December 25, 2003 – August 2, 2019
She was born on Christmas morning in a litter of five adorable puppies in varying shades of brindle and white in a home near Lake Lanier. We went to meet her when she was only 5 weeks old. Jim wanted the ‘cartoon puppy’ so that was that. A few weeks later a wild and fierce little piebald Stafford called ‘Pnut’ came home with us. Life was about to change for us forever.
It was said had another family bought this puppy certainly she would be returned back to her breeder. She was a challenge. We had no idea how much of a challenge she was going to be. She was bold and fierce for sure and had a very strong will. She loved her food and she loved using her voice. Pnut never missed a meal. In fact, one of her first times in a show ring a judge even made this comment: “Bring fatty over for her ribbon” During the win photo the judge cracked jokes about how Pnut didn’t live far from the refrigerator. Pnut did not know it that day but she was about to go on a diet and learn to exercise more.
Pnut and I worked together every day. She was situated by my desk all day long as I worked from my home office. We attended classes, we walked, we went everywhere together. People stopped us daily telling us how she looked like a little cartoon. Of course we already knew that. By the time Pnut was 8 months old she had learned almost 50 tricks. When she reached a year her repertoire had nearly doubled. Her favorite trick was saying ‘I Love You’. Once she found her voice she never forgot how to use it. Pnut was well known for her vocal ‘talents’.
Some dogs are the glue of a household. Pnut was such a dog. She raised many puppies, she explained the rules to dozens of fosters and visitors and she could stop a dog in its tracks with just a sideways glare. She was definitely large and in charge. She greeted strangers and explained the rules to them as well. We all obeyed, mostly.
Cancer made its evil ways into Pnuts body several times over the years. This last one proved too much for her though. She was nearing 16 years old and it was just too much for her to overcome, though she tried. Last evening she accompanied the crew on a walk around the front pasture and she stopped at her favorite pear tree for a snack. That would be the last time she enjoyed an evening of pears, bird watching and walking with her friends. Very early this morning a large spleen hemangiosarcoma she had lived with for close to six months that we know of finally ruptured and Pnut told me the time was now. I was lucky to find a veterinarian who came to our home and helped me say goodbye for the last time. Nealie was with her too, laying gently alongside her, helping me hold her safe as we said goodnight. I asked Pnut to look for Toby, Lucy Bean and Captain and I told her how much we all loved her over and over…but she knew that already. She was one tough bitch – perfectly Stafford, perfectly Pnut.
Our home is too quiet tonight.