Hunter: March 11, 2002 – December 28, 2013

Today we said goodbye to one of our best friends. Our sweet boy, Hunter began declining rapidly over the last couple of days so we knew it was time to end his suffering.

We decided we wanted the kids to grow up with a lab, so on May 10,2002, we drove to Cache, OK to choose a yellow lab from a litter of pups. This little guy was so sweet and calm. He came to us right away and we knew he was our dog.

He was always very good with the kids. They were 4, 5 1/2, and 7 1/2 years old when we got him and he never tried to bite them or be aggressive toward them. The kids could do anything they wanted to him and he would just lay there. Kenzie’s favorite thing was to carry him around. She carried him until she could barely lift him anymore. She could just lift the top part of his body and his back legs would drag on the ground. He never cared.

His personality was so laid back and passive. He was happy just being with his family. As he got older, he didn’t seem at peace unless we were all at home. If someone was missing, it was like he had to wait up and watch for that person to come home. He enjoyed having a routine and having all of his humans together. We moved four times with him and, after a few days, he seemed to go with the flow. Once he felt like we were all there with him and all of our stuff was there, he settled in.

Hunter 5.10.2002

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True to his natural breed, Hunter LOVED the water. He would get in the water any chance he could.

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He quickly outgrew the sand box, so we began the yearly investment of a kiddie pool every summer. He absolutely loved his pool. He also enjoyed swimming in lakes and creeks, whenever he had the opportunity.

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True to his name, Hunter was a hunter! When we lived in Lawton, OK, he was constantly catching rabbits. He was very proud of his catches and DO NOT try to take it away! For the longest time, whenever I would put his bowl of food out, he would dump his bowl over. It was very frustrating to me, as the food was often wasted. I could not understand why he would do this. Finally, one day I watched him from inside the house. He dumped his bowl over, then laid down on the patio and stayed very still. In a few minutes, the birds would come to the patio to eat the dog food. Let’s just say, that was a bad decision on the bird’s part but pretty wise on Hunter’s part. I had greater respect for him after that, although the dumping of the bowl still irritated me a bit.

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In 2006, we rocked Hunter’s world by moving to Bryan, TX. He was a nervous wreck during the entire drive (that took us 8 hours). He sat up in the backseat until we were about 30 minutes from Bryan. He just had to be up and see where we were going. Of course, it probably didn’t help that Haley was laying down, taking up most of the backseat. 🙂

Shortly after moving into our new house in Bryan, the air conditioner went out. It was cooler outside so we converted our patio into a living room. The dogs were happy to join us.

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Oh, how he loved to dig…

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Hunter felt secure knowing where “his” spot was in the house. He didn’t care if it was the laundry room or the kennel, he was happy having a place. Silly boy liked to sleep on his back….

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Soon after moving to Bryan, Hunter and Haley became the proud parents of three girls and three boys. Here is their family picture:

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Hunter never once tried to hurt the pups. He did, however, give us looks like, “Really! What am I suppose to do with all of these guys?!” We only kept one, the chocolate girl, Maggie Moo. She loved to lick Hunter’s mouth. Hunter’s facial expression said he hated it, but he let her do it.

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Since Haley (black lab, momma) seemed to enjoy getting out of our fence, and encouraging the other two to come with her, we decided that she needed to live with a new family. God’s timing was perfect as there was a family at our school who wanted a black, female lab. PERFECT! Haley now rules, I mean lives at the Head’s home. 🙂 So now, we just had Hunter and his daughter, Maggie.

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In 2010, we moved to Temple, TX. Here is Hunter running and enjoying his new backyard.

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Soon after moving to Temple, we were adopted by a cat we named Hashbrown. Hunter was not fond of cats. He didn’t hurt them. He was afraid of them. When he was about a year old, we adopted a cat, Tater Tot (yes, we have ‘issues’ with cat names). I was holding Tater while introducing her to Hunter. She reached out a paw and slapped him on the nose. Hunter yelped and cried like a little baby. I was amazed because he could’ve eaten her in one bite! From that day forward, he would rarely look a cat in the eyes. He would turn his face away and watch them carefully out of the corner of his eye. Even after we had Tater declawed, he was still afraid of her. Well, now we find ourselves with another cat. This cat is very laid back (opposite of Tater) but Hunter still never wanted anything to do with him. Hashbrown wanted to be accepted among the dogs, but Hunter always seemed offended that Hashbrown wanted to join them.

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Hunter always had sad eyes.

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In 2012, we moved to San Antonio, TX. “That cat” still tried to be accepted by Hunter. Hunter tolerated this for short periods of time, then he would move and lay on the tile.

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Living the life! (excuse the water damaged wall)

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We always made room in the van for the dogs. They loved traveling to Oklahoma with us. One of my favorite memories was when we were leaving my parents house, the dogs ran to get in the van. Just as he got to the van, Hunter turned and ran back to my dad (as if to say, “Goodbye”). My dad petted him and told him, “Goodbye,” then Hunter ran and jumped into the van. Hunter loved my dad.

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Shortly after moving into our apartment, we took a trip to Dallas to celebrate Todd’s mom’s birthday at brother Stacy’s house (September 2013). Boy did Hunter and Maggie have a great time! They ran and played and swam in the pond. I think there were about 12 dogs there and everyone got along perfectly. The horses even tolerated have two more dogs circle their legs. Little did we know this would be Hunter’s last road trip.

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Look at those smiles! They had such a great time!

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Sadly, Hunter hasn’t smiled for a while. He hasn’t felt well. We’ve tried to make him as comfortable as possible, but today it was obvious that he had had enough.

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Hunter hasn’t eaten for about 3 days. He was drinking until today. He had gotten pretty skinny but then developed a swollen belly. He couldn’t use the bathroom anymore. He tried to throw up and couldn’t. He spent all of Friday in bed, barely moving. We noticed that his heart was racing. Saturday morning we evaluated him again and decided that he was not going to get better. We found a vet office that was open and took him there. The doctor was a SACS dad, so that made us feel better. Every one in the clinic was very kind and compassionate toward our decision. Hunter was able to walk to the car, although Todd had to lift him into the car. While we waited in the clinic, Hunter never sat or laid down. It took so much effort for him to get up that he just stood so that he would be ready to walk to the next place. I’m so thankful for the kind doctor who took care of Hunter for us. I’m thankful for the medicine that makes the process fast and painless.

Hunter was such a good dog. He was faithful, loyal and sweet. He loved his family! We definitely have a big whole in our hearts today. Here is what he left behind….

Hashbrown, who has no idea what has happened today.

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and a very confused, sad and lonely daughter, Maggie…

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Shelly red

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