Bossiness in Barking

From Shawn:

This past week at ATAO has been a difficult week.

We lost two of our old girls Bonnie and Linda all in the same week.

Bonnie was a spitfire and quirky lady.  Will mushed with Bonnie years ago in 2015/2016 at another kennel. He ran Bonnie and Hooch as leaders for the kennel. Insert epic photo of Bonnie and Hooch leading the team to a 10th place Iditarod finish! 

After Will and Shawn relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska they picked up Bonnie from that kennel and brought her to their official ATAO homestead. Bonnie was one of the core dogs that made up the original ATAO crew. She ran 2 seasons with ATAO before officially retiring. Bonnie slowly but surely learned to love retirement. She was very skeptical of being inside, dog beds, etc. etc. Eventually she would come into her own, ruling the roost and loving to go outside to play fun police with freeplaying dogs, and announcing loudly that it is in fact dinner time! 

Her goofy personality brought a lot of humor and love to the ATAO home front. She lived a very long life, seeing more adventures than most people can dream of. At the ripe old age of 17, she started slowing way down and she told us she was ready to go. We were lucky to schedule a wonderful vet to come over and give Bonnie an loving and happy goodbye. Bonnie is so loved and so missed. 

The vet that had come over did a thorough exam of old lady Linda, and providing her some pain management and other assistances. The vet had a tough discussion with Shawn about an impending and high likelihood she was nearing her time to go. Linda was as ever covered in lumps, and one of them had been growing at an alarming rate. 

Early in Shawn’s acquisition of Ms. Linda, she was scheduled with the vets for a dental cleaning, and ‘debulking’ of some of her worst tumors. During the procedure Linda became tachycardic and was unable to properly breath under anesthetic. There were many health complications uncovered during that vet visit and several subsequent visits. Linda had many health complications and ultimately was unable to be put through surgery as part of care for her.

Last week, one of Linda’s most threatening lumps ulcerated open. It was recommended by several vets that if that were to happen, that would be the day we should say goodbye to Linda. Shawn was not ready to say goodbye to Linda. She was still wagging her nub of a tail, taking treats, barking for breakfast, bossing Oliver around, and so much more just that morning. 

Shawn is heartbroken that they’ve lost another senior friend. Shawn keeps adopting senior animals, despite that absolute crushing heartbreak that keeps following after too short of a time. 

Anyways, this is an update to all of the ATAO Followers who have loved these old silly girls along with Shawn and Will. We feel so lucky to have so many people are invested in each of the dogs’ personalities, quirks, and lives. Even the oddball senior dogs, who Shawn has a special place in their heart for, are also cared for by the buddy’s and followers. That is so special, and we are so grateful for you all. 

From Will:

The day after we let Bonnie go, my phone showed me some featured photos that included a lot of our first year in Fairbanks with ATAO. How did that time go by already? How is it so many of the dogs in these photos are gone? It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I’m trying to keep plugging along because if I don’t, I don’t know what happens, but the truth is, I’m heartbroken.

I didn’t even think I liked that old Linda dog.

It just feels so lonely without them.

3 Responses

  1. Cat
    | Reply

    Will and Shawn-
    While I can’t imagine the depth of this loss I am so sad to hear of Bonnie’s passing (and Linda). I know Hooch has greeted her with a whiff of indifference but a way as well. Always here to support the senior staff for as long as they are here

  2. Lara @feralSara
    | Reply

    I’m so sorry! No matter how long they’re with us it’s never long enough.

    Shawn is an elder angle for dogs that might never get homes. They have beds, and treats, and so much love!

    Thanks for letting us know. Bonnie and Linda will always be with you. Bonnie will be leading the team on every rum

  3. Mona
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing. Your love for both these magnificent creatures is so clear. They were lucky to have you.

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