The Gunny story started with a shopping trip to the Erie Pennsylvania mall, it was just a shopping trip to relax and take some time from the hustle and bustle. My wife Connie and I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant next to a pet store in the mall, we finished eating and decided to go in to the pet store because one of the birds was squawking loudly and we wanted to see what all the ruckus was all about. A large parrot was putting on a show for some kids gathered around his cage. We continued to walk through the store towards the puppy area, and there he was, fat, chubby little bulldog with the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.
I asked the lady if I could go in and pick him up, she let me in this little room with him and that’s where I fell in love with him. He was a feisty little guy, biting my fingers and licking my face, that was it, I was not leaving the store without him. I was a combat Marine in Vietnam and of course the bulldog is the mascot of the United State Marine Corps, and I’ve always wanted one. Well this guy stole my heart and I knew for sure we were meant to be together, I just had the feeling. After playing with him for a while and falling in love I asked Connie to go ask the lady at the desk how much for the bulldog, she came back shaking her head no. I asked “how much”? She said “too much” and I said “okay, how much is too much”? She said “are you ready for this $4,000.00.” I said are you kidding. I still wanted him. So I began my good boy pitch. I said “you know I don’t drink, smoke, or run around. I’ve been a good boy get me the dog.” Well about a half hour later I’m walking through the center of the mall with my new bulldog puppy.
The ride home was long, about 100 miles, with a puppy that was full of spunk, tugging on my shirt, biting my fingers and running back in forth in the van. The only thing that I had to keep him busy was an empty pop bottle; he played with it all the way home. After that day that it was his favorite toy throughout his life he could take the cap off a bottle in a matter of seconds no matter how tight you got it. We had two other dogs at home, a white boxer named Lucy and a toy poodle named Foster. When we arrived home and put gunny down to meet the other dogs it was pure havoc, Gunny started after Lucy and wouldn’t leave her alone, Did I make a mistake, that little guy took over right away running the other two dogs ragged.
Gunny loved people and got along with everything except other dogs besides Foster and Lucy, he would want to fight every dog he came across and I have no Idea why. Gunny was always a clown doing goofy things and always getting a laugh. Once at a family picnic he latched on to my ex-wife’s sweat pants and pulled them all the way down, not letting go till they were almost off, everyone there was in stitches except my ex-wife Cindy. Gunny was a little boy in my eyes not a dog, he liked to get up on a kitchen chair at dinner and just sit there and watch us eat. He was a special guy because from early on he liked to eat with a spoon or fork and wouldn’t eat out of his dog dish I had to feed him everything by hand and if I didn’t he wouldn’t eat. Gunny was a family dog, but he was my friend and we spent 24/7 together. No matter what I was doing whether cutting grass or just sitting on the porch he was right by my side.
In 2011 I had a heart attack and had to have quadruple bypass surgery, I was in ICU for a very long time and not doing well, I kept crying wanting to see my Gunnyboy. I missed him so much, I made such a fuss I was making myself sicker. The head nurse told my wife that she could get fired for this but she was going to let Connie sneak Gunny into ICU to see me. They did it late at night when not many people were around. Walking in my room was my buddy, we were so happy to see each other and to me it was like the clouds opened up and tons of sunshine came rushing back into my life and body, at that moment I knew I would get better. Gunny was so happy to see me and he didn’t want to leave, but it had to be a short visit because a dog in ICU wouldn’t go over very well with the hospital admin. The nurses cried when they saw how happy we were to see each other. The next day I was up sitting in a chair. The Gunny visit put me on my path to recovery. Two weeks later when I got home I was in bed a lot and he never left my side in bed and he was so gentle with me, I think he sensed all wasn’t right. I thank my wonderful wife for finding a way to get Gunny into the hospital to see me. Without my wife Connie and my Gunnyboy I probably wouldn’t be here.
The night I lost Gunny I lost a part of me and I’ll love and miss him till I see him at the rainbow bridge someday. Thanks to all the people at EBN and their support with cards and thoughts it would have been a much harder journey, I love you all.
I got a PM from Davidh and he said he knew of a bully boy named Sarge, who needed a fur-ever home in Georgia and would I be interested, well it hasn’t been that long since I lost Gunny and I was torn with guilt having a bully in his place. I just put it in my mind that I would be helping another bully that needed me, so off to Georgia to get Sarge! When I saw him I fell head over heels over him. Sarge was shy and laid back but that lasted about a week and now he’s happy healthy and a big part of the family. He isn’t taking Gunny’s place as no one could; he’s taking his place next to me on the porch, Thank you to all who were involved in bringing Sarge into our lives.
Connie and I live in North Carolina and have 2 teenage boys at home; we have two sons in Pennsylvania and one daughter in Oklahoma. I’m a disabled war veteran from the Vietnam era. Connie is a stay at home mom and keeps me in toe. We have 6 acres for Sarge to run and play, he goes with us everywhere we go and I look forward to a long life and making him as happy as Gunny was.
This has just been a short story of a few things in Gunny’s life. There are many, many, more, but I just wanted to highlight a few things that I thought might be of interest to y’all. Thank you for giving me the chance to let you see Gunny through my eyes and thank you for letting Connie and I be a member of this wonderful community.
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