Our beloved Gus passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 16 from severe acute pancreatitis, at the age of ten. Everything happened very quickly, and he was at home until we rushed him to our family vet. We were there to love, kiss, soothe, and talk to him in his last moments. We were not prepared to let him go, but we did, and our hearts have been broken since that morning.

We adopted Gus and Phoebe ten years ago. They were two of the puppies from a litter CILRA rescued, and were together at a foster home. We went for one furry black puppy, and we came home with two. Phoebe was outgoing, and Gus was shy and reserved. We couldn’t bear to separate them, and so they became our first twins. Two years later, our human twins were born, and our family of six was complete. Gus and Phoebe’s personalities never changed, and Gus remained the sweetest, most patient boy. They were never apart, unless someone made a sly escape outside, to frolic about for a few minutes. The dog remaining inside would run to each door and window, frantically trying to see the escapee. When he or she did return, they were promptly sniffed and eagerly welcomed back. If they did manage to escape together, they would sprint off with reckless abandon, side by side, gleefully ignoring our calls to them, and reveling in their shared mischievousness. Gus and Phoebe were simply two halves of one shared heart, and our gregarious girl is lost without her brother. Things will never be the same, and we were certainly not ready to say goodbye. We can’t sing the same songs to Phoebe now, because his name is part of the tunes. We never realized how much we sang their little songs to them, until now. We can’t “talk” for him; this was a big part of our inner family banter and jokes. We miss our Gussy. Our Gentle Gus. We miss that quiet, gentlemanly personality, and the way he would awkwardly climb up into our laps unannounced, to snuggle. We miss the knowing eyes listening to us, with the little eyebrows that would jump up and down, back and forth, as we talked to him. Instead of having him here to love, we will remember all the love, happiness, and fun we got to share with him for ten years. We’ll remember his velvety soft ears, and delicate little paws, like a rabbit’s. We’ll remember his hot breath on our legs, as we ate. We’ll remember the rare outbursts and occasions when he would get excited, scrambling and racing across the floor, or tossing his bone up in the air. He was a funny guy. We’ll remember his naughty side, and how he liked to chew things once in a while. When both dogs were asked about the chewed item, he would instantly and comically give himself away, hanging his head down low. Oops. We’ll remember how well they could count together; snacks always had to be evenly portioned out, back and forth–a bite for you, a bite for me. They were counting, and knew who was still owed their turn. We’ll remember how Gus loved to feel the breeze when riding in the van, and the trips where we packed so many people and dogs and dog beds and luggage into a single vehicle. He was the boy who remained so calm, little children meeting him for the first time were quickly ready to reach out and pet him. We will miss everything about Gus, and the role he played in our family. We loved him so much. We’ll have to find a different happiness without him. We’ll have to sing Phoebe new songs.

– Kelly and Adam R. & Family