Yesterday a friend had to put her dog down and know very much the pain in the heart that can be. I know she will get through this in time, but will never forget. Roni you will get through this, the pain will subside, but the brain will always remember. And do remember Antsy...
The thought of her pain got me thinking about my own buddy that I had to lay to earth just a few years back. This morning with Britt in my thoughts, I went looking for the memorial I wrote about him. But, I couldn't find the website where I posted it. My daughter, being the wonder person she is, had a copy. The following is the memory I wrote the day after laying Britt to rest.
I layed my friend to rest yesterday, August 26, 2008. I am not going to get into the why's of it. I would rather speak to what a good friend he was and is. Britt was my friend from the time I brought him home in May 1998. In just a few days the guy learned his name and not to pee in the house. I don't think I have ever known such a smart dog in all my life. Britt was a Brittany. Some know the breed as Brittany Spaniels, however they not spaniels any more than a mule is a horse. The breed orginated in Brittany France many many years ago. Here they crossed a spaniel of somekind with a pointer of somekind and got this hard working, intelligent dog that had quality from both breeds. Spaniels and Pointers are both hunting dogs as is the Brittany. They all have a ton of energy, which should not be confused with hyperactive. Now, Spaniels hunting by flush the game out and Pointer will lock up in a point, showing the hunter where the game is hidden. Brittany hunt in the same manner as pointers, thus a number of years ago, maybe 15 years by now, the spaniel part was dropped off of the breeds name. Thus Brittanys are just Brittanys. Enough said about the history of the breed.
Britt was a large dog, somewhere around 65-70 pounds. Yes, that is large for a Brittany. None the less, this guy could run all day and about 26 miles an hour and maintain 15-20 miles an hour for miles.
We never did a lot of hunting together, rather Britt was just my friend. At one point in his life, he was a snow plow manager. He would make sure I plowed the snow just right from the long snow bond driveway we had. At another time, he was a beekeeper. Though I have to admit he didn't care for the bees that much, but he would watch to make sure I did it right. Most often that was from the safety of deck. Isn't that just like a manager! He was a barnyard manager, keeping the raccoons and deer out of the yard away from the chickens, ducks geese and fruit trees. Yes, he was a chicken farmer too.... he didn't like the geese or the turkeys though. He thought the turkeys were weird as they thought they were dogs. They would follow him around the yard, much the way a puppy would following his human.
Britt was the father to twentyfour sons and daughters that out there somewhere with their families. He also helped to raise two cats. Britt was the type of dog that took most things in stride and trusted that I wasn't putting him into harms way. I remember the first time I took him to be groomed. It was actually his son Duke and Britt that needed the grooming. Duke freaked out... where Britt just stood there, allowing the groomer to do her thing. He would occasionally make sure the groomer was doing it correctly, but mostly he just stood there with the majestic look about him. He was the same way whenever we would go to the vet. He often received comments on how well behaved he was.. not just from the vet, but from the other pet owners too. I can not take credit for this... this was just the way it was with Britt. Just about everyone that met Britt would comment on what a good dog he was.
One of his most favorite things, besides a doggy treat, was to ride in the truck. Britt loved to ride, at one point in our lives, we lived out of a mobile home that had more hole than roof, so he spent the nights with me swatting skitters and trying to stay dry. And during the daytime, he would ride with me to work. There he most happily spend part of the day in the truck...yes with the windows open.. waiting for me to come out on a break. We spent breakfast, lunch and dinner together everyday for almost two years. These days we spent together were the best, though our living conditions were not.
I will always miss the way he would look at me when ever he was trying to communicate a need of his. Whether it was water, letting him out, food or to just to pet him... He would just lay his chin on my knee and look up at me with those big brown eyes. He had other communication skills too. He would grunt in the morning, expressing his need to go out, when I wasn't moving fast enough towards the door handle. Often the grunting would sound like a monkey grunting.
Yesterday, I had to say goodbye to my friend. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. To look into his eyes for the last time, knowing that soon he would not see anymore. As with everything in this dogs life, he took this to in stride. If there is another life I hope we met again and continue our friendship. If not, Britt will never be forgotten. He will live in my memories for the rest of my days as few or as many as that might be.
Britt I miss you!