Peggynol’s Alaskan Gundog – aka Bobo, aka G-Dawg, aka G, aka Old Man, aka Handsome Boy, most commonly known as Gunner. 07/17/99 – 09/24/15
As if the Magic news wasn’t bad enough, Gunner has also been deteriorating rapidly lately. Over the past year he has started having spells where he has no physical strength and he is mentally gone. They’re becoming more frequent and lasting longer, coming now at a pace of about one a week, lasting about a day. The one he had this last weekend was especially bad, and he’s only partially back. He’s quit eating and has great difficulty breathing.
After a long talk with Lesa after I told her about my decision with regard to Magic, she suggested that maybe it was Gunner’s time too. My mother had suggested the same thing. I hated to agree, but I knew they were right. The vet is going to put Gunner to sleep at the same time he come for Magic.
I’ve already explained what these dogs have meant to me, so rather than belaboring that, I’d like to share some of my favorite Gunner memories.
I wasn’t there for this, but Lesa likes to tell how she chose Gunner. Or rather, Gunner chose her and Drew. A friend of Lesa’s was a breeder of Welsh Springer Spaniels who’s main dog had a litter. She told Lesa she could come pick out a dog. Drew was about 20 months old at the time, and was roaming around like toddlers do. The puppies ignored him, except for Gunner, who followed Drew around wherever he went. Lesa’s friend told her that Lesa didn’t have any choice in which puppy to choose because one puppy had already chosen them.
Another memory I love is from a few years back. Springer Spaniels get their name from the way they approach game. They spring at birds, causing them to take flight. Bot Magic and Gunner are jumpers, but Gunner much more so than Magic. I had the dogs in the front yard one late spring day, and the birds in the oak tree were chattering at the dogs. One bird took to swooping down and buzzing them. It was coming in for another round when Gunner jumped at it, hitting it with his paw and knocking it out of the air. If I hadn’t seen it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it. He wasn’t trying to hit the bird, he did it accidentally. He went running after the bird, but it was able to straighten itself out and take off before he got there.
But my favorite Gunner memory is this: It took a couple of weeks after we brought Ethan home from the hospital before he would sleep in his crib at night. But once he did, Gunner slept beneath the crib every night til Ethan moved to a bed. It was as if he was saying to us ‘It’s okay, you get some sleep. I’ve got this.’
I love both of these dogs so much. It’s only hours now til they’re both gone, at least from this physical plane of existence. (My father is going to have a lot on his hands when they join him in heaven.) I hope Gunner has had a good life, and that he knows how much he was loved and how much he will be missed.