Graysondanes Bugleboy of Co B
(Can CH. Toyspride the Romantic X Graysdanes Kizzy)
Mantle Great Dane - June 10th, 2000 - March 29th, 2001
Born in Canada; lived in California

Reveille's litter brother; 11 month old
Graysondanes Baron Fitzpatrick was put to rest on 05/29/01
following a long struggle with a liver shunt.

Now Reveille & Fitz play together at Rainbow Bridge like before.
Please visit Fitz's page on his family's site here.

You were our little man, the otter pup,
the rat (who nibbled on our house & chewed your way into our hearts)...
You were lil' R, the Revmeister, the houndlet...
You went by so many nicknames as you truly were a character.

How easily you'd make us smile, just by laying belly up looking for rubs

You were a wonderful boy with brains & beauty..
How cleverly you'd come up with games.
...from pulling a pen cart by the rope handle causing it to follow you like a shadow
to submerging your head in the water to get a item laying on the bottom
and so much more.

Those who knew you couldn't help but like you...
you were even friends with cats.

Your life was cut short by cancer which riddled your body with tumors
including a huge mass in front of your heart.
In your short life there were so many things you never got to do.

Your last month was not one of much pleasure...
Your body increasingly was racked with pain,
it became harder for you to even stand up
you lost the drive even to eat...

On a Thursday morning we laid you to rest...
one of the hardest things we've had to do.

If it should be that I grow weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep.
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle can't be won.
You will be sad, I understand.
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.
We've had a quite happy year,
What is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so,
The time has come, please let me go.
Take me where my need they'll tend,
And please stay with me 'til the end.

Our 11 yr old daughter's Reveille memorial drawing

We light a candle as a symbol of our love for you.

Tho your time was brief you took time to smell the roses.

We'll always love you, Reveille.
Wait for us at the bridge.

Kindly visit the Tribute to Dogs with Cancer page.

This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit here.

The Wink of an Eye - by 'Dad'
I awoke last night, aware of movement in the distance.
I looked towards the dog pen and kitchen, wondering if one of the kids wanted to go out.
In the pen, for just a flash, I saw Reveille.
He had a contented look on his face and winked his left eye, as he often did when one would look at him.
It was just a flash. Then there was nothing.

I knew he could not be there, for he had been put to rest earlier that day.
I like to think it was his way of letting me know he is okay where he is now.
That he is waiting for the rest of the family to join him over the bridge.

Reveille arrived in our family on July 29th.
As irony would have it, he left our physical family on March 29th.
Eight months may seem like a long time, but at my age, such time spans go by at light speed.
The fact that I might see a flash of a vision, was not too surprising. His life, though far too short, had, in hindsight, been in a kind of "fast forward".

It seemed to move faster than us.
He potty-trained in a week, a record for any dog I've known previously.
It was probably assisted by a bladder much larger than normal since he could hold, not only all night, but past when other kids needed attention or going out.
He would look at me, and if I would go back to bed, he would realize it "wasn't time" and go back to bed.
Almost always content to wait until we let him out.
In fact, he always seemed to be racing forward. Always wanting to live life to its fullest.

When we received him at the customs office,
he was quickly out of his box and proudly dragging around a pink stretchy toy we had gotten for him.
(The toy was to be christened "pinky".)
While picking up Rachel from a doggie camp, he spotted a child's pool full of water.
It was placed there as a source of drinking water for the attending dogs.
With no warning he jumped in and swam around with the dexterity of an otter.
His continual love of water play would give him the nickname "otter pup".

At a Dane Day outing, he found the loading cart and grabbed its pull rope.
Over bumps and holes he dragged the cart around for the delight of those attending.
After attending only two puppy matches, he won "best of breed".
No it wasn't an official contest, but still amazing for one so young.
(He beat out our little girl, Star, for the prize!)

Yes, he moved fast. while we moved slowly.
It took us weeks to agree on a name, Reveille.
It fit perfect with his enormous range of vocalizations from the high pitched whistles and chirps to a deep, barrel chested bark to a soulful baying howl.
It also took us weeks to the to find a voice for him.
We finally found a Jack Nicholson-esque croak was most appropriate for this clever canine.

Yes, only eight months.
But it was more than enough time to create so many memories.
His love of tossing plush toys into the air. His desire for 'nanners' (bananas) as snacks.
His willingness to take vitamin C pills.
His howling for Rachel when she left the room.
His winking left eye when being looked at.
His chasing his tail and our fear that he would pull out what little white tip was left.
His chirping and whistling noise when wanting to draw attention quietly.
His leap into a fish pond at a friends' party.
His silent begging for food, with only a casual glance, never a hard stare.
His attachment to our kitties, particularly to the new kitten Pryde,
who would lick at his muzzle and play with his white tipped tail.
The list could go on and on.

Most important to me, was the connection he and I seemed to have.
All the kids love me, but Reveille had a special need for me.

Starting from when he was very young,
I would sit next to him and give him a kneading back massage that he loved.
His eyes would glass over and he would eventually collapse from the relaxation.
I f it was late at night, I would hear a soft chirp and look over to find him staring at me.
He didn't want out. He didn't want to play. He wanted his rub. It made me feel very special.

As quick as he went through life, he exited.

It began with the appearance of a lump on his side.
A week later a back hip swelled and he was limping.
His appetite began to wane.
Suddenly, the active jumping young man from a few weeks ago was mostly listless.
His face was often a sign of strain, a valiant attempt to hide the pain he was in.
Blood tests were done. X-rays and biopsies followed.
All pointed to a puppy whose body was giving out to a much stronger force.

That final night was maddening.
Seeing such a youthful pup unable to really move or play.
Some of it was the drugs, but much of it was his weakening condition.
The least amount of activity meant he would need to collapse and rest.

The next morning he took time out to see his family, and have some last quality time.
He even played with a much dirtier, well-chewed "pinky".
(Yes, he still had it.)

When the vet came out, he greeted him silently, knowingly.
The shot was administered while we held him close,
and while I kneaded his back, talking to him softly.
His face went from the strained look to one of relaxation and finally rest.

At times I am filled with grief at all he missed.
He never got to have a birthday party.
He never got to go to Dog Beach. (As an otter pup, he would have loved it.)
He never got to be in a real show.
He never got the chance to see our first litter... or of his own.

But I can't let myself be misdirected.
He had a love-filled, fun-filled full eight months.
He sped through life, almost with a mission.
As if he knew time was brief and to be cherished.
He would never look back at what he hadn't done.
I hope I am able to do the same when it is my time.

We have lost kids before.
We lost our noisy, "bad-boy" Bronx. The house seemed quiet.
We lost our happy, hopeful Hoss, after a long period of hip deterioration.
The house seemed at rest.
With the loss of Reveille, the house seems empty.

After my dream/vision last night, I thought I had come to a calm resolve about Reveille.
The night before he left us, when he was so tired,
he seemed to continually look at a picture on the wall.
It was a large photo of me with our first three boys, two being Bronx and Hoss.
I wondered if he was staring at it so he would know them when he arrived.
His ears would perk frequently. Rachel suggested he might hear someone calling.
As I said, I am sure he knew it was his time. I am sure he was ready.
I am also sure he came back to tell me he got there okay.

But this morning. I walked by the pen and looked in.
Like being suddenly awaken from a horrifying nightmare, the shock hit me.
He wasn't in there. He would never be in there.
I broke down and cried.
Probably the strongest cry since first hearing the news.
Reveille was gone.
And yet.
It is odd where one's mind goes in crisis and torment.
I get the strangest feeling that because of Reveille's speed at learning
and desire to move quickly, this was not his first visit to this world.

Perhaps it will not be the last visit to our home.

Rachel pondered that perhaps Reveille's short time here was to help us
through the loss of Hoss and the start of our own litter.
I look over to Star, our pregnant little mother, and wonder.

I wasn't surprised last night to see a flash of Reveille in his pen winking.
I won't be surprised that, if we are blessed with our first litter,
one of those pups might not have a strangely familiar spirit.
I may never really know.

But I will certainly take note should one in the litter wink their eye at me.