Forever in my Heart
I have told over and over about how Hunter died, and now I want to talk about how he lived. When we lost Scooter at age 5 to a heart attack, we decided to get another male Golden. We got to the breeders and I fell in love with this blonde fluff ball at once. After checking eyes, eats, joints, tummy, etc, (and parents and records) I knew he was the one. Meanwhile one of his sisters had craweled up into hubby's lap, started licking his face and that was all she wrote--I checked her over, doubled the check (less discount for taking 2) and we took them home. The next day I took them to the Vet, they got a good check (Hunter was 12lbs, KayCee was 11lbs and he said "Sandra, you did good." But even if he had found a problem it would not have made a difference--we were already in love with those two fluff balls.
To keep them safe at night, I set up an old mesh playpen by my side of the bed--dodn't even have room to get out of bed, had to go to the end--and they were put in there at night on towels. But they never had an accidend in there. They would wake me about 6:00 and I would take them out to do their business. When they got large enough to climb out, I put a sheet of plywood over the playpen. In the mornings I would slide the plywood over and they would climb out and onto the bed and lie down with me and lick my face, etc, for a few minutes before I took them outside. They spent a total of about three months in there at night--when their heads touched the plywood when they sat, that was the time to take them out. After that they slept in the bed with me/us the few nights hubby was home from the road. And for some reason Hunter always thought that when it was time to go to bed he HAD to get in on my side--right where he had gotten in there from the playpen. Any other time he would leap on from the other side or the end.
I put tiny collars on them right away and started taking them for short walks. Hunter was the one who would go to the end of the leash, but never fought it. He was curious. KayCee stuck closer to me. If she got a sticker, she would sit and hold her paw up and I would get it out. Hunter just got his own out in a hurry so he could continue the walk. Every once in awhile, for a treat, I would strap them in the baby stroller and take them for a 2 mile walk. Believe me, this drew a lot of attention to all we met walking or in yards. But they lover the adventure.
He had this game of "Pester Mom When She is Making The Bed." He would get on the bed and no matter which side I was trying to work on, he would get on that side, sit and put his paws on my shoulders--and try to lick my face. I would dash to the other side, bue he would be there ahead of me. He would lie on the bed and watch me clean the room. Also he liked to sit on the end of the bed and look at himself in the mirror. I think he knew he was looking at himself. I used to tell him he was going to turn into a flower (mythology, the guy always admiring himself in the creek and was finally turned into a flower to always be by the creek, a Narcissus.)
He had another game he liked to play and this was every night. I would say "Time to go night night babies" and he would bound down the hall, jump on the bed from my side (as always) and flop down on my pillow and lie there watching me, tail wagging. I would put my hands on my hips and say "Move Petey". Without hesitation, he would always move. This was an every night thing and I believe he loved this little game.
When he first started sleeping in the bed, he would fall off all the time. He finally figured that if he got on my pillow he wouldn't fall off. If he rolled over, he either ended up against the headboard or on my head. He was so funny one night--before he discovered the pillow trick. I was propped up on pillows working a jigsaw puzzle and he was lying on the edge of the bed next to me. I saw his backside start to slide off and I was watching as he slid all the way off the bed--watching my face all the time. He never tried to turn to land on his feet, never struggled to stay on the bed. He just took it in stride. Landed on the floor and right back up on the bed--only I gave him more room this time.
After he got to where he didn't fall off the bed anymore, he had to be where he could see my face. I sleep on my side and he would always be on my face side. If I rolled over, he crossed over me and got on that side. Sometimes I would wake with the feeling of being watched, and with the light from my neighbors back yard and my bright clock, I would see hunter sitting on the floor looking at me. I would be too close to the edge of the bed for him to get there, so he was on the floor sitting, watching. I would move over and he would hop right up there...where he could see my face. However, in the mornings he would get behind me and wake me licking my neck, throat, shoulders, whatever skin he could get to in that area.
He rarely walked, he strutted with his head so high that we used to say it was a wonder he didn't get a nose bleed. When he ran, like chasing squirrels on the power line over our back fence, he could stretch like you wouldn't believe. WE called him the "Long Lean Playing Machine" because his top weight was 79lbs and he was long and tall (and Beautiful).
He let his little sister bully him something fierce. He just took it in stride. If she wanted his toy, he let her have it. He didn't care if she ate out of his food dish or not, and vice versa. This never changed even after 4 years.
When KayCee had her first knee surgery at 1 1/2 she had to be kept restrained for 4 weeks. Hunter would lie beside her and lick her face. He was always so careful when around her. Then KayCee had to have the other knee operated on a year later and this time had to be restrained for 6 weeks. Hunter was just as concerned anout her as could be. Again he would lie beside her and lick her face. It was really Heartwarming.
Then we adopted Honey, the Golden mix, inDec. 2002, and a month later found out she had Heartworms and had to have that awful treatment for her and keep her in a wire cage for 6 weeks. Even though we had only had her a month, Hunter would lie by the cage and keep her company. I honestly believe he was just a very caring dog. And he had more patience that a god should have. In the mornings when I would open the bedroom door, KayCee would be first, Hunter next, and then Honey. Only she was last for a purpose--to grab Hunter by a back leg and pull. Never once did he snap, growl or bite. He would just sit down and wait for her to go on, then he would follow. I often saw her grab him by the leg while he was chasing a squirrel and I was so scared she would pull his leg out of joint. I even got some foul tasting stuff that is supposed to keep a dog from chewing on itself--but even that didn't stop Honey. We were always telling Hunter to bite her on the nose and make her stop.
His favorite toy was this blue and red striped bomb looking thing with yellow "fins". Our neighbor actually gave us 3 of them, but the girls picked a hole in the other two and pulled the stuffing out. The remaining one was put up unless we were playing fetch with hunter, or the girls were otheerwise occupied. I would often hide it in the mantle or chandilier, under the sofa, tec, and then tell Hunter to find his toy. It wasn't long before he knew every hiding place. If it was on the mantle or chandilier, he would sit and look at it, but under the furniture, he would get it out. I buried that toy with him, no other dog would ever play with it.
Unlike so many Goldens, he was never a chow hound. He often took most of the day to eat. Hw would eat a few bites, go play, come back and eat a few more bites, go play. He was very picky about treats as well. And you could drop chips, candy, cake etc, and he would walk away from it where the other three would be on it like a chicken on a June Bug.
He had two odd things about him. First, his ears were very thick (my one sister-in-law called him Fat Ears) and had the longest hair on them. We thought they were the prettiest ears of all the dogs. And he had a missing tooth. I don't know the name of it, but it was a lower molar tooth, the first real large one. It just never came in. And the aooesd thing, Honey, the Golden mix we adopted is missing the upper tooth that would match the lower one Hunter was missing.
I keep a cookie jar on the counter with dog treats--usually ones I make--and all the dogs would stand there and look at that jar. I would say "Do you want a bone?" and Hunter would toss his head in a complete circle and mouth a silent woof. Was the same when I would ask him if he was hungry. Oh, he never could howl. A siren could be going on TV or for real and all the dogs are howling away. Hunter would have his mouth all puckered, but only a raspy sound would come out--reminded me of when my Mom would get laryngitis. It was the funniest thing to watch and listen to him howl. He could bark, just not howl.
He could drive you crazy wanting you to throw his bomb or ball. You could throw til your arm was ready to fall off, but he was still wanting to play fetch. I could be lying on the sofa and would throw it "One last time" and he would bring it back and put it on my chest and would stand there, ears perked, watching that toy/ball. If I ignored it he would take his nose and push it towards my face, then stand back and watch. If I still ignored it, he would push it until it was on my chin.
He never thought he was too big to get in my lap. Nothing like a 79lb dog sitting in your lap. (I WISH HE WAS HERE NOW) Giving KayCee a pill is a nightmare. As soon as I open a bottle (even my vitamins or Aleve) she starts shaking her head, flicking her tongue trying to spit out something that isn't even in her mouth yet, and drooling. Hunter, well, again, he just took it in stride. He just sat there, let me poke it down is throat and never fought it. They both had allergies and from timte to time would have to wear a "cone" to prevent chewing. If KayCee saw me coming with it, she ran and tried to hide. Not my Hunter. He just stood or sat and let me put it on him.
It was all these traits, his laid back gentleness, his loving ways, his caring, that made Dr. T want me and him to take therapy dog classes. Dr. T said he had the temperment to be a very good one, and his looks would even add. But, he never got the chance to be loved on by the folks at the nursing home or the kids in the hospital.
Hunter was Caring, Loving, Gentle, He could be a clown or a big goof ball. When GOD made my Hunter, he broke the mold. There can NEVER be another Hunter, my "Soul Mate of Dogs"
HUNTER...FOREVER IN MY HEART.
Grieving for My Dog
I stood by your bed last
I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying.
You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you so softly, as you brushed away a tear.
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea.
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached out to me.
I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wished I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you that, I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said, "It's me."
You looked so very tired and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me to be, so near you every day.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away!"
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew......
in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is almost over, I smile and watch you yawning.
And say, "Goodnite, GOD Bless, I'll see you in the morning.
"And when the time is right for you, to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you, and we'll stand side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out....
then come Home to be with Me.
If you have tears after reading this, then you have a Heart. Hunter lost his life after recieving an injection of ProHeart6. Coincidence? Then why did they finally recall It?
Our logo will be on this page with Hunter and he will have a home here.
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