September 12, 2012

Gunner's Story

If you haven't figured it out by now, my dog is my heart and soul.  Almost nine years ago, we saved each other's lives.

In 2003, two of my friends saved up some money for me to get a dog from the shelter.  I was beyond excited.  Many unfortunate things had happened in my life leading up to this point, and I needed a little bit of happiness.  I went to the shelter, filled out paperwork, and fell in love with a puppy.  Sadly, my adoption had been denied.

I was devastated.  My mother took me back to the shelter a week later to get some answers.  The adoption was denied because I marked that the dog would live outside.  For the first few months, they require that pets stay inside.  I changed the form and went back to see my puppy.

During that week, my puppy and its brother had died of a virus.  I was upset but decided to check out the other dogs.  My mom kept pushing me towards a small breed, but I knew I wanted a large dog.  Suddenly, there he was.  His head was way too big for his poor little body.  So big in fact that it was pressed up against the water bottle in his cage, and he had water dripping down his face.  I knew he was the one for me.

Gunner as a baby

His name was Duke, and he was 3 months old.   I changed his name to Gunner Bear Crandell.  It was originally spelled Gunnar (inspired by the original Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - creepy, I know), but the vet spelled it with an 'e' on some paperwork.  I decided it fit him much better.   Gunner has grown to well over 100 lbs and still lives in the house.

Interesting Bear facts:
* Both of his ears used to stand up until someone accidentally broke the right one.
* He is a German Shepherd/Chow mix.
* For a very long time, Gunner had an irrational fear of the bathroom.
* He gets very protective when people hug me.
* He loves butt rubs.

Honestly, I don't know what I'll ever do without him.