Sorrow - song: Sorrow, artist: David Bowie, album: Pinups
Monday, October 5, 2009
It was a day like today, eleven years ago, that we brought home an awkward, too-big-for-his-feet, loveable German Shorthaired Pointer puppy. I had wanted a GSP for a LONG time so when we decided to go dog hunting after Buck died we looked for one. They are not very common around here in spite of their large litters so we patiently waited until a litter was available for adoption. When we went to see the puppies they had 5 rowdy puppies left. It would have been a tough decision but Gunnar chose us. He stayed by us while the other puppies came up and then romped off again.
We named him Gunnar because of his German heritage and because he was a 'gun' dog. He never officially hunted but he loved to point out rabbits and other small creatures. He was a beautiful dog, from a long line of field and show champions!
He was a daddy 3X and he sure loved those puppies! He would lay with Daisy and the puppies as soon as they were born and he'd let them climb all over him. Here he is with one of his puppies.He was such a charismatic gentleman that when we had people come over to see the puppies, they always asked if they could take Gunnar instead. lol, as if! He had a way of sitting next to visitors and gently laying a paw on their arm. He'd look at them with his soulful eyes and they'd melt and begin scratching and petting him. He was an incredibly sweet dog.
He loved to play fetch and he enjoyed chasing the cats. Buddha was his little buddy. They would play and lay together for hours. He and Daisy were often found cuddled together.
When my husband died of pancreatic cancer 2 years ago, Gunnar went over and said good-bye to him. A short time later he had pancreatitis himself, probably caused by grief and stress.
A few months ago, in May, Gunnar was diagnosed with cancer. He had a small knot on his forehead that the veterinarian said would grow larger at a very rapid rate. He wasn't kidding! All summer Gunnar has had a huge swelling on his forehead, right between the eyes and upwards. It would drain, go down, and then swell up again almost immediately. The last month or so, he has been having difficulty breathing because of the swelling in his throat. His sinuses were affected and he would often have nosebleeds. Last week, I took him in for some exploratory surgery to see if by some wild chance it was all really just an infection or a bone fragment from an injury. The doctor called me during surgery and said that there were many bone fragments. His sinus cavities were disintegrating from the cancer and he recommended "letting him go."This picture was taken on his last morning, laying right next to Daisy. He loved to play with his stuffed fox. I took a lot of photos of him that morning but most of them show his bulging head and gaping, draining hole.
On one hand, I expected this. But still, I had hoped it was all a misdiagnosis because the vet had never taken x-rays. It breaks my heart that Gunnar is gone now and I know Daisy and Buddha are missing him too. My boys dug a grave out back so that we could bury him alongside our other long-gone pets.