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Hunter - Gone but not forgotten

Early in March many senior glider pilots gather at Seminole Lake Gliderport, FL for the Senior Championships. Each year most of the same pilots return, but on occasion one of the pilots has retired from soaring or even gone soaring with the angels in soaring heaven. This year one of the old standbys will not be at the field. "Hunter, the faithful airport dog has passed on. Ten years ago Hunter became my friend. Each morning we would be a beautiful blue and the birds would be singing in the trees.

Prior to the pilots meeting he would share the couch in the flight center office with pilots and crews. (Only share-never giving up the whole couch.) He never had an ugly mood. If another dog entered the office he would raise up his head to let him know he was the authority there.

As the pilots meeting was getting under way the cumulus would be forming and the birds would be soaring over the air strip. Hunter would watch every move on the field until grid time. He would wander around the grid meeting everyone until the tow plane engines started. At that time he would retire to his couch to wait for the returning pilots to bring in their flight records to John Good and Rich Sheppe, the scorers.

Hunter loved the parties and social events after flying. He was a great fried and everyone loved him, especially Ingrid and Knut Kjenslie, his owners.

We still have many airport dogs and I love them all, Mookie, Jazz, Harris, Dago, Tori, Oscar and many more. But there was only one "Hunter" at Seminole Late Glider port. Of course, there were rules for Hunter. They were even published in Soaring magazine in February 2001 in an article by Tom Elmore. Tom passed away about a year ago so possibly Tom and Hunter are together again.

Hunters Rules
By Mary Bowman

1. Hunter is not allowed on the Gliderport.
2. Okay, Hunter is allowed on the Gliderport, but no one is to feed him or encourage him to stay.
3. Okay, Hunter can come up on the porch, but not inside the clubhouse.
4. Hunter can come into the clubhouse, but only when specifically invited by Ingrid.
5. Okay, Hunter can come into the clubhouse whenever it is raining, without Ingrid's ok.
6. Well, all right, Hunter can come into the clubhouse whenever he wants, but NOT up on the furniture.
7. Okay Hunter can come up on the old couch, but must share it with human guests.
8. Hunter owns the couch; any human wising to sit on the couch must ask his permission and give him a treat.

Hunter was a fried to everyone and I know Ingrid and Knut will miss him. He was my friend and I too will miss him. There is a small memorial next to the Kjenslie home where Hunter's ashes are buried.

Posted: 5/1/2005

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