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Our Sweet Office Greeter Buckshot Has Retired

On June 5, 2018, in News From Gayle, by Gayle Brantuk

Many of you are familiar with our Chocolate Lab, Buckshot. And, I’m so very sad to say that he passed away on Friday, May 4. 

He was just a dog–at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Then how come it hurts so badly now that he’s gone? Why do I keep crying and missing him and feel such a gaping hole in my life?

Buckshot came into our lives over 15 years ago on Valentine’s weekend. He came to us as a slobbery, furry mess of love and left us the same way. For me, he was a vessel for the motherly love I so desperately needed to give because of the void after my son Ryan’s passing. And Buckshot was more than happy to receive all the love I could give and return it in spades.

For most of his life, he was like my shadow. When I’d get up at work, he’d follow, when I did chores at home, he was right by my side. And usually, right in the way. I’d stop and look at him and say, really buddy, is that where you’re going to lay–right in that spot I’m about to vacuum? Early on, he learned what “move” meant. When he was laying on the rug outside the shower I’d say “move” and he’d dutifully move to a different spot where he could still keep an eye on me. He was my little guardian.

The weekend we picked him up from the San Diego area breeder as a 7 week old puppy, we were in a hurry to get our little bundle of love, and John was driving a bit fast. Of course, we were pulled over and as soon as the police officer saw the kennel in the back seat, and all the magazines about Labs on my lap, he looked at us and asked why we were in such a hurry. We excitedly told him that we were going to pick up our Chocolate Lab puppy. Of course, he also had a Lab and shared our excitement for this wonderful breed. And, he sent us on our way with a warning and told us to take the money we saved from the ticket and buy him some toys. Well, that was the start of a wonderful journey.

This adorable puppy with huge feet stretched out on my chest and he and I slept all the way home. Once he got in our house, he walked over and took a big drink of water which interestingly, seems to get caught in all the folds of his jowls and then slops all over the floor as he walks. I thought, “what have we got ourselves into?” Well, I know what it was now. He wasn’t “just a dog”. He was our buddy, our office greeter, our cheerer upper, our comic relief, our little gift from God that never stopped giving.

Buckshot helping as I answer boat plans questions.

Thankfully, John spent many months training Buck when he was little and turned him into a very obedient boy. He heeled when we walked him, never jumped on the bed or furniture and would refrain from eating a steak that was inches from his face. For a guy extremely motivated by food, that took a lot of discipline.

He’s been such a trooper as his body was failing him. For some time now, John and I drug him up and down the stairs, out to do his business, helping him stand while he ate and so on and he resigned himself to this new way of life. But we eventually knew he was done and that was the hardest decision we’ve had to make. I didn’t realize how much our lives revolved around this one goofy guy.

He loves his daddy…

Walking into the office the first morning after he passed was heart breaking. Who will greet the UPS man, or the mailman or the customers that love him? He’s definitely made his mark and will never be gone from our thoughts and hearts. But, there will be a void in our lives as those of you who have lost a beloved pet can certainly attest. We miss you buddy… 

Buckshot Brantuk
December 23, 2002 – May 4, 2018

Our old guy in April 2018

His kissable gray muzzle…

His seat in the car to and from Glen-L every day.

Right behind the seat at my desk, ever keeping watch

Buckshot and his neighbor friend Lily

The face we fell in love with…

In his younger days…


In our younger days…

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Your Thoughts?

11 Responses to Our Sweet Office Greeter Buckshot Has Retired

  1. Brian Loveless says:

    Galye, thanks for sharing the status of Buckshot. I’m guessing he’s had a great run of life considering he was your close friend. I have had many furry friends pass and it’s a difficult thing to adjust to. On a different note, I would like to say that the Newt is still swimming and happy.

  2. Tommy says:

    Dear Gayle……NEVER accept the statement the he was just a dog!
    A dog comes to us at some stage of it’s life and IMMEDIATELY begins to become a part of our basic being until his spirit becomes mingled with our spirit. Then, suddenly, we are spiritually one. When he has to go “home”, it is an indescribably excruciating painful awakening! I don’t think it is humanly possible to ever get over the indescribable loss except to KNOW that some day WE WILL BE REUNITED!!
    God Bless You,

  3. John Wilder says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Of course you are crying, it was not just a dog but a beloved family member. Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I type this. He will not be replaceable in your heart but as time goes by, you just need to get a new pup who will be completely different.

    Blessings on you and yours

  4. Jim Vibert says:

    They have a tendency to grown on us. I still miss my chocolate lab “Chaco”. He was a great companion. He was tough on the other dogs and would pin my wife in the bathroom late at night during his later years . 16 years is a long time for a big dog. Yours was able to be a good friend longer than mine. I chose to think he knowingly made a space for our newer dogs.

  5. Mark Freeman says:

    Gayle- So sorry for the loss of your companion.

  6. Dan Hennis says:

    Let me be one of the first to say from experience like yours, your description probably does not do him justice. These wonder friends are as important and valuable as almost any child. I lost my first handicapped companion “Moose” to a cruel rancher that lured him off our property because he hated us. The loss is hard to fill. I have worked and schemed for over 18 years, how to get another like my moose. If my efforts are successful, I know it will not replace your Buckshot, but I will have an extremely rare and special friend to send your way. My wife’s and my hearts go out for your loss.

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