1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The last ride with Gocko

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Beowulf, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Beowulf

    Beowulf

    Messages:
    12,530
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere in the foothills...
    It was 14 years ago when we brought Roscoe home. He was a pure bred Sharpei and the pick of the litter for the family that provided the stud. Jet black and a fiesty pup. When our son, now 11, started talking he couldn't say Roscoe and it came out Gocko so the new name stuck.

    He and I co-existed in the pack, neither quite sure who owned the title of Alpha Male. He certainly wouldn't relinquish that title to me, nor I to him. Nevertheless, we became very close friends. He never liked being touched much and a scratch on the top of the head was about all he would tolerate. He accepted that as his reward for being the best guard dog. And there was never a better guard dog. He took that responsibility very seriously; day and night. He didn't care for chasing balls or sticks. After the puppy stage he never played like other dogs. Gocko guarded. He watched out the windows for hours, pacing upstairs, downstairs, back door, front door.

    Today was scheduled to be our last day together and it was my choice to be with him. We got up very early this morning to spend some quality time together. 8:45 seems like a long way off. Gocko loves riding in the Cruiser and sticking his nose and head out the sliding rear windows. It's been several years since he could jump in the truck so I built him a folding ramp to spare him the indignity of being picked up. This also saved me from his wrath because he hated being picked up. We call it the doggy wheelchair ramp. So we get loaded up and drop Ross off at school at 7AM. Ross gets to say a final goodbye in the school parking lot as he wipes away the tears; he can't let the other 6th graders seem him crying.

    The bright New Mexico sun is still behind the mountains but we can tell it's a beautiful clear morning and we want to enjoy it together. I chose a spot in the foothills where we've gone many times before. There's a Starbucks on the way so I pull in to get some coffee. In the past there would be plenty of barking to tip off the staff that there was a dog in the vehicle. They would always offer up a doggie treat and Gocko knew where we were and would patiently wait for his treat. Today he was quiet so as I approached the window I had to ask for a doggie treat. A tear welled up and I choked up for a second. She looked at me strangely and handed me my latte and 2 treats. As I pulled out of the parking lot the emotions hit me like a whack upside the head with a cricket bat. I pulled to the side of the road and cried... it was one of those heaving, sobbing, cries like when you've lost a close friend or relative. You know what I mean.

    After I got myself composed we headed off for our spot. In the past, we would hop out of the truck and go for a nice long walk. I lifted the Cruiser's upper tailgate and dropped the lower tailgate. Gocko looked a little puzzled as though he was thinking of jumping out of the truck but he knew he couldn't. I sat with him on in the back of the truck and we watched the sun come slowly up past the mountains. It's 8:07. I put his 2 treats on the tailgate and he came over and sniffed them. He looked at me with the look that says "I sure wish I felt like eating, but I don't." He hasn't eaten in 4 or 5 days. He sniffs them some more and then he goes back to looking for bad guys. Protecting me and the truck like he's done for 14 years.

    At 8:14 a guy comes walking down the trail about 100 yards away. Gocko gets in a threatening stance and gives that non-verbal communcation that says stay away. The guy keeps coming but not too close. Gocko can't get a good bark out but he manages a muffled grunt that only I can hear. "Good puppy" I say while scratching him on the head. At 8:20 a lady drives up and gets out with a foofie dog. Some little 6" hairy thing. Gocko lost his hearing several years ago so he doesn't hear them and can't see them because they are behind us. As she comes walking by the truck (too close) he finally smells them and turns to look and warns them off with a real bark. It took some effort but he made them back off. Protecting me and the truck like he's done for 14 years.

    It's 8:35 now and I know it's time to go. I think maybe we don't have to do this... but it has to be done.

    Our last ride is over now and I'm here at home by myself. The sadness is overwhelming. Who is going to protect me and the family at night? Who is going to keep the bad guys out while we're gone? God I'm going to miss that dog.

    -B-
     
  2. Landpimp

    Landpimp

    Messages:
    15,710
    Likes Received:
    1,726
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    Gig Harbor WA
    I am so sorry :(

    I am balling my head off now................ :'(

    take care and god bless Gocko :)
     
  3. Tank

    Tank

    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Omaha Nebraska
    Beo-

    Great story. I wish ALL pet owners were like you. Way to many people who get them for the "cute" look then dump them when they get "to big" or even worse don't spend time with them when they own them.

    RIP Gocko......
     
  4. ginericLC

    ginericLC Wagon Wheeler! SILVER Star

    Messages:
    7,074
    Likes Received:
    296
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    MH, IDaho
    Our yellow lab is getting to the point in his life too. I don't know how my wife is going to deal with it. Our dogs are like family. They get treated as well as our kid. I wish you the best as you go through this time.
     
  5. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

    Messages:
    16,571
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    US
    Sorry to hear about Gocko. I would be devastated as well. I know you did the right thing, if that helps a little.
    E
     
  6. stevek

    stevek

    Messages:
    479
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Location:
    Suffolk, VA
    Thoughts are with you from Ohio :'(
     
  7. BMT

    BMT

    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    They are around long enough to become ingrained in your life and taken away too soon. RIP Gocko.
     
  8. firetruck41

    firetruck41

    Messages:
    5,732
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Camas, WA USA
    Definitely brought a tear to my eye, as I read your post sitting on the couch with one of my dogs :'( I hate to think of the day I have to deal with that with one of our dogs, they really are family. :'(
     
  9. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

    Messages:
    18,892
    Likes Received:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Groveland MA
    Sorry to hear that B. I lost an animal last year, he had been around for 17 years. That stupid cat climbed up on the roof and kept me company while I shingled it the first time. A one of a kid pet! The kids don't understand why I don't want another animal, just couldn't bare the loss again.
     
  10. Gumby

    Gumby Supamod Staff Member s-Moderator

    Messages:
    11,960
    Likes Received:
    393
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Location:
    Knee deep in hookers and gin
    Our newf/border has been with us since my daughter was born. I dred the day you faced today, but it will happen sooner than later.

    Sorry, man. It's a tough thing to do.
     
  11. Junk

    Junk

    Messages:
    6,180
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2002
    Location:
    buggerville nj
  12. tabraha

    tabraha Hello My Name is: TAD SILVER Star

    Messages:
    2,364
    Likes Received:
    471
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Your experience is very near and dear to my heart. You did the right thing and even though it pained you, it helped him. Rest easy on Gocko being in a better place.

    -Tad
     
  13. shocker

    shocker

    Messages:
    1,185
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I had a Brittany named Leo that I grew up with; eleven years ago I had to do the same thing you did today. Poor guy had a severe case of diabetes that came on without warning and left us little choice in what to do.

    Just like Gocko he stopped eating, and just like Gocko it seemed to me that Leo knew the time had come. Saddest thing I've ever had to do.

    That was my freshman year in college. I got another Britanny a few months later. Now he's almost eleven and I can see signs of aging in him. But hopefully he's got several good years left.

    As much as it hurts when the things we love leave us, I wouldn't trade having had the chance to love them for the world.
     
  14. Ming89FJ62

    Ming89FJ62 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,459
    Likes Received:
    130
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    Palatine, IL
    Deepest sympathies. Loosing part of the family really sucks.

    Ming
     
  15. Rogue

    Rogue

    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Jefferson
    Sometimes animals truly are our best friends. I am sorry you lost your friend today. :'(
     
  16. Eduardo96FZJ80

    Eduardo96FZJ80

    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    :'( I too am dreading the day of the "final ride" for our Rottie
     
  17. T Y L E R

    T Y L E R

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    -B- , my thoughts and heart go out to you and yours tonite ... *hugs*

    Tyler
     
  18. PHAEDRUS

    PHAEDRUS

    Messages:
    2,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    good luck mr. B,
    my aussie is only 3 now so I have a whiel to wait for that hellish day.
    Dave
     
  19. Draken

    Draken

    Messages:
    277
    Media:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2003
    Location:
    PNW, WA aka wetside
    Got choked up reading this...Well written B. Hope you're doing better... I was about to go pick up my new torque wrench at Sears...but I think I'll spend some extra time with the pup first.
     
  20. cary

    cary

    Messages:
    3,119
    Likes Received:
    35
    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Your making me really glad that my back faces the door in my office; that way nobody can see my wet eyes. :'( Sorry to hear that you lost your friend today.

    Cary