Dot and I have been members of SEVA GRREAT for about three years. Reading the SEVA GRREAT newsletters, we kept reading about Goldens that had crossed the rainbow bridge. While we knew what this term meant, we couldn’t comprehend or appreciate what was really involved. Duke crossed the rainbow bridge December 19, 2012. Now we understand.
Duke found us two and one half years ago at a 4th of July parade. He passed his first test when he jumped into the back seat of the car without being told. This was important, ‘cause we travel. While we don’t have an exact count of the states he visited, it’s around 49. In a previous SEVA GRREAT newsletter there were pictures of Duke in the Atlantic, Pacific, Great Lakes and the glacial streams of Alaska. To complete the list, this past spring, Duke got wet in the Gulf of Mexico. Trying to pick out the most memorable Duke event is hard. It has to be the incident in Teddy Roosevelt national park. While in the truck, we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by a herd of 100 buffalo. Duke went nuts. He was telling the herd to stay away from us in no uncertain terms. Our fear was that the herd might charge the truck that was sounding like a big angry dog. We managed to quiet Duke down and we escaped the herd unscathed.
There are too many things to list that we will miss, but one of Duke’s habits was what Dot calls his puppy hugs. He would lean against her leg whenever she came home from the store to hug her and tell her he was happy she was back and look for treats in the shopping bags.
Duke really enjoyed going to our property in Buckingham County VA. Our camp is ½ mile from the nearest road and Duke could roam free. He never went far and if he was out of sight, calling his name brought him running. Once while on the farthest reach of our property he disappeared. I was really worried. This was in the middle of deer season and a Golden just might be mistaken for a deer. It turned out that Duke had gotten bored with my exploring and just made a bee-line back to camp. I think his favorite time was riding in the back of our John Deere Gator. Tongue and ears flapping in the breeze, I know that was a smile on his face. His ashes will be spread there.
To ease our grief … Our next door neighbors have a Golden and we cut a hole in the fence, so the two dogs could visit. Since Duke passed, the other Golden has been visiting us every morning for breakfast. We feed him, give him a biscuit and he plays with us. Then he goes back through the fence knowing he made us feel better.
Our plans are to travel this summer, and then start searching for another Duke. Actually, there will never be another Duke. Another Golden though, is a must!
Submitted by Dot & John Oberlander