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I rarely post on the forum, but enjoy reading the threads, especially ones about rabbit hunting. With my daughters playing basketball on Saturdays, I don't chase bunnies as much as I used to, or want to, and hearing of others' success is fun.

This past weekend, however, our youngest had no games, so I got out with my wife's uncle, a young friend Bryce, and my three beagles, Ginger, Sage, and Grace. Arriving at the spot relatively close to Wellsboro, the huge amount of tracks had us all excited for some fun. Sure enough, we had rabbits going and the day was looking up. In fact, I had just shot a rabbit the youngest dogs were on when I had an uneasy feeling about my oldest dog Ginger. At 14 years, 8 months she had been slowing down for a number of years, but I never had the heart to leave her behind. She would always bark and carry on whenever a car pulled in the driveway or I walked to the kennel wearing my rabbit hunting clothes.

Lately, Ginger had been doing her own thing when it came to rabbits. She'd bust the brush and chase a rabbit for a while, but then look me up. I had heard her bark shortly before the dogs got on this last rabbit, but she wasn't back after I shot. Bryce and I started to retrace our steps hoping to find her searching for a bunny in a clump of grass in the CRP field we had just crossed. Instead, we stumbled upon her where she had taken her last step.

I was heart-broken to lose my old girl, but I couldn't think of a better way for her to go. Rather than pass in the kennel or have to be put down, she died searching out one more rabbit. The tracks in the snow indicated that she just collapsed and hopefully died very quickly.

I've been blessed to have owned some wonderful beagles, and our oldest daughter shares the name of one of my favorites, Katie, but Ginger was my best beagle. During her lifetime we took 1046 rabbits, not all at the end of a chase, but she was there and responsible in one way or the other.

Losing a human family member or close friend is a much more difficult experience, and dogs are not humans, but Ginger will be missed greatly. She was the last of our pets born before children, and had been a real fixture at our house. It was sad not to hear her barking this evening when I walked out to feed the beagles. Digging her final resting spot was tough too. I've said good-bye to a fair number of dogs over the years, and it's never easy, but with Ginger it was even a bit more difficult. I'm glad that at one point yesterday morning I sat with her while the other two tongued on a rabbit and just petted her. She seemed content to sit with me a while before she broke away to look for another bunny. I don't think either one of us knew that would be the last time we sat together, but it's a memory I'll have for a very long time.
 

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Sorry for your loss my friend... couldnt imagine losing my little beagle. But you're right, theres not a more fitting way for a hound to go.
 

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A salute you to and your fine old girl
It is never easy and some touch us more than others.

It is at it should be, almost 15 and out hunting.

Very sorry
John L
 

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Ginger was lucky to have someone like you to chase that many rabbits.
 

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She continues the chase. Simply in another place. One day, we will all join her again and continue the chase with her.

Sorry for you loss, but she went out the way I think we would all like to go. Doing what we love most.
 

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You know in your heart that's exactly the way she would want to go. Take solace in that fact and think of how fortunate you were to have the many memories you do. Having buried my yellow lab on Christmas Eve, the dog that grew up with my children, I know the void of losing a cherished pet.
 

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I'm balling right now. That is a very sad story but at the same time, comforting. I to have a little female beagle best friend thats gonna be 8 years old this summer, hard to believe how time passes. Remember the good times she brought you and thanks for sharing, it made me a better person for hearing it.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss.
That's an honorable way for her to go, doing what she loved.

Very touching narrative, brought the tears for sure!
Again, sorry for your loss.
 
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