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Tlingit's Memorial
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A donation was made in Tlingit's memory by Christie A.. His memorial was created on 8/11/2009.
Tlingit (pronounced klink-it) was born June 26, 1999. He had a great life growing up in the suburbs and was fortunate enough to spend the last 7 of his 10 years living on a beautiful lake, every water dog’s dream. Like most retrievers, he loved swimming, retrieving, and rescuing rocks from the bottom of the lake. He also loved having a job to do - whether it was carrying food up from the basement, spotlessly cleaning any dish placed before him, or helping his mom put away the equipment after agility class. He was not a slobbery kissy dog, he rarely licked anyone, but when no one was looking, he would let his mommy smooch on him. That was not to say he wasn’t affectionate and loving. He’d spend the whole day by your side if you were hurt or sad and sometimes in the middle of the night he’d whack his chin on the bed and wake you up, just to check that you were ok.

A few months before his 7th birthday, Tlingit was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on his ribs. We brought him to WSU to find out our options. We struggled with whether or not to pursue treatment. We didn’t want to do surgery if he wouldn’t be able to lead the kind of life he loved afterwards. There are no guarantees in life and the last thing we’d want to do was cause him any pain. We went ahead with the surgery and ensuing chemo and were so happy we did!! We were told this would buy him about 12 more months of life, and miraculously, 3 years later he was still osteosarcoma free! I thought he would live forever. But a couple of weeks after his 10th birthday he got very weak, had trouble breathing, and turned his nose away from food. I rushed him back to WSU only to discover tumors in his liver, chest, and other places. There would be no miracle this time and I had to make the horribly difficult decision to put my beloved golden boy to sleep, I couldn’t allow him to suffer.

Tlingit was a kind and gentle soul, but he was stingy with his food and especially his toys. He was fascinated by horses and rabbits; he was patient with children; he loved ice cream, stealing toilet paper rolls, sliding face first into the snow, doing a victory dance after every successful water retrieve, laying next to his golden sister Kootenai, locking lips with his labrador brother Shilo to pull toys out of Shilo’s mouth, running to the burn pile and the barn with his mom, playing ball with his dad, dancing in the kitchen with his mom, and supervising his dad’s cooking. He delighted in meal time and would spin like a Lipizzaner stallion, sort of up on his hind legs, before each meal. He was a teetotaler and would turn his back on you when you drank a beer.

We feel so blessed to have had him in our lives and so lucky to have had the 3 extra years after his osteosarcoma diagnosis, what I thought was a sure death sentence. We thank everyone at WSU and Whitefish Animal Hospital for all the great care they provided Tlingit throughout his life. Tlingit was the greatest dog I’ve ever known and we miss him every day.

Shawn S.

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