DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 05/13/02


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– Ch. Rokadanes Quincy –

May 13, 2002 – This week's DaDane features a memorial portrait of five-year-old Ch. Rokadanes Quincy, better known as Butch to his friends and family. You may recognize Butch from an earlier portrait which, like this one, was derived from photos I took at the 2001 GDCA National Specialty. Two months after the pictures were taken, Butch succumbed to an unusual and aggressive form of fibrosarcoma – more common to cats than dogs and highly resistant to chemotherapy. Butch was put to rest just three weeks after his first symptoms appeared.

Butch's breeders and owners, Peg and Scot Billings of Rokadane Great Danes, were unprepared for the sudden loss. They found that simple daily habits would bring back memories of Butch. A few weeks after Butch died, Scot sent me a note in which he talked about the subtle emotional adjustments a person makes after losing a special companion:

"Butch knew that I normally had a bagel for breakfast and he loved to get his piece. He also knew that if he begged, he would be told to lay down. He'd just lie nearby while I ate my bagel. He wouldn't look at me until I was almost done. Then he would come over and stare quietly while I took 'baby bites' until the piece was just about his size. I still find myself taking those 'baby bites' toward the end of my bagel, but now there's no Butch to share the last piece with."

Scot went on to say how ordinary daily activities, the kind we hardly think about at the time, would suddenly remind him of Butch. Scot's words were prophetic. We lost Jabber almost a month to the day after Scot and Peg lost Butch. Scot was right, memories of Jabber would pop up when least expected; sometimes they still do. Our pets become part of the fabric of our life, and it takes a long time to establish new patterns.

Butch's memory lives on with Peg and Scot Billings, and it will continue through many generations of his offspring.

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