Ranger by Diane / Mommy

Born January 8, 1992 in Brighton, Colorado. His mother was Tasha & he had 9 brothers & sisters. When we went & picked him out there was only 1 brother & 1 sister & him left. His brother had no tail. His sister walked right down the hall & peed on the carpet, and he was the cutest pup I had ever seen. Floyd picked him out of the 3. He was $50.00. An excellent price for a purebred papered Brittany. We went to take him home & let him got potty before we got into the car. He was already potty trained & named him Ranger on the car ride home. Sir Rocky Mountain Ranger was his AKC name.

We first tried to chain him up when we left for work because we had no fence around the yard. Well – our neighbor Bobbie had to come over & untangle his chain because he would constantly tangle it. So – we built the fence. He would climb over it & Bobbie would bring him into her house. Floyd would be left in a panic when he got home & Ranger was gone, only to find him at Bobbie’s. We started bringing him to Floyd’s parent’s house everyday when we dropped June off there. They loved having him. We also started leaving him in the utility room. He ate thru the door. When he finally had full run of the house is when he was happiest. He did eat my cross stitch & every pair of black pumps that I owned for a couple of years but I really didn’t mind. Floyd started this game of tug-o-war with him by using the end of his pant leg (that he had on at the time) to play with Ranger. That lasted for a little while – then Ranger shredded the end of one of the legs of Floyd’s jeans – and we had to teach him that tug-o-war was played with a rope. When he went outside – he would race to the fence & slam against it with his front paws. I believe this to be one of the causes of his arthritis later in life. He would never sit down & relax in the back yard –
he would run for hours on end.

He first went camping at Deckers at 5 months old. Everyone felt sorry for the little puppy in the cold on a Memorial Day weekend. But – he was just so darn cute. He would play with his friend, Brutus (a pit bull), Ebony & Thor. They would rough house & have a great time. He learned how to swim by jumping off the boat into Horsetooth reservoir all by himself. “Hey Lady – your dog is in the water” someone yelled at me.

We brought our boat in 1996 & he loved boating. He loved all outdoor activities. Boating, camping, fishing – everything. We were approached by a couple at Shadow Mountain on our first boat outing wanting us to send Ranger out of state to breed with their female Brittany because he was the best looking Britt that they had ever seen. That camping trip came the thunder storm that changed his opinion on loud noises We were all out in the open & I guess that he felt very frightened that he had no where to go. Natalie & I sat at the picnic table & cuddled him between us to make him feel better – but he never reacted to loud noises or a thunder storm the same way again. He would constantly hide & shake, waking us up in the middle of the night if there was a storm wanting to be comforted. The 1st night camping at Shadow Mountain – we all decided that it was bedtime about 11:30 p.m. Nat & George went to their tent. Floyd, Ranger & I went to ours. It was obvious that Ranger couldn’t get comfy so Floyd went to the Explorer & pulled out the spare sleeping bag for Ranger. By the time that Floyd made it back into the tent – Ranger was curled up in his dad’s sleeping bag. Floyd laid out Ranger’s sleeping bag & told Ranger to move off of his. Ranger actually growled at him. Finally – with some coxing, Ranger went to his own sleeping bag. That bag will forever be Ranger’s sleeping bag. Also – on that trip – under the picnic table at our camp ground – he would dig & dig & dig. Then curl up in the hole that he dug. We would fill the hole back in but he would just dig & dig again. This went on the whole entire time we were up there.

The summer of 1996 we would spend almost every weekend on the boat with Nat & George. Because we always took Ranger everywhere – we would bring him to Nat’s house & leave him with Thor & Ebony. He loved being around his humans so much that Nat’s neighbors would think that a dog was being beaten in their back yard because he would cry while we were gone. We had to start leaving him in their house. When we did take him on the boat – he would stick his nose in out the bow & sniff the fast air going by. Or – he would sleep under the driver’s console. When we went out on the tubes – he would always want to go too. He was such a great companion.

In 1998 we first took him to Powederhorn. He really loved that kind of camping. There wasn’t a soul around so he didn’t have to be chained up to a tree. He ran free all around the campsite. He was such a good boy & would always come when called & never wandered off. At night – when we had only the light from the campfire – he would never stray past the fire’s glow so we could always see him. We would tell him to go to bed & he would go & lay in the tent. One day, Floyd was fishing & Ranger was at camp with me while I read a book. I got tired & called Ranger in the tent to take a nap with him. Well – I guess that he got bored with me & went to find his dad while I was asleep. Down one side of the creek – across the wooden walkway over the creek & up the other side of the creek. He came bounding thru the bushes where his father was fishing & scared the poop out of Floyd. Floyd thought it was a bear or mountain lion. I, of course, freaked out when I woke up & Ranger was gone from camp. I panicked but soon – he came walking thru the woods with his dad. Ranger loved fishing & would stand in the water up to his chest & watch his father fish.

The next year we went to Powderhorn & it rained the whole time. Ranger became a muddy mess & we all had to sleep in the back of the Explorer. The next day we went home.

In May of 2000 – Ranger became a brother to Shelby, born March 19th 2000. She was 5 weeks when we brought her home. Ranger was so very tolerant of her. She would hang from his ears & the side of his face. They went to the vet together every year after that & would go to be groomed together all of the time. Ranger loved his sister & would always give her sweet kisses. He was such a good brother. In August – it was determined that he had arthritis & had to be on Rimadyl the rest of his life. He didn’t mind though, the pills were liver flavored so he gobbled his daily dose up like they were puppy treats.

The next few years were pretty laid back & quiet. Always a faithful friend & companion, and a great brother to Shelby. In 2004 we went camping again at Deckers. (Kind of fitting now that I think back on it that his last camping trip would be where his first one was.) He took to his old camping ways. Never forgetting what it was like to be in the open, breathe fresh air, & sleep on the ground or in sleeping bags. His sister faired much worse. She hated sleeping on the ground, in the rocks & refused to sit down or even go potty in the woods for over 26 hours after we got there. She even tried sleeping standing up. Ranger, on the other hand, was peeing on everything & marking his scent like a young boy. And – also – laying & sleeping on the sleeping bag that was determined to be his so many years before. He so loved the outdoor life. His arthritis was getting worse – then came the laryngeal paralysis. That started in approximately spring 2005. The heavy panting when he was exerted followed by the honking cough. I found that keeping him quiet & comfortable was the best way to deal with it. The symptoms lessened as the weather turned cooler.

He celebrated his last Thanksgiving & Christmas with his whole family in 2005. He always loved having company over & thought that everyone was there to visit him. In January 2006 – he celebrated his 14th birthday. I was so relieved that he made it so far. I always found myself praying that if I just had two more years with him I was lucky. That started when he was about 10. Just two more years. When he was 11 – please just two more years. At 14 – he didn’t have two more years left anymore.

I find myself in total shock while writing this how fast the last 14 years went. How fast time slips away living with such a wonderful creature, and you really don’t notice. I remember how Floyd & I would go watch fireworks on the 4th of July in Commerce City, with Ranger laying in the back of the Explorer. Or, we would go the drive in movie with him in the back seat. How he was such a handsome boy, & the 1st time that we took him to be groomed, with his hair shorter, all of these little orange freckles (I call them), were all over his back. But when his white hair would grow out – you’d never see them. The way he would “talk” for his food every night. Or how he would just hand you his paw. He just wanted you to touch him.

Ranger crossed over to that Rainbow Bridge on March 18th, 2006 while I was holding him in my arms & telling him how much I love him. I can’t wait until we meet again.


I will always love you,