Instinct or Brotherly Love?
Although we did not do agility back then, we used to have a few pieces of agility equipment including an A-frame made for me by my good friend Jocelyne's husband, Jacques.
Now Jacques was a mechanical engineer with the result that what he built - stayed built, solid as a rock (and equally immovable).
Consequently the A-frame was still set up in the yard in the summer of 1997 where it became part our 12 week-old pups' "king of the hill" games.
One weekend in July, Donna and Paul Lavoie came up for a visit with their four Borders. We were stood on the deck sipping wine and enjoying watching the pups play.
Roger and Gunter, our two male pups, were racing around the yard, holding a sock between them; suddenly they raced up the A-frame together and proceeded to play "tug-of-war" on top.
The inevitable happened and Roger went off the pinnacle; for one heart-stopping moment there was this image of Roger, apparently hanging by his front paws five feet off the ground.
Before anyone could move off the deck to the rescue, Gunter, with true terrier determination, proceeded to draw his quarry (the sock), while Roger, with equal terrier determination, hung onto his quarry (the same sock).
In an instant, Roger was back on the A-frame and the pair raced down the other side to continue their game on safer ground.
The following morning, I lowered the A-frame to a safer height.
Roger left to live with Anna Robaczewski in July 2000 and Gunter remained with us. However, their paths crossed many times over the following years, most notably in 2007 on the
cross country trip
to the BTCA Specialty in Albany, Oregon and at the 2010 BTCA Specialty in North Carolina.
Sadly, complications from lyme disease took Roger much too soon on March 01, 2011 just one month short of his fourteenth birthday.
With Gunter's departure for the bridge on July 09, 2014 at the venerable age of seventeen, the two brothers are reunited again. I have little doubt that their adventures together will be as magnificent as befits two incredible dogs.
A Letter From "The Big G"
If you are reading this it means that I have left for my "big adventure".
What you peeps call "gone to the bridge".
Aah, if only you knew! Of course we will come back to the bridge to meet you and cross with you when it is your turn, but until then! So many things to do and see, and so many old friends to catch up with.
I have been planning my trip for quite some time. We often do that you
know, to try and make it easier for you, give you time to come to
terms with the inevitability of our departure. Sadly, I am not sure it
My person's person and I have had long discussions on the matter, I
know she understands and she promised not to hold me back when I was
really, really ready, but I knew that SHE would never really be ready.
However, we had a pact and she is a good sort, so when I "asked" she
looked into my eyes and listened. One of them noisy photos at the
place where they make us feel better confirmed what I knew and she
feared, greatly easing the decision. My dear friend Don will open the
door for me once my affairs are in order.
Of course, sometimes "The Call" comes very suddenly and the "Great
One" cannot be denied.
Take Gordie for instance. Why! I saw him just a few months before he
left for his Big Adventure and he said had no plans to leave, too much
to do keeping Isobel busy and a watchful eye on my grandson Finlay.
I suspect he got the call to deal with that other grandson of mine, the
one who never had the chance to benefit from Gordie's guidance or
Maisie's discipline. I do hope he has him sorted out, pup-minding is
not in my plans - been there done that.
OK, time to get down to practical stuff.
To my daughter Maisie and grandson Finlay, I leave my squishy bed, the
one I picked out in Vermont, a gift in honour of all the grand times I
had visiting with you, if it is not to your liking I am sure you will
have guests who will appreciate it. Boomer has strict instructions to
bring her person (my person's person) for a visit.
To my other daughter Teazle, we never really got to know one another
but I hope you will enjoy my tweed jacket for those days when New
Jersey thinks it is part of Canada, it is specially made for dogs who
are not big fans of coats other than their own. Boomer's person will
make sure it gets to you.
To my son Pip, I leave my travel mat, I hear you may be making a cross
country trip, it will serve you well as it did me; warm on one side,
cool on the other.
What a trip we had across this big continent, my brother Roger, Harry and I
- the closest thing to "The Big Adventure" this side of the grey
To my other son Dundee, like Teazle I never really got to spend time
with you since you were young, but I hear good things about you, I
leave you the tug toy that Boomer's person made for me from a very
special fleecy, she will tell you about it one of these days. You can
add it to your treasured collection of "brings"
For my ex-wife Daisy, I have instructed Boomer's person to return your
grandfather's bed to you - he was a good dog, misunderstood by many.
The only condition is, that if there ever comes a time when you don't
want it or don't need it, that you return it to the group. Danny has
many well loved descendents in the group.
To my old friend Zeke, we were good pals once and I suspect we could
have been again, Boomer's person will see that your bed comes back to
you - I mean, just how many beds does one household need here, the
same condition applies as with your father's.
To Digger, my great, great nephew, well! I have noticed that you are
wearing the blue bone collar I won all those years ago! It may be
round your neck but don't let it go to your head. You will never
replace me any more than I could replace the magnificent Chip (I met
him you know) or Boomer could replace the amazing Pepper, but, if you
work really hard and mind your manners you "might" just "might" take
my place, and a very good place it is too. If not, I urge you to be
the best that you can be wherever you go.
To my person, Chris, thank you for all the great times we had hanging
out at home before I became the center of HER attention and she mine, I relinquish
my hold on her - though I suspect it won't help with the housework
Finally, to Boomer, I return that part of your person that I have
borrowed these last years of my oh so full and oh so rich life. Take
care of her, she needs you and hold her to the promises she made you
and Robyn and Tank.
Enough of the seriousness, I really must get going. I have arranged to
meet Medrick at the bridge, he is picking me up in his sports car and
we are going to get together with Roger, and Newman, and Gordie and Harry and Danny, and DoG
knows who else at the Otterhead Pub just across from Rabbits Galore
Until we meet back at the bridge this is Gunter, a.k.a. "The Big G" signing off.