GenGen - Ten Wonderful Years!
After my wonderful General (a separate post) died, my first purebred Golden Retriever, GenGen came to help me bear the burden. At first I had to hide some disappointment. General had been my buddy on trail rides with Majo, my Andalusian Stallion. GenGen wanted none of that! He would wait for me for hours until I returned, but he had no interest in following Majo and I anywhere. So GenGen and I were going to have a different relationship. I could not train GenGen to be another General that followed Majo and I endlessly. I would not admit it, but I lowered my expectations for GenGen.
But I loved my Golden boy. One time in the summer when Gen was about two or three, I was walking through Lowes only to find Gen had jumped out of the truck and was walking at my side through the store. He followed me everywhere as long as I was not on a horse. He was a well behaved dog and wanted to please.
By the time Gen was three we rescued another beautiful Golden abandoned near an interstate highway. He was about a year younger than Gen and absolutely gorgeous. Now I got used to having two Goldens and it was a delight. We named him Dylan. Dylan was ball crazy. And soon Dylan and Gen would find their calling. I started an international horse transport company and had to travel all over the USA and Canada. My boys were with me night and day. For six years we shared some fine meals and good times. Every night when we pulled over and tucked in the horses, we would play a little ball and then head for the trailer and hit the sack. I would often tell them, “boys, these are the good old days.”
Often a third dog would join us on a trip. This was a floating position. We have about 15 dogs so a cross country trip was a treat. Most often it was occupied by a beagle. His name was Beagle! He was perfect for the spot and constantly indicated he wanted the position to be full time. He was the clown of the bunch. He would stare at ticket both operators and show his expectation of a biscuit. On a cold night in Chicago, when I had one 90 lb dog in each arm, Beagle would scoot up the middle and cuddle as if to announce he was there to keep the three of us warm. He was an honorary Golden.
Gen always took the navigator position between the two front seats. One time I had a flat in Colorado on the trailer and took advantage of the help of a traveling hitch hiker. Now I never pick up hitch hikers. But this one time it seemed selfish to accept help and not offer the same. So I gave him a ride. Not far after we got moving I realized I had made a mistake and my passenger appeared to be dangerous and mentally unbalanced. I was quite frightened and made sure I stayed on my phone to let a lot of people know my whereabouts. I seriously was concerned for my life. Gen just locked himself in the middle and stared at my passenger. His behavior was very determined. Dylan and Beagle were in the back. I managed to dump this guy in about 50 miles and was relieved. Gen may have well saved my life that day.
The six years of the boys and I traveling like gypsies down the highway passed quickly. Sadly, that’s the way of good times. In the beginning of 2009 my healthy Gen turned 10 years old and developed liver failure. In April of that year I planned a 3 week trip thinking it was probably his last. He had his ups and downs on that trip, but made it through about 11,000 miles of travel. It was typical in length. When we got home he got his fluid drained from his abdomen as he had done many times now. But this time the fluid returned in hours. We had reached the end. My Gen had done everything he could for me for ten years but I could do no more for him. Aside from his huge belly, he was skin and bones from not processing food. We had grown every bit as close as his predecessor General and I. Gen would always lay his head on mine at night to go to sleep while I held Dylan. It was a perfect way to end the day. The good old days were over now. Gen had no more energy upon which to draw. We had to say goodbye. On May 1, 2009 we said our last goodbye. At the vet I lie on the floor with him giving every ounce I could give to let him know how important he was to me. Then I finally told the vet to administer the drug. Shortly Gen evaporated and lying before me was a carcass.
I walked out of there crying and shaking, barely able to walk a straight line. This guy had spent just about every minute of his life along side me for the past six years. My wonderful Gen had helped me for ten years deal with the death of General, now he was gone. It turned out he was every bit as wonderful and loving and had been at my side almost every moment of every day. Sometimes we even showered together.
Dylan changed dramatically. It was as though he did not know how to go through the day either. He and Gen would squabble occasionally, but were like brothers. Dylan appeared as depressed as I was.
I will always miss my two special boys. My other buddy Beagle has also joined them now and so Dylan is the only one that shares the road experiences. Beagle finally made permanent status as a traveler. What a fine boy he was.
Yes, a new Golden came my way on May 7 of 2009. I cannot forget Gen, but life is impossible without two Goldens. My baby’s name is Sunshine. Sunshine is much more a water fanatic. Only two, he has yet to find his unique spot, but I know he will. He sure has some big paws to fill. I am agnostic until I talk about my best friends, then a closet theist sneaks out. Love does crazy things. Bless my wonderful boys that have gone. Bless those that help me survive