Rufnit Kennels Braque du Bourbonnais – In Remembrance…

October 30, 2000 – March 25, 2009

Dear Friends and Family:
Echo past away at 9:25 PM Wednesday March 25, 2009.  He left us from our home, while I held him closely in my arms.  I told him he could leave us, but in my heart I desperately wanted him to stay.
There have always been dogs that stand above the common and Echo was one of them.
Echo’s acquisition was actually him selecting me.  While sitting with the pups, he continuously came and laid on my lap.  Weighing only 3.6 pounds at six weeks, he was the smallest of his litter.  When arriving back to the hotel awaiting our return flight, I cried on the phone to my father, knowing that I likely made an irreversibly bad decision by selecting Echo.  He must have known that I would take care of him no matter what and allow him the opportunity to make his mark in this world.  I’m sure he wanted to share his natural abilities with us and give us guidance into keeping his breed alive.
Echo was a companion of many traits.  In the beginning, he helped smooth the edges of the hole in my heart left by the unexpected loss of my four month old grandson.  Echo may have thought at that time this was his sole purpose.  He soon fell ill and it was time for me to stand behind him.
Echo was unfortunate to be born with a heart defect.  Even though his heart never worked properly, he didn’t allow it to affect his short life.  Any one that knew Echo, knew that he couldn’t have loved more or been a better companion.  He only wanted to please us in every aspect.
We made several trips to the Veterinarian Colleges in Iowa and Kansas to have Echo diagnosed.  Echo’s diagnoses wasn’t good, he had inherited Pulmonic Stenosis with the life expectancy of five (5) years if everything was in our favor.  Without a second thought, I tube fed him for eight months, until he was strong enough and understand that I needed more time with him.  Echo’s health had to be monitored strictly, which became second nature to both of us.
As his journey continued, he guided me to NAVHDA.  This was his effort to allow my father and I irreplaceable time together training for events and our hunting trips.  Days were spent in the field and water while our father/daughter bond was reinstated.  Echo wouldn’t let us finish off the day without a stop for some Lemon Ice Cream at the local Dairy Sweet, where everyone looked forward to Echo and Lulu’s visits.
Echo, being an extremely outstanding companion, led us to the acquisition of another Braque du Bourbonnais.  By now, Echo had us infected with the “NAVHDA” bug.  Even though we were referred to as the “off-breed” in our local chapter, Echo’s talent and personality was turning heads.  Despite Echo’s medical condition he was a quick study and effortlessly received his NA, UPT and UT titles.  According to NAVHDA data, after thirteen years of being in the US, the breed was barely known.  By Echo leading us to NAVHDA and introducing Rufnit Kennels, the ball got rolling in North America.  Echo’s encouragement gave us the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world, even stirring the interest and support of breeders and enthusiasts in France.
Although Echo’s health continued downward, he continued to hunt for short periods when able and looked forward to cleaning up the bird field after working pups.  No ball or bird ever got left behind.  Echo continued to greet everyone as a long time friend.  He never met a stranger and always made everyone’s day.  Even though Echo never sired a litter himself, he was the “father” of many.
Echo likely thought he had done what he could for me, Rufnit Kennels, NAVHDA and his breed world wide.  It was apparent the time was getting closer for him to move on.  He had a bad spell right before thanksgiving 2008.  I told him that his “grandpa” was coming back for the holidays and he needed to be here to greet him.  Echo’s love for his “grandpa” pulled him through and we all enjoyed the holidays together.  Grandpa was able to see Echo’s “happy feet,” hear his opinion on how Grandpa threw the ball and retrieve the chukar Grandpa shot out of the pine tree with a BB gun!
On March 24, 2009 we crawled into bed.  Echo made his “hole” under the covers as usual.  Soon, something went terribly wrong and Echo’s system wasn’t right.  The next day, Echo visited our Veterinarian and the revealed news was devastating.  My little Echo’s system was shutting down and it was time for him to leave us.  We brought him home, laid him on the bed under the covers, where I laid next to him holding him in my arms.  As his loving eye’s looked into mine filled with tears, he seemed to be saying “Don’t cry Mom, everything is going to be alright.”  I held him in my arms for the last time and told him that I loved him so much, that I was letting him go.  I thanked him for always being there for me and staying as long as he could.  My heart seemed to tear from my chest as he slipped away, the pain, sadness and emptiness was overwhelming.
Words will never express what Echo meant to me.  I go to bed each night missing the touch of his head as it lays on the bend of my knees.  The mornings are painful when he’s not there to greet me out of the shower and ask “what are we going to do today Mom?” while putting forth his cheek for his morning kiss.  There’s no more two-way conversations with him while traveling in the truck nor getting his opinion on the next activity.  No more reassuring looks when I’m feeling down, the turn of his head to let me know he’s listening.  As much as my heart hurts now, if given the chance, I would do it all over again.  He was more than a pet, he was my friend, companion and family…I miss him dearly!Glimpse into Echo’s journey…

I lost a treasured friend today

The little dog who used to lay

His gentle head upon my knee

And share his silent thoughts with me.

He’ll come no longer to my call,

Retrieve no more his favorite ball

A voice far greater than my own

Has called him to His golden throne.

And though my eyes are filled with tears,

I thank Him for the happy years

He let him spend down here with me,

And for his love and loyalty.

Thank you for picking me!

License #KN744

Rufnit Kennels, LLC BdB * C/O Shari Stueck * 5900 Saltillo Road * Lincoln NE 68516-9209 * (402) 423-0995 or (402) 560-8652