Today June 9th 2009 I returned from being overseas to find my dog Thunder dying. The exilleration of getting a puppy is nothing in the way of feelings to those in losing that pet almost 12 years later. He seemed to hang on waiting for to arrive home to say goodbye. Thunder was a Tatra and these dogs are incredible. They are gentle giants also known as Polish Mountian Sheepdogs. He was a trusted friend. We ran together, went for walks and after I was injured his loyalty was unwavering. He patroled our yard which has parts of it much like the terrain of his homeland. I did step in and end his suffering. It has been an extremely painful and agonizing and there are no words that make a real difference. I am having him cremated and will use them to grow a tree. Thunder was a dog who communicated with his eyes and his body. Tatras are a breed that herds by using their bodies to push the sheep to the proper place. He often met me by pushing me gently and when I stopped petting him he would tell me it wasn’t enough by using his head and body to ask for more. They are amazing animals. When they guard sheep in the mountains they work as a group and lie down while the sheep are standing. But when a wolf comes to attack the sheep they rise and go to work. I have never had or met a more loving animal than Thunder. The sadness is overwhelming. I shall always remember Thunder who had an impact on everyone he met. Tonight I sit here in mourning, sad, filled with emotional pain and wishing he was still here. Enjoy the precious moments with your animals as time passes all too fast. Tonight I remain overwhelmed with the loss of a friend and family member.


  1. Kevin Freitas

    I’m sad to read of your irreplaceable loss and indescribable hurt. Not only because I vividly recall the crushing losses of our cat family over the years, Lemon, Dabby, Midi (the Mom), and finally, Amelia three years ago, but also because I remember you for your sensitive, kind, and loving friendship for me and my daughter twenty years ago. I know you hurt so badly. I’m so sorry.

  2. Dr Lisa Barry

    Hello Bruce,
    I am so sorry to hear about Thunder. I have loved and cared for many a dog friend and I understand what their departure can do to a person.

    Thank you for having a blog. I have been meaning to reach out to you and say hello “one of these days” for the past decade and this provides a venue for that.

    I am just now beginning a real career in psychology. I took some time off to be with my children abut am now workind with Dr Ursula Sthele at Fair Oaks therapeuticum. I am working with pain management and treatment of trauma and really feel fortunate at this time to be having a lot of success with my chronic pain clients.

    I hope to run into you sometime and catch up properly. Until then, kindest regards,
    Lisa Barry, Psy.D.

  3. Eiran D. Castro

    I know how special Thunder has been to your family, and how loved he was by you. I am sorry to hear about your losing him. Please give my general regards to the your family. I hope all has been well, as I sincerely miss the people there and the environment. Please keep in touch and stay safe in your travels.

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