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Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.

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Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
I don’t know if I loved Cassie more for her ability in the field or for her role as a companion and playmate for my children, but it all summed up to be one of those relationships in life that I’ll forever cherish.

Sempers Castaway Cassie came to us from Modesto, CA. She was from a strong line of field trial Golden’s. I wanted a retriever that could run at the Master Hunter or Hunting Retriever Champion (HRCH) level as well as be a great family pet. She earned her HRCH with the help of pro Joe Migliore. For the first three years of her life she spent 4-5 months with Joe learning the basics and advanced skills needed to run hunt tests. She excelled. I remember a conversation with Joe, who was a dyed-in-the-wool black lab man, where I asked how Cassie was doing compared to the other 15 or so dogs in his kennel. Without hesitation he looked me in the eye and said “she’s my best dog.”

Cassie was an Alpha dog to the point of being comical. She had two superiors, me and Joe. She obeyed our commands and was willing to learn. My wife and kids on the other hand had no choice but to come and get me to call Cassie in or get her to do something. She totally blew them off. You had to respect her independence. Not many people can get away from ignoring Michelle. Cassie was the best :)

Despite her unusually strong independence Cassie hated it when I left her presence when hunting. She was fine and dandy with running 40 yards ahead of us when we walked down the dike to Greentree, as if to say hurry up slowpokes. But if I ever got in somebody else’s boat and left her in mine she’d go nuts. I’ve never seen a dog display loyalty this strongly. Three short weeks ago I was hunting with Rick Pierce on the Arkansas River. We had a cripple fly away so Rick and I left to recover it leaving Cassie and Thomas behind to keep hunting. Despite being told to stay she couldn’t stand me not being with her. We were halfway across the Arkansas River when I saw her break for us. The cripple made it all the way to the other bank as Rick and I pursued it. Cassie, wanting to be with me so badly, swam the entire width of the Arkansas River to catch up. That swim was just 3 weeks ago. I thought to myself how can a 10 year old dog do that. She was a supreme athlete, fast, agile, and incredible stamina.

You can ask any of my hunting partners about Cassie and cripples. She brought ducks back that you just knew were going to be lost. In hot pursuit of a diving cripple she’d raise her body out of the water as high as possible and spin in circles to see where they resurfaced. She’d also dive well below the surface to make the grab. Her effectiveness at getting hold of cripples, time and time again, is truly on of the most remarkable things I’ve witnessed in almost 30 years of waterfowling. Cassie and cripples made for great hunts and you just know she enjoyed the chase.

If you asked me three weeks ago how much longer I’d be hunting with Cassie I would have said with full confidence at least another year before she’ll retire and even then she’ll be with me on easy days. Without warning a week ago she lost her appetite and started throwing up. Our vet and good friend Brian Story gave me the bad news, she was terminal with liver cancer. With bilirubin levels as high as he’d ever seen he knew it would be a rapid deterioration. Tonight after spending all weekend trying to keep her comfortable we let her go.

I am so grateful he she had a litter of puppies, twelve in fact. It’s through those puppies and grand-puppies I get to see other people enjoy this wonderful line of Goldens, at home and in the field. Our season ends next week but it is pretty much over for me. I’ll take Thomas out next weekend and on the youth hunt in February but my season ended tonight. Having been through this once before I know as the days and weeks pass the pain will subside and the memories will far outshine the pain. But right now all I want to do is tell her BACK another time and give her a hug, stroke her soft ears, and tell her how much I love her.

She was something special. This is going to be a hard one to get over.

Eric






Last edited by:

Eric Patterson: Jan 23, 2011, 9:38 PM
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
My condolences Eric. Having lost too many wonderful hunting companions, I know the heartbreak. Cherish those fine memories.
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
I feel for you Eric! Dogs are amazing family members and it sounds like you had a great, beautiful, loving girl!!! You have been blessed! Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family in this hard time!



"...if all you want to do is kill ducks, you have come to the wrong place." - Zack Taylor



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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric,

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I remember when Cassie came in to your life. You were so excited!
When I lost my first golden, Harley, everyone here was so supportive.
Give my best to your family!

Jim S
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
I'm sorry Eric. You and the family will be in my thoughts.

Godspeed Cassie....
http://www.anglinoutdoors.com

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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric
Im sorry to hear this bad news and at this moment in time I know how you are feeling, having gone through this 12 months ago with Keo and 18 months ago with Meg, getting my new pup Amber has helped me a lot. My prayers go out to you and your family.
Take care and God Bless
Eddie and Amber
Its all about Building that Bond.
keep your powder dry & straight shooting
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working_decoys@yahoo.co.uk
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric:
I can never really come up with the right words. I feel for you and your family. For dog people, the understanding is that a member of your family (in many cases much closer than) has passed. God bless.

TD
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Sorry to here this Eric. I know how you feel. Hitch
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric ,

I am so sorry to hear that !!! My condolences



Dave M
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric, I also remember when Cassie came to you and it just seems like yesterday. She is in good company at the Rainbow Bridge with Yukon Jack, Waterwalker and all the other good dogs who have gone on. You are also among good understanding company here. Sorry for your great loss.
"There is nothing- absolutly nothing half as much worth doing as messing about in boats or with boats. In or out of 'em, doesn't matter." Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Shiny side up,
Wicker T, Booker T & Charlie Brown
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric,

So sorry to hear of Cassies passing. My thoughts are with you and your family. Time will heal and I hope that it goes well with Thomas as well. Surely he feels the same lose as you.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Sorry for your loss.
The loss of a dog is never easy.
_____________________________________________ You get out of a dog, what you put into a dog !
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
sorry to hear.its so true they are family member.cherish the memories.
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric

Truely sorry to hear this. As tough as it is to put down a pet, take comfort that her pain is over.

Chuck



"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."


A. Pope
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Sorry to hear the news Eric. It is losing a member of the family. The only fault dogs really have is not living long enough. RIP Cassie............

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I never know which is worse: the sorrow when you hit the bird, or the shame when you miss.
http://www.hillmandecoys.com
Mullica Hill NJ

Last edited by:

jode hillman: Jan 24, 2011, 4:44 AM
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Very nice tribute Eric, got that knot in my throat towards the end. Sorry for your loss.
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Sorry to hear that Eric - it seems like just yesterday Cassie was a new pup. Sounds like my life is poorer for not having the opportunity of having hunted over her.

Of all the things that speak to the greatness of this community, it is the dogs coming and going that really get me.

T
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
My thoughts & prayers go out to you & your family. I'm sorry for your loss.
Dennis
Life in the fast lane is no place for a tricycle.
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric,

So sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers.

Gene
________________________________________

"Take your kids hunting so you don't have to hunt for your kids."
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Having a golden that has swam the AR River for a goose, knowing that this weekend, I know the fete that was. So sorry for your loss. Makes me hurt just to think about. Trip.
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric, my most hearfelt condolences for your loss...
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
so sorry to hear that eric. TJ and I where playing the if you had 3 wishes thing the other day, and the first one out of my mouth is that good dogs live as long as i do. It just doesnt work out that way. travis
rowdydogg.com
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric,
It does seem like yesterday that you were posting pictures of Cassie as a pup. We all got to watch her grow up through your posts and shared in your stories as she became a part of your (our) life. It's amazing how much we can grow to love those goofy dogs! I'm really sorry for your loss.

Scott


The perils of duck hunting are great- especially for the duck. ~Walter Cronkite
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Sorry for your loss Eric.

Cassie will be remembered long after you stop hunting.

Memories.......
Now.........Let's go huntin'....

Last edited by:

Duane G: Jan 24, 2011, 6:52 AM
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Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. In reply to
Eric,

What a Intelligent looking dog. You were lucky to have her in your life. Hold onto the memories.

Thomas