Tribute to Baggy: Top Chocolate Lab

Baggy: 23rd of December 1997 – 24th of June 2011

When we moved to Australia in November 2007, he was the first to arrive having flown three weeks ahead of us to begin his stint in quarantine.

Some of you will have read the ‘horror story’ of when we picked him up from Brisbane airport after he flew in from Sydney, having completed his one month behind bars.

That was just over three years and seven months ago and I remember joking, mainly because of the expense of bringing him here, that I wanted at least another four years out of him to make it worth it.

Well, we nearly got them, but not quite.

A Young Baggy

A young Baggy being a bit cheeky.

What can I tell you about Baggy?

  • He never had a fight in his life.
  • He never barked either.
  • He never chased a ball, ever. But he had a way of looking at you as if to say “Whadya throw that for?”
  • He loved pig’s ears, his favourite treat.
  • He really lurved his favourite blue cushion, perhaps a little too much. Like three times in 5 minutes some evenings.
  • He understood more English words than a dog should be able to.
  • His favourite hobbies were eating and…. No, just eating.
  • He liked to go for walks, but not for the exercise. He just loved smelling stuff.

But a couple of years or so ago, he started to go deaf. Then just over a year ago, he was diagnosed with heart problems and put on medication. Maybe he should have chased those balls?

Then a couple of months ago, he developed a growth on his back foot. At first it was thought to be a cyst, but developed into something much more sinister and began to spread. We knew we would have to make a decision one day, and that day was today.

Baggy - June 2011

An older Baggy - taken June 2011

It’s been a tough day for us all, but I’m happy to say that my wife, Karen and my daughter, Elizabeth, have both coped tremendously well in spite of their sadness.

Yesterday, Baggy was exactly 13 1/2 years old, a good innings for a Lab, but there will be no tomorrow for Baggy. Not in this world anyway.

His Australian dream is over and a new adventure is starting. Maybe he will be able to join his old mate Cleo who passed away three years ago, and have some fun again, just like the old days.

I first put this video online in my post called Baggy’s Story where you can also read about that incident when we picked him up from the airport. But I’m posting the same video here again today, and I make no excuses for that.

It’s my tribute to Baggy. Top dog, you’ll be sorely missed. Good boy Baggy!

 

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • BobinOz July 18, 2011, 9:16 pm | Link

    Thanks Maureen and Bahar, thanks for your kind words for Baggy.

    I have had more tributes for Baggy come in via email……….

    Hi Bob,

    We are so sorry to hear about your darling Baggy. Deepest sympathies from a family who understands (and loves their own dog – a Dax). R.I.P. Baggy.

    Best Wishes,

    Wendy

    Hi Bob Sorry to hear your sad news
    all the best

    Mike

    Hi Bob

    How very sad indeed, this news of your beloved friend, especially because he has lived your move to Oz too!
    It is great (well…) that you have the guts to post this, because this helps you through the process!

    ……… I wish you and your family all the best in giving your dog a beautiful place in your memories, because that is what they always get: our beloved pets!

    See ya Bob,

    Cheers

    Krista

    Hi, Bob i can really understand how you and your family would feel about losing such a great family member .i have gone through your video and its really touching, And this also remind us how temporal is the world that we live, it remind me of the book of James 4: that how apostle james compare our human life just like a vapour which remain for a moment and vanish soon. may the Lord bring a new fresh thought about him through this baggy incident, God bless you all.
    In Christ Sister Kim Vaiphei

    dear mr. robert of oz: My sincere sympathies for the loss of your long-term pet “Baggy”. I certainly realize what a hole that can leave in your present family composition. Were I to have been there, I would have played “Taps” for his passing.
    Respectfully,

    Donn

    G’day Bob, we too have just lost our sammy (Jack Russell) to cancer aged 10 and a half, it happened very suddenly and only a couple of weeks before we were granted our visa for Australia. The plan was for him to spend his retirement years chilling out in Oz. We have got his ashes with us so he can still take this adventure with us.

    Lee & Steph

    Hi again Bob.Sorry to hear of Baggys demise.Its always tough to lose a good friend be it man,or beast.At 13plus years he sure did give it a fair go mate. We are having our yearly hot spell now,but only inthe 90s so far. I hope you get back to normal without too much trouble Bob.Until the next time ,best to you. Tom.
    …………………………………………………………..

    My heartfelt thanks to you all, and the reader who sent me a picture of Baggy with angel wings and the caption ‘Run free now….’

    I’m sure Baggy is running free and playing as he hasn’t done for a while.

    Cheers

    Bob

  • Bahar July 12, 2011, 5:55 pm | Link

    Bob, I am so sorry to hear that … I didn’t know Baggy but when I saw his pictures I found him so cute… I personally have no pet but at home a fish. I understand that living so long with an animal will make it harder to loosing it. I hope you will be happy again soon.

  • Maureen July 11, 2011, 9:07 pm | Link

    So sorry to read about Baggy, hope he has fun with our Mackenzie who we had to say goodbye to 3 weeks ago…
    Love your blog, keep it up, thanks,
    Maureen

  • Heidi June 29, 2011, 5:21 am | Link

    Ahh Bob, Mrs Bob and Elizabeth,

    I am so sorry to hear your sad loss of Baggy.

    I am still in the UK but have followed your story for a long time and Baggy was so cute and I remember reading when you went to collect him.

    If I ever get to move out, I would not hesitate to bring my westie because of you and Baggy, is he going to heaven in your garden or is he being buried somewhere else? what are the rules in Oz for pet burials, all our pets get buried in the garden normally here.

    take care, love Heidi

    • BobinOz June 29, 2011, 10:02 pm | Link

      Hi Heidi

      Thank you for your condolences.

      Yes, do make sure you bring your dog with you, you would never forgive yourself if you left him behind. We did’t check out the rules here, I think we could have buried Baggy in the garden if we had wished to, but we chose cremation instead.

      We are going to plant a special tree and sprinkle Baggy’s magic dust around the roots and put a plaque up in his honour. It will be our special tree in the garden.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • BobinOz June 28, 2011, 2:51 pm | Link

    Hi Nicky & Rupert

    Thank you for your kind comments. I have answered you both at the same time because I am absolutely thrilled that Baggy’s story has encouraged you to bring your pets with you too. And if both of you have been inspired by the story, then hopefully many others out there will have been as well.

    I truly believe that families should do everything they possibly can to bring their pets with them, and if Baggy’s story is persuading people to do that, well, how wonderful.

    Thanks

    Bob

  • Rupert June 25, 2011, 7:52 pm | Link

    I just woke up to your news. I’m so sorry.

    I know we’ve never met or even spoken, but reading your blog and bantering with you now and then has made me feel part of your adventure.

    Baggy’s story has inspired my wife and I to bring our cats out with us, so I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your lives and losses with all of us in cyberspace.

    All the best

    Rupert

  • Nicky June 25, 2011, 7:26 pm | Link

    That brought tears to my eyes. We’ve only just arrived and our cats are just settling in. They’re here in part because of Baggy – I’ve been following for a long time and Baggy’s story made me realise having them here too was possible when everyone else was telling me it was a silly idea to bring them (and selfish).

    I’ve also had to make that difficult decision (with another cat). I’m thinking of you all and hoping that Baggy is off walking somewhere new. With lots of things to sniff.

    Best wishes to you, Mrs Bobinoz and Elizabeth

    Nicky x

  • Kaven June 25, 2011, 5:35 pm | Link

    I am sorry for your loss;

    Bob, I’ve read every post from you blog since 2 months after you started writing. I’m betting Baggy was the glue that held your family together the first few months in Brisbane. I know your wife had a hard time, and when she did not want you to see any tears, Baggy was there. And for your daughter, She had none of her toys, but there was one rather large Toy… Baggy. An Important thing to remember is at Elizabeth’s age, the loss of a loved pet is the best was to learn about death and mourning. And to you, its always hard to say by to an old mate, but we are Males and Fathers logic takes over… Nothing living should suffer undue pain, the right thing had to be done.

    I do have to disagree with the wording of one sentence “His Australian dream is over….”

    Na mate, I’d say his Australian Adventure is complete : )

    Best wishes to your family and to yourself

    Kaven

    • BobinOz June 28, 2011, 2:51 pm | Link

      Hi Kaven

      You are spot on. Baggy helped us more than he would ever have known, especially over the first few months. And I love your slight amendment to my post, sounds much better your way.

      Cheers

      Bob

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