Monday, June 13, 2016

Eulogy: Operator Down

When DrWho finished residency... we bought a house sight-unseen in Dickson, TN.  It was a nice house but we bought it based on the realities of the coming real-estate collapse... and several other factors were therefore neglected.

One of them... was security.

Because of the layout of the house... I soon came to the conclusion that in the event of a break in an alert or alarm of a barking dog wasn't enough.  I needed time.  I needed something or someone I could count on to not only sound the alarm... but engage the attacker and buy me the invaluable seconds I would need.

I worked on this problem for a long time... but long time readers will know the answer I came to.   I took the amount of money many Americans would spend on a late model used car... and bought a very specially trained German Shepherd Dog named Bonita.

I can't type out all the stories... or even... any of the stories I have of her bravery... skill... or power right now.  I can just tell you I've lost a teammate.  I've lost a beloved friend.  We've lost a Guardian in the truest sense of the word.

I mean that.  If Bonita was not a Guardian... then the word has no meaning.

I honestly don't know how many times Bonita and I swept and cleared that house in Dickson.   I have no idea how many times we swept this one in Bay Minette.  I know she picked up the patterns of each extremely quickly.  And she was always a pro about it.  Sweeping was easy with Bonita.  I trusted her to flush anything out that may be there.. and she trusted me to be there if she needed me.  Though short of Grizzly bear hiding in the closet I seriously doubt she would have.

Bonita was the best family dog we've ever had.  And on top of that... she was a hitter.  She could be simply terrifying. 

But we have friends here...  dear friends who come around all the time.. who told us that they didn't even know she knew how to bark.  They only knew her as this sweet german shepherd who adopted the fawn when the mama deer abandoned her.

We lost her noon today.  Cancer.... spread to her brain.  Back legs weren't hardly working at all. Though even a couple days ago when she could barely walk... when she thought she heard trouble she managed to get up and run to confront it.  God knows how much that hurt to do.

and so... here we are... with a hole in our security systems... that is dwarfed by the hole in our hearts.

I know sometime in the next few weeks I am going to have to sweep and clear the house... and I'm going to have to do it alone.  I haven't done that in over a decade.  But that's one helluva long watch. 

So if you're of the mind raise a glass with me.  To a job well done.  To a friend lost.

So ist brav Bonita.

So ist Brav.

27 comments:

LL said...

Oh Nate, I'm so sorry. This brought me to tears. Thinking of you & your family. Xoxox

Nate said...

Thanks kid. bad day.

When we get them we know this day is coming. Its part of the deal. Doesn't make it easier.

Michael Maier said...

Tough to read that, Nate. Prayers to you and yours.

I hope you find a great successor for her soon. She'd hate to know your perimeter was vulnerable.

Randomatos said...

You'll still find her patrolling in your dreams, and you'll hear her chuffing in that moment between sleep and waking. God-speed Bonita.

Leonidas said...

The loss of a good dog is always a bad day. Prayers for your family, man.

WaterBoy said...

Condolences on your loss. Words are insufficient, so I'll just raise that glass.

jml1911a1 said...

Sorry to hear, Nate.

Shell said...

Condolences

Nate said...

Randomatos... already happening. Dropped some food on the floor and picked it up to take it to her.

patrick kelly said...

Wow... so sorry to hear this Nate.

I will raise a glass of Knob Creek small batch tonight.

Res Ipsa said...

Glass raised.

Dogs are the best sort of people.

Susan said...

Oh Nate I truly am sorry to hear this. I thoroughly enjoyed the posts you put up when you got her. Your neighbors are correct, a well trained GS will not needlessly bark. A dear family friend and neighbors across the street both have a GS like this. Very well trained, sign of a great owner.

Bless you fierce yet gentle lady Bonita, may God take you into His special place He has for special girls like you. RIP sweet warrior.
My condolences to the kids and Dr. Who.

Clint said...

Nate (and family), I really hate to hear this. I remember when you got her and first wrote about it. Sad days.

Jemison Thorsby said...

Sorry for your loss. A moving tribute.

Cheddarman said...

One warrior no longer serving along side of another. One of the pains we have to endure this side of eternity. RIP faithful servant.

Cheddarman said...

This is off topic Nate, but your suspicion of Trump may be correct. He appears to be caving already on gun control after the Orlando shooting.

porky said...

Had a german shepherd as a boy and he was smart, sweet, loyal, and mean as hell when he had to be.

Condolences, Nate and family.

exfarmkid said...

Deepest condolences, because you absolutely did lose a family member. God bless you and yours, Nate.

Aeoli Pera said...

Ouch dude.

Res Ipsa said...

Hey, this is my third Friday off in 2016. I've got a Spec Ops, a good bottle of whiskey and a Sig on the counter.

Where is the ATF show?

black said...

Way to go, Res. On the ball as usual.

Leatherwing said...

Man, I'm sorry to hear that Nate. I know they can't be replaced, they're as individual as we are. Condolences.

Susan said...

Nate, I hope you don't mind, but I saved this heartwarming photo of Bonita and her baby friend. Those ears of Bonita just do it for me. I have it saved with all my special quilting information and tutorials and that set of "good day sir" photos from Vox's. This photo just tugs my heart strings with all its cuteness.

patrick kelly said...

Auchentoshan 12 year.
Some old goey maduro from the bottom of my ammo'dor.
Colt HBAR

Claymore said...

Guter Hund. You have my sincere sympathy, Nate.

find out said...

Great for about a couple months. Save your money because the non stick just does not hold up. Everything is sticking and burning to the surface even on lower heat. Were not impressed at all. Just more Chinese junk.

Kiwi the Geek said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I remember reading the story when you first brought her home and told her to watch the baby. What a treasure she was.

This means I've been reading your blog, off and on, for over ten years. I love the stories you tell.

May your next partner be as good as the last.