My Dog’s Bucket List

This year has been a difficult one for our family. We lost Miranda unexpectedly in June, and then on July 10th we sent our beautiful Finn over Rainbow Bridge because of illness as well. The house is sure quiet without those two, even with the puppy here now.

Of course things like this make you think about what is really important. Two dogs have gone, but there are still some left here with us.

McCoy will be 16 years old in less than three months.

It is hard to believe that he is the same dog I got as a puppy with unlimited energy 15 years ago. We’ve been on many interesting adventures together and accomplished a great many things.

McCoy still enjoys sniffing different things and walking. He walks and walks. Maybe that is why he is doing so well despite mild hip dysplasia in one hip and a luxating patella in the other leg. Poor guy. He keeps his joints from getting too stiff by walking and moving. It really works.

McCoy and Ernie hiking in August 2016

Another thing that I think helped McCoy stay well is that he has never been overweight. Always between 42 and 49 lbs all his life. Sometimes I felt I was having trouble keeping the weight on him despite his impressive food intake.

New Experiences Needed

Since the loss of two dogs, I decided in July that our remaining dogs, specifically McCoy and AJ (12) should have a bit more fun and experience some new things.

We took them on more outings to the lake, more walks and more drives to the city and parks, and a few drive thrus where they got some yummy treats.

When I first got McCoy, I took him on a camping trip with me and my other dog Shasta (mixed breed). We went to Alberta, Canada and camped in Jasper National Park and another provincial park along the way.

Thinking about this first trip, I felt that McCoy and I should experience one last long trip together in the opposite direction that we went 15 years ago.

Because McCoy is an experienced camper and a well trained dog, we felt comfortable having him on a tether in the campground, although he was never left unattended while on it.


This past September, I planned a trip to see my friend in Ontario who happens to breed Kuvaszok and along the way we would tent camp. I wanted AJ to see some other Kuvaszok at least one more time in her life as she has not seen any since she was a puppy.

There were so many interesting things to see and sniff on the way to Ontario. There were lots of other dogs, people and ground to check out. Camping was fun and Ernie took McCoy on several nice walks on shorter trails. McCoy always enjoyed hiking, as most dogs do.


Last Trip

On that trip we realized that this would definitely be McCoy’s last long road trip, and perhaps even his last trip anywhere. He was having trouble getting enough food in because of the distractions of being in new places. Because he eats small amounts at a time, it was difficult to get him to eat enough while we were often on the road.

If he was really hungry he would eat, but not all of it. Whenever there was something new to smell, that would take precedence.

When we got back home, we were all relieved at not having to drive for a while. Now that it’s December, McCoy has settled in to a good routine and is eating well. He still walks a lot – around the house and around the yard.

I think McCoy would still like to go and smell more new things. To smell those things we only have to take him outside the door of our house. There is always some new doggie information for him to take in, even so close by.

Ernie sometimes takes him for walks around the block but that is as far as we take him.  Now that it’s cold, he mostly walks around the house and sometimes for five minutes or so in the back yard. Can’t let those joints get chilled!

Now that we have had our last long trip together I think McCoy would say, “let’s just stay home”. After all the frisbee playing, tugging, running, competitions, hiking and camping trips, dog shows, sniffing, eating and driving, I think we have accomplished all the things on my dog’s bucket list.

Emmett, McCoy, Tommy