A Stubborn Old Golden

posted on March 5, 2013
wilder_ah2015_fs.jpg (5)

Yesterday was a sad day for the Skipper family—Chelsea, our 12-year-old Golden Retriever, finally had to be put down.

undefinedShe wasn't the first gundog that we had to lay to rest, and unfortunately she won't be the last. But she was something special. From the start, she seemed like she was meant to be with my family—as we came to find out, she'd even coincidentally been born on my mom's birthday, Oct. 17.

Chelsea was a bit different for a golden, to be sure—she had a mean streak that made it impossible for another dog to be in the field while she was hunting. Every now and then a new hunting buddy would scoff and bring their gundog along anyway. That would always be a one-time occurrence. No matter where you were, it was Chelsea's field and they were her birds.

She had that fire from day one—no more than 20 minutes after my dad brought her through the door as a pup, she climbed up on the couch, sat down and bared her puppy teeth at our 6-year-old black lab when it tried to come over and give her a sniff. She was all of 10 weeks old at the time.

No, she wasn't quite as obedient as the other Golden Retrievers that my family owned over the years. She'd occasionally disobey orders, had a habit of trying to steal table food when you weren't looking (I once caught her swiping an entire footlong sub) and sometimes refused to come when called, especially as she got older. And there was that time she tried to retrieve a groundhog. But that all became part of her greater personality, and we loved her for it.

She'd been sick awhile, but things finally came to a head last week and a trip to the vet was in order. The prognosis provided was, well, awful. She had cancer throughout her body. Her liver had nearly completely failed. And the vet wasn't even sure that her kidneys could still be called kidneys. He declared that she should have been dead for a week or two, at the least. Yet there that stubborn old golden sat, weakly wagging her tail while resting on his exam table. One last defiance, this time of nature itself. I happened to be visiting home just a few days before her real troubles had started, and my brother is firmly convinced that all she'd been waiting on was for me to be around.

My family has always firmly believed that pets shouldn't be made to suffer for our own comfort, so my dad waited with Chelsea while the vet did what had to be done. Yes, we lost a great dog yesterday, but she gave us 12 fantastic years and countless memories.

Catch you later, Chels. Be it birds or sandwiches that you're chasing in the next life; I hope they're plentiful.


S&W 350 Lifestyle
S&W 350 Lifestyle

Smith & Wesson Introduces Model 350

Smith & Wesson has introduced the Model 350, the company's first production revolver chambered in the powerful straight-walled 350 Legend.

Members' Best 2022

Be it a bucket list hunt in a land of giants, an anniversary escape with a loved one, a quick scouting trip turned big-buck showdown or the culmination of a trophy slam, American Hunter readers searched for and found opportunity near and far this past year.

First Look: Buck Bourbon Rack House Blind

Veil Camo has announced the integration of its Wideland Camo pattern with the new Buck Bourbon Rack House 300+ One Way Mesh hunting blind.

First Look: Canvas Cutter Dominator 2.0 Bedroll

The Dominator 2.0 Bedroll is Canvas Cutter’s flagship outdoors sleep solution, designed for any backpacking, hunting, fishing, or camping adventure.

Florida Expands Gator-Hunting Hours and Equipment

Gargantuan gators beware! Florida's 2022 hunting season started on Monday, 8/15 with brand new rules regarding hunting hours and acceptable equipment.

First Look: Alps OutdoorZ Elite Backcountry Pack System

Alps OutdoorZ has announced a new frame and pack system developed for backcountry hunters: the ultralight, modular Elite frame and pack bags.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.