your not being here.
Someone needs to find the "Goodbye Old Friend" article from an old issue of Wildfowl magazine.
In Loving Memory of our Beloved Bonus (CH LegaSea's Icing on the Cake, JH); we lost him on April 25 to a massive seizure.
Mom and Dad,
I saw you both crying yesterday as you knelt by my side, I felt your tears as they slid down your faces, I heard your sobs as you held me for that last final time.
I want you to know, I knew you were there, I held on till you came and I heard you tell me how much you loved me and how I was your “Bonus Boy.” Mom, I heard you plead for me to come back, to be strong again, but you felt the wings of the angels pass as they whispered “no, let him go, it is time.” I know that was the hardest thing you have done, because Mom, you are a fighter and to let go is not something you do….thank you for letting me go Mom.
Dad, I felt you wiping my face tenderly and cleaning up around me, I heard your prayers and saw your tears. I saw you wrap me tenderly in the blanket and place your tee shirts under my head; Mom thank you for the tennis ball you placed by my head. This morning, I was there as the tears slid down your face before you were even awake; it was me who licked them tenderly away; and yes, that was my shadow you saw in the play yard with the others. I will never be totally gone, I will be there by your sides or across the room.
Please don’t cry; please don’t hurt so much….it is all true, it is beautiful here, I am running free, Josh and Kinsey are here, and yes, even that rotten pk Pussycat (he’s not so rotten anymore). Tell Jennifer and Steve that Girl is here, but she is off chasing squirrels. Tell Jacki that Munzey is here and he can bark anytime he wants to. I don’t hurt anymore, I don’t limp anymore; the white is gone from my face and I will never, ever again have to have my ears cleaned, my toenails clipped or have one of those horrible seizures….never, ever again.
One thing, and one thing only makes me sad and that is none of you are here – but that is okay, I want you to stay where you are as long as you are supposed to; but I have a place where I will wait and I will be there when you come; that is my job now; to wait for all of you; to welcome you home.
In the meantime, tell Keepy that there are hundreds of tennis balls here, tell Jesse that there are no leashes or crates here, and tell Center that every bird is a flyer. Keeper they have rain here, but it is only to grow beautiful fields filled with butterflies. There are no leashes, no ecollars, no prong collars, no heeling sticks…everything we learn, we learn with cookies or hotdogs and most of what we learn we already know…that there is love here.
Your beloved Bonus Boy
I used this one with a picture of our first Lab "Promise"... framed it with a picture of her... but one I really love and used along with many other dog friends
Originally Posted by Vicky Trainor
who lost their beloved "companion", is the verse from the Garth Brooks song "The Dance". "I could have missed the pain but would have had to miss the
Dance". That one was fitting for our youngest (at the time) Promislands Prairie Dancer (Tara).