A FAREWELL TO PRINCE


My friend and colleague Phil lost his Beagle dog, hunting companion, and friend Prince, on February 24th, 2018. The death of a much-loved dog is always a tragedy. Phil and his son Matthew have written these appreciations of a pet and companion who will be much missed.


Phil:

After 14 years of being a great dog, 12 of which he spent in our home, Prince, our wonderful little Beagle, passed on this past Saturday.  Matthew's tribute below (as well as his photos of Prince the hotdog stealing puppy and as the almost 14 YO "actor") describes a lot, but I just wanted to share my thoughts concerning my constant little buddy over the last 12 years.

Prince was originally purchased from a "hunting dog kennel" in West Virginia to replace my father-in-law's hunting Beagle, who had passed away from old age in Arkansas.  Prince lived his first 2 years with Glen, but since Glen was diagnosed for 14 of those months with cancer, Prince was not taken out much to do what little Beagle dogs do best:  trail bunny rabbits. 

Upon Glen's death, Prince came to live with us. He stoically endured the torment of living with two much older alpha female dogs who pretty much whipped him down.  It was a good thing that he was so laid back and easy-going, trait that also made him a great dog for teaching students, interns, and residents the art and science of ophthalmology.

Prince ended up being a really good rabbit hunter, and he travelled with me repeatedly to Arkansa to hunt at the family farm.  I did my best to every year make a 1-2 week pilgrimage to the farm in January or February just so he and I could do what he did best, chase rabbits.  I safely estimate that he and I travelled close to 30,000 miles together in the truck, going to AR and making hunting trips here locally in Blacksburg.

Prince endured being a teaching specimen throughout his life here in Blacksburg.  I would bring him in for 1st year anatomy labs so that 100+ students in a single afternoon could look at a normal "live" dog's eyes.  He rode with me to work for senior students to do practice exams with all the instrumentation, and he participated in a number of intern and resident projects where a "normal dog" was needed.  As Matthew mentions below, he contributed his acting talents to a number of educational videos made for the JorVet and ICare companies. To say that we will miss him is an understatement.  But Prince led a very full, good life, one that not all Beagle dogs get to live.

So raise a glass (mine will be milk ;-)) to little Prince, a multitalented little Beagle who left a lasting impression on us all.  He will be remembered in our hearts as one of those dogs who comes along and touches the life of many.


Matthew:

It is hard to find the words to properly convey how much Prince, (or "Weiner Buggles" as I often called him) impacted my life both personally and professionally. It's heartbreaking to have to say goodbye after 14 years. He was my go-to animal "actor" for corporate training videos, the first dog I ever rabbit hunted with, and the first dog that I ever truly bonded with in my life, starting right after we met when he was a little puppy in West Virginia almost a decade and a half ago.

Just this past December, Prince was on-camera talent for me one final time on a training video for a client that he helped me get over 5 years ago... His incredible swan song performance made me realize not only how truly great a dog he was, but also how just one little beagle dog helped me go from being a kid with a camera, to where I am now. To a good friend, a good actor, and a good dog, rest well, sweet Prince!


The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
the first to welcome, foremost to defend.

George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron


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