Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 355 in the Northwoods

   So, Pearl Harbor will have another meaning for me as of today.  My dearest Trigger found his way across the Rainbow Bridge today.  In 10 days, I will have lived in Eagle River for an entire year.  Many things have happened in this short year. 
    In the Krohn dog world; one dog got Lyme's disease even though he was given a prevention, one dog has a rare fungal disease that has a high probability of fatality, and the first dog with Lyme's got cancer.  Bone cancer.  Why?  I don't know.  Trigger, his illness was fast.  I am grateful for this.
   I want to talk about Trigger.  Trigger was the pick of the litter from a co-worker/friend who bred her female chocolate which produced some black labs and a yellow that she kept (and has since passed).  He was the biggest which has no implication whatsoever on brain size.  Cute as a 106lb button, but dumb as a box of rocks.  Trigger as a puppy went through the usual eating and chewing stage; he once ate 2 glass Christmas ornaments, a mountain dew can, and 4 flip-flops, unfortunately not paired up.  He wasn't crated, but Bob did put him in there initially for punishment and night time sleeping.  It did not last long.  He was born in August of 2004, and we brought him home in October.  Bob went to Farm and Fleet and purchased a "cat size" crate.  Yea, that lasted without exaggeration, 2 weeks. He grew and he grew fast.  Trigger spent alot of time with Bob at work for the first year of his life.  Riding to work with Bob, he sat shotgun on Nick's lap which later set precedent for being an over sized lapdog.  This was fine with me.  I loved his big floppy soft ears and ran them across my face.
   Trigger was potty trained and well behaved, and normally did not even know what a leash was because he was pretty well behaved.  He frolicked in the yard and had no intentions of taking off especially when daddy was home.  Back to the brain size; Trigger once attempted to get back into the house through the glass patio door, without the door being open.  Trigger hit the glass so hard the house shook.  He would bark and was afraid of inanimate objects such as garbage dumpsters, plastic containers that you may have been carrying, mailboxes, etc.  I often wondered if there was a vision problem.  I really don't think so.  We once had a mouse take up residence in our Greenfield home. Bob was watching television in the living room and said mouse ran across the living room carpet past Trigger who did nothing.  I think he saw it, but just did not act on it.  Hmm.  Wonder why?  Bob would occasionally get home from work when it was dark outside and I would let out the dogs to greet him. Trigger not seeing Bob, would start barking. Bob would hide behind his work van and start barking.  This produced a game of scared dog acting big and barking while backing up. 
   When we introduced Minnie our papillion to our pack, Trigger was pissed.  Growled.  Never really heard him growl before that.  Well that lasted a day.  After the first day of butt sniffing and puffing out his chest, Trigger and Minnie were fast friends and played well together. Size did not matter.  One of the cutest memories was Trigger and Minnie playing tug of war.  Trigger was so kind that he pretended to let Minnie get some ground.  When I called Trigger's name he forgot he was playing nicely with Minnie and snapped his head in my direction, dragging Minnie along with him, she flew through the air like superman.  It was really funny. 
    Trigger was such a beautiful boy that more than one person had asked us if we would let them use him for breeding.  We did not.  As much as I like to keep the breed alive, I really am not for breeding.  So many dogs need homes.  Trigger was eventually neutered.
   Trigger was not used for hunting as much as Bob would have liked, only because initially Bob had worked too much to put the time into him.  The times that he did go hunting with Bob he did well. 
Trigger lived for pleasing Bob.  He loved car rides, romping in the snow, treats, running on the beach of Lake Michigan, having his butt rubbed and fetching balls.
   Trigger's eyes were full of expression and his tail was typical lab; knocking over things, hurting my knees after replacement, etc.  Speaking of knee replacement.....when I returned home from the hospital Trigger was always a true care taker.  He ALWAYS jumped, in one svelte move onto the bed to snuggle with me.  I swear this is true.  I was concerned that he was so big that he would hurt me.  He did not.  Not only did he not hurt me, he laid with me and acted as if he truly understood my pain. 
   This fall, Trigger got into some trouble with dad.  We went exploring as we do and stopped at a small lake with a cool pier.  It was a cool day and Trigger was loving it.  As we were on the pier, Bob was saying "don't you dare Trig...." splash.  Trigger not only jumped in but dove.  Not at an angle, but straight down.  I have never heard a dog make such sputtering noises from getting water up his nose.  Ohhh, Bob was mad.  Dirty, wet, smelly dog in the truck with no towel, etc.  Trigger didn't have a clue.  He was so happy when he got out of the water and shook off, he trotted off happy as can be. 
   Today I was alone with Trigger when he took his last breaths.  Bawling like a baby, I couldn't think of anything other than how awful this was.  Later I reflected back on his life and recalled so many good moments.  Bob always tells me that when he dies he wants to come back as a dog, a dog that lives in our house.  He's right. Trigger had a great life.  He was allowed on furniture, celebrated holidays with special treats, hunted, ran, swam, snuggled, and was loved as part of the family.  I feel ripped off that he only lived until 8.  The vet says for his size that really is a geriatric age.
   I think if there is a God, that he has put pets on this earth for our enjoyment and to prepare us for further inevitable losses that will come.  I have not suffered close, immediate family loss yet, but I have a clue how it will feel. I don't like it.  How do people move on?  Trigger was my immediate family.
   The few words that I have typed do not do the boy justice.  Anyone that has loved a dog, I am sure understands.  Each dog has a different personality, a different quirk, a different imprint on your heart.   
   Big dummy; I love you more than I thought I would.  Daddy told me I wasn't allowed to turn you into a sissy when we first got you.  He also said that you were his dog and to back off.  Well you know how that went.  I miss you already.  I will see you up in heaven.  I am sure of it.
      Love, Mommy

1 comment:

  1. I am so very sorry for your loss. As I read this, I found that your Trigger's life very closely mimicked my yellow lab, Bruno's. He too ate anything and everything...including an entire chocolate cake...with chocolate frosting. He also got Lyme's disease when he was about 8 or 9. We treated him, and I think we got it into remission. It never ceased to amaze me how intuitive he was. It's like he knew what I was thinking before I was. He was our first lab, and we were lucky enough to share our life with him for 11 years. Unfortunately, about 2 years ago he had a stroke, and we had to say goodbye. I still can't talk about him without crying. We adopted a 4 yr old black female lab a month after we put Bruno down. She was such a good girl, but 9 months after we got her, she got bone cancer, and we had to put her down as well. Broke my heart. We are dog people, and we knew we had to get another dog. We wanted a puppy this time. Last spring, we found the breeder we got Bruno from was having a litter. It was fate that we got him. She bred her chocolate female lab with a white male lab. She had a list of 8 people who all wanted chocolate our hopes were not too high. However, her litter produced 2 white females, and 2 black males. No one on the list wanted any of these puppies. It just felt like it was meant to be. As hard as it is to say goodbye to them...I can't imagine my life without one. I hope you are healing from your loss, and I hope the new year brings you a new furry family member.