"Hunter's most important role was to listen to the homeless shelter children read to him once a month. He was more than a pet therapy dog; he was their companion with that unconditional love that dogs give without reserve. They hugged on his hairy neck and talked to him and ran with him on a leash through the narrow halls of their building.
They talked about the hope of having their own dog someday when they lived in their own homes. Their mothers stopped by when they picked up their kids, for a hug or a pet or a lick talking about their memories of their dogs from a better life. The staff and volunteers came by for the same, always with the promise of beautiful red hair all over their black pants but always stopping by with a story of their love for dogs.
Perhaps the most poignant time was one night as we walked down the sidewalk to the building. Coming towards us was a young boy, 7 or 8 years old with a deep scowl and down-turned eyes. Hunter came to attention and bounded towards the youth. Immediately, he buried his head in Hunter’s neck and hung on until he came up with a grin and a lighter load off his shoulders".
After Hunter's passing, Bonne received a card from the center signed by the staff and mothers of children Hunter had connected with. All expressed their love and the magnitude of how they'd miss "their" Hunter. It goes without saying, Hunter knew his role and he played it perfectly.
"So how does one summarize Hunter's life?, expressed Bonne. "There is so much more. But you get the idea. When Hunter passed away I couldn't let go and leave him. I believe that he sent me a message: I am there but that body is not me. Don't you see me now? The image that floated into my mind was his leaning down on front paws with his hind end in the air, full of life and energy, ready to play.....bounding towards someone, acting as if he would mow them down but avoiding them at the last minute". Images she no doubt will never forget.
It was hard, but finally I was able to leave....with the understanding that I will always be grateful to my God for such a friend but will never say goodbye".
Back in 1981, legendary actor James “Jimmy” Stewart, the star of “It's a Wonderful Life” and too many other classics to list here, went on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” to share his hobby: poetry. The piece that he read was titled "I’ll Never Forget a Dog Named Beau" about Stewart’s golden retriever.
At first, the poem made Johnny and the audience laugh, but it had a very different effect in the end. Describing it can’t do it justice; it’s something you have to see — and feel — for yourself, so check out the video.
Yes, it's very easy to relate to the words Jimmy Stewart said that night. They are praise worthy of a being who simply wanted to love and be loved. And yes, it's also the story of something that is so much more deserving than a description as......PET. I"ll leave that to you to best describe your experience with man's and woman's best friend.