Thursday, 27 May 2010

NorthWapiti's Mr Snuffleupagus (Gus)

NorthWapiti's Mr. Snuffleupagus (Gus)
July 13, 1996 - May 27, 2010

Sometime during the night last night frailty and senility snuck into the yard and took an amazing dog from us. If we had stood half a chance at grabbing Gus back from them we would have tried, but the deck was stacked in their favor.
When Mark got home from work this morning we walked out to Geriatric Park so he could say his good byes. Gus had even gone further downhill from when I found him earlier in the morning, so Mark helped him into a crate in the van.
I made the drive to Westlock and filled out the consent forms for euthanasia, made arrangement for his cremation, and the other details that seem so frivolous when you are staring the death of a loved one in the face.
When I went to get him from the van he rose to his feet and came to the edge of the crate. "Maybe it isn't the time", I thought. But when I lifted him from the van onto the ground and tried to coax him to walk with me, his body failed him and he was unable to move.
I scooped him into my arms and carried him on that last path - the least I owe him for all the trails he has carried me down.
I settled him on the exam table and when I got a glimpse of the back of those beautiful, soft beige ears that I always was enamored with a few tears fell - and as I cradled him in my arms and felt the last breath escape his body more joined them.
He lived to see almost 14 years and in those years he lived more adventures then most people ever get to. None of those tears I shed were from regret, they were all about me and how much I will miss him.

He lived a good life - he was a great dog. My heart will never forget him.


Gus running lead with Kara at the start of the '04 Iditarod


Ricki McLaughlin said...

<3 to you Karen and Mark. Gus was an amazing dog.

Pat in MN said...

So sorry to hear this but he had a very busy and productive life. You provided all his needs and lots of love. What a lucky dog he and all his NW companions are. Many tears for Gus and hugs to all.

Louise said...

Oh dear Gus, I know you had a wonderful life with 2 of the greatest people. You can now keep an eye on them to make sure they are continuing to be okay.

Anonymous said...

Karen, so sorry to hear about the loss of Gus. I know your heart is aching and there will be many more tears to fall in the next few days. Gus had a wonderful life at Northwapiti and could not have had more caring owners than you and Mark. Please know I and so many other fans are thinking of everyone at Northwapiti as you mourn the loss of a very special member of your life.

Katerina said...

Karen and Mark and the NorthWapiti team, I am so sorry to hear about Gus´s passing and I have you in my thoughts and prayers.

Gus and his siblings Smiley, Grover and Camila, where one of hte major triggers of my interest in the wonderful NW dogs and a beginning of my dream comming though, with my very first NW dog - Gus´s niece Magpie.

Wishing him all the best on his journey to his well deserved destination and shell we all meet again.

Sending a gentle hug to all of you,

Katerina and Pack

Anonymous said...

Mark and Karen, I truly feel the hurt that your feeling. As I read your blog tears flowed down my face for you two and your beloved Gus. We are proud parents of two of Gwen Ross's retired Sleddogs, Storm (13) Mandy (10)we cherish very moment that they are with us as I am sure that you cherished very moment that your beloved Gus was with you. Take care. Big hugs from Storm and Mandy.

JoAnn Solberg

LeeAnn said...

I am so sorry, Karen and Mark. I photographed Gus in Nome many years ago, and have enjoyed looking at his picture over the years. They all leave us too quickly, but God must surely have a very special place for them.

Nannette Morgan said...

I'm so so sorry Karen and Mark. May he run free and easy on the other side of the Bridge.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about Gus. Such a beautiful dog; I'll remember him when I use the mousepad with his picture on it.

Happy Trails, dear Gus.

--Marcia Mummau

Lela Criswell said...

Oh, Karen & Mark, I'm so sorry about Gus. Even when you know the time has come, it's so hard to say goodbye. May God comfort all of you, furry kids & parents alike, for his loss.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, all the words in the world don't help the hurt, but having been through the pain of losing a beloved furkid, it helped to have the support and understanding of friends, our support and prayers are with you.

Chris said...

I am so sorry to hear about Gus, he was a wondeful dog, friend and companion to all that knew him.
Always smiling :-)
I am sure that i am not the only one to share your tears for Gus.

May he wear his harness again with style and grace.

Gus you will be remembered in many hearts.
From your Aussie handler and friend forever

John Rettig said...

Gus has crossed under the burled arches one more time.

My sincere condolences.

Sarah said...

I will always remember him as a lead dog. I know he's wearing a silver harness and pulling like crazy with all the other pups that have gone before him. I know he was so very special to you Karen. Thank you for sharing your sledding life with us and having let us known him too.

granimar said...

We were so sorry to hear about Gus. We knew he was failing when we saw him 2 weeks ago, but I always wanted just one more day. The tears are flowing, not for Gus, who had a wonderful life at North Wapiti---but for those of us he left behind.
I know you're smiling, Gus, and running free.

garyfletcher111 said...

Sleep well Gus and I'm sure you have a nice big bone in doggie heaven.

All the best Karen & Mark, I'm sure the other dogs will help you through this difficult time.

Beth G said...

i am so sorry about Gus. My all-time favorite North Wapiti dog picture has always been the shot of Gus's head resting on the brick wall. I looked at it again today with tears in my eyes.