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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This week I said goodbye to one of my dogs, I was blessed to have Zek for 14 years-a long time by golden retriever standards, much to short for my broken heart. Two years ago we lost Jaz, almost 15, I know I have been very blessed with my goldens. When Jaz left us I carried on with my other dogs, spreading her ashes in the pond along the edge where she loved catching frogs. We knew with Jaz the time was short, Zek took me by surprise, he really only had one bad week a few months ago, and while age slowly crept up on him, he still enjoyed a good quality of life. Zek was my first male golden and he is why I am madly in love with my boys. My youngest marsh mop is soon to be 7. I have taken some time out of the hunt tests to pursue the shorty jack obsession and to build up my judging experience. (Not to mention work on the sitting problem Ryder has perfected at tests) My home is full of dogs, 2 shorties, one of which is only 9 months old and 3 goldens. Zek was the patriarch, dignified, quiet and as always, calmly watching and waiting for me to turn my attention to him. Two weeks ago I purchased a puppy, my luck this last year in finding the right boy from the right litter has been abysmal at best, so I took a chance that perhaps I would be a good enough home for a little leftover puppy from a very nice breeding. Two days before I was to leave to pick up the new puppy, named Gibbs, Zek took a sudden turn for the worst. His kidneys failed him and we sadly said goodbye to him beneath the pine trees on our farm that was his home his entire life. My friends all said Zek knew it was ok for him to leave with the puppy coming to help mend my heart.
I left to pick up the puppy with a very heavy heart. Zek must have known, because I drove through a terrible rain storm, the exact same kind of storm I had driven 3 hours in 14 years ago to pick Zek up and bring him home. The storm Friday was brief and when I drove out of the storm the sky was blindly beautiful. The rest of the trip was uneventful, with the exception that my Austrailian GPS has reset itself for “SCENIC ROUTE WITH MOST POTHOLES”. I made it to Memphis, lugging Archie the shorty puppy along, in time to visit Gibbs and the Whiteleys for the first time. Gibbs greeted me with such enthusiasm and joy; an adorable, happy little puppy. Andy and Laurie are kind and gracious, understanding, as only another dog lover does the raw grief of losing a beloved dog. I left the following morning, after staying with Archie in his first hotel room—which I can happily report- I only had to pull him off the ceiling 2 times after he did his best impression of an attack cat when hearing a noise in the hall outside our door. I stuffed him in a pillow case and threw him in the closet so I could sleep. Kidding, he settled down and slept better than I. The ride home went smoothly, both Archie and Gibbs in crates in the back seat. Archie stopped growling at Gibbs by the time we hit Arkansas. Gibbs slept the entire way, with one potty break, no car sickness and content to sleep or chew on his toys. I came home to a full house, a shed party my husband planned (and told me about that morning). I introduced Gibbs to the other dogs and as I anticipated he was welcomed warmly-I have such good dogs. He spent the evening being loved on and passed around to all of our guests. I’m pretty sure I resembled a zombie as I tried to figure out how to leave the party as graciously as possible.
This morning came early with the great turkey hunters leaving at 4……….so I was up with Gibbs at 4 and stayed up since he decided that was a fine time to wake up. As the sun was coming up I decided it was time for our daily walk down to the big pond. I opened the door and the dogs raced across the yard, Gibbs was unsure and stayed close to my legs. When we cleared the hill and looked down over the pond, Gibbs stopped briefly and then took off-chasing the others. As you can imagine I am painfully aware of the absence in my family, I watched the sun come up over the pond and gave thanks for all I have been given. Lest I wax poetic—Gibbs was busying chasing Archie, who had found raccoon crap in the woods and was covered in black streaks of poo-I could smell him from 50’ away..….sigh……..Ruck was swimming out after the geese, Ryd was eating goose poo and Weez was trying to dig muskrats out of the bank by the dock. So much for skipping through the daisys—this is the real world of stinky things and mud, my dogs love stinky things and mud. When the geese had enough of being pursued by now Ruckus and Ryder, they took to flight and Gibbs sat watching attentively as they flew over the pond dam loudly voicing their displeasure. Both Weezie and Archie were no longer white-looking like crap covered refugees, Ruck and Ryder were rolling in the grass, poo and mud and Gibbs was sitting on my feet, tired, dirty and content. I gave everyone ******* baths, except Archie who got the full blown sink bath with soap, nothing likecoon poo stink in the morning. The big dogs are now drying off in the dogroom, Weezie and Archie are sleeping on the bed and Gibbs is sound asleep in his crate.
Ruckus is now the old man of the pack, a role he has always been ready for with his kind old soul. I don’t know what the rest of the day holds; I plan to spend it with the dogs. Letting them be dogs, taking my time to teach Gibbs his name. Tonight I will watch some puppy training videos and decide what I will incorporate into Gibbs training—I do know this: I am in no hurry and I will enjoy the brief time he is a puppy. I also made the same promise to him that I made to Zek and my other furballs: I will do everything in my power to keep him safe, healthy and above all—loved.

Gibbs and his new buddies

Little Gibbs
 

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Nancy - I'm so sorry about Zek. I hope your new pup can lick away your tears and give you lots of happiness to make it through this tough time.
 

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Nice post Nancy! Sorry to hear of Zek's passing - it's always harder when it's unexpected, but also glad for you that you finally found the right puppy! The circle of life is necessary, but rarely so well orchestrated as you have had with Zek and Gibbs! Maybe now you know why the universe made it take so long for you to find the right male pup!!
 

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Beautiful story....you got me crying. RIP Zek....go hang out with Star.

Welcome Gibbs to the wonderful world of training and giving your mom some "jazz"!!!

Have fun Nancy!!
 

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Sorry for your loss! Very cute pup
 

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Sorry for your loss Nancy. Nice looking pup, he looks ready to for fun times ahead.
 

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So sorry for the loss of your beloved Zek. Looks like Gibbs has some big paws to fill. Looking forward to hearing about his journey!
 

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Nance, sorrier than we can say about Zek. We still remember the time you brought him out to train on Tim's pond and discovered that he was the Poster Child for Water Dog Run Amuck. He was having such a good time swimming that he refused to return to the bank-- and you finally yanked off your shoes and went in after him. What a great boy he was. And he lived a long and much-loved life in spite of many adversities.

Welcome now to Gibbs. We will look forward to getting to know him, too. One adventure ends, and another begins. Life is good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bill--that was hysterical! Although I was most unhappy with him at the time--what a shame I was too much of a novice to know what I had. I also did it several times at the quarry, that crazy dog. What fun we had--I'm greatful that you remember. Gibbs just stuck his whole head in the water down at the pond, jumped in up to his belly and raced out. Made me laugh.
 

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Miss Pals

I am so sorry for your loss.


I bet though,, that dog a yours had a wonderful life with you...

The new one is a cutie,, and very lucky to have you as owner and guidence counselor! :cool:

Heal Fast.

Gooser
 

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Prayers for strength sent 2 you...



Richard
 

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That last post was from my lovely wife, Marcia, but yes I do remember it well and probably better than Marcia as I recall more than shoes coming off and more than one person in the water. We bent our elbows last night and toasted Zek. Lately I've thought about going over to the dark side and trying to find someone who would sell me a Golden so I could say " been there, done that" but, Alas, I'm way to old but thinking about Zek rekindles that small flame...I'll admit that a major obstacle is the hours I spent one afternoon pulling burrs out of my one and only English Setter and the chewing out I was given by my very first, short termed training partner with Goldens when she accused me of intentionally setting up the memory bird through some kind of stickers that I had never worried about before. I was completely innocent but it did not matter.......My dogs are waiting for Zek....
Bill Butikas
 

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I am sorry for your loss, but congrats on your new addition. The circle of life continues.

I lost my heart dog Rebel in December at 11-1/2 years of age. After grieving for several months, I finally picked up a new yellow Lab male pup last Saturday. It was the best thing I could have done for my spirit, and I hope the new puppy energy in your home helps you as much as it did me.
 

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I"m so sorry you lost Zek. Run free sweet boy.
 

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So sorry for your loss. Maybe you can include a tribute to Zek in Gibbs' reg name!
 

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So sorry about your Zek. Great photos.
Seems like the new little guy fits right in, congrats for that.
Colleen and Jim
 
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