Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Andre has passed on....

My Dog, best friend, constant companion, source of constant happiness, cheerful greeter, shadow, fellow hiker and camper.

Andre was born in September 1995, and came into our lives in December of that same year. Both the wife (girlfriend at that time) and I were not able to sleep for the first three days he was in our lives. We think looking back he was a lot younger than he was advertised as, he was really out of sorts with us, crying, and upset, sick and missing his mother. We tried many supposed cures, ticking clock, medicinal cures to get him to sleep, finally we ended up taking travel tabs ourselves, in shifts just to get some rest. His name came from the movie at the time called "Andre" about a seal and the girl and Family who adopts him, as our Andre was Black head to tail except the tip of his tail was white, the name stuck. From Andre the seal to Andre the Gentle Giant. As he grew and adapted to us, he went through his puppy stage, I remember one time, where I came to the girlfriend's house, and Andre had gotten into the potting soil on the deck, he had brought it into the house and shaken it every where inside the living room. Guess he wanted to bring the outside in? ;-) . I took the G.F. for a few drinks before I let her see what he had done. He got into a lot of trouble as a pup, I think most of them with any character and spirit do. As he grew he became my shadow, and companion. We used to go for 8 - 10 hour hikes together, he loved roaming the wilderness as much as I did, always wanting to see what was over the next hill, never tiring. This was the way it was to be for his entire life, as we moved around from the Lower Mainland to Nanaimo, then to Terrace (where I found out how mush he disliked bears - our first few days there we had a black bear come into the backyard and before I could stop him, Andre was on the chase. Right down the bank, he was gone for half an hour or so, thought he was gone for good, but he returned soaking wet (must have gotten down to the creek in the ravine), Then moving to Coquitlam and to our present location here in Victoria. We spent much time in Terrace hiking alone, and camping. The night of a planetary alignment in the Sky, him and I (and the others) were camping on Kalum Lake opposite Ackerman's point, another time after we had moved back to Coquitlam he and I had headed out to a campsite south of Hope near the Skadgit River to catch the Pernod meteor Shower, it was so cold his water froze in the dish in a very short period, the shower did not start until 3AM, when I got up in the camper to go out and watch the show, he refused to get up out of his nice warm bed, smart guy as I was frozen in a few minutes...Only touching on a few of the many Special memories I will always have of him.

Unfortunately his quality of life diminished over the past year with his year's of constant use of Prednesone (required to prevent the swelling in the scar tissue of his lungs (scars from a parasite that damaged them in 97 or 98), finally breaking down and causing near-crippling arthritis, our last camping trip together a few weeks ago to Lake Cowichan proved to me that it was time. He could not even explore the campsite, walk to the water (a mere 30 feet away), and when we decided to walk the campground we needed to tie him up and leave him behind for our short walk, he was quite upset but did not understand that he would just not be able to make the walk with us anymore. He was euthanized last night at 16:40 and passed at 17:00.

Will miss you buddy!!! Already do, as you would normally be sitting here beside me as I type.

Andre (1995 - 2008) Rest now my Friend.