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In loving memory:

CH. Amethyst's Music o' the Knight  (Thunder)

(Amethyst's Black 'n' Basic Jazz x Amethyst's Sweet Lady Blaize)

September 1, 1992 to April 14, 2006
`13 years, 7 months and 13 days

Starts With Goodbye 

So hard to see myself without him
I felt a piece of my heart break
But when you're standing at a crossroad
There's a choice you gotta make

I guess it's gonna have to hurt
I guess I'm gonna have to cry
And let go of some things I've loved
To get on to the other side
I guess it's gonna break me down
Like falling when you're trying to fly
It's sad, but moving on with the rest of your life
Starts with goodbye

I know there's a blue horizon
Somewhere up ahead just waiting for me
But getting there means leaving things behind 
Sometimes life's so bittersweet

Time heals the wounds you feel somehow
But right now

I guess it's gonna have to hurt
I guess I'm gonna have to cry
And let go of some things I've loved
To get on to the other side
I guess it's gonna break me down
Like falling when you're trying to fly
It's sad, but moving on with the rest of your life
Starts with goodbye.....

(from Carrie Underwood's latest CD)

I have gotten to the point in life where I have decided that I don't like the months of March/April.  Spring usually signifies a re-birth and a time of change.  But for me, it signifies for me the loss of my beloved oldster Gordons.  In March of 2001, I lost Trouble, followed by Kiggan in April of 2003, Storm in April of 2005 and now Thunder in April of 2006.

It was only a few months ago that I received a call about Dude dying so young and so tragically.  Thunder resided with Greg and Donna DaValt in Oklahoma for the last winter of his wonderfully long life.  I made the decision to let him go down there last fall so that he could enjoy the warmer winter.  It was a good decision.  He loved it down there. Greg and Donna took wonderful care of him.

The week of April 10, 2006 was a very grueling week for me.  I was frantically finishing up work at my job that was ending and trying to finish up my taxes as that deadline was fast approaching.  I did have Thursday and Friday off from my last job so that I could finish my taxes.  Greg called me early that week to let me know that Thunder might not make it much longer.  I made the decision to fly down on April 14 to see my buddy one last time.  However, in the wee hours of April 14, 2006, Thunder quietly and on his own crossed to the Rainbow Bridge.  When I arrived, we had a funeral for Thunder.  We remembered his life...and how truly special he was.


  • Thunder shown winning 1st place in American-bred at the North Country Specialty in 1996.  This was the first time that I placed first in a class at a regional specialty.  Thank you, Thunder for giving me that memory.

  • This photo was taken of Thunder in March of 2006.  Oh he looked so wonderful for a dog 13-year and a half years old.

How do I explain Thunder?  

He was so much a part of Amethyst, even though was never used at stud.

When Storm was about a year old, another Gordon Setter puppy (a double-Spice grandson) came to live with Amethyst.  His name is Ch. Amethyst’s Music o’ the Night (Thunder).  It was Thunder who became Storm’s best bud, despite what Storm put him through *grin.* Thunder was almost like the devil himself dressed in a black and tan Gordon suit.  He’d rather hang himself on the grooming table than pay attention to me.  I remember Anne Rogers Clark at the 1993 GSCA National asking me how old he was.  I replied, “He’s 8 months old.”  She said “Don’t worry honey, his wires will attach.”  

Storm helped with that connection process.  Greg and I had such a problem getting Thunder to behave, that Greg decided to stick Storm out in the kennel with Thunder and he returned to his shop…..about 10 minutes later he heard this absolutely horrific noise that sounded like a pig squealing…..

You guessed it.  The pig was Thunder.  Storm had nailed him to the ground and had him in a head/neck lock.  Thank you, Storm!!  Never again, did Thunder give us a lick of trouble.  The two of them became inseparable.  And now, with Storm gone, Thunder is the patriarch of Amethyst Gordon Setters.  And now, almost a year to the date, my beloved Thunder is gone, too.

He was the reason why Greg DaValt and I always parked the RV or travel trailer or the truck in the back 40 at a dog show.  He would rock 'n' roll the crate that he was in and he would "howl" and woof.

In 1998, when I tore my ACL and after it  healed, Greg DaValt and I had attended the GSCA National Specialty in Rhode Island.  That was my first show since my surgery and while I was able to show the dogs, I didn't think it was very pretty.  

The entire trip, Thunder stood up in his huge Great Dane crate. When we were stuck in traffic in New Haven, CT, a guy was out selling newspapers and walked by the truck which had the huge camper topper on it.  Thunder saw the guy and let out a woof when the guy peeked in.  I never saw anyone run so fast....

He and his best buddy Kiggan were kennel mates.  Ironically enough Thunder left and it was 3 years to the day that Kiggan was helped to the Rainbow Bridge.  I hope that Thunder and Kiggan are having a wonderful reunion there.  Those two were so fun to watch and they truly loved each other.

Thunder and Fire were my specialty-winning brace mates.  They were kennel mates for a few years until they became "boys."  

So, to Greg and Donna DaValt, thank you for caring for Thunder the past many months.  I am glad he had a great winter walking and running around the big yard at your place.  I know that Thunder enjoyed his retirement down in Oklahoma where his days consisted of playing a little catch with the tennis ball, following a few of the girls around the yard, naps in the sun and naps in the shade (depending of course on the weather) and of course his favorite activity of all, dinner time.  You earned the nickname "circle dog" from everyone....because you always spun around in circles when it was feeding time.

I will miss the seal-sounding bark that you managed to muster the past couple years.  I have come to realize that dogs often live up to their names.  You were no exception, Thunder.  Sleep warm my buddy.  You will be missed always.


Peggy, Fire, Ice, Asti, Twister and Sizzle

"Rhythm of Thunder." - Background music written and performed by Greg DaValt.  


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This page was last updated on:  Wednesday, April 19, 2006

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For information on our Gordon Setters please contact us at gorsetr@gorsetr.com.