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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    where the beer flows like wine

    to the greatest dog in the world…this is a tribute.

    Disclaimer: this thread might be too long and too sad. It’s already taken me hours to type this because I can’t get myself together. My head and eyes hurt, my heart aches, and I can’t eat or sleep. I’m a mess. I’m sure this will seem like some lame blog post, but I don’t have a blog, so TGR will have to do. I’m doing this for me as much as for my dog. I just want something I can come back to and look at from time to time and smile.

    smuggs always liked warren zevon

    Smuggs was put to sleep at 5pm on Tuesday February 17, 2009 after almost 12 years as my best friend. She would have been 12 on St. Patty’s Day. She had a large and aggressive tumor on her spleen that had spread to her liver. She was given an injection and literally passed away with her head in my arms. She was gone before even half of the injection was given. The vet was very kind and accomodating. They let us have a long goodbye, which i needed. When i finally got myself together and left the vet, it started to snow. Nice big flakes. It didn't last long, but considering it hadn't snowed in weeks, it was a nice sign. Smuggs was trying to tell me that she is okay now.

    In 1 short month she stopped eating, lost a lot of weight, had lots of trouble getting up, and became very weak. Two times in the past week she had managed to go down to the basement by herself when my wife and I weren’t home. When I came home and didn’t find her on her bed, a sinking feeling came over me. Each time I assumed that she was looking for a place for her final nap, but each time I found her with her tail wagging. She spent her final night on her bed with me next to her on the couch.

    Smuggs was with me, as a 6 week old pup, from the time I was 18 to now 30. She was with me for just about every significant event in my adult life. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t come home to a wagging tail and the excitement of the pending walk. I miss that most.

    Smuggs was a rottweiler/black lab mix. She has the rotty markings, paws, and tail with the lab head and temperament. She weighed 85-100 lbs over the years. I bought her for $50 from a farmer in rural VT at the end of my freshman year of college. I named her after my favorite ski resort growing up, Smugglers’ Notch. Her mother was a big black lab and her father was a huge rotty. His head was so big that it looked as if he was wearing a football helmet.

    These are just some fond memories and ramblings:

    Smuggs had an uncanny ability to go into a building, shop, or house for the first time and immediately find the bathroom for a drink from the toilet. It may not have been the best habit but she always had a fresh water supply wherever she was.

    As a puppy, and for a good part of her life, she slept on the bed. As she got older and it became harder to get up and down from the bed she still needed to be close and slept at the foot of the bed. She was not an early riser. She would only get up when I did, even if I slept 'til noon after a long night.

    We have huge dogs beds for smuggs in the living room, bedroom, basement, car and at work.

    Smuggs loved to run straight through the giant leaf piles I would rake in the yard. She would bust through them and come out the other side. Really funny to watch.

    She absolutely loved snow. Her paws would never ball up and she never got cold. She loved to run in the snow and drop her nose at the same time for a mouth full of snow. Smuggs was also quite skilled at catching snowballs out of the air.

    She loves the water, so we figured she would love rafting. She didn’t like it much. She was too nervous. But she loved coming along with us anyway, and swimming whenever we stopped.

    Smuggs sniffed out and dug up this deer leg in the snow. She could always find a bone or animal remains on a hike.

    Smuggs never chewed any of my stuff, but she loved to chew sticks, stuffed animals and bones. She would always chew faces off of stuff animals first and rip all of the stuffing out. Pigs ears were def Smuggs favorite food but her stomach would not allow her to eat any during her last days. We made sure she got all of the people food and leftovers that she wanted.

    I used to give Smuggs my old soccer boots as a chew toy. She would eat the entire shoe leaving only the rock-hard outer sole with the cleats. Plastic bottles were another fun chew toy for smuggs. Not the best idea, I know, but she liked them and had an iron stomach. She once ate an entire chicken wing whole without chewing. Smuggs was also a great "dish washer."

    Her favorite activity was def swimming. Even with a stub tail, she could swim like a fish. I never saw another dog out-swim her. Plenty of dogs beat her to the water, but none were a faster swimmer. She never really liked to fetch balls, but she loved to fetch sticks. Logs. The bigger the better. She once drew a crowd at the dog park because she was hauling in a 5 foot long, 8" diameter log that had washed downstream. Quite an impressive feat.

    This wasn't the log in question, but you get the idea.

    Smuggs wasn’t built for deep snow, but she loved it and I love to ski, so I brought her along with me from time to time. She skied lolo pass, teton pass, and bridger bowl.

    Smuggs also wasn’t built for speed but she loved to hike. She climbed to the top of Harney Peak (highest peak in the black hills) and St. Mary’s Peak in the Bitterroot among countless others.

    Smuggs was the peace maker in the house. Whenever our other two dogs would fight/play, she would bark at them to stop. If one of the other dogs ran off on a hike, Smuggs would bark at them when they came back. A couple of times we gave her the loop end of the leash to our other mutt and she walked him just like a person would. She kept him in line and wouldn't let him pull.

    If my wife and I were ever arguing, Smuggs would come to my side or lay down at my feet.

    My wife says that smuggs pouts when I’m away and doesn’t listen to her. I know where her loyalties are.

    She had a scary loud bark, but the sweetest personality. Not a single bite victim ever. She was great with little kids but did not like little dogs. Go figure.

    Smuggs has come to work with me almost every day for the past 3 years. She never barked, or raced around, or caused trouble. She just wanted to hang out. After one delivery guy gave her a bone, she would walk up to all of them and nudge their pockets looking for a treat. She was the ultimate shop dog and its pretty tough to be at work now without her.
    Last edited by mtskier; 04-24-2009 at 04:21 PM.
    Big skis from small companies at Backcountry Freeskier

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    where the beer flows like wine
    Smuggs has traveled cross country 4 times and lived in 5 states (VT, NY, WY, AL, MT). She lived with me in a dorm room and an off campus house in college, my apartment in JH, on a farm in ‘bama, and with my wife and I in Montana.

    She loved to go to my soccer games. She would just find a spot in the shade and hang out. When the half-time or full-time whistle would blow, she would get up and run onto the field looking for me.

    Lots of people are naturally afraid of rottweilers. Smuggs was harmless but I would put a spike collar her from time to time. I think she liked to look tough. Even though she was tough looking and loved the water, she would jump over puddles so she wouldn’t get her paws wet. I always laughed when I saw this big dog jumping over little puddles.

    During her first 2 years Smuggs had knee and back surgery. She recovered from both pretty well. The knee bugged her after long walks later in life but her back never did. She was lucky to not have any of the hip problems that large dogs can have.

    The only time I put smuggs in a kennel overnight, she escaped. This was an outdoor kennel with chain link fence, concrete floor, and igloo house. She was @ 6 at the time and @ 95 lbs. When I came to let her out the next morning she was sitting on the outside of the fence by the main door. She had pushed the igloo out of the way and chewed through some of the links on the fence. She was then able to curl the bottom of the fence and crawl out. I really don’t think I could do it myself. She was never in a kennel again.

    She was always happy to see you/me. Smuggs has no tail so she shakes her butt. Pretty funny to see and very cute.

    Smuggs was always the alpha dog. She has lived with 4 dogs and met 1000s more. She was always the boss and was never challenged by other dogs.

    Smuggs loved to get brushed and scratched. After you would stop, she would nudge you to keep going.

    black hills, SD



    she hated those antlers

    big dog on a little bed.

    i'm sure they were looking for food.

    college graduation

    keeping the pack in line on her last hike.

    Even if you don’t think dogs are man’s best friend, I can promise you that Smuggs was this man’s best friend.

    Her ashes will be spread at lolo pass, mt sentinel, pattee canyon, the rattlesnake, and the bark park.

    She will be forever missed.
    Last edited by mtskier; 03-12-2009 at 09:40 PM.
    Big skis from small companies at Backcountry Freeskier

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Hugh's Mom's House
    Sorry for your loss, T. She looks like she had a damn good run.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    I cried for your loss
    yet smiled for the feeling of unconditional love and happiness our 4 legged fur kids bring us.
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    ski on in eternal peace

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    out there on the neon avenue
    That is terrible, sorry for your loss. Looks like she had the best life she could have possibly had with lots of love and interaction and that is all you can do for a dog. Mine is 120lbs and 15 years old now, time is ticking for him for sure.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Front Range, CO
    Awesome tribute man. +vibes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    What a beautiful tribute. brought a tear to my eye. Dogs have an inner wisdom, that if you pay attention they will share with you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Damn, sorry to hear that.
    Sounds like a great dog/friend.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Great looking dog. Sorry for your loss.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    left hand
    the peacemaker, sounds a lot like my dog. Dogs really are the most amazing animals, you think it's only your dog that is incredible until you see a post like this and it reminds you, they're all fucking great!

    Sucks to be missing a friend, but sounds like you gave him the best life you could, props.

    +++vibes+++ mtskier.

    tribute from my dogger...
    Last edited by snoweater; 02-19-2009 at 10:26 AM.
    "When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
    Then I realised God doesn’t work that way, so I stole
    one and prayed for forgiveness." Emo Phillips

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    My heart goes out to you, and awesome tribute, will always spend the time to read a tribue to a dog....RIP Codie
    And Smuggs

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    very beautiful homage.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gods country.....New Jersey
    I was sitting with my girlfriends dog lost night who has become my dog also over the last 2 years......I love that guy and was thinking about how different it would be without out him around.....Tough loss for you bro and great tribute......good looking pooch and from the sound of it she was a great dog who had an awesome run. ...sorry to hear this and best to you.

    How are some people NOT "dog people"?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    General Sherman's Favorite City
    So sorry to hear about your loss. Your dog led a great life, and it sounds like you were blessed to have been part of it.
    I still call it The Jake.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The "Right" Coast...
    Well done and best wishes. Smuggs lived better than most and will obviously not be forgotten. Bravo to both of you for having had that relationship. Vibes.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Man I almost cried reading this, it really brought back memories of losing my own dog of 9 years. I'm sorry for your loss, this will take a while to get over, but it will happen with time.
    Talking shit about a pretty sunset.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    where the beer flows like wine
    i found these in some other doggie tribute threads:

    Remember that the pain of their passing is never so great as the joy they brought you during life.


    Dog's PLEA

    Treat me kindly, my beloved friend , for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me . Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between blows , your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn . Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall on my waiting ear.

    Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth . Keep my pan filled with fresh water , for I can not tell you when I suffer thirst .Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding , to walk by your side , and stand ready , willing and able to protect you with my life , should your life be in danger .

    And , my friend , when I am very old , and I no longer enjoy good health , hearing and sight , do not make heroic efforts to keep me going ....please see that my trusting life is taken gently . I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your loving hands .



    The Rainbow Bridge
    NAHRA News Spring 2000

    There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

    When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole again. They play all day long with each other.

    There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on earth. So each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! The nose twitches! The ears are up! The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group!

    You have been seen and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.

    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.
    Author unknown


    "I Stood Beside Your Bed Last Night"

    I stood beside your bed last night, I came to have a peep.

    I could see that you where crying, you found it hard to sleep

    I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,

    "It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well. I'm fine, I'm here."

    I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour your tea,

    You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

    I was with you at the shops today. Your arms were getting sore.

    I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

    I was with you at my grave today. You tend it with such care.

    I want to reassure you, that I'm not lying there.

    I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.

    I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said, "It's me."

    You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.

    I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

    It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.

    To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."

    You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew.

    In the stillness of that evening, I was close to you.

    The day is over, I smile and watch you yawning.

    And say "goodnight, God bless, "I'll see you in the morning."

    And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,

    I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.

    I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

    Be patient, live your journey out, then come home to be with me."


    A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

    After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

    When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

    He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

    When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

    "This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

    "Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

    Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

    "Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

    "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

    The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

    After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed There was no fence.

    As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

    "Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"

    "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."

    "How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

    "There should be a bowl by the pump."

    They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

    When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

    "What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

    "This is Heaven," he answered.

    "Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said
    that was Heaven, too."

    "Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell."

    "Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

    "No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."
    another great thread: "its (not) just a dog"
    Last edited by mtskier; 03-15-2009 at 12:43 PM.
    Big skis from small companies at Backcountry Freeskier

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Lakewood, CO

    What a excellent way to remember a great friend.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Been there, man. It's so rough. Hang in there and take it easy for a while. Props for giving Smuggs such a great life. That's all we can do.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Great tribute. Dogs, greatest things on earth.
    Be careful about buying snowboard goggles for skiing. Snowboard goggles come in right eye and left eye (for goofy-footers) dominant models. This can make it hard to see correctly when skiing because you are facing straight down the hill, not sideways.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    What a great write up.

    May Smuggs RIP.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    I used to be over there
    Wow what an awesome dog Smuggs is - and how fortunate of a life he lived. Thank you for being such a great friend to Smuggs and thanks for sharing his life with all of us.

    I hope his memories always brings a smile to your face and laughter in your heart. I know these times are tough & I really hurt for your loss.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Vibes ++++, from me and my best friend. We feel for you bro.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Trav- sorry to hear about Smuggs. She was a great dog. I know I will miss my dogs and feel the same way you do when they pass....MV

    I loved my friend
    He went away from me
    There's nothing more to say
    The poem ends soft as it began -
    I loved my friend.

    -Langston Hughes

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Excellent tribute to a great dog.

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