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Remembering Henna the Headwaters Shop Dog

Dan Arbuckle - Wednesday, February 10, 2016
For those interested we will be hosting a memorial for Henna here at the shop Thursday Feb 18th at 6:00PM. We will be doing a slide show and telling stories about Henna. We would be honored for you to join us. 

Henna and I over the years. Written by Dan Arbuckle

When we found her she was a stray with a open wound around her neck where someone had her chained up. She was starved and close to death. She was running loose in the country and after a Few nights of seeing her we finally stopped and tried to catch her. When we got her in the truck she smelled like death. That first night I didn't have anywhere to keep her so I slept in a friends back yard with her in my sleeping bag. The very next week I moved to a ranch where I could have a dog. We lived in a small RV in exchange for feeding horses and mucking stalls. Henna was still wild. She would run and chase rabbits and then burry them because she never knew if she was going to have food at night. (She always did but she was still worried). She was the worst to house break. She has a very weak stomach and almost every night she would poop or throw up in the RV. We went round and round with this for months, but eventually she got better. During the day I didn't have a secure spot to keep her so my boss at the time let me bring her to work at the kayak shop. We worked hard to teach her to stay in the office and not jump on customers. She went from wild to very socialized quickly. She became the star of the show everywhere we went. And we went a lot of places. Canoeing, camping, mountain biking, etc. 

She was my dog and she rode shotgun wherever we went. In 2009 Ashlie and I got married and we moved to Walnut Grove. There we did a lot of camping out of the canoe and trail rides around the delta. Not long after we were married we added Ethan to the fold. Henna wasn't so sure about sharing the attention, but she quickly learned to love him. I'll never forget pacing the hospital room with Ethan in my arms telling him about the awesome dog he has at home waiting for him. I'm so thankful they got to grow up together. In 2010 we bought our house in Lodi, opened our shop and had Ethan. Henna was by my side through it all. I never gave that any thought till this week. She was a silent and steady partner through the hardest times of my life. In her later life she got arthritis from all the bike riding and jumping in and out of the truck for all those years. That's when we got the Cycle Truck from John Lucas. This became her chariot. We use this bike to get the kids around and to run errands, but no matter where we went Henna was always riding shot gun. She loved that bike so much. Over the last three days of her life we rode every day. No matter how bad she felt, she was always happy to get in the bike and go for a ride. She would listen to the birds and chase squirrels in her mind. It's like she was all better when she was in that bike. When I woke up this AM she was laying in the same spot as I had left her the night before. She seemed to have no emotion left. Just heavy painful breathing. I told her to let me know when it was time. A while passes and she stood up. She walked into the back yard and drank some water and stood in the sun. I asked her if she was ready and she looked at me and knew it was time. She followed me inside and the kids said their good byes. We walked out to the garage and opened the door. She loaded up one last time and we took the slowest ride ever to the vet. We listened to the birds and soaked up the sun. When we got to the vet Ashlie and my Mom were waiting for us. I carried her in and they walked us to a beautiful peaceful room. I said my goodbyes and then we gave the Dr the go ahead to put her down. I stared into her eyes and held her paw as she fell asleep. She was finally at peace. My heart hurt so bad but I knew I was doing the right thing. From there we drove her out to Nonnies ranch where we buried her along the creek. A place where Ethan and i love to ride our bikes and a place we will visit often. Ethan left her 12 flowers 2 candies and a picture he drew of the two of them. I left a piece of my heart. Today I buried my best friend. My dog that was my daily companion from single life to a family with two kids, my adventure buddy and silent strength. I'm going to miss you dear friend. I so thankful our paths crossed all those years ago. It was a life well lived. Can't wait to see you again in Heaven.
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    847 N. Cluff Avenue, Suite A-6 • Lodi CA 95240