Thursday, September 20, 2012

Goodbye Gus

It’s been over a week now since Gus, our 12 year old beagle, ran away.  I think this may be it for him.  Not that he hasn’t been gone for over a week before and then found, he has.  In his advanced age his little “adventures” take much longer to recover, although he really is in good shape for a 12 year old dog.   He may still turn up yet, like he did when we moved here.  He survived for almost 2 weeks in the harshest part of winter, during an ice storm the week we moved from Brown Co. to here.  We even moved without him.  Then we get a call from a friend saying she found him in her driveway.  Jeremy had been hunting with him near her house.  Who knows, he may still turn up, but my heart is saying he won’t.  We’ve always figured this is how Gus would go, just run off and never come back.  And honestly that is easier to take than watching him slowly deteriorate till he can’t even walk, like many old dogs.  He died (we choose to believe) doing what he loves, chasing deer rabbits. 

Gus’s Story

Gus was our 1st anniversary gift to one another.  I grew up with beagles and loved them, Jeremy wanted a hunting dog.  Beagles are very family friendly and small so that is what we chose.  At that time we lived near Crawfordsville, IN and that is where we heard of some pups for sale.  We went to look at them and chose Gus or he chose us.  We brought him home and enjoyed him all to ourselves for the next 4 years, before the kids came into the picture.  He was our baby and we doted on him and spent all our free time with him.  I remember many times going to visit Jeremy at Shades State Park, where he worked and taking Gus hiking on the trails with me.  We moved two more times to two different parks before having Brenna.  Then Gus was not our baby anymore.  Although he was mainly an outside dog, he was very good in the house and would get to come in for weeks at a time here and there; this was greatly reduced when the kids came along, 16 months apart, because we couldn’t handle having another baby to look after!  I clearly remember one time Brenna at 3 trying to potty train, and Gus need to go out urgently, so I’d let him out under watchful eye and of course Brenna had to go at the same time.    It was winter and I was in my slippers and there was 6 inches of snow on the ground.  I was running back and forth, checking on Gus, checking on Brenna.  I was watching Gus, who obviously is prone to just running off, when I hear a wail from inside.  I rush inside and Brenna had taken a headfirst dive off of the potty and was in tears.  When I finally rush back out Gus is long gone and I am rushing around like a crazy woman in my house slippers in the snow screaming for him…….just one of many all out scrambles we had looking for that dog!! 

He really did run away a lot. He’d run off after a deer when rabbit hunting, this especially infuriated my hubby!  He could break cable leads that were rated for the largest dogs; he would slip out of the house unnoticed (especially with the kids around).  Push open the kennel door that wasn’t latched, that’s what happened this time), push the yard fence open.  He was a master escape artist.  However he has never been a master at finding his way home.  Granted many times when he got lost, Jeremy had him out hunting and had taken him somewhere else and he didn’t know the way home.  But many, many times he’d run away from the house and only 1 time out of the MANY times he ran off did he find his way home on his own.  All the other times he was found by a helpful person who returned him to us.  Everyone says when he runs off, “He’ll find his way back!”  Yeah, you’d think that, but no…he is by no means the dog from the “Incredible Journey”.  His internal GPS is broke!!  He certainly has kept us on our toes.  Once when he ran off while hunting near our friends’ house, they found him.  He was in the pond swimming, chasing the ducks!! 

Although the kids did rob Gus of lots of attention at first, they became his number one source of attention as they got older, maybe even more attention than he wanted sometimes! Brenna was especially attached to Gus.  As a baby she would crawl up to him and plop right next to him and lay down on him.  He would finally get annoyed and crawl under the bed.  As she got older she would follow him there, until one day he growled at her.  She was heartbroken, “I don’t like Gus anymore!!” she cried.  It wouldn’t be the last time he had to tell her to back off!  Brayden loved Gus too and would go out and talk with him.  They loved laughing at his silliness, especially Brenna who would belly laugh whenever Gus did anything she thought was funny or cute, which was almost everything.  They will miss him a lot.  But don’t worry about them too much….they are already asking for their next pets….rabbits!!  We couldn’t very well have rabbits when we had a beagle!   Somehow I don’t think Gus would approve!


We had Gus 1/3 of our lives, thought 4 moves across the state, he meant a lot to us and we will miss him.  Happy Hunting Gus, old buddy! 


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