Whoever first claimed that all dogs go to Heaven was a dog person and familiar with the canine soul. We agree that dogs go to Heaven because Heaven without our best friend simply is not Heaven. We know that our beloved Champ is there now.
Champ was born in Albertville, Alabama. He made his home in South Georgia. He was well-travelled. He chased birds from South Dakota to Florida, and other points in between. He loved retrieving doves, pheasant, ducks, geese, and anything thrown for him. His other interests included swimming (a natural love of water), sleeping, eating, playing, fetching, and getting rubbed and scratched.
Champ was unique. His soul was flawless. His judge of character was impeccable. If he liked you, you knew it. Just ask the thousands of people that he hit up for a rub. If he did not like you, or did not like you approaching without warning, you knew it. Just ask Ben Baker. We will let Ben tell the story of Champ putting Ben on the hood of a Jeep Cherokee one afternoon behind the law office. There were others. Mail couriers felt his wrath if they dared to approach Lea Lea’s yard without warning. They would not exit their respective trucks with Champ in the yard. If the kids were in the yard, so was Champ with his watchful eye. He even checked on Isabel, Pax and Vida throughout the night as they slept. His loyalty was amazing. Champ loved a lot of people but his favorites were Lindsay and Lea Lea. They spoiled him. When Lindsay was home alone with the kids, Champ followed her every move and would shatter the windows with his bark should anyone approach unannounced.
Champ’s life was about overcoming obstacles and never giving up. And doing so with the best
disposition in the world. As a puppy, he survived parvovirus thanks to the amazing work of Dr. Curt Branch (who became Champ’s life-long doctor after that episode). Run-ins with snake bites, truck tires, skunks, and three years of law school could not stop him. He learned to read his name (a trick he showed many people at the law office) and he learned to play Jacqueline and Dot at the right times so he could go outside and chase cats.
Champ’s favorite food was steak. A summer at Lea Lea and Papa’s house taught him how to love what the person closest to him was eating. He became a professional food beggar after that stint; a talent he maintained the rest of his life. When food scraps hit the floor, Lindsay instinctively called his name to provide cleanup.
We know that there will never be another Champ. We know that Champ was a gift from God that
blessed our lives in ways that words simply fall short of describing. Champ was a part of our soul. He always will be. We know that we will see him again because we know he is in Heaven.
Say hello to everyone on the other side, Bubba Dog. We love you, Champ-Champ. We will always love you. You taught us how to love man’s best friend with your unfettered loyalty and kindness. Chase all the birds you can, splash in the swimming pool, and eat all of the table scraps you can find. You deserve it.
Dusty, Lindsay, Isabel, Pax, Vida, Lea Lea, Papa, and the rest of your family, friends, and neighbors.