Whippet AWC Triathlon Winner HIT C-ATCH Ch Seaspell’s Concord Point, CAVX, CD, SC, OA, OAJ, RE, CRX, OTR, OCC, S-OJC, EJS, O-OAC, TG-O, S-TN-O, WV-O, HP-N, OJC-200, TNO-200, CGC “Patriot”
June 7, 2001 – August 14, 2016
Our beloved Patriot died peacefully on Sunday, August 14, 2016. He was 15 years old. He was still a beautiful dog and hardly looked his age and I had gone for a walk with him and Wyatt that morning, not knowing it would be his last day. The vet at the emergency clinic remarked on how fit, young, and beautiful he looked. He had been living with some heart issues, cataracts, and weakening in the rear recently so we had been worrying about him. On his good days, he was his old self barking, running, walking, and giving everyone kisses but we knew that every day was a blessing at this point. He was having trouble in the heat and getting up stairs this last week.
It’s hard to know where to start with Patriot. I could recount some of his accomplishments in the world of dog sports: show champion, triathlon winner, high in trial in obedience with me at a local trial, lure course best of breed, racer, CPE agility champion, and AKC Champion Award of Versatility winner. Dawn did a beautiful job with him in obedience and especially agility, where she found a way to motivate even though agility was not naturally motivating to him. Patriot really showed us the best (and worst) of the dog world.
But the best thing about Patriot was really his role as a wonderful family dog. He loved all people and all dogs. When we would go to a little beach community every summer taking a break from our rural home, we were amazed how he would great everyone with a sniff and tail wag and a kiss if they were kids. He greeted dogs with the same open heart. People would always remark on how beautiful he was and he was truly a stunning dog. He was a wonderful companion to our son Aidan who grew up with him since he was a baby.
Although we found Wyatt quicker to train, Patriot was much more confident and consistent. He was also very smart when it came to opening the gate to get into the compost and getting into the trash. One time, he decided he was going to finally get a red squirrel that was eluding him time after time. He spent hours sitting outside without moving for at least a month and finally got one and that seemed to be the end of it for him. After Dawn retired from agility, I still took him to a ton of NADAC trials as I pursued a NATCH for Wyatt and Patriot happily ran at lower levels and kept Wyatt company at trials.
As he got older, he found a favorite spot on our basement sofa and would rest or sleep there a lot. My spot was way over on the other side but I decided to move it next to him for the last year or so and I am so glad that I did just sit next to him and pet him and keep him company was he would contently grunt as he settled into his spot and got some strokes. We hadn’t run in a few months as he was having trouble with the hills but he still walked just about every day. On his last day, I took him and Wyatt for a short walk. As we returned, an intense shaft of sunbeams lit up the mist and I stopped to snap a photo. You can see Patriot’s head in the shot. Now I think he was ready to “go into the light”.