The rainy weather here in Ann Arbor is appropriately weepy this morning. It is with a very heavy heart that I have to note the passing of Artemis, the sweetest, most wonderful black lab in the world.
Artemis’ dad, Don, called me this morning from Oklahoma City with the news that she left us Friday after an exhausting battle against cancer. She was 14.
Artemis of the Hunt was born in Bristow, OK, on 23-Dec-89. I remember when they brought puppy Artie home to Duncan; she was so sweet, with those big paws and gangly legs. We had so much fun. I always referred to her as my one and only girlfriend. It was extremely sad when they moved away in 1992; but we still got to see each other fairly often even as I moved around the country, and she would sometimes sleep with me on the twin guest bed, which was always a fun experience having a very large and heavy lab jump on your legs in the middle of the night. I miss that feeling.
We saw Artie-moose last August, on our way from San Francisco to Ann Arbor. She was as sweet as ever, just showing the effects of her age. She still was able to jump into the back seat of Don’s car when they got ready to go somewhere, happy and eager to get on the road. It was wonderful to see that again.
She was always wonderful with Bayley, only once putting him in his place (and he certainly needed it on that occasion). He’s not much on other dogs, but with Cousin Artemis, he was pretty content.
She spent quite some time in northern Michigan near Traverse City with her mom, Linda. Galloping through the forests and swimming and canoeing and sailing, she always had a spectacular time up there and loved Michigan.
I’ll never forget the joyful abandon she displayed when jumping into water. My fondest memories of her are when she jumped full-tilt into Clear Creek Lake near Duncan while we were sailing, while fetching sticks. And the shower of water that cascaded off of her as she shook herself after getting out invariably doused everyone and everything within miles. Those were grand days.
But now, after a very full and long life of giving everyone around her such joy and happiness, she’s finally at rest, no longer in pain, having been the bestest black lab ever.
And we send warm hugs and sympathy to her dad, Don, and to Jean and to Linda, who will all miss her terribly.
Thank you, Artemis. We’ll fill the holes in our hearts with the wonderful memories you gave us. Sleep well, my girlfriend.