Guinness Kirkpatrick

Gotcha Date 7/9/2011 – Rainbow Bridge Date 11/7/14
How do we even begin to write Guinness’ memorial when the pain of losing him is still so sharp? I’m not sure words can describe the dog he was but will give it a try: big, dumb, loveable, smart, stoic, aloof, goofy, lazy, determined, stubborn, beautiful, gentle, ornery, regal and loved.

The story begins with the loss of our Black Lab/Spitz Mix, Ben the Dog, at 14.5 years old. Ben left us in April of 2010. My husband swore we would never have another dog, the pain was too much to bear. So I gave him some time and about 6 months later I started looking at our local humane society web page. Hubby said, “Don’t talk to me about dogs.” So another few months went by and I tried again and still got the same reply. The first of 2011 came and once again I broached the subject. This time my husband’s reply was “my grandparents had hounds” and “in my mind’s eye of the future, there is a porch, a rocking chair, a guitar and hound dog laying at my feet”… I thought .. hound dog? There aren’t that many in Illinois but let’s see what google comes up with. And those of you reading this know exactly what google came up with … www.coonhoundrescue.com . About 6 weeks later I knew I had him when he started showing me YouTube videos of hound puppies “singing for their supper”. So without further ado, I filled out the adoption application, asked him which dogs on the website caught his eye and we both agreed there was “something” about Guinness.

And there truly was something about Guinness…. He brought so much to our lives. He taught us patience. He gave us joy. He taught us that it was okay to just hang out and be lazy. He taught us how much fun it was to watch his nose work on our walks – whether they were in our neighborhood hunting grasshoppers and crickets, or at the forest preserve looking for those darn deer that weren’t afraid of him or the raccoons and squirrels that were. He was ever so gentle with children and the elderly but would put himself between us and any perceived danger (strangers on our walks or the neighbor’s police-dog in training that got loose and lunged at Gale).

He went on our yearly trek to Northern Minnesota to hike and unwind from the day to day grind. He loved to eat and had his own place at the kitchen table so he could get extra bites of kibble while we ate our dinner.

For the most part, he followed the rules of the house – like no dogs on the furniture "but Mom I have to see where Dad is going”.

In the 3.5 years we were blessed to have him --- he filled up all the space we had in our hearts. He died too young and from a totally avoidable accident (he ate something he shouldn’t have and ended up with a perforated bowel). We have yet to be able to forgive ourselves and cannot even begin to describe how much we miss him. We are grateful for the doctors and students at the University of Illinois Small Animal Clinic who did everything possible to save him and who cried with us when we knew he wasn’t going to survive. I am grateful that while Guinness was in surgery someone (who was not in the room with me) whispered in my ear “Ben the Dog will meet Guinness at the Bridge”.

And I am grateful for ABTCR for allowing us to adopt such a wonderful companion and family member and for the ABTCR Facebook page members who have shared their love of hounds and our grief with us. Guinness -- We Miss You and Love You…

Gale and Sue Kirkpatrick

Guinness's Happy Ending Page

20 December 2014