Archer McCue – December, 2004 – Dec. 25, 2016

archer-at-her-youth-probably-4-for-web

Archer during her heyday. We think she was 4 at the time.

Archer McCue died on Christmas morning 2016. She was 12.

Archer was a lab/chow mix that we discovered at the Cowley County Humane Society Animal Shelter at Strother Fields in April, 2005. She was the last of her brothers/sisters to be chosen. Perhaps, that made her the most fortunate. She came to a good home for dogs. We brought her home after we lost our Golden Retriever Darwin. She stood guard over our home ever since.

Her dark coat most definitely gave her a look of a lab. But from a distance you could see a look of a chow. And then there was that black spotted tongue that most certainly gave her a unique look amongst the masses of black Kansas labradors.

I always wonder what a dog would be like if he/she would be a human. For Archer would have been the humble mother, who would work to get the job done, would quietly take a second job to feed her family, and be protective of her loved ones throughout their lives. Archer would always put others first.

When we brought her home, we had a dickens of a time figuring out what to name her. Devin, my 9-year-old son, said her back appeared to have an arch to it. So we named her Archer.

It seemed to be the ideal name… until… I found out years later she was named after a character in a video game that my kids played on the Internet. They said I would not have approved of the name had I known the truth at the time and they were right. But it was too late when I finally knew the real story.

Archer loved her walks. When she was younger I would let her off her leach and let her explore. But better than other any other dog I have had, she was the most obedient. Oftentimes without a leash she would stop when I stop, would walk at the exact pace I would walk. She never had any obedience training, but she was definitely obedient.

She didn’t particularly care for male strangers and would oftentimes snap at them. It was her way of protecting the family. I would yell at her and she was immediately sorry slinking into her cubby hole. She was sorry and felt bad for quite awhile.

Throughout her life, Archer enjoyed the closet or the corner below my desk. She was always the guardian.

Archer is the first dog we have had that lived with us a full dog life from puppy to adulthood to her final sunset at a ripe old age. Our first two dogs, Barney and Darwin, had their lives cut short from cancer. Harley we never knew as a puppy.

But for Archer, her life was long for lab standards and she lived all of it on 22 Sunset Road.

During her final years, arthritis would get the best of her. But she still wanted that nightly walk. On the evening before her death, she took one last journey to Eisenhower Elementary school. It was uneventful like the rest. She took a few sniffs here and there. Those last few months she was leash-less. She was just too slow for the other dogs. But she managed to get in the full walk.

Archer was the best of dogs. Neither overbearing, rarely annoying and relatively quiet. She was always filled with a love only a dog can give a human.

And it was only fitting she died on Christmas morning when her family was all home to say goodbye.

RIP, Archer.

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