We lost our furbaby at 4am.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    We lost our furbaby at 4am.

    He was a black lab, maybe not purebred, we don't really know. He was 10 years old.

    He joined our family at Christmas 1997. We found him at the pound, while trying to find a dog suitable to train for waterfowl hunting. He had the drive, the personality, and the intelligence.

    I'd never trained a hunting dog, so I used a recommended book and followed it, doing most of our work in the evening by the kitchen stove. This is not, by any means, a credit to my teaching ability. This dog was amazing. If he could figure out what you wanted, it was locked in memory forever. By May of 1998, he competed in his first hunt test, and even made the newspaper. Within a few years, he earned his hunting retriever title.

    Summer of 1998, he found a litter of baby rabbits under the lilac bush. He scooped them all up in his mouth and proceeded to run around the yard with his prizes in his mouth, followed by a desperately screaming difficult child 1. When we finally got him to stop, we retrieved 6 frightened and hopelessly soaked, but otherwise unharmed baby rabbits from his mouth. difficult child 1 insisted we raise them (which lead to a whole other set of adventures!). In later years, the dog would carry kittens in the same manner. He truly seemed to love them.

    His first hunt, in the fall of 1998. He sat quietly as we shot a Canadian goose on a farmpond, and with all the exuberance that young pups have, on command he flew into the water, intent to retrieve his mark. Only the shooter wasn't the best shot, and his mark was only winged. The goose could swim (and dive) just fine. After a lengthy pursuit, that included learning that he couldn't be wishy-washy about this (cause the goose bit his nose when he did), he grabbed the feisty goose and brought it to shore and proudly dropped it at my feet. And the fiesty goose promply ran back into the pond! A short while later, he returned with the goose a second time, and ensured I had it in hand before he let go.

    That was the first of many adventures (and the end of caring about fetching some dumb ball in the yard!). The end of his first hunting season landed him a crop of birds larger than would fit in an 8x10 photo with him. I lost count how many he retrieved over the years.

    He loved his job. When the geese started to fly over in the fall, he'd hold his breath to listen to them. Something he eventually started doing in the blind, as well.

    At 4, we took him along during a pheasant hunt. It was bitterly cold, and as we dressed outside the truck, he busied himself with something in the grass just beyond the truck. As luck would have it, it was a pheasant. He held it there til we got to it. And of course, praised him excessively. And that was the extent of his pheasant hunting training, though in the 3 years he pheasant hunted, he flushed or caught over 40 birds.

    At 5, he guided a waterfowl hunt that was filmed and televised on OLN. Later that year, he went with the owners and pro-staff of a game-call company to Louisianna to hunt. And almost didn't come home when he refused to forget about a winged bird on the Mississippi.

    At 7, my oldest son started taking him coon hunting. They never really worked with him, just took him along. By 8, he treed his own coon, and adopted my oldest son as "his". This past fall, they tracked a wounded deer.

    In addition to his useful knowledge, he was full of useless stuff, as well. He knew our entire family by name, would bow on command, shake hands or give "5", and all sorts of other really useless stuff.

    And most importantly, even tho he should have 100 times over, he never ate difficult child 2. He never even showed an ounce of aggression towards him; tho by rights, he should have. Even these past few weeks, when his heart problems were getting the best of him and difficult child 2, in a fit of anger towards me, jumped on him, he didn't so much as pass an angry glance. He simply looked at difficult child 2 in that understanding (but not approving) way that he had and rolled back over to sleep. Before he got sick, he would listen to difficult child 2, as difficult child 2 learned to give commands (and treats!) to him. difficult child 2 was also learning to play with him an appropriate ways (finally), and he forgave every one of difficult child 2's occassional "forgots".

    We dressed him as an angel one year for a parade - I am certain his wings and halo are real this time. He sure earned his place.
  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    That was a very moving tribute to your beloved dog. I hope the wonderful memories help mitigate your pain.

    Our furbabies truly are part of our families.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Im so sorry Shari.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Thank you for sharing your furbaby's story with us :sad:. I'm so sorry for your loss. What was his name?

  5. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    tears in my eyes, I am sorry for your loss. Have you ever seen Raibow Bridge? I apologize I do not know how to get to it and then post an url here using the computer, BUT I bet if you can google Rainbow Bridge.....you will find it.
    Many hugs to your family.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thank you. Been a rough few weeks, sorry I haven't been around much. I wrote this to send to the hunt club we belong to. They laughed when we joined with our pound puppy. By the end, he'd altered a couple of attitudes in the group.
    Suz, we called him Bubba.
    Dreamer, thank you for the Rainbow Bridge link. I am going to give it to my oldest son. He's going to take this hard. I suspect difficult child 2 will, as well.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    So sorry for your loss.

  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    Sounds like a really great dog and a wonderful part of you family. I'm so sorry for the loss of your little friend.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry Shari. :crying: Bubba sounds like he was a wonderful companion and member of the family. {{{Hugs}}}
  10. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    I am sorry for your loss.

  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I started crying just reading this. I'm so sorry you lost your furbaby!!! Losing a special family member is never easy... WFEN
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member

    So sorry!!
    We had a 14 year old mutt we had to have put down in the summer and it was very very sad. Not an easy thing to get over. They truley become part of your life and your family and it's almost like losing a child.
  13. Loris

    Loris New Member

    I am so sorry. He sounds as if he was a much loved member of your family who loved much in return. I agree that your children will take this hard.
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Just a thought - When we've lost much loved furry family members in the past, I took large picture frames and filled them with lots of pictures of our furry angels. I know that having these pictures displayed helped my children get through the pain... Maybe this might help your children a bit too...

    My heart goes out to you - loosing a furbaby is a horrible loss...WFEN
  15. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Shari, I love the name Bubba. We used to call our difficult child Bubba when he was young and went by "Bobby" ( he hadn't changed it to Rob yet).

    There is a very good chance that my beloved Chelsea fuzzbutt (lab/husky mix) has cancer :sad:. All signs point to it right now :sad:. I hope she won't be joining Bubba any time soon but when she does, she will flirt with him outrageously and he will adore her.

  16. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Shari, I'm sorry. Bubba sounds like a great companion. Our one and only dog(which was a mix breed freebie giveaway) died after 15yrs. I couldn't believe how waves of grief would hit me at the most unusual times and for years. I know you will miss your Bubba.
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thank you all. We've lost lots of cats and cows, chickens, and difficult child 2's goats, even some other dogs, but the ones that have been with you that long really do feel like little furry kids. He has his own little shelf where the bands from banded geese and ducks are, his ribbons from hunt tests, his own little scrap book of pictures, etc ...gosh, he was the only reason we ever stayed in a motel for many years.

    He had a bump on his head. Early on, someone said it was a "knowledge bump". We joked it was acquired as a baseball bat beat some "knowledge" into him. (He was SOOO smart, but early on, SOOOO hyper). His bump never went away, and I don't know if there's anything between a bump on a dog's head and their intelligence, but he was one sharp tack.

    We had a husky when Bubba joined us. He, too, came from the pound. Tho incredibally hard-headed and barely trained to "sit", he is another who carries a special place in our hearts. He's been gone 4 years in March, ironically, also from CHF complications.

    Suz, I hope Chelsea has plenty of time left here, but when her time comes, I'm sure Bubba (and Boo) will welcome her. He tired of the puppies in his old age, but I like to think he's somewhere now, all ready to play all over again.
  18. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Shari, I am so sorry for your loss.


    Labs are incredible dogs! We had one when we lived in the country when the kids were little. Max wandered in to our yard one day and stayed for the rest of his life. When my son was 3 or 4 years old, this dog was his shadow, never leaving his side for even a minute, constantly watching out for him.

    Sometimes all that hyperness can be a good thing! We have a huge black Lab at the prison where I work that has been trained as a drug detecting dog. He's ENORMOUS and he's gorgeous! And they found him in an animal shelter! They went through three other dogs before they found him - he's perfect for it because he's so incredibly focused on what he's doing, not easily distracted, and very, very smart! He never stops "looking" - bring him into a room and right away he starts snuffling, sticking his nose into every trash can and desk drawer, constantly on the move, dragging his handler around.

    If I remember right, "The Rainbow Bridge" is a poem - not sure of the author but I know I've seen in reprinted in "Dear Abby" several times. I am a very firm believer in that kind of stuff!

    Your Bubba sounds like he was a wonderful dog, and I am so very sorry that you lost him. (((Hugs)))
  19. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I am sorry for your loss. I always had dogs and some are just incredible...bubba certainly sounds like he was a special guy.
  20. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So sorry for your loss.