I stood facing away from the other patrons with Val’s leash and colar in my left hand and a receipt for $89 in my right. I tried to maintain some kind of dignity, but there was no way to stop the tears. I’m a cryer, but I thought I might be able to hold it together on Val’s last trip to the vet.
It hit me when the vet stepped into the room – the fact that this was the end for Val. Her official birthday – February 14, 1994. I always suspected it was really only close to February 14th and the date was moved as a marketing gimmick. It really didn’t matter anyway, so we named her Valentine. (I also wondered if all the pups in that litter ended up with the same name.)
The Vet tried to talk to me, but I just kept repeating, “It’s time, yes it’s time.”
And, she went peacefully.
Val was high octane when it was time to play. She was one of those dogs that never quit – always putting something in your lap, or at your feet. It was annoying, that was just Val.
She was a very good retriever, not great, but she took hand signals well and I could get her to most birds – even if she didn’t see them go down.
She had watery eyes all the time and she hunted pheasants best if I gave her half a benadryl (?) tablet before hunting. I think she had cronic sinus problems, so she didn’t have a great nose.
Like all dogs, she was a loyal companion.
Val’s first retrieve was on opening day of duck season in 1994. Three of us knocked down eight widgeon from a large flock at a salt pond on SF bay. She took after after a couple swimmers and retrieved two of the eight. I think we retrieved seven of the eight, with one disappearing.
Val’s final retrieve took place at Mayberry Farms on the last day of the 2006/07 waterfowl seasson. The bird she brougt me was a double-banded greenhead with a $100 reward band.
Nice upgrade Val.