Hunter came to Bob’s House for Dogs last July as a 12-year-old stray. The shelter knew who his people were, but they never called back to claim him. He was blind, and we knew right away there were some medical conditions this poor guy had been living with. We all fell in love with Hunter from his first day with us. He was a gentleman with everyone, including the residents of the house. He was beguiling with his soulful eyes, squishy heels and delectable muffin-top butt.

We prioritized Hunter’s medical evaluation to make sure we could get him comfortable as soon as possible. After an ultrasound, we discovered he had a very abnormal bowel. We all knew in our hearts he wouldn’t have much time with us. Because of that, we wanted to make sure his last days were filled with enriching activities that brought him joy and people who showed him how loved and special he was – something Bob’s House does with all of the dogs in its hospice program, Dying With Dignity. Knowing we wouldn’t have a lot of time to do that, I decided he needed a vacation weekend with me and my husband, John.

On Saturday, July 25, we woke up early. I fed Hunter his breakfast, and John and I strapped the canoe onto the truck. We fetched sweet Hunter from his bed and hit the road, heading to Half Moon Lake. Of course, we had to stop at McDonald’s for some breakfast, including eggs for Hunter. The pictures really tell the rest of the story … . Hunter thoroughly enjoyed the canoe ride with all the lake smells. We stopped at the beach and let him walk in the sand and stand in the water. Then we hopped back in the canoe and made our way back across the lake to the boat landing while Hunter rested on his blanket. After we loaded up the canoe, we took Hunter for a nice truck ride through Carson Park. He and I snuggled with the window down, so he could smell the air and feel the breeze. It was the perfect morning we all shared. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do a crafternoon and movie night together as I’d hoped. Hunter’s health took a fast turn, so we headed to the emergency vet.

A perfect truck ride
Enjoying the canoe ride- notice the husband is doing all the paddling.
And we’re off!
Sandy nose…and I might be peeing, we don’t know…

Details aside, Hunter passed away in our arms. It was an honor to be there with him, loving him at this journey’s end. He left this world with dignity after enjoying one last adventure and knowing there were people who were crazy about him. And that’s what Dying With Dignity is all about.

Nikki Ristau, Bob’s House Adoption Coordinator