Boni Cal's Sunrunner Deluxe CGC
22 May 1997 - 23 December 2011
It was over in seconds. A moment in time, a small white dog in the dark, a silent rush of giant dark wings and then he was gone forever. Our usual routine, the late evening potty break, turned tragic Friday night when a Great Horned owl swept Gizmo away. Not a trace remained. Dale and I searched that freezing night for hours, both on foot and in the car, and then searched again in the morning light but found nothing at all to show that the feisty old Papillon ever was. The pain of losing him in such a way is immeasurable. From normal, mundane routine to horrifying reality in just a few moments is beyond heartbreaking. He had his moments; surviving two vicious dog attacks including one just a few months ago; a horrifying coyote attack in 2002; the rattlesnake bite that nearly killed him in 2004; breaking his back in 2007; and the arrival of Sybil in 2010, the world's most annoying puppy. He simply ran out of lives, like a cat, on Friday night. He was a pain the butt; he was cuddly when HE wanted to be; he hated to be combed with a passion but endured it grumpily; for nearly 15 years we begged him to eat SOMETHING other than people food and treats (he weighed barely 7 pounds); he ruled the dog household with an iron paw in spite of being outweighed about 8 to 1. He was a fave at San Diego's Children's Hospital, where he and Jazzee would make visits weekly. He would stand in front of 2200 pounds of beef and bark his head off until Roar moved away (either because he was annoyed by the barking or because he found something better to do, like eat), then give him a "take THAT!" bark to show that Roar better take note of who the boss was around this ranch. In his later years, his hearing was pretty well gone and lately he was having trouble seeing at night, but he'd still do laps around the house almost daily like he was a 3 year old. He was starting to have a little trouble jumping up on the couch; either because it was 3 times his height or he just started having trouble spotting his landing zone. But he was always there, on his day couch or his bedtime couch, snoozing comfortably until one of the dogs would breathe his oxygen, then he'd get mad and let them know it. His whole life was lived like he was the one in charge and he made darn sure everyone and everything knew it.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. I keep looking out the window or from the deck at the spot where I last saw him, thinking that he'll be there waiting for me to walk over and remind him which way the house was. Late Friday night into Saturday early morning, I kept standing outside, listening with all my might to the roaring silence, hoping to hear even a faint cry, the rustle of leaves, his indignent "you forgot to let me in!" bark. But there were just the cold, cold stars and silence. The couches are empty; no little white bundle snuggled deep into the fleecy covers. I try not to think about what his last moments were like; they are too horrifying to contemplate. I pray God that it was mercifully quick. He didn't deserve this.
Rest easy, little man. Say hi to the whole gang for us. Your stocking is still hanging with everyone else'. Just in case you find your way home. We'll be waiting.
His fave spot on the bedtime couch. I know it's a summer shot because his fleecy cover isn't on it
I always took his birthday pix in front of my fave rhodie. This is his 12th birthday
Posing with some tulips and Flat Stanley from Idaho last spring
The 2004 snakebite incident. That bruised looking area on his throat and chest and the reddish colour of the whites of his eyes is all pooled blood that was leaking from his veins and arteries. It took 4 units of blood and 2 units of antivenin to save his life
Annoyed at the snow, probably 2010
'Waterskiing' behind Morgan and Jazzee, Encinitas California, 1998. This little dynamo wasn't afraid of ANYTHING