Tuesday, October 23, 2007

the chief...

Every farm needs a dog...at least one. We have had a wonderful Alaskan malamute on the farm for many years, and he has been the best! He came to us in a temporary arrangement when Ron & Mary Ellen (sister) moved to Manitoba in 1998. We reluctantly agreed to keep him until they bought a home out there...we already had a dog at the time and weren't really wanting two.


However, he quickly wormed his way into our hearts and lives and we've never let him go! When the time came for Chief to make the big move to the prairies, we made Ron & Mary Ellen an offer they couldn't refuse, and Chief has been our loyal and faithful friend all these years.

Chief has had many brushes with death over the years, but he's a real survivor. In his first few weeks with us, he (unknown to us) rode along with a cattle trailer into the city where he ran about in the traffic, totally bewildered. It was only by 'coincidence' that we figured out what had happened and went looking for him. In his first year on our farm, he had three close calls with death. It seemed impossible to keep this dog safe in his new environment!

The point of this story is that today is a sad day for us, as Chief is being put down. He had a tough winter last year, but pulled himself together when summer rolled around. As he is nearing his 13th birthday, things are rapidly going downhill, and we think the kindest thing for us to do is say our good-byes and not allow him to suffer.

I just stopped by the farmyard to say my last farewell. The vet was already there...but where was Chief? He was spending his last minutes with my dad...who had come to work in his shop today. It was a sad time for Dad too...he always had a soft spot for Chief! He was such a kind and gentle dog, despite his size...very loyal and affectionate. We will miss him a lot, and we will always have good memories of our Chief who came for a visit and stayed forever!

Chief with the gang...Dec. '99

On our front porch...Dec. 2004

He didn't have much use for the neighbour's cats...our own he tolerated.

Twelve years old...Dec. 10, 2006

He will be fondly remembered

...our Chief!

December 10, 1994- October 23, 2007

9 comments:

  1. oh boy, I'm teary. I sure do feel for the loss of your beloved pup. He reminds me of Otis. He is so decrepit already too.

    It will be a lonely walk to that barn for the next little while.

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  2. It's never easy to say goodbye to a beloved pet. I wish you and yours much comfort as you go into these next few days and weeks without Chief.

    I just read the most remarkable story entitled "What's Your Pen Name?" at this site:

    http://countingyourblessings.blogspot.com/

    Perhaps you can find it and read it in a few more days. It might be too intense just now.

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  3. This is hard to believe..Isn't that the worst decision that one makes? We went through that on Jan. 26, 2007. I have memoirs that Suzanne wrote. It was a very sad day...it was only this September that I went back out and cleaned up the kennel.
    Thoughts are with you. Just making the decision is hard.

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  4. I am so sorry. Pets become a part of the family and a time like this is so hard. Praying God will comfort you and your family.

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  5. Vacations are allowed! I hope that you have a wonderful one and that you gather lots of material for blogging. :)

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  6. Who is that guy in the family picture standing next to me with the blue puffy vest? The tall skinny guy.

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  7. Goodbye Chief -- We too will miss you, when we come for a visit. You were so stately.
    Vern and Martha

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  8. Marc says good-bye to his dear friend Chief! We are glad we met him again last summer.

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  9. aw, I have a tear in my eye reading this. What a great dog he was (a little smelly at times), but I had many moments with him too, when he lived on Annis Rd. I'd drop by after ball, and he'd come running and jump up onto me, knocking me flat on my back everytime. He was a great pal, and I'll miss him too!

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'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson