A Vᴇᴛᴇʀᴀɴ And His Loyal Dog Dɪᴇᴅ Within Hours Of Each Other
A dog’s loyalty to its owner is unshakeable. Even during the toughest times, they will remain by their human’s side. Gunner, an 11-ʏᴇᴀʀ-ᴏʟᴅ lab, was an extremely loyal pooch. He has never left Daniel Hove’s side. Everywhere his human went, he was there. They turned out to be hunting buddies and best friends, too. When Daniel received his ᴘᴀɴᴄʀᴇᴀᴛɪᴄ ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs, Gunner was with him.
Gunner was loyal through it all. Even though he was a big dog, he’d go to Daniel and the two would cuddle up together. They’d spend an entire day like that. “They were best buddies till the end. They were hunting buddies, they went everywhere together,” Daniel’s daughter, Heather Nicoletti, said in an interview. The Air Force Vᴇᴛᴇʀᴀɴ and his dog were literally inseparable. Eventually, though, Gunner ꜰᴇʟʟ ɪʟʟ
Daniel Hove was a much-celebrated ꜰɪʀᴇꜰɪɢʜᴛᴇʀ who started his career in ᴛʜᴇ Aɪʀ Fᴏʀᴄᴇ and later continued serving his community of Burnsville. “He was someone that his department really relied on to innovate, educate, train and keep up with the new firefighting technique,” his daughter Heather told. Unfortunately, the heroic ꜰɪʀᴇꜰɪɢʜᴛᴇʀ and Vᴇᴛᴇʀᴀɴ was stopped in his tracks after he was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴘᴀɴᴄʀᴇᴀᴛɪᴄ ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ in 2011 and forced to retire in 2012. When Daniel first received his ᴄᴀɴᴄᴇʀ ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs, he was surrounded by all his loved ones, including his dog, Gunner. In fact, Hove’s 11-ʏᴇᴀʀ-ᴏʟᴅ pooch almost never left his side. It was clear that they were inseparable.
Sadly, Hove’s condition seriously deteriorated during his final years. But even though Gunner was a 90-pound dog himself, the pair was always cuddled up together.
“They were best buddies till the end. They were hunting buddies, they went everywhere together.” Hove’s daughter, Heather, told. The pair were inseparable, so it came as no surprise that when Gunner fell ill, Hove entered his final days. Heather said one day she looked at Gunner and knew he was about to give up the fight. Then the day that everyone was dreading came. The family knew that it was only a matter of time before they had to let Gunner go be at peace.
“I called the vet clinic I used to work at,” she said, “they got me in right away and I rushed him up there, put him to sleep. And about an hour and a half later, my dad was gone too.” Even though Nicoletti was upset over ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴏss of her father, she was at least thankful that her father didn’t have to suffer ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴏss of best friend. Nicoletti believed that the sickness and loss of Hove was what destroyed the dog – since Hove and Gunner could not bear to be away from one another. “I had said I don’t know what’s going to be more ᴛʀᴀᴜᴍᴀᴛɪᴄ for him,” she said. “To try to take him away to end–to put him to sleep– to end his sᴜꜰꜰᴇʀɪɴɢ, or if you let him live through dad ᴅʏɪɴɢ. I think either way it’s going to kill him. We knew they were going to go together. We just didn’t know it was going to be hours apart.”
“Gunner could not be without my dad,” Nicoletti added and said. “I think he chose to go with him.” At least they had each other in their final days. And it must have been a comfort to their family to know that they were together in heaven.