When you take the first steps without me, please remember I trained you well, I guided you and above all, I loved you unconditionally and with my whole heart.
When I come into your thoughts, just know that I am in your heart and I am always beside you; knowing I never really left you.
🐾 Ryan Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside Hurd ❧
A final goodbye to "my little love"
ah my little love,
What an amazing & wonderful life you & I shared together. Our life together began well before you knew me.
Less than a month before you were born, I had lost my sweet little Murray & 18 months prior to his passing, my beloved Brandi passed away. In the second week in October of 2010, I was at work & I took a break & I Goggled Labradors. I have always thought Labradors were beautiful dogs. My google search turned up a website of a Labrador breeder in North Georgia. I looked through her site & just as I about to log out, I saw a picture of you. Little Ryan, a pic of you just a week old. At that moment, my heart melted & I fell in love. I fell in love with a picture of the most cutest, most sweetest puppy in the world.
I contacted the breeder & asked about you. She told me all about you, though there wasn't much to say, lol. You were only a week old. You were the second to the last puppy born to Brut & Copper. I have to say that out of your brothers & sisters, you were the most handsome & the cutest. I explained that I had just lost Murray & that I was interested in you & only you. She explained to me that there were two other people who had deposits down for your particular litter; but she said to me, that if someone picked you, she would return my deposit. I quickly placed my deposit. Now the only thing I had to do was to wait another three weeks. In three weeks the first two people were going to pick their puppies. I prayed daily that no one would want you. I know that sounds bad. But I wanted you.
Those three weeks by so slowly. On Sunday night, I got a call. I was so afraid that someone had picked you & I was going to be refunded my deposit. I mean who would not pick you. You were perfect. I was given the news that you were mine. I screamed for joy. Now I just had to wait to pick you up, which was scheduled for the Friday before Thanksgiving. I could barely contain myself & keep myself busy. I was so excited. I had not even met you & I was in love & you knew nothing of me.
November 19, 2010, I went to work, did very little work & left at noon. I had to go pick up Joe at the train station. He was going to ride up with me to pick you up. Do you remember Joe? You used to torment the hell out of him, steal his food off his plate, hide the remote. I thought it was hysterical & that you were a very good judge of character. We arrived a little after 1PM. I was so excited. Before I was able to meet you, I meet with the breeder, chatted with her for her to get to know me a bit. She was very protective of her puppies. I met Brut, your dad, who was a little on the agressive side & your mom, Copper, who was sweet as could be. You definitely took after your mom, but had a little bit of your dad in you.
After we had chatted & met your parents, she picked you up & we walked down to the pond. Do you remember the pond? You had been in the pond a few days before I picked you up & you smelled like the pond, LOL. You reeked! I'm sorry to say that my little love, but you reeked!! Anyway, we all walked down to the pond. The breeder held you until we got to the pond. What I did not know was that before the breeder would let you leave, she wanted to see how you & I reacted to each other.
When we reached the pond, she put you on the ground & I knelt down & you came running up to me & starting licking my face. At that moment, our fates was sealed. We were bonded for life. I kissed you back & then we played. At first I sat on the ground with you jumping on me. Then I got up, we ran around, you going towards the pond & me running the other way & you turned & started to come after me. We played for about a half hour while the other two talked amongst themselves. At that point neither of them mattered to us. Twenty minutes of us playing, the breeder said to Joe that she had no issues with you coming home with me. When we started heading back, the breeder tried to give you a hug & kiss you put your paw on her face & licked my cheek. She laughed & wished us well. We left & you fell asleep in the car. You slept the entire way home. You were so tired.
We arrived home & we went up the apartment. You explored a bit. You found your pillow I had for you & your toys & chewies. You sniffed everything, found your water & food bowl, ran a little bit. Then you sat in my lap, I was sitting on the floor & you crawled up into a ball in my lap. It was so sweet, you stayed like that for a bit then got up running around again. I took you outside & you did your business. I was so proud of you. Already knew to go outside (not really, I just knew to take you outside). When we came back in, I gave you a little dinner, you weren't too hungry. Then I sat in the chair, holding you. You fell asleep on my chest, right over my heart. I had Joe take a picture of us. Still to this day, it is probably my favorite photo of us. It is just so sweet. Since it had been a long day, we went to bed around 10PM. Which is funny, for the rest of your life, you always went to bed around 10PM. If I was watching tv or studying, you would go into the bedroom around 10 every night. I let you sleep with me the first night & every night from then on. I think this was the first time you slept in a bed. This was the only night you ever slept in my arms. As you know the following night, you slept facing the door & we always slept touching each other.
The next day, I took you for your first vet visit. You were a very good puppy during your exam. The vet was very impressed that you took your shots without any issues. You did very well.
After our vet visit, you & I hung out for the day. We didn't do too much, I was really watching for any reactions to your vacines. You slept most of the afternoon. On Sunday, we got up & I took you to church with me. The plan was to go to the first service then come home. When we got to the church, you met Logan, Q & we just hung out. The four of us went out in front of the church & just watched you play around. I'm not sure if you remember this, but we did go into the jazz service. We left when the music started. It was so loud & it startled you. We quickly left & hung out at the church.
Now your first real excitement came on Monday night, the 22nd of November. We had just come in from going outside before turning in for the night. You wanted to get up on the couch, I placed you on the couch & then we heard a few popping sounds. The popping was loud enough that you perked your head up & I immediately jumped on top of you. I thought the guy upstairs had shot his girlfriend. I stayed on top of you for a bit. We heard him run from the bedroom to the front door & I thougth WTF! I figured we would be safe on the couch unless he started shooting thru the ceiling. After about 5 minutes, I got off you & opened up the sliding door. I stuck my head out & all of a sudden about 15 ATL police cars came flying into the complex. You noticed the flashing blue lights & the sirens. You didn't know what to do. If I remember correctly, you wanted to bark but just looked at me. We decided to go out & investigate what was going on. Once outside, we saw Jim & Sookie, your first new friend, & a few other people. We found out that there was a murder in the next building to ours. And that the shooting happened just around the corner from where we had been. After a few moments, more people & dogs came out & that is where you met the chocolate lab, first name began with a M, I don't really remember as that dog was crazy & the girl was even crazier. Anyway, we stayed out for bit. You met some new people & made a few new friends. You were so good in the crowd. You didn't get under foot or act scared. You just stood around with me, socializing & flirting. You were always a major flirt.
We also took our first trip together that week. We went down to Mom's for Thanksgiving. We left on Wednesday for mom's & before we left, we walked down to Starbucks. After that first trip to Starbucks, you were hooked on walking to Starbucks. We walked down, I grabbed a coffee & then we headed back home to get ready. While I showered, you slept on the bed next to my backpack. It was so cute. We drove to mom's & Ryan, you were the best co-pilot. You slept right next to me the entire way. Once we arrived at mom's, I got you out of the car & you walked around sniffing. You were always so good about being off leash. You always stayed right near me, never running off. You met mom & turned on your charm. You sat in her lap & just showered her with affection. She loved your little pink nose. Both of you developed a special bond. You really did love her. The three of us had an amazing Thanksgivng. The first of many.
And that my little love, was our first week together.
We lived in midtown until the first of May in 2014. We had a lot of wonderful times during those years & you made a ton of friends. One thing about you Ryan is that you made friends very easily. You had more friends than I did. You had an uncanny ability to just make friends & to make people & other dogs feel at ease & loved. Your best friend & partner in crime, Bentley, certainly entertained us when you two got together. I am sure the two of you are having a ball together now. You two were two peas in a pod. Both of you also always had to touch each other when you were not running or horse playing. Whether it be your paws or tails, you two always had to be touching. I know Bentley's parents would not be too happy to know this, but when Bentley would sleep over, the two of you took up the entire bed. Back to back the two of you slept. No room for me except that little corner, well until you both knocked me off the bed. And the two of you would toss a ball into the shower while I was showering, expecting me to throw it. A couple of times the two you got into the shower because I wasn't throwing it fast enough. When we would all walk together, you & Bentley were the leaders. One of my favorite times with the two of you, were when we went to the pool at Piedmont Park. The two of you were hysterical. Thankfully you two stayed & played together. It was very easy to keep an eye on the two of you. I picked up matching jester collars for you & Bentley. On the way home, we all stopped at the Tavern on the Park & had some nibbles, nosh & drinks. You & Bentley were under the table, paws touching, both a little tired. Do you remember when you & Bentley going into the older lady's apartment? We were all out playing ball & the older lady on the second floor was on her balcony enjoying watching you all play. She had opened her door & her little poodle came out to join. You & Bentley took that little poodle under your wings & had her running around playing, jumping, barking. Then the older lady called her dog in. She was cooking liver, you & Bentley smelled the liver, went inside her apartment & sat in her kitchen until she gave you each a piece of liver. It was embarrassing but funny as hell. She came on her balcony asking me to come get your two.
Speaking of Splish Splash, the first time we went to Splish Splash, we had the best time. We went for your second birthday. It was great that this event was held on your birthday weekend. It was a truly beautiful day. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining bright & it was warm but not hot. You were truly in your element that day. You swam like an Olympic swimmer, flirted, charmed & rescued the lifeguard. You were an amazing swimmer. I loved seeing you in the water, except at the 'hootch. The one time you tried to swim to the middle of the hootch. I was so afraid when you did that. I couldn't have gotten to you if something had happened & you looked so sad when I said to get out of the water. Speaking of the hootch. You & Chief at the hootch. The two of you were a trip running through the woods, jumping into to nasty swampy puddles & then going down that one cliff & Logan had to go down & rescue the two of you. I am now visioning Brentley, Chief & you right now.
Do you remember the night we saw Coldplay? Amanda, Ava, you & I walked up to Piedmont Park, going behind the trees & up on the hill. There were several people up there, a few other dogs & us. We listened & danced to Coldplay. This was before they blocked the whole park off, such a tragedy, but anyway. We listened to Coldplay & halfway thru Fix You, the four of us went over to the frozen yogart place. While we were walking there, the fireworks went off. The fireworks startled your for a brief second & then you started barking at the fireworks. When they stopped you were so proud for chasing them away, lol. We enjoyed our yogarts & then went home. It was a fun night. You were always a great date. No drama, no stupidity. Just pure fun, enjoyment & fun. I loved our Friday & Saturday night date nights. When we moved out to Dunwoody & Duluth, our date nights were really awesome. I would prepare our dinners, turn on the tv. We would eat while we watched the tv & after we would go for a walk. Then cuddle up on the couch watching a couple hours of tv. You were especially cuddlesome when I had had a bad day & you knew it. You always knew when I needed just a little extra support.
We discovered food trucks while we lived in midtown. Thursday night, our group would walk from the apartment complex up the highlands to the food trucks. I would always pick a truck that I could share some food with you. We would stand in line, order then go sit in the grass. The first time, we didn't think to bring a blanket & ended up standing. It was okay. I think I made up for it with a King of Pops treat. You were always a good boy in public. You never got underfoot or in anyones way. Remember going to the ice cream socials over in O4W? It was fun but I don't think you enjoyed the place. Good thing I got the receipe & made your ice cream treats at home. You knew when I was making your ice cream & would get all excited.
We left Atlanta in May of '14 when I was laid off. You were so supportive while I was unemployed. We ended up moving to WR for a few months. I think you really enjoyed living in WR. You had a much bigger yard to hang out in. It was so funny when we were outside in the yard. You would find a stick & go to the very middle of the front yard & chew your stick. Relaxing in the sun, enjoying chewing the stick. You were a great tree trimmer. One time, you had chewed down all the small trees around the gumball tree down to 2 feet. Mom never really could put her finger on what was different. Thankfully all the branches were in the back yard so she couldn't see.
When we moved back to Atlanta, which now looking back, I wish we never had, I found us a nice place in Dunwoody. It was small place, but we made it work. We really didn't stay in the apartment, unless of course I was studying or coding. You would sit on the couch behind me, watching me. I would talk to you about what I was studying. I would ask your opinion & you would just look at me. You did that right up until our last night. We made our little apartment work. You made new friends. Helped me to make new friends. Remember the Indian girl across from us? She was so afraid of dogs. Once she met you, she wanted one of you. She loved when you would walk backwards into her apartment, hopping up on the sofa. You would go up to her when you saw her, sit on her feet or if she came over & sat on the couch, you would sit right next to her. You had many friend in that complex. Buz the golden. When you two played with a ball it was deadly for anyone around. You two were running & knocking down that kid. Hysterical. When we met Cedric, you didn't think twice about sitting next to him, licking his face. I think you enjoyed when he would knock on the door & I would say attack when opening the door. You would bark one time then get right between his legs so he would have to pet you. And the Greek bakery over there! When we moved in, we would go for a walk around the block. I didn't realize the first time we walked it that it was nearly two miles it seemed. But hey, we enjoyed it. Anyway, as we came to the end of the last corner, you cut thru the gas station, headed straight to the Greek bakery, stopping at the door. I went, picked you up a cookie. The owner came out to meet you & that was it. We had to stop everytime we walked by there to get you a cookie. At least we walked off the calories.
When we moved up to Dunwoody, we started hiking more. Our favorite hiking spot was Raven Cliff Falls. You loved the streams & the sticks. The first time we hiked it, I was a little worried about hiking, I was fearful of bears & snakes. Luckily we never came across one. We would always park in the same location, walk over & get on the trail. You were awesome at helping me in the narrow passages. You went ahead of me, pulling me if I need a little extra help. Which I never really did, I just did that for you to show you how much I needed you. The one time we went & the lady that had a small dog & the two kids with her. She was all worried about a big dog coming towards her & you just walked past her & the kids. Her dog barking, kids screaming. You just walked past them, ignoring them. You were too cool!
Last year, we moved to Duluth. You found a new dog park, which you enjoyed walking in but not really playing in. You never did like mulch on your paws. Or those nasty unsocialized beasts. But you did love the water feature at that park. You knew I didn't like this place, but you did your best to make it work for us. You knew I didn't feel safe in this apartment & you did your best to make me feel safe. This place just didn't do it for us. I am sorry that this ended up being your last place. The day you passed, I put the notice in at the complex. I do not want to stay here anymore. And honestly, I am not sure if I am going to stay in Atlanta, it will all depend on what the future holds.
My little love, I hope you know how much I love you. I cherish every moment we shared. I am so very thankful that I was the lucky & fortunate one for you to train, to teach life's lessons. Ryan, you were more than my dog or pet. You were my companion, my protector, my confidant, my sunshine, my security, my safety, my guide, my source of strenght. You taught me unconditional love & how to love unconditionally. You have taught me patience, how to enjoy life. You have taught me that life should be lived & not just exist. You taught me joy in the little things. You let me be me without any walls up. You let me be me & did not judge me. You & I have an amazing bond. We were so intuned with one another that at times it was scary. I hope you know, how much I love you & how much you mean to me. You made my life brighter & better. As I whispered in your ear, before you passed, I will see you soon. I love you Ryan Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside Hurd. I can't say it enough my little love. I love you & miss you terribly.
Thank you my little love for the wonderful life we shared together.
Ryan's YouTube Videos
Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones and I will try to fix you.
Coldplay Fix You