Trapper John was the most gentle giant you could ever find on the face of the Earth. Our story began Labor Day weekend in 2011 in Topeka, Kansas at the animal shelter. I was in search of a companion after moving from Alaska to Whiteman AFB. I had seen better days, still marred from my time in Afghanistan and a less than pleasant home coming. I went in search of a companion at the shelter.

I rescued Trapper who was then named Luna at the time and nearly 2 years old but still a big puppy. She had a rough start, she was the result of a “designer breed” puppy mill. She had scars from fighting over food, was 30lbs underweight and had been at the shelter for quite some time by the time I adopted her.

I named her Trapper John after a MASH character which was a show I used to watch when deployed. I wish I could say it was love at first sight but even she seemed to have her reservations about this relationship.

The handler let us sit in a room, I tried interacting with her and she could care less. She was only concerned with her handler. I adopted her anyway, something said bring her home. We drove the 70 miles back to the outside of the base and got settled in.
Over the next few months we learned each other and she learns my family and friends.

We build a strong relationship but there’s still miles of distance between us. Then one day my Nana passed away suddenly. My world that I had already been struggling to balance flips upside down. It was the first time I saw Trapper come to my side where she never left after this tragic moment in time.

We traveled together over the next 9 years across the U.S. multiple times. She was always a comforting presence. Even when in an unhappy marriage, she was my rock. Always a comfort. When I left to make a life on my own, she came with me. Traveling to Maryland where I can’t imagine my life without her companionship. It was a turbulent time. She was included in a protective order, a Maryland first, they considered her more than property. She helped me navigate the ups and downs of PTSD and TBI. She was my companion and a reassuring presence.

I met my hubby after the turmoil in my life calmed and he fell in love with Trapper as much as I had. He was a giant himself and they got along from the start. They understood each other both as larger than life. My husband enjoyed her calming presence. Our family grew and Trapper soon loved our daughter as well. She had been our daughters protector for nearly 3 years at the time of her passing. Our daughter gave her hugs often telling her she loved her. She would frequently dress Trapper up in hats and crowns. Trapper sat gently with a smile on her face enjoying every second of attention.

Trapper was grand in her golden years, even though she battled hypothyroidism, Cushings and osteoarthritis. She never complained. She went through every day giving it her all. No matter how bad she was hurting inside. She never gave up. She had beat Lyme disease and pancreatitis. She overcame the age stereotype of giant breeds.

She loved swimming at the beach, pouncing in snow, going for a car ride, going for walks and was always up for exploring. She loved being pet, she loved my family as much as I love them. She gave her heart freely after she created a bond of trust. Her 11 years on this Earth flew by to quickly.

We will always miss her. Her passing has not gone unnoticed. We will always keep a place in our hearts for her. I’m beyond blessed to have had her enter my life when she had and she had seen turmoil turn to happiness. She must have felt her work on Earth had been done. She passed in the comfort of our home. We were able to love on her while she took her last breath.

Even though it’s silent where a 150lb dog once lived, her memory lives on. Several days I look back and wonder who rescued who?

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  1. I always loved how Trapper gave hugs. She’s the only dog I ever met who would come to you and now her head down when she got to your lap! Just scratch me please! I also loved how she bounced when she got excited to see me! Watching her lay in the warm sand at the house made me so happy! I was her happy place here. I miss her so much already.

  2. Not a memory, but the way Trapper would just come up and push her head into you for pets was always my favorite thing

  3. One time Trapper broke out of the fence when we had just moved to Texas. It was September and about 100 degrees. I panicked and searched everywhere. Fortunately I received a phone call from a mother who had found her laying in her daughters kiddie pool not even a block away. The little girls were enjoying Trapper while they played in the sprinkler. I was relieved to find her and happy to have her back because the kids wanted to keep her. She was such a giant teddy bear.

  4. Thinking of you today as we have thought of you everyday this past year. We love and miss you so much Trapper. Hope you are having fun with Nana and Grandma up there.

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