CFC HRCH Gunner, Flight Interceptor SH June 19, 1999 - April 30, 2014
I had to say good bye to my Big Brown Boy Gunner (Chocolate Thunder) . Old age finally caught up to Gunner and it was time to let him go. We had a wonderful life together and I would not trade it for anything. My vet Susan and my favorite vet tech Shannon came out to my house Wednesday to help Gunner pass peacefully at home on his bed. I was holding my big boy in my arms one last time and he pulled his head back to look at me with his big droopy eyes to say it was ok dad and gave me two big kisses. I was sad but relieved he passed so quickly and peacefully with my family around Gunner.
They made a clay mold of his front paws which was awesome! Gunner was cremated and he is back home with me now. He left me with many fond memories!
Gunner was the reason I got into the retriever games (HT, FT) I simply wanted a dog to pick up birds while duck hunting. I joined an HRC club with my new puppy. Luckily a few people at the club helped me get started and was hooked on the Retriever games! I purchased the Mike Lardy tapes after training with the group and I was amazed how quick my Brown Boy caught on to the concepts and started running HT. He achieved his HR, HRCH, SH titles before he was 2! We then attended a Mike Lardy Basics & Transition seminar in WI after which Gunner started training for FT. The next spring he ran his first FT event in the Qualifying at age 3 and earned a 2nd place at Acadiana in LA! That same year in 2003 he qualified the 03 Canadian National Open and went 7 series with Connie Swanson handling him! The next 2 years year's he trained with Dan Devos of Baypoint Kennels and qualified for the 04, 05 Canadian National Open going 8 series both years. The spring of 05 Gunner won the Southwest Ontario FT, which gave him his FTCH (CFC) title and receiving 2nd in the Amateur at Mountain Valley! In May of 07 Gunner & I won the Open at Wolverine RC, under Lynne DuBose & Glenn Lokay. I'll never forget how tough the last series was. It was a 25+ minute water marks in a big stick pond, and to watch him swim and front foot this 300+ retired bird was breathtaking. That same year in the Fall Gunner & I Won the Amateur under Al Wilson & Bill Smith, Jammed the Open at Midwest. Gunner went on to get several more Amateur placements and A Lot of Jams before retiring at age 10! Gunner came up 1/2 pt shy of his AFC, 5 pts for his FC. But that is okay as I had a ton of fun with my Big Brown Boy who was just supposed to pick up birds as gun dog. Gunner was always aiming to please me, and always giving 110%.
My most fond memories are of him being my best buddy at home and out Duck Hunting and all of our travels thru the US & Canada. He was always entertaining at home from 7 weeks until the end, as he would either clear out the closet of shoes or the bathroom rugs and have them piled in the living room or the back yard if you left the door open.
I am going to miss you Gun Boy, but I know you're up there in heaven with no more pain with your happy go lucky skip you had in your walk. Looking forward to one day of seeing my Big Brown Boy again.