Julie was one of a kind, I believe I’d used the word crazy more often with her than all my others put together 😉 Her heart always belonged to John Bulger who passed in 2018 and while she lived with me the last few years of her life, she never stopped looking for him. My comfort is knowing they are together again and will have an eternity of retrieving together.
We lost a great one this year. CeCe was born an old soul and left us as an old soul. Our friend Bob captured her perfectly years ago, it’s my favorite photo of her. She was 12-1/2, but it’s still hard. I was lucky to have a mobile vet come out so we could do this at home.
At 9 weeks I could take CeCe with her mom Gale to my mothers Alzheimer’s unit. She was perfect, well behaved and understood that some people didn’t want to meet her. Later in life CeCe had perfected the pearly whites at stupid male dogs without any of us knowing what she was doing, every once in a while we saw the pearly whites and got a big kick out of that. Her favorite companion was Quinn, Tracey’s dog and we called them Jack & Jill. Whenever we had a bunch of dogs out running and were missing 2, we knew it was Jack and Jill. I’ll miss my CeCe Peeps, she was the matriarch in my house. I’m thankful to have spent this many years with her.
Cruise was the consummate hunter, always and of anything fur or fowl. She might not have been the sharpest knife in the drawer ;-), but her temperament was impeccable like her momma Solo. She loved every person and every dog she ever met and had the best attitude towards puppies, mine and everyone elses. Cruise proved herself to be a natural upland hunting dog and those moments are some that will last with me forever and yes she did flashpoint birds just like Solo, so fun to watch. She was the most “watery” dog I’ve ever had and would swim forever anywhere just for her own enjoyment. She was so pretty with beautiful breed type and lovely structure. She had 2 litters and produced multi talented lovely dogs. She would tell me when a training or test setup looked ‘scary’ with a very high pitched, but quiet whine (we used to call it Cruisey’s EEEEEEEE) Cruise was literally never sick a day in her life and a few days before she died, she was causing a ruckus by chasing ducks at the farm where we field train. She was full of cancer, everywhere. The only signs she gave me in the last few days was more water consumption and a slightly indifferent feeling towards training which she loved. It’s amazing to me that these stoic animals are so filled with sickness and still continue to enjoy life to the fullest. She had a hugely enlarged heart and died of cardiac arrest before I would have made the decision to let her go. She took good care of me in life and at the end too as she didn’t make me make that dreaded decision… what a truly lovely dog, I will always miss her.
A puppy from the J litter was not supposed to stay and then the #8 puppy popped out as a liver girl and all bets were off. Jelly Beans was a tremendous athlete, team player, competitor and mother. She was super healthy up until the day we discovered the splenic bleed and I had a great solid week with her after that before we said good bye. My heart is broken, I was not ready for Jelly to leave me, so young and we had a lot left to do together. She loved me and I her, 7-1/2 years was not enough. I have her mother CeCe and her daughter Pink to help me through the pain, but at times it feels unbearable. Thanks for listening…
Party was everything I ever wanted. I could actually leave that as my only statement about her, she was everything She was pretty with lovely breed type and beautiful structure. Her temperament was ideal and very like her momma Cruise and grandmomma Solo. She was way too young to die, we had a lot of things left to do together and I am heartbroken. I wish I had more pictures of her, but my wonderful memories of her will have to suffice.
Gent was a big ol goofy “guys” dog. He loved Jim and loved all stuff “guy”. He lived to retrieve, like many of them do, but it was a particular passion of his and he could talk anyone who came over into “just throwing one”… He took care of his sister Blue when we had to separate Blue and Freya and he was a perfect gentleman and made that easy for Blue and us. He grew to love puppies and was delightful with our litters and each puppy we kept. He did decide it was his job to protect the litters when we had them and did that fiercely, good boy. He will be missed, but he lived a great long healthy life and Jim let him go on the perfect day so he didn’t suffer. We think Snitch will miss him most right now, but we will miss him so much with the “R” litter on the ground and we wish he had gotten to know them and they him…
Solo was something so very special, a dog that everyone who ever met her loved and remembered. She had an incredible temperament, perfect in every way. She never had an issue with other dogs or people and would ignore any possible confrontation in her unassuming way. She was the ultimate puppy raiser, loving all puppies, mine and others and taught many many puppies to swim over the years in her gentle “come follow me” manner. I will never forget her and am ever indebted to Helenmary and Neal for letting me have this special “litter” from their lovely Beckett…
What can we say about Miss Bluesey? She was lovely to look at and very entitled, “as it should be” she would say. She was my favorite show dog and we had a successful, fun show career together. She loved to show and I loved to show her off! She and her mother Solo gave me 4 living generations when Blue’s grandkids were born here, something I will always treasure. We went swimming and retrieving on her last day and she found a turtle and ate the whole dang thing, way to go Bluesey. I miss you my stunning girl…
Gale was a girl scout. She was a delight to live with, a wise old comforting soul in a lovely dog body who came into my life when I needed her. She helped raise puppies and keep order in the house. She died of an ulcer from anti inflammatory drugs I gave her to make her feel better, I haven’t forgiven myself yet… We have her great grandchildren with friends and I am very grateful for that, thanks Gale for everything, I miss your wise ways Miss Woosey…
Ginnie came into my life on her 1st birthday and left me at 15 3/4. The day we got her was the best day of her life and mine, we were meant for each other and she took a huge piece of me when she left. She is another one that people in the hunting retriever world still talk about. She was an itty bitty brown retrieving machine, driven, stylish and fun to watch. I was always proud to be next to her at the line. She was devoted to me and I to her, I never would have left her side if I didn’t have to. We shot a flier on water for her on her last day and she stuffed herself with venison sausage while we toasted her with champagne, a great end to a great life. I miss her every single day of mine…
Kelly was Mark’s and my first flat-coat and what a way to start. She was an incredibly stable animal with lovely structure and pretty type. She introduced us to the dog fancy and I am enjoying her great-great-great grandkids today. Though we didn’t want a performance dog, she led us into obedience, field and the show ring and retired with 1 MH leg and 2 group placements, she also introduced me to some of my dearest friends which is really what this dog fancy is all about. Thank you Kelly, I owe you so much.