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1/27/06 – Thanks to everyone who has written to express their sympathies about Sunnie. Here are a few excerpts:
We were up there last summer and had a blast but a lot of our fun came from playing with sunny and homer but sunny more. We had to let our black lab of 13 1/2 yr go too (ABBY) my dad had a really tough time with it. sorry to hear about sunny she was a lot of fun. Heres a picture of us at sawbill last year thanks for all the fun and sorry about sunny see you next summer. – Madison and Tedi Ramberg
Tom and I were saddened to hear about Sunnie. He and Homer were great greeters and ambassadors for Sawbill. We always enjoyed Sunnie’s company when we camped at Sawbill in September. – Tom and Sue Jorgensen
That’s terrible news about Sunnie. She will be missed by so many. It was a darned good life though. I hope everyone (including Homer) is holding up. – Max Wilson
I was sorry to read of Sunnie’s death. Times that we have passed through Sawbill on the start and end of canoe trips have always been enhanced by one of Sawbill’s friendly dogs greeting us.
I have a belief about dogs and their relationships with humans. I’ve had two bosses in my life who were horrible. Both were people who had no use for dogs. When one of our dogs died, I called in to say that I wouldn’t be in that day and gave the reason. The response “What do you mean you won’t be in? It’s just a dog!” It’s not just a dog, as you know. I believe that in job interviews, a lot could be learned by asking a future boss if they have a dog. If they talk about what a great dog they have, my chances of working for a good person go up. Extra credit if they have a picture of their dog prominently displayed with family pictures. If they talk of dogs with disdain, I should have the confidence to say “Thanks, but no thanks! I don’t think it would work out.” Thanks to all of you for being dog people – it tells us something about you when we see Homer and Sunnie on the website frequently!
We have a collie, Mackenzie, who is 10 years old. He’s not getting around the way he used to. Thanks for the line in Sunnie’s obituary on the web, “When her suffering seemed to outweigh her joy, we made the difficult decision to end her life.” That’s a difficult thing to do – but a courageous a thing to do. Our sympathies on the loss of your friend – and a friend of many paddlers over the years. How is Homer doing? I’ve seen our dogs grieve the loss of another. – Paul Grizzell
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Sunnie. I remember her fondly from my many trips to Sawbill. I’ve been coming up there since I was a kid. I grew up in Northern Wisconsin, but now live near Washington DC. When making the long trek from DC to the BWCA, I remember how I was always surprised to see Sunnie at your store to greet me. She made it feel as if some things never change, even though I’d been gone a thousand miles and many months from the wilderness. She was like a rock in a great river of transition and change that is life. What a wonderful dog, she will be missed, but always warmly remembered. – Brent Bolea
As a person who knows what the words golden retriever “really” mean, my heart and thoughts go out to you. As the Sam Cook article mentioned, “Unconditional Love.” I sometimes think they are people trying to tell us something through all that fur and those white masks. Gust, Sunny and Harold, it brings smiles and tears to me. Take a long walk, breath some of that cold fresh air and be happy you had such a friend. – Dan Seemon
We’re all so sad to hear of Sunnie’s passing! But the pinnacle of beauty that exists (in the love we have for our pets) is when we can look at them and say that we wish to come back as one of them in our next life. A person could aspire to nothing more utopian & grand than to come back as Sunnie Hansen! (Or Boomer, our cat). Take care & know that we’re all thinking of you! xoxoxo – Lisa Stanford, Jack, Michael & Melissa