Figure 1: RIP “Ole buddy” Hutch (shown at 88 equivalent years of age).
We all get pretty attached to our canine friends. But, sometimes there is more attachment than other times. Hutch recently passed away, at the human-equivalent age of 88 years. I was with him for the entire 88 equivalent years (excepting for the first six months of his wonderful life). The photo in figure 1 is a picture of him a couple months before the lymphoma cancer took his life.
What attracted me to Hutch was his intelligence. Yeah – we all say our dogs are smart (probably smarter than all the others). But – when I selected Hutch, he was actually selecting me. I looked at a lot of dogs prior to bringing Hutch home. None had the “look” that I saw reflected from his kindly eyes. None. His “intelligence” was written in them. I walked up to his cage and he jumped up to the bars. “Get me outta here!” he seemed to be saying. It was almost a command rather than a request. There was no way I was leaving the place without him.
He put an emphasis on everything he did in his life. There was unbounded excitement about life in him, right to the end. Unfortunately, I could do nothing to extend the time he had, enjoying his life so much as he did. Our other dog finished his tour of this world in a very similar way. We had spent thousands of dollars trying to save him. From the outset of Hutch’s disease, we could see the path would be quick. His brother had previously gone forth to whatever lies in the beyond for our pets – and Hutch carried the same genes.
I had bonded with Hutch more tightly than any other being in my life (outside of wife, family, parents, siblings). He was (to me) just as “human”. No – I didn’t hear him speak. He couldn’t do that directly. But his body language and emotional intelligence made up for the lack of vocal chords. His intelligence simply astounded me. For all the great years, Hutch, I thank you! I don’t know if there’s an afterlife for our beloved pets, but if there is one, or not – here’s to you ‘Ole buddy. Thank you!
Figure 2: Hutch as a pup.
Figure 3: Hutch was much thinner at the end of his life.
Figure 4: Hutch clowning around.
Figure 5: Hangin around with his brother in earlier days.
Note: Hutch was a Labrador, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Hound mix (verified by DNA tests) – and he was true to his varied genealogy (probably pretty rare) – by being as unique as a canine companion can be.