March 14, 2006 - December 17, 2013
All the puppies from the boys' litter had nicknames that were easy to remember because they were associated with the color of ribbon tied around the babies' necks at birth. Gumby had green ribbon and when the decision to keep him was made, the name stuck. Little did we know the name would be indicative.
When the puppies were exactly a month, we lost Barney. Phil was devastated, doubly so because he was the one home with the puppies when it happened and despite his heroic efforts, he was unable to save the beautiful baby. We soon noticed that Gumby was showing signs of failure to thrive. He wouldn't eat, barely drank, and wouldn't sleep with his other littermates. Phil began to hand feed him and snuggle with him in bed. After two weeks, Gumby and Phil emerged from their grief, permanently bonded. Phil would never be able to part with his friend.
Gumby was amazingly agile and athletic for a Mastiff. He was smaller and more compact, a bundle of solid muscle. He could walk four miles with ease and be ready to go again. If a Mastiff was ever made for agility competition, Gumby was it. I always hoped that one day I would begin to work with him toward that goal but it wasn't to be.
July 2009, Gumby officially became our hero. While Phil napped in our room and Jake played video games in his, Gumby sensed a threat. He began a low, persistent conversation, trying to wake Phil from his sleep. Eventually, the sound caused Phil to surface and wonder what Gumby was so determined about. When Phil looked out the windows, he couldn't see a thing. Was it fog? Was it smoke? When Phil went outside to check, he noticed a large grass fire bearing down on the house about 100 feet to the north. Thanks to Gumby's sense of danger and persistent efforts to alert Phil, 911 was notified and the fire extinguished before reaching the house.
We used to laugh that if anything ever happened to Phil and me, there would be a custody battle over who got Gumby. Anyone who ever met him loved him. He would look at you with his "Gumby eyes" and see into your soul. There was never any judgement but always a look of appreciation, affection, and a sense that he knew exactly what you were going through, even when no one else did. Gumby had that presence that made you know that he knew your secrets and they would always be safe with him.
We always expected that Gumby would be the brother who would live the longest, partly because of his smaller size and general good health. Sadly, he developed Hemagiosarcoma in the fall of 2013 and we said goodbye shortly before Christmas. Gumby remains the dog by whom all others are judged, as far as Phil is concerned.
Ch. Acorn Hill Uther Pendragon
Ch. Pegasus Southpaw Bear Rug
Ch. Ms Buffington Lady of Shadow
Ch. Beauregard's Sweet Boy
Ch. China Farm Poison Ivy
Hancock's Bear Hugs
Grandviews Amazin Royal
King George of Aurora
Brandy's Slobberchops Alexandr
Hancock's Bear Essentials
Moonshines No Bull Dozer
Quail Court's Chocolate Delight