thank you, gunner
03-10-2110 mins read
"To them, they may only be a part of your world, but to them, you are their world." | Browning "Gunner" Jr. — 10/27/08 to 3/7/21
Dog Stories
Events
GUNNER News
Hunting Stories

It is with a heavy heart that we are letting everyone know that after battling cancer for the last six months, Gunner has passed away.

He was more than just the inspiration for our company —
he was an integral part of our family, and he will be greatly missed.

Below are three letters written by our founder, Addison Edmonds, over the last few years to his dog, Gunner.


 


1. Christmas Reflections
Written December 18, 2018

by Addison Edmonds

“Gunner my old buddy, how I have failed you…

It’s a late Christmas night and Willie Nelson’s playing in the background.”
“Gunner my old buddy, how I have failed you. As I sit here on this hardwood floor with you on the couch beside me, I realize just how busy I have been trying to make a business and raise a family — and all you’ve really wanted was to hunt with me by your side as much as possible. It’s a late Christmas night and Willie Nelson’s playing in the background. I hope you are dreaming of hunting together and playing with your lost sister, Goose, whom I have really been missing more than usual this week.

Sales of our kennels have surpassed my wildest dreams and life is more crazy/hectic than I could have ever imagined, but also so amazing. Our three precious girls are in bed, and another baby’s on the way, all in the last 48 months. But I realize now looking at your half-asleep face, with a small teardrop in the corner of your eye, that I have failed to keep my end of the commitment I made to you the day I picked you up in north Alabama. 

I have been tied up with running a business and raising kids all while letting you fall on the back burner, to the point where some days, the highlight of your day was to simply clean up the scraps on the floor from our girls’ dinner. Granted, while I know you have lived a better life than some, filled with more ducks and trips to work with me than most dogs might be lucky enough to experience, I feel sure in my heart that I have not kept up my end of the bargain. I feel that the original agreement was “you give me your all and I’ll give you mine.” You gave me your all. 

I am so thankful for the impact you have had on my life, but the more I think of the many recent hunting trips for my own gain, without you, I am saddened, and it makes me miss how I used to take you EVERYWHERE. The sparse white hairs in your face, your ever-more-present limp… it saddens me to realize we are both getting older. Although, unfortunately, you faster than I. 

I hope you live another 10 years so that I can make it up to you, so you can see a part of the bigger picture and watch our beautiful family grow, a family that you helped start in your own special way. You have literally made my life more complete in a way that I’m sure no dog, and likely most people, could ever truly understand. Happy late birthday, old Gunner, please stay with us as long as you see fit so you can help raise our kids and fetch a few birds before you are ready to go find your sister Goose up in heaven chasing those damn squirrels. We all love you buddy but I hope to be able to prove it one day.”

Gunner handshake
Addison & Gunner during Duck Season| Gunner Age: 8 | Louisiana


2. “Old Warrior”
Written March 2, 2021

by Addison Edmonds

“I look over and see your scars that remind me of our history —

because you are an Old Warrior. I see the scar from our very first photoshoot we did for Gunner Kennels, that barbed wire that caught your eye as you ran down that quail…”
 “Gunner, as I try to find the words to describe you as you lay here on what seems to be your deathbed, I keep coming back to these words: 'Old Warrior.'

After a day full of trips to the ER and you lay next to me and the kids, taking what sounds like some of your last breaths, I look over and see your scars that remind me of past hunts — because you are an Old Warrior. I see the scar from our very first photoshoot we did for Gunner Kennels, that barbed wire that caught your eye as you ran down that quail. I see the scar on your nose from when you jumped up on top of the dog house I had built you in college… only to quickly fall off and slice your nose on the metal roof. You were just a young puppy then. I see that hunt from our early days back in college as you brought back the final bird of an 8-man limit, faltering from hypothermia because, at the time, I didn’t know better.

I'll never forget when I drove you through the night down to Starkville because you were completely paralyzed, the doctors at Mississippi State didn’t know if you had a tumor in your brain or a herniated disc because your nose wouldn’t stop bleeding. I had 20 minutes to potentially say goodbye to you before your MRI, and as I laid there tearing up with you in the Mississippi summer heat, not knowing if you were going to make it another 24 hours — I made you a promise. I said, 'if it’s your time and you need to go… go, but if you can stick around a little bit longer, I promise you that I’ll get you on some more ducks this year.'

'Ducks.' That’s all you needed to hear and your half-deaf ears perked up like lightning. After that, the MRI results told us that it was not cancer in your brain, it was a disc in your neck that would need to be removed immediately. They said that you might not ever run again, much less be able to hunt. But I knew better, if you’d be able to walk, you’d be able to hunt, Old Warrior. So after the surgery and the daily trips to physical therapy things did seem to be getting better.

Then came the news of your cancer. They told me you wouldn’t make it past Christmas and to be honest, I never thought that you would. For the first time in my life, I lost my desire to go duck hunting — because if I couldn’t hunt with you, I’d rather stay near home and soak in the time we had left. But it was time to hold up my end of the bargain and I took you on a preserve hunt where you picked up 32 mallards. You were in your element again, doing what you loved most with the people you loved most. I thought that would be your last hunt.

By Christmas, from the way you were acting to your lack of energy, I figured it was any day that I would have to take you in and say our final goodbye. Boy was I wrong, Old Warrior. After trying some alternative medicines which seemed to work, you sprung back like a 2-year-old pup, and things seemed much closer to normal.

We had our final season together, you and I. We went on a phenomenal 3-week journey for the tail end of the 2020-21 season. From Oklahoma to Arkansas, to Mississippi, to Kansas, and finally to Kentucky to finish our season with an 8-man hunt of a lifetime. We burned up the road and I was convinced that you had beat that cancer — hell, we might even have one more season together…or at least you would make it for the dove opener. But looking back, you may have been in just as much pain as before we went on our last run, you just never showed it, because you are an Old Warrior and you have taught me more about life than you will ever know.

Old Warrior, that description just won’t stop running through my mind right now. We launched our website and had our first of four children just six years ago, tomorrow. I didn’t think you would get to this point, but as tired as I am, and as old as I feel, I don’t think I will ever amount to being an old warrior like you. But gosh dammit, I’m going to try, and hopefully one day, my kids and grandkids will be talking about me saying that I too was an old warrior.

Thank you, Gunner, I owe so much of my life to you and will forever be in debt. I will honor you by making the best products possible for all of the other warriors out there — those that drive through frozen ponds and thick thorns to find the birds for their leaders without questioning their commands. Old Warrior. My world will not be the same without you."

Gunner Goose Hunt
Addison & Gunner Bucket List Hunt | Gunner Age: 11 | SASKATOON, CANADA


3. Farewell, Gunner
Written Fall 2020

by Addison Edmonds

I received a lot of push back and was told that nobody would ever buy from a company with ‘Gunner’ in the name

but we proved them wrong on that one.
At the end of the day, I started this company for you.”
 “Gunner, what an incredible life we have had together. 
Through the wonderful rollercoaster ride of experiences we’ve had together over the last 12 years, 
my only regret is that you won’t be there to retrieve the first duck for Marie, Roane, Ellie, or Billy in the coming years. 
But rest assured, I’ll tell them how you would have retrieved their ducks with more fire and passion than I have ever seen in a dog — 
just like you did in our younger years. 



You have changed my life in more ways than you could ever know. 
After all, I wouldn’t have our wonderful family and life without the help of you connecting me to Emily. 
And I am so thankful to think that, because of you, 
we have already saved dozens of dogs’ lives with kennels carrying your name. 
And through it all, hopefully, done our part to shed light on the simple fact that dogs make our world a better place. 



What we are going through is the absolute worst part of sharing life with a dog, 
but the terrible truth is, it is still part of it. 



I am so proud to have named our company 'Gunner Kennels.' 
In the early days, I received a lot of push back and was told that nobody would ever buy from a company with 'Gunner' in the name, 
but we proved them wrong on that one. At the end of the day, I started this company for you, 
and now more than ever, I want the entire world to know your name and our story. 
I promise I will do my best to make every product we design worthy of your name.



 This is one of my favorite quotes that reminds me of you and is a fitting note to end this letter:
‘they are your best friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You’re their life, their love, their leader. 
They will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of their heart. Be worthy of such devotion.’ 



Thank you for everything, Gunner.” 
First dove hunt
MARIE (5) , ROANE (4) , & ELLIE (2) |
GIRLS’ FIRST DOVE HUNT WITH GUNNER AGE: 12 |
NASHVILLE, TN

My only regret is that you won’t be there to retrieve the first duck for Marie, Roane, Ellie, or Billy in the coming years. But rest assured, I’ll tell them how you would have retrieved their ducks with more fire and passion than I have ever seen in a dog. …

But rest assured, I’ll tell them how you would have retrieved their ducks with more fire and passion than I have ever seen in a dog…”
"They are your best friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You’re their life, their love, their leader. They will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of their heart. Be worthy of such devotion." Click To Tweet

Want to learn more about Addison and Gunner? Watch their story here

share this story
MORE LIKE THIS
American vs. British Labradors (Part Two)
In Part 2 of this series, Barton Ramsey of Southern Oak Kennels discusses the differences between...
Alternative Food Crate Use: Cocktail Pitcher
We have an alternative use idea for our GUNNER Food Crate! An 11-gallon pitcher to hold your cock...
Supporting Wildlife Conservation
While spring turkey hunting itself doesn't typically involve Man's Best Friend, it's a tradition ...

GET IN TOUCH

Our support team are on hand
Monday - Friday
8am - 6pm CDT

SMS
 Offline
CHAT
 Offline
EMAIL
 Offline
CALL
 Offline

ADDED. COMPLETE YOUR SETUP

PERSONALIZED KENNEL NAME PLATE

Regular price
29
Sale price
29.00
I've reviewed and approve the design shown in the preview

ADDED. COMPLETE YOUR SETUP

FOOD CRATE NAME PLATE

Regular price
19
Sale price
19.00
I've reviewed and approve the design shown in the preview

UNLOCK

FREE SHIPPING

ON YOUR NEXT ORDER

Valued up to $60 per kennel

By submitting this form, you agree to receive recurring automated promotional and personalized marketing text messages (e.g. cart reminders) from GUNNER at the cell number used when signing up. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. Msg frequency varies. Msg and data rates may apply. View Terms & Privacy.

THE PACK OPINION

Customer Reviews
4.9 Based on 2,593 Reviews
Write a Review Ask a Question
  • Reviews
  • Questions

Thank you for submitting a review!

Your input is very much appreciated. Share it with your friends so they can enjoy it too!

Filter Reviews:
BM
07/05/2021
Brandon M.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
It’s like an insurance plan….

This is by far the best kennel made. I use mine daily and they take lots of abuse. They never even seem to wear at all. Hose them off with soap and water and they look brand new. I encourage all of my puppy buyers to get them as well. It’s like an insurance plan for your best friend!

GUNNER G1™ KENNEL Review
KT
06/14/2021
Kris T.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? TravelHomeHome & Travel Equally
Wow, Just Wow

Wow, this kennel is the Yeti of dog kennels! everything about this kennel is first rate. Yes, there are cheaper, but none can compare to a Gunner kennel.

AL
05/31/2021
Alec L.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Amazing travel kennel

This thing is built like a tank. I have no doubt this will protect our little guy if we are ever involved in an accident. We recently completed an 800 mile road trip with him in the crate. It was well worth the money. This was the first time he was calm in the car and not whining. He slept easily during the drive. We felt calm know he was secure and comfortable. Cannot recommend this crate enough!!

AO
05/08/2021
Angus O.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Family or Companion Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Unlike any other crate I have seen

I purchased two Gunner kennels, a medium and a small, for my pups. Immediately, you understand this is a different level of product compared to what you’ve used before. The construction is fantastic and legitimately heavy duty. I feel so much better knowing I’ve done everything I can to keep my dogs safe in case of a worst case scenario.

PK
03/18/2021
Patrick K.
United States United States
  • How would you describe your dog? Gun or Bird Dog
  • What's your primary use of the product? Travel
Best purchase for my best friends

I’ve been buying cheap kennels for the four years I’ve owned my dogs, none of them seemed to hold up. I’ve wanted a Gunner for a year now, and the more I read stories of how they have saved dogs lives, it made me think of how losing my best friends would damn near **** me. So I made the purchase and will never look back. It is one solid kennel and I will not let the kennel hold me back from traveling farther to hunt anymore. It’s well worth the investment. I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for, and this will not let anyone down.