In Honor of Hokie (3/11/02 - 3/26/09)

hokieBernese Mountain Dog/St. Bernard Mix
Brother of Hercules and Molly
Protector of Chad, Nicole, Austin & Katja

We love you more than words could express!
You are and will always be part of our family and FOREVER in our HEARTS !!!
We miss you so ....




Hokie was a special dog … not special, as in the perfect family pet (as most people define it) … but special in the way he touched our lives, and in the lessons he can teach all of us …

Hokie was one of a litter of ten, left on a vets’ door step only hours after birth. The pups’ chances were slim, and in the end, only he and one brother and sister survived. Nurtured and loved by the wonderful volunteers of AARF, until he was ready to find a home. After five years, Hokie’s family had to give him up, and once again, AARF came to his rescue …

This is how he came to live with us … it was not easy to integrate Hokie into our family. Hokie was serious about protecting his family, and any stranger was a potential risk. It took about 2 months of careful training and love for Hokie to understand that “yes, this is a good family … and it is mine. Hokie loved to play with squeaky toys … we have laughed many hours playing the “what you got – can I have that game” … it is hard to explain – just trust me, he was quite comical. Hokie loved to go to the park … running around the meadows, strolling around the lake, and watching the birds … squirrels, of course, were the most fun - imagine a 126lb dog making a sudden mad dash after a squirrel (and the human on the leash that was, no doubt, airborne behind him) – yeah, this little exercise brought on some giggles from an on-looker or two. Hokie loved other dogs … he became a “big brother” to numerous other foster dogs that came to stay until they found their forever home …

… so why not Hokie? … why did he not find his forever home? Well – you see – it turns out, he did. He was happy right where he was. He did not like the dog stand. He did not like anyone outside of his immediate family that he met (except for adult females), and he made it known … it is hard for us to describe how loving he was with us, in particular, our children … he was gentle, he was a pillow, he was an endless supplier of doggie kisses, always wanting to be with us (wherever we were in the house, he was) … no matter how bad our day, he was there to greet us (every one of us) wagging his tale, providing us his undivided attention … Don’t get me wrong, I feel incredibly blessed to have had Hokie grace our lives … but I can’t help to think of all the people that have missed out … he took his job of family protector so seriously, that many did not even get a chance to meet him, to hug him, play with him and to laugh … I am hoping that if you are reading this, you are getting some sense of what a wonderful being he was and how much he brought to our lives… and if his story can make just one person think the next time he/she meets a dog (or another human, for that matter) that at first glance may not seem so perfect and takes the time to find the goodness that lies underneath, Hokie’s spirit will live on … and you will understand.

Hokie - March 11th, 2002 – March 26th, 2009

They say memories are golden, well maybe that is true.
We never wanted memories, we only wanted you.
A million times we needed you, a million times we cried.
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
In life we loved you dearly; in death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a place no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
We'd walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.