Scout was my 2nd golden retriever and my 17th dog, and he the biggest of all of them and, oddly enough, the only one afraid of thunder and lightning. One particular night this penchant proved problematic. I had a lovely Swedish couple who were here for the night at my bed and breakfast, the Inn at Saint James Court. I’ve always had my dogs sleep in my first-floor bedroom with me, but as that night’s storm got worse and worse, Scout began panting loudly and pacing, his nails noisily tap tap taping on the wooden floor. Knowing I had to be up early and alert the next morning, I opened my bedroom door and ushered him out, figuring he could retreat to his favorite spot in the living room. Well…the next morning he was nowhere to be found. He hadn’t gone out the pet door to the back yard, and he was nowhere downstairs. Then just before breakfast time, I heard him coming down from the second floor guest area, followed by my two guests. Apparently my 80-lb boy had run straight upstairs to the only occupied guest suite and scratched on the door. They actually let him in, whereupon he jumped on their queen-size bed and spent the entire stormy night sleeping in bed between them. On hearing this, I was not only embarrassed, but I also immediately conjured up horrible visions of a bad Trip Advisor review. However, this couple really seemed to feel honored that my precious, guest-loving golden boy had chosen them to sleep with them. And no doubt they returned to Sweden with quite the tale of their unique experience at an American inn.
Scout actually loved all the guests who visited my inn, and most took to him as well. Always, he’d accompany us as I led the guests to their quarters. But as much as Scout loved our guests and, being a golden, meals and treats, he would abandon all the aforementioned in a heartbeat for a chance to ride in the car.
In cool weather I took him with me whenever possible, and he would quietly sit in the back seat looking out the window. And, no matter how long I was gone, Scout was content just sitting there in the car. Also, the appearance of my walking shoes and a leash always sent him into a delirium of excitement—except on Friday, the 17th of April. At first somewhat eager for a walk, he quickly lost all enthusiasm, so we cut our walk time in half. The next morning he was uncharacteristically listless, so off to my vet we went for a drop off. Even before I got back home, his vet called me with the heartstopping news: Scout had an intestinal tumor that required emergency surgery, which commenced immediately. When I picked him up to take him to be cared for overnight at a veterinary ER, my vet showed me the hideous fist-sized tumor. The prognosis was guarded, as leakage was possible where the intestines were rejoined. By the morning of day two at the ER, a high white blood cell count told us our worst nightmare was happening. I raced to the ER and held his gorgeous face in my hands as a kindly veterinarian gently took the life of my sweet boy. As with all of my past canine farewells, mine was the last face he saw as he drifted off. I miss him terribly, but I’m so grateful to GRRAND for the 4 wonderful years that I was able to spend with this special boy. Thank you GRRAND for trusting me to love and care for him.