Daniel Hove, a former Air Force officer who is now an assistant fire chief, received support from his family and friends after learning that he had pancreatic cancer. Gunner, Daniel’s 11-year-old lab who never left his owner’s side, was the most encouraging.
Despite weighing 90 pounds, Daniel can be seen cuddling up on his owner’s lap and alongside the bed in pictures from his later years. Gunner made sure to keep himself no farther away than a few inches from the action.
Daughter of Daniel Nicoletti Heather Nicoletti told Kare 11 that “they were best friends to the end.” “They were hunting pals who accompanied each other everywhere.”
So when Daniel’s devoted dog fell ill as he was resting down, it was not unexpected.
His daughter recounted how her father and Gunner had always been in sync: “When my father became agitated, the dog became agitated; when my father became restless, the dog became restless.” “Both my father and the dog were unresponsive. When we observed the dog’s condition—he wasn’t moving around much and wasn’t doing well—we realized what was about to happen.
When Gunner’s arms started to bulge and he started to become more lethargic, Heather knew it was time to put him to sleep. She continued, “I took him up to the vet clinic where I used to work, and they got me in straight soon, and I put him to sleep.” An hour and a half later, my father had left.
Heather found comfort in the knowledge that, despite her heartache at losing her father, who was a wonderful dad, committed soldier, adored community member, and devoted mentor and friend to everyone he encountered, he never had to say goodbye to his beloved dog. Gunner would have been as distraught by such a separation because he could never stand to be apart from his best friend in the human world.
I’m not sure what will be more traumatic for him, Heather said. “To attempt to take him away to end his misery, put him to sleep, or if you let him live through the passing of his father.” It will kill him in either scenario, in my opinion. We had a sense they would complement one another. We just weren’t aware that it would be several hours apart.
Without my father, Heather said, “Gunner could not exist.” “I think he decided to go with him,”