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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 26 January 2002 Issue

Danny Boy

At 8:15am, January 3, 2003, my Danny boy went to the rainbow bridge. I was with him at the end by his side petting him. He slipped quietly away without a gasp nor whimper -- and the void he left is so vast it will never be filled. (To enlarge Danny Boy's picture, click on the photo or link)

I love all my dogs and cry for each when they go, but Danny was special and was by me whenever I was home -- never left my side. He'd park himself in the doorway to the den where I spend most of my time, and I'd always have to take a big step over him over him which I did and I'd tell him, Danny, you always park yourself right in Bob's way ya big galoot and he'd always look up at me with that curious wide-eyed wondrous look that was so special to him. What I'd give to have to climb over that beautiful galoot again.

Danny was a big guy, 100 lbs, a beautiful shaggy white wolf/husky who'd run to the window every time I pulled into the driveway and look out with those big brown eyes and happy face -- and howl with delight that his man was home again. Little chipper, a very small white shaggy dog loved Danny and would follow him wherever he went -- they looked like a canine Mutt and Jeff. Minutes after Danny left us, Chipper, who was in his crate in the back room, began barking uncontrollable and did not stop till I went and explained Danny had gone to see all his pals who had passed over the years but he would still be with us and we'd see him again one day and from that point on we'd never be separated again. Did he understand me? Who really knows -- but he quieted down. I can only imagine he knew when Danny passed -- though he could not see into the front room where I had Danny nor did Danny make any sound -- except for a few very silent and short howls several times the last hour of his life.

I found Danny in October of 1992 when taking a dog to Purdue for some tests. It was raining and when going to Purdue I noticed two dogs playing on the side of a hill right at a rest stop off I-65. I figured someone was letting their dogs take a break and thought nothing more about it. However, coming back as I approached the same rest stop area but now on my side of the road, I saw two forms at the foot of the driveway into the rest stop. As I got closer I saw it was Danny lying next to the body of his pal who had been hit and killed. I parked the car next to them and got out to get Danny before he got hit. As I said, it was raining pretty heavily the whole time and I could not get Danny to budge. He just lay there looking at his friend. I finally got a leash on him and tugged -- to no avail. It took me an hour to finally get him into the car. However, he immediately put his big white paws up on the back of the back seat and stared out the window -- he would stare for almost an hour until I pulled off the interstate onto another road. Danny was missing and grieving his friend. Now, they are together again.

I am lucky and blessed that he came to me. He has enriched my life, been a friend when it seemed I had none, and brought me more joy than any other living thing ever had. His passing makes me not so afraid nor worried about leaving whenever that time may be -- cause Danny will be waiting for me along with all the others and if that is all there is to my heaven, that will be enough.

I will bury my boy out in the orchard with his friends and where, one day, I will be. If nothing else, we will spend eternity together in that place we enjoyed together in life.

Robert Nixon

January 3, 2003

Return to Animals in Print 26 Jan 2003 Issue

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