Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hans - A Furry Farewell

If you've been to our sled dog kennel, you've met Hans.  
He was one of the "big boys", always happy to see folks.

Whether doing a fun run with a tour guest or family, 

or leading Russ into the finish line of the 2003 Midnight Run
Hans did it with gusto!

Often times, stopping to "water" trees along the way.

That was our Hans.  

Years ago, we were so impressed with Hans' father,
we knew we had to add Hans to our kennel and join his "daddy",
who we had purchased months before.

So we made a trip up to the U.P., Michigan's Upper Peninsula,
to Iditarod musher, Al Hardman's, cabin to retrieve Hans.

As we picked up Hans,
Al and other local mushers were heading out on a 100-mile 2-day run.

After saying goodbye, we loaded up Hans in the cab of our truck and headed home.

Smiles on our faces.

Especially on Hans' mug,
after we introduced him to "fast food" upon crossing the Mighty Mac.


We knew he was to stay with us forever.

The big guy captured our heart, just as his father, Kiwi had done, upon his arrival.

The last half of his life, Hans battled illness.
It began with vet visits, films sent to MSU, and many discussions, with many vets.

In the end, it was diagnosed that Asthma was the culprit.

So from that point on, each month, we gave him an injection for his Asthma.

After a day or so, he would proudly bark, loud and clear,
showing us his strength from within.

It never kept him off the trail. 

He actually did better on the trail.

But as the end of the year was coming to a close, so was Hans.

This Christmas Eve, at 3:55 p.m., Hans quietly slipped away.

We knew it was coming.  
He knew it was coming.

He had stopped eating, and was sleeping and resting most of the day.

He died as he had lived.

With dignity, respect, and very loved.

It wasn't Asthma that took him, but a long life.

Thirteen years on the trail. 

The trail of adventure.

We will miss you Hansey Boy.

Your buddies miss you.

You and those big feet of yours left a void in our kennel, and in our hearts.

Until tomorrow, God willing.


Sue said...

Oh Sherry-so sorry. Looks like he had a long and happy life.

pilgrimscottage said...

Very painful. I know how it feels. So very sorry for your loss but, I'm glad he had a good life with you, doing what he loved.

Anonymous said...

Oh goofness, SO very sorry for your loss. I'm on break at work &trying not to tear up. That's why I'm not logged in. Love & blessings as you remember Hans.

Blessing from Ohio...Kim<><

Anonymous said...

lol ~ that was supposed to be "goodness"!


Dicky Bird said...

I'm sorry - actually teary eyes as I read this one. He had a happy life. Blessings from Wisconsin.

Mikey said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. A dog like that is irreplaceable. I have no doubt God has a special place for him.

kare said...

What a beautiful boy~
An amazing life with you.

These treasures we are gifted with while here for such a short time, are not stored up here on earth but in heaven.
We Thank God for being able to share the gift of life..and release it back into his hands..
through tears of gratitude.
God Bless!

Shelley said...

So Boston Terrier(Duke) will be 13 this year...I know its coming...but,I hate for it too. Your Hans was a beautiful boy...he was very blessed to have you all as his family. Many blessings and peace to your hearts.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Sherry, I'm so sorry about the loss of your boy Hans...Having just lost Bubba, I know the ache your hearts are feeling. I know you'll never entirely get over losing him because he was with you so long, and intertwined within the fabric of your lives. But I hope you find comfort in all your memories of Hans that can never be taken away and in knowing that you'll see him again. Take care, and again, I'm so very sorry...

Gorges Smythe said...

It's good that he could work, in spite of his asthma. He probably would have died far sooner if he weren't allowed to do what he loved.

dr momi said...

So sorry to hear this. What a beautiful animal!

HossBoss said...

Great story about an obviously great dog! If Hans could talk, I think he would have thanked you for allowing him to live such a full and fulfilling life. I know you'll miss him but what a privilege to have known him, huh?

Edgar said...

Teary eyes in Tennessee...Hans was blessed to have the companionship and love that was given him on the 40. Though the void left by his passing is immense, there is peace in knowing he had a long and happy life. I'm so very sorry for your loss my friend.

Margarett Cahill Zavodny said...

So sorry--it's been a hard year for us, too, losing our 5-year-old Lula Bell to heartworms on 2 November and our 7 3/4 year old Wisha to injuries and infection on Christmas Day. Hope St. Francis is looking after all of them now....

Rain said...

Oh Sherry-so sorry for your loss. Beautiful story about his life and the gift of it to you and Russ.
Blessings, Rain

Sherry Sutherby said...

Thank you everyone, for your kind comments and warm hearts. We were blessed with the tender passing of Hans. When the time came, he was ready, and it came gently. That's the most anyone could ask for... I'm afraid we have to "steel" ourselves for many more passings. We have 17 dogs over the age of 8, and 5 over the age of 12. Many whom were born here. I'm sure God will give us the grace to accept this natural process, when it is time for each one to bid farewell. Blessings to all of you.

Dawn Chittick said...

What a beautiful tribute for a very special boy. Rest peacefully, sweet Hans.

Happyone said...

Oh so sorry. That is sad but what a great life he lived!

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

I'm sorry :(
Losing a member of the family... Even animal members is difficult. He was a beautiful dog.

Sonja said...

I'm so sorry to read this. What a beautiful dog, and how he will be missed. They steal our hearts with their faithful loyal love, don't they?

Mrs.C said...

So very sorry. He was most certainly a very beautiful dog! How precious our pets are to us. I'm so thankful God created dogs to bring us little joys in our daily.