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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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Thread Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much. Eric Patterson 114942 Jan 23, 2011, 9:18 PM
Thread Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Brad Bortner 114713 Jan 23, 2011, 9:37 PM
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Eddie Kershaw 114698 Jan 23, 2011, 10:39 PM
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Derek and Xena 114707 Jan 23, 2011, 9:55 PM
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Jim S 114706 Jan 23, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Jay Anglin 114700 Jan 23, 2011, 10:33 PM
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Terry Desilets 114694 Jan 23, 2011, 11:22 PM
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Hitch 114682 Jan 24, 2011, 3:12 AM
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Dave M 114677 Jan 24, 2011, 3:28 AM
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Tom Scholberg 114675 Jan 24, 2011, 3:37 AM
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Huntindave McCann 114668 Jan 24, 2011, 3:56 AM
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Doug Bowman 114663 Jan 24, 2011, 4:07 AM
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ray leonard 114654 Jan 24, 2011, 4:17 AM
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Ryan Werden 114648 Jan 24, 2011, 4:25 AM
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Dennis Johnson 114637 Jan 24, 2011, 4:37 AM
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tgentry 114624 Jan 24, 2011, 4:51 AM
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Chuck J 114653 Jan 24, 2011, 4:21 AM
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jode hillman 114650 Jan 24, 2011, 4:24 AM
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tod osier 114639 Jan 24, 2011, 4:37 AM
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Gene Jr. 114627 Jan 24, 2011, 4:45 AM
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DeWayne Knight 114622 Jan 24, 2011, 4:52 AM
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travis bruce 114609 Jan 24, 2011, 5:17 AM
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Duane G 114599 Jan 24, 2011, 5:26 AM
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thomas wilkins 114591 Jan 24, 2011, 5:39 AM
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JimG 36302 Jan 24, 2011, 6:46 AM
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Bob M 36299 Jan 24, 2011, 6:50 AM
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Phil Nowack 36297 Jan 24, 2011, 6:56 AM
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Hank H Garvey 36285 Jan 24, 2011, 7:16 AM
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Mark W 36283 Jan 24, 2011, 7:20 AM
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Bill McAdam 36271 Jan 24, 2011, 7:50 AM
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Kevin Weir 37697 Jan 24, 2011, 5:02 PM
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Rich Hohler 37678 Jan 24, 2011, 5:53 PM
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Bill Clark 37678 Jan 24, 2011, 5:56 PM
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KThompson 37663 Jan 24, 2011, 7:26 PM
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ira 40536 Jan 26, 2011, 10:19 AM
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Andrew 40522 Jan 26, 2011, 1:10 PM
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charlie foulds 40509 Jan 26, 2011, 3:15 PM
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david barnes 40494 Jan 27, 2011, 2:48 AM
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Ed Askew 40454 Jan 27, 2011, 6:43 PM
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Paul "Pablo" Britton 39357 Feb 26, 2011, 9:19 PM
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george w 36295 Jan 24, 2011, 7:03 AM
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Scott Bell 114599 Jan 24, 2011, 5:24 AM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
John L 36314 Jan 24, 2011, 5:59 AM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Pete McMiller 36311 Jan 24, 2011, 6:21 AM
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Pat M 36308 Jan 24, 2011, 6:27 AM
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Mike Repp 36306 Jan 24, 2011, 6:31 AM
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Carl 36287 Jan 24, 2011, 7:16 AM
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CPKBasil and Robert 36284 Jan 24, 2011, 7:19 AM
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Nick Buda 36279 Jan 24, 2011, 7:34 AM
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MLBob Furia 36269 Jan 24, 2011, 7:55 AM
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John Fraser 36259 Jan 24, 2011, 8:02 AM
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kenmack 36250 Jan 24, 2011, 8:13 AM
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Matt_n_Barb 36240 Jan 24, 2011, 8:22 AM
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John Augustine 36240 Jan 24, 2011, 8:22 AM
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Anthony A 36240 Jan 24, 2011, 8:22 AM
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TimJ 36237 Jan 24, 2011, 8:28 AM
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EKavanagh 36233 Jan 24, 2011, 8:38 AM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Brian Story 36227 Jan 24, 2011, 8:59 AM
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Nate Grace 36207 Jan 24, 2011, 9:58 AM
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Jeff Jacobs 36199 Jan 24, 2011, 10:17 AM
Thread Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Al Hansen 37786 Jan 24, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Tom Wall 37781 Jan 24, 2011, 11:19 AM
Thread Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Paul F Boundy 37754 Jan 24, 2011, 1:43 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Brian Rippelmeyer 37742 Jan 24, 2011, 2:24 PM
Thread Eric, I'm so sorry.
Rick Pierce 37736 Jan 24, 2011, 2:47 PM
Post Re: Eric, I'm so sorry.
Lee L. 37723 Jan 24, 2011, 3:39 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Jon Yenulonis 37719 Jan 24, 2011, 3:51 PM
Thread Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Howard 37715 Jan 24, 2011, 4:09 PM
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Gary March 37698 Jan 24, 2011, 5:00 PM
Thread Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Mark Scott 37676 Jan 24, 2011, 6:00 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Geoff Schroeder 37674 Jan 24, 2011, 6:10 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
David Wheeler 37672 Jan 24, 2011, 6:22 PM
Thread Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Dick Sargeant 37659 Jan 24, 2011, 7:31 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
charles reina 37626 Jan 25, 2011, 7:33 AM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Brian F. 37617 Jan 25, 2011, 9:08 AM
Thread Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Bob B 37604 Jan 25, 2011, 9:37 AM
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Tom Ryan 37586 Jan 25, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Ben M 37583 Jan 25, 2011, 12:30 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Victor Duskin 37568 Jan 25, 2011, 2:29 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Pat Richter 37556 Jan 25, 2011, 3:54 PM
Thread Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Eric Patterson 37551 Jan 25, 2011, 5:10 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
Fran Scholl 40547 Jan 26, 2011, 8:47 AM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
David Palmer 40551 Jan 26, 2011, 8:00 AM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
wis boz 40408 Jan 28, 2011, 5:35 PM
Post Re: Cassie has passed on. I loved her so much.
John Birmingham 40328 Jan 31, 2011, 12:25 PM