This morning we said goodbye to Fritz. My heart hurts and the tears are making it hard to type.
He came to us in 2013. My buddy Josh was looking for a home for this gigantic pitbull, rottweiler, and boxer mix. Josh’s family was growing and Fritz wasn’t getting the attention he needed. We hadn’t even closed on our house and without really clearing it with Brandi, told Josh we’d take him. A few weeks after we closed on the house, Fritz showed up from Wisconsin. I was so excited to have a dog in the house and I had these grand plans for training him to be on the water with me. I thought he’d be my dog. Life had other plans. Fritz showed up on a Saturday morning. Brandi wasn’t thrilled but by Sunday evening I knew that my plans had been foiled. Fritz glued himself to Brandi. Don’t get me wrong, Fritz loved me. Hell, Fritz loved everyone he met. He was a gentle giant with a heart of gold.
Fritz was Brandi’s dog through and through. He protected her. I learned that one day right after he came to live with us. We were playing around and Fritz growled and got in between us. He nudged me away with his giant body and head that was like a rock. When I saw that, I wanted to see what he’d do. He let me know in no uncertain terms that he wouldn’t allow anyone to be rough towards my wife, even if it was just playing around. I loved that. I knew that she was always safe with him around.
Fritz got to go on so many adventures and luckily I was able to document some of them with photos. I used to think I took too many photos. Now I don’t feel as if I took enough. I remember being so stoked that Fritz made the Orvis dog blog a few times. He was a photogenic dog for sure.
As he got older and started slowing down, he started enjoying laying around on his many beds in the house. In 2018 he tore his ACL and I sold my favorite car to pay for the surgery. I asked him to give us a few more good years and he did just that. His favorite thing in the past few years was going next door and getting his hundreds of treats a day from our neighbor. He adored her. After they lost their dog, Fritz took to being almost a therapy dog for her. He’d follow our neighbor around as she did yard work. Hell, he’d walk behind her tractor as she mowed. He didn’t follow us like that. I think him going next door multiple times a day kept him going.
Thank you, Fritz. Thank you for being the gentle giant you were. Thank you for making our lives better with you in it. Thank you for all the wet kisses and the head bonks that left me seeing stars. I pray that you’re running and jumping by that rainbow bridge and there’s warm beds and tons of treats. You were one of the best and we were so blessed that you came into our lives when you did. Rest easy, old boy. Thank you for everything. I’ll miss you.