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In Loving Memory of Honey

Mika_Sophie_DSC_1530w64A few days ago we told  you of the passing of Sophie. And then we were notified that Honey (formerly Mika), also lost her battle with cancer. They passed within two days of each other;  bittersweet because Sophie was Honey’s offspring and they lived together the first part of their lives.

Julie and Jim, who rescued Honey and gave her the life she so deserved, wrote to tell us:

“I am writing to share the news that Honey (aka Mika’s Whiskey) said goodbye August 1, 2016 as the result of an incurable and aggressive cancer diagnosed in June. Honey, our second GSP, came to us in January 2013. After the joy of a young dog (Ginger our first GSP was 2.5 when we found her at Southern Cal GSP rescue) the second time we knew an older dog needed a home and we were ready. She had come to the shelter with her daughter Sophie and Sophie had recently been adopted leaving Honey feeling very blue and despondent. Upon reading her story, I knew she was the GSP for me.

Honey was a 9 year old with health problems that slowed her down for the first three months. Except for brief moments to eat and go outside, she slept. Once her health problems were resolved, she gradually explored her backyard and slowly found the walks in the neighborhood less scary. We took a vacation to the mountains complete with a big fenced yard for Honey. Later we enrolled her in a dog day care twice a week so she could be with other dogs, and have a second family. For more than 6 years she had lived with another dog, her daughter Sophie. While Honey liked us, she did not like other humans. We wanted her to learn that many humans love dogs. Coral and Bill became her second family, and to the end of her life Honey made clear she was not too sick to be with Coral and Bill. Big smile!

For almost 4 years Honey led the life of a very loved dog. She roamed her terraced fenced backyard dueling with the gophers and squirrels who taunted her with their mischief. She had been relinquished to the shelter because she and her daughter, Sophie, were digging too much. We encouraged Honey to dig as long as she did not hurt herself. The reward for digging strategically, then standing so patiently for minutes and hours, was the capture of a gopher. Honey had proved herself a formidable foe in the backyard and the game of dog versus gopher found her at the door in the dark of the morning eager to check out the action on the hill. She loved running up and down the terraces of her backyard as if she were in the hills of Germany.

Our sense and experience was that Honey had been a wild dog that lived in the backyard with her daughter Sophie, and had rarely, if ever, been on a walk or inside a house. At first she was scared of everything – any noise would make her jump and cower. Raising my hand to get a glass out of the cupboard would cause her to move away from me in fear. With time she relaxed into her home. This was the real joy of living with Honey—her curiosity. On our walks she would smell the bees in the grass and sniff the leaf on the sidewalk. She did not like cats, and charged most she saw. She learned to be my jogging companion. At first she did not like running beside me, but with patience, walking, then running as a pair became easy for us. Many mornings she wrap herself around my legs insisting we go.

The care of a senior dog is never easy and is guaranteed to be too short. But watching a dog, at any age, recover from their previous life of difficulty replaces the shortness of your time together with the everlasting gratitude  and love of a rescued GSP.

Rest in peace sweet Honey and daughter Sophie.”

There are no words good enough to express the gratitude we feel to adopters who know a dog has limited years, but adopt anyway – intent on making those the best years of the dog’s life. Thank you, Julie and Jim, for being there for Honey.

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