AMOS of Tranters Creek 11-18-1997 to 06-11-13

by "Tex" I. K. Gilmore
(Washington, NC, USA)

Tex & Amos on the swing

Tex & Amos on the swing

It’s just been over a week since we lost our beloved Golden Retriever, AMOS. I can’t even begin to explain how much he meant to me and my wife, Diana. His hip dysplasia had recently gotten so severe he could hardly walk without falling down and we had to make this dreaded decision. The vet told us we had no other alternative due to his advanced age. He was 15 years 7 months old. He died resting peacefully on his favorite bed at his home and in my arms. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure and my heart is completely broken. Two days ago, I went to get his ashes and returned him to his home, where he will always be.
You would be right if you said he was my best friend…because he was. He was a friend like no other and I will never be the same until I meet him again. I already know he’s waiting on me just like he did every day after work. I’m sure he will be there to greet me when I cross the rainbow bridge and what a reunion that will be.
The story I am about to tell you is not for everyone. If you have never experienced the deep love for a dog or do not believe in divine intervention, you need not read any further. However, if a pet changed your life and you understand that God teaches us about his infinite love through our pets, read on.
It all began in December 1997 when our neighbor, Patti and her daughter Allison, brought a furry golden little ball of love over to our house. She sat him down in our doorway and he immediately peed on our carpet at the doorway entrance. His name was AMOS and he was to be a Christmas present for her husband Glenn. We kept him a short time so he would be a surprise for Glenn on Christmas day. Little did we know that AMOS had marked his spot when he peed on that carpet and made his mind up that our house was to be his forever home. I’m not sure what happened, whether we imprinted on him or he on us, but a bond developed that could never be broken. We did not know it at the time, but God was working in a mysterious way to bring about a great blessing to us.
We watched AMOS grow up and he visited us frequently. We were next door neighbors and he considered our yard his territory. Glenn did not mind so we played with him, petted him and fed him, our mutual love growing for him every day, even though he was not our dog. But it was clear, we were his people.
AMOS was a neighborhood wanderer and getting into some mischief so Glenn tried to keep him contained by putting up an electronic fence around his property and ours. AMOS was very intelligent, the fence did not have much effect. The pain of the shock collar was overcome by a quick charge through the electronic boundary. Once across, he would merely wait on the other side until someone shut the current off. He did not mind, because he was free again to roam. What a pup!
Glenn’s next step was to build him a fenced in kennel. He disliked it so much he climbed up the 6 foot high fence and escaped the kennel, choosing to sleep on our back porch or in the pine straw around our pine trees. There were many nights I would take him over to his kennel only to find him right back on our porch again in the morning. He only wanted to be close to us. Obviously the kennel was not working any better than the electronic fence so Glenn had AMOS neutered when he was about 2.5 years old. Glenn thought it would calm him down and reduce his wandering. It did not have much effect.
We continued to give AMOS all the attention and love we could, knowing all the while he did not belong to us. We took care of him when Glenn and Patti were gone. We always kept a good supply of food, water and tennis balls for him. Our love grew with every passing day as his love also grew for us.
In June 2002 AMOS got into some trouble. He occasionally showed an aggressive attitude toward cars, motorcycles and bicycles. He charged a neighbor on a bike causing him to fall off. This person threatened to sue Glenn and Patti and they decided they needed let AMOS go. Thank God they offered him to us since they were going to give him to an elderly lady in their church if we did not take him. God knew how much we loved AMOS and so did Glenn and Patti.
God found a way for AMOS to become our dog after 4.5 years of being his people. Glenn and Patti were happy that we wanted him and gave him to us with the understanding we would be responsible for him. From that moment on, our lives changed. The excitement and joy we had then cannot be matched. Our house became a home and our love for each other multiplied a hundred fold. The “Golden Years” of our lives had begun.
Glenn gave us his kennel, dog box, water and food bowls. He already had a good supply of dog toys and food at our house. We built an overhead shelter for him inside his expanded relocated kennel. We soon found AMOS still disliked his kennel, again climbing out to be closer to us. He wanted to be on the porch or in our house. Amazingly…AMOS stopped wandering. He had travelled only a short distance over a long time to finally find his home.
For the next 11 years our lives were enriched beyond belief by this Golden angel sent by God above. We took him everywhere we went and he loved it. Goose Creek State Park on the Pamlico River, at the ocean under the piers at Atlantic Beach, Red Wing Cottage near Beaufort and any Bo Jangles restaurant were some of his favorite travel destinations with us over the years. We completed an addition to our home in 2004 and added a large deck which quickly became a favorite spot for Amos to hang out under. It was cool, shady and the sandy loam under it was perfect for him to enjoy digging in.
When we traveled out of state to see family, Glenn and Patti took good care of AMOS until we returned. Our absence from AMOS created great anticipation of getting home to see him again and these reunions were so wonderful. Trips were usually only a week but seemed like an eternity without him. Seeing his brown eyes light up, petting his golden locks and feeling his soft mouth and whiskers on our hands were so wonderful upon our return home. He was patiently waiting for us and so eager to meet us when we came home though the gate. His tail wagged so fast, it would hurt when it came in contact with you.
I nearly wore out the sockets of my arms throwing tennis balls over the years and how I loved buying him squeak toys and playing with him every day. The breed was really in him. He would retrieve anything you threw. He always preferred play time to feeding time. He had a bed in his kennel, one on the porch and one in the house. He basically had the run of the place and we built our lives around him. The love we got back was impossible to measure. He was totally devoted and loyal to us and it showed in so many ways. When we were sick, he would lay by the bed and not leave our side. When we were sad, he would be our comforter and cry with us. When we were happy, he shared our laughter and love. He truly was a part of our family and always will be. We had no children, but if we had, we could not have loved them anymore than AMOS.
AMOS was a fighter and you could never count him out. Overall, he was a very healthy dog his entire life. He survived being cured from heart worms shortly after he became our dog and a bad gash in his side from a dog fight (we think) that required stitches. In May 2010, we fenced in the entire back yard to protect him as he was getting older.
AMOS and I used to set on the bench glider in the back yard and swing. We enjoyed it though each season and had many good times together on that old swing. Even back then, I used to think about the day when we would lose him and cry. The poem written by Kipling “The Power of the Dog” really sums it up. We can’t stop the advance of time and that time is shorter for our pets than for us. But I gladly gave my heart to this angel, knowing full well that it would be broken someday when he returned to heaven.
That day came on June 11, 2013 at 2:40 PM when AMOS got his wings. I was with him all the way, just like he had been there for me. For many weeks I spent every free minute I had with him because we could see the end coming. God was merciful to us. He let AMOS live a long life with us and filled it full of love. I held him tight until I could no longer hear the beating of that strong and faithful heart. His brown eyes were still looking at me even after his spirit had left his body. The tears I cried could not be contained in my handkerchief and they flowed down my face like a waterfall. I sadly helped carry him to the vet’s mobile unit on his favorite bed and gave him one last caress and kiss, his eyes still open and fixed on me. It was as if he was telling me…I will always be with you and never leave your side.
On June 17, 2013 I went to the vet’s office to pick up his ashes, collar and bed. AMOS always rode behind me in our van, frequently looking over my head, nuzzling my arm with his nose and putting his paw on my shoulder as if he were guiding me while I was driving. I put the urn with his ashes in the back seat behind me, put the collar around the urn and placed them on his dog bed. We made our last trip, coming home…this time together. All the while driving through the tears, I sensed that familiar paw on my shoulder once again. I wept unceasing.
My grief is only equaled by my love for AMOS. My very soul has been diminished and cannot be made whole until I can be with him again. I know he is patiently waiting. I always told him that if I went away, I would always come back to him and find him no matter what. This is a promise I always kept and one I intend to keep. One day my eyes will meet his eyes again, and we shall be reunited, forever. Amen.

Comments for AMOS of Tranters Creek 11-18-1997 to 06-11-13

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Sep 03, 2013
UPDATE 9-3-13 - AMOS of Tranters Creek
by: Tex Gilmore

It has been nearly 3 months since AMOS has been gone and to say my wife and I miss him does not even come close. Since then, something amazing has happened that I want to share.

Our screened in back porch was where AMOS slept and it was his favorite spot. It was where I fed him, groomed him, played with him and tucked him in at night. He struggled coming up the steps and through the doggie door opening so I cut the plastic flap off, eventually propping the entire screen door open all the time. AMOS really loved his spot on the porch.

About a month after AMOS was gone, a small wren bird appeared on the porch and started roosting on top the wind chime located above where AMOS slept. We thought it was a fluke but after 2 months, nearly every evening around dusk, the bird flys in through the dog door opening to sleep atop the wind chime. If this does not amaze you then consider this. The bird does not appear to be frightened by us and it watches us through the window. In the morning it leaves with the dawn only to return again in the evening.

We believe this is a sure sign from the Lord above. I don't know how long the bird will coninue to return, but as long as it does, it will help fill a great emptiness in our hearts and it is truly a blessing, just like AMOS.

I feel this bird must somehow sense the love emanating from that special place on our porch. Someday it will all be made clear. My days are marked only by the passing of time until I will see AMOS again. My grief is unending and I struggle every day without my one, true friend.

Tex Gilmore

Jun 30, 2013
It's wonderful to know love
by: Anonymous

The coolest thing about love is. You can feel love when you are in the presence of it whether you are with a friend, an aquaintance, or a co-hart, it doesn't matter the setting or what people are wearing or saying, love has a life of it's own and love conquers all, including death. In time your pain lessens and your love lets you smile again. But, it does take time. I know you are on your way to regaining your happiness because love conquers all. God bless you and thanks for your wonderful story.

Jun 21, 2013
Cousin AMOS
by: Your Niece Vikki

My heart is feeling your pain and sorrow of your loss and I am soooo sorry. As I read about you and Amos, the tears just rolled down my cheeks. I know he will be waiting on you when you are called home one day, but for now I also agree that you have to much love in your heart to not share it (when you feel the time is right) with another pet that awaits to know how much it can be loved! I only had to be around Cousin Amos a few times to recognize how much you loved him and HOW MUCH HE LOVED YOU!
I will continue to pray for strength, healing and that God will one day fill that void in a way that brings you as much joy as you have known with Amos! Love you soooo much!

Jun 21, 2013
AMOS of Tranters Creek 11-18-1997 to 06-11-13
by: Doreen U.K.

Part 2.
Tex it is such an unbearable pain when you lose a pet. You loved AMOS and he brought such Joy and Love into your life as you did to His life. You both had such a strong bond that nothing could separate. You should write your story with AMOS in a Journal and you will have this recorded memories FOREVER. You will be Honouring AMOS and you will be Healing from your grief. These are memories you could never lose. They have become part of your life. This has been such a good experience for you that when you have healed sufficiently from your loss of AMOS. Give your Love to another dog. Keep up this cycle of giving and receiving Love. Each new pet will have its own unique personality. It would never replace AMOS. I do believe that God put people and pets in our life for a REASON and a SEASON. We become God's caretakers. This enhances our life and theirs. So why not keep the cycle of love going. You will know when the time is right. My daughter wants a dog. I will know when the time is right. When we lose a loved one/pet our life becomes so unhappy that we have to now restructure our lives with new people and pets if only to get through our miserable days on this earth. We will see our beloved people/pets again and this time it will be FOREVER. No more DEATH, SORROW, TEARS, HEARTACHE,PAIN.
I would love to keep birds again but can't lock them up in a cage. They have to have the freedom of an aviary, so for me it will be a dog. But for now I enjoy all the birds that nest above my head and enjoy my garden built for their pleasure and mine. Thinking of my pets fills my heart with such warmth and joy that it helps my grief. Losing my husband was the worst loss ever in my life and experience. The birds a close second. The joy of having a pet is a different type of grief when we lose them. A lot may come from the fact that they are so giving and forgiving unlike humans. In the human relationship we have quarrels and fall outs and making up and FORGIVENESS which can be hard when we are hurt in life. It can take Years to FORGIVE someone who has hurt us. BUT with a pet it is a different exchange of Love without the anxiety and stress that happens in human relationships. God knew what He was doing when he created pets. They are for our Joy in life and also our HEALING. They become a TONIC. They ENHANCE our WELLBEING. But I do draw the line when it comes to SNAKES. I won't go there.
I hope that God comforts and Heals you from your loss of AMOS and that in time God will help you CHOOSE another MATE to go through life with you to continue this cycle of Loving and Giving. Best wishes.

Jun 21, 2013
AMOS of Tranters Creek 11-18-1997 to 06-11-13
by: Doreen U.K.

Tex I am deeply sorry for your loss of your beloved AMOS. I felt all the emotion you were feeling.
I never liked animals or any pet until my son got 2 African Grey birds and a cockatiel. He talked his sister into having birds and one day she walked in with 2 cockatiels. I wasn't too pleased and my husband even more so. Days passed and we engaged in erecting cages. I ended up being caretaker to the birds whilst my husband was angry seeing me work so hard in the home covering every job running the home. But I got on with it. Those birds eventually became 7 and 4 babies became 11 birds. I cared for them with all the love I did for my 3 Adult children. My husband was becoming more cranky because he was slowly dying of cancer. The birds became my eager diversion from the cancer and also my comfort for when he died. I cared for the birds for 2yrs. and then knew the time was right to give them to a better home. My husband would never be able to build that aviary the birds needed. So I gave them to a bird sanctuary for their better life so they had the benefit of the space of an indoor and outdoor aviary.
My heart breaks for missing those birds from my life. The birds are happy and this is what makes me happy even though I had to give them up. The birds went before my husband died 14 months ago. I now have 50 birds visit me every morning for breakfast and I feed them with the squirrels.
During that time I lost 4 birds when they flew out of the cage when I went to clean the cage. My heart broke and I cried for days. Then our first cockatiel died I thought I would never recover. My husband being a carpenter made a lovely wooden box and we had a Jesus scarf, cut it in two and wrapped our darling cockatiel in this ready for burial. We did this 2 times. WE lost our lovebird ben. He became blind and couldn't climb the bars in the cage. My heart broke whilst I watched him struggle. I couldn't bear it anymore and so I took him out of the cage. Cupped him in my hands whilst I told him I loved him. He died in my hands. My heart broke again. Before my husband was diagnosed with the cancer a white fan tailed pigeon visited us. He perched himself on the gate. I knew God sent him and the news would be bad. My husband died over 3yrs.39days. That bird stayed with us all that time and has only just left a few months ago. he stayed with me through the early days of grief. That bird would sit still on the feeding dish whilst I talked to him. It was if he understood what I was saying. He never flew away. He knew I loved him and he was safe with me. I MISS HIM.
(will continue as I may run out of space. part 1)

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