Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Over The Rainbow

"Four-Feet" by Rudyard Kipling

I have done mostly what most men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.

Day after day, the whole day through --
Wherever my road inclined --
Four-feet said, "I am coming with you!"
And trotted along behind.

Now I must go by some other round, --
Which I shall never find --
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.

Kittaka - 10/1/97 - 4/1/12

Our hearts are broken at the loss of our Golden Girl, our Pack Leader. Fourteen years & six months old - to the day, Kitt still enjoyed every minute of her life with us. We knew that her time on this earth was growing short, her hearing was gone, vision going & her hips were very arthritic. We never expected that her life would be cut short by a freak accident. Even after being knocked off balance & falling under a tire that ran over her hind leg, she managed to regain her feet & run after me, as I was running to call the vet. X-rays showed no damage. Kitt amazed the staff at Pilchuck, by walking in & back out of the clinic on her own.

Once home, she held her own for three days. (I was so sure she would pull through that I went ahead & left for a ride.) When I returned home, I knew that even with the fluids that she'd been given & Butch helping her in every way - she was in too much pain & was unable to stand without help. The time had come to end her suffering & let her know that it was OK for her to leave us. She accepted the end with a grace & dignity that I can only hope to match when my time comes. 

Our lives are changed forever without her. She was our protector, my shadow, my soul mate. I promised her that we will always be together & truly feel that we will. Her memory will be kept alive in our hearts & minds until we meet again. I know that she will find us, wherever we go in the afterlife... jumping high in the air - with her happy cry & Coyote smile. I pray we will again know the sheer love & joy of her warm golden eyes looking deep into ours ~

Losing our Golden Girl~

HH Tradewinds Mischief Maker 9/15/10 - 7/22/12

Jentry & I were shopping late March of 2011 when we ran into Heidi. Heidi mentioned that she had some Beagle puppies that needed homes. Butch & I went over just to look. (With Kitt's advancing age, we wanted Rascal to have a companion.) When Mischief was released from the kennel, she ran to Butch - stood up & wrapped her front legs around his knee. She was his dog from that moment on.

Her favorite spot was at the side of the drive down from the barn, where she could watch for Butch's truck. Always so happy to run to the gate to welcome him home. Wanting in to sit behind the steering wheel while he parked, laying across his lap while we sat out in the evening. Making Rascal's life miserable :-), she did her best to dominate him. The leader on most of their adventures together, except for the time Rascal found a way out from under our fence.  Attacked by the neighbor's pit-bulls, I managed to pull her away as she screamed in fear - my hands bitten in the process.

Mischief Maker fit her very well! It seemed she was always in trouble of one kind or another, she loved finding anything that she could, especially if it belonged to Butch & using it for a toy! Gloves, string, his glasses :-) Nothing was safe from her - if you put it down - you shouldn't expect to find it when you returned!

Wonderful around children, she loved attention! From her first days with us, gentle, trusting & loving. Mischief was such a happy carefree little soul. Running, playing, making us laugh almost every day! We'll miss her gusto for life, sweet little face & gleeful howls of happiness ~

The Loss of Mischief~

6-7-88 - 7-13-09

Our lead mare for over seventeen-years, Jas graced our lives with her presence. Looking through ads on rainy morning in 1992, one for a herd dispersal sale caught our eye. We drove to Puyallup on a whim. Butch had a yearling gelding, but needed a horse to ride in the interim. One look, one ride & Jas came home to stay. In the early days, she & Butch earned many blue ribbons in Competitive Trail.

From 1995 on, Jas became my partner for endurance. In 2005, she carried me to my first 1,000-miles of completions. Anyone lucky enough to have seen her on the trail – will tell you of her reputation as an incredible athlete with a huge heart. Once retired – Jas loved teaching our three Grandchildren the basics of horsemanship :-)  Carrots anyone?

Ben riding The Christmas Pony, 2006 Arlington, WA

When The Fireworks Pony & eldest Grandson Ben Hurt teamed up again, riding in the Lake Stevens Aqua Fest Parade, they received the first place trophy - Mounted Horses Division.

Mason & The Fireworks Pony!

That same month, June 2007 - with Grandson Mason Peters in the saddle, she led the Duvall Day's Parade, in front of the marching band! Jas's last parade was the Fourth of July 2009 in Darrington, proudly carrying our favorite nephew; Chase Keeney of Gilbert, AZ down the main street of town.

The thunder of her hooves could be heard on Earth, and in Heaven -- when she trotted over the Rainbow Bridge, neck arched & tail carried high ~

Tribute to Jasrada~

Rowdy Yates Hoge - 9/27/03 - 6/6/09

My Boy from the first day we brought him home, one week after we’d lost Abby. He was related to her through the White Acres blood lines. Smart as a whip from the start, he loved his Aunt Kittaka, wooing her with his good looks & boyish charisma. He would tumble over her, attack her & never did he realize that other dogs cowered in fear of her!

Rowdy & Kitt, January 2005

His charm & confident manner always managed to get him through. Whenever he was in trouble, he would come, sit & look at me with those large, brown, warm eyes as if to say; “I did it, I’m sorry, I don’t know what got into me!” Who could be mad at that?

He had an incredible “hunting cry”. It was also his “happy cry” as he did it every night when Butch came home from work – after all you had to make it look like you’d been busy all day! Every morning when I sat on the swing with my coffee, it was “my” belly rub time. He would lay by me & adjust himself to get his favorite spots rubbed. If I left from home on horseback – he would Find a way to get OUT! He would catch up with us by Pat’s house, ears flying & just in Beagle heaven to have caught us.

July 4, 2008 In the Sauk

Summer 08 was his first trip to the river at Jentry, Joe & Ben’s. He absolutely Loved it! I took some of my favorite photos of him there.

The loss of Rowdy, at such a young age... brought home to me the unpredictable & chaotic nature of our universe. I had taken it for granted that he would be with us at least as long as Abby had been. We were so blessed to have him in our lives.... The Heartache we feel at his loss will only be soothed by our memories of the love in his warm eyes, the kisses on my nose & happy flying ears ~

Whiteacres Abigale Gwen Hoge - 11/25/89 - 2/1/04

Abby entered our lives, as a present for Jentry, on her 13th birthday. As a tiny puppy she made the move with us to the Homestead, where she lived her entire life. In the morning Abby would greet me at the door & visit with me while I had a 5 a.m. cup of coffee. On weekends she would wait for the foam off the top of my latte. When I was sad, she would always find & comfort me.

Kitt & Abby, February 2000

When Kitt came home with us in November of 1997, Abby thought we were nuts! She had been the only dog for so long & wasn’t willing to share. Before too long though – especially since Kitt followed her every move – Abby accepted her & eventually they became fast friends. When the Grand-kids started arriving – Abby was thrilled. She was especially fond of her boys, Ben & Mason.

Her nose took her on many adventures & she experienced many close calls. Her courage & determination pulled her through on all occasions. Old age struck her hard, first with the loss of her hearing, then vision & finally arthritis in her hips. Even with everything we could do, it wasn’t enough to save her from a series of strokes. The last immobilized her & frightened her to the point where we both knew that it was time. She accepted the end, with the same grace & courage she exhibited in life. Abby lived her life her way. In doing so, she made us smile every day our ours. Abby will remain in our hearts & with us in our memories, forever~