Tinka De Chant Gammill

BG 5
born: June 19, 2000 Vail, Colorado
died: April 19, 2015  Ft. Lauderdale, Florida


Tinka was a wedding gift from our friends, Ariane & Charley Viola, in Colorado who had a litter of beautiful labs. Leticia and I were very excited to have our first dog and believed it to be a the testing ground before starting our own family; little did we know that Leticia was already pregnant!

Tinka arrived in San Francisco in the arms of our friend, Marta Carvalho, and she immediately showed her immense ability to attract people everywhere; a trait that she carried with her throughout her life.


Tinka’s name was a subject of debate. In fact, Leticia and I were only considering the name, after her favorite character in Peter Pan, when we visited Brazil for a family holiday earlier that summer. Word got out within the family and upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro, Leticia’s Great Aunt Duse met us with a gift bag for our new puppy-to-be. One of the gifts, a doggie bowl, already had Tinka’s name inscribed on it. Thanks to Duse, the name debate became moot and Tinka history began!

A second important factor pertains to Tinka’s last name. In honor of her great life, we add the prestigious name of De Chant since more than half of Tinka’s life was shared with our dear friends, the De Chant family, with whom we met soon after relocating to Florida in 2006. Words cannot express the love that Tinka had for Ed & Ona De Chant and our family feels that they had just as much a role, if not more so, in the life of Tinka.

It’s hard to imagine a dog with a life like Tinka. She was born in Vail with the potential to be a great hunting dog but we quickly ruined that by spoiling her from day one. Tinka enjoyed puppy life in San Francisco which included many swims in the Pacific Ocean, Lake Tahoe, and any swimming pool without a fence. At the age of 6, she moved with our family to Florida where she got a taste of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, many lakes, canals and more swimming pools than we can count. At the tender age of 11, Tinka began summer vacations with the De Chants to Canada. This meant more swimming without borders in Kipawa Lake and adventures to New Jersey, Ohio, and living the life of early retirement camper van trips. She had loving friends in more places than most humans do.


If you happen to be one of those friends that new Tinka, our family – The Gammills and De Chants – would love to hear your Tinka story so that we may share it with everyone. Please send a comment or email and we will post them to this special Tinka page. Thank you and let the stories begin! 




One of the fun memories I have is watching Tinka chase both Sebastian and Louisa around our house in San Francisco. The kids would be playing a large version of ring-around-the-rosy by running through the kitchen, dining room, living room, and then kitchen again wielding their blankets wildly. Tinka had to partake in the fun and would run with them, trying to grab onto the blankets for a quick tug-of-war.


Bones walk

A Tinka Classic is the time we rented a house at the Sea Ranch with friends. One of our single buddies, Steve Bones, decided to take Tinka on an afternoon walk. Hours passed and no Tinka, no Bones….the sun sets and still no Tinka nor Bones. Finally, as we are concerned with cocktails in our hands, Bones and Tinka wander back to the house as though nothing was wrong! Suffice it to say that both needed a good drink!

Bailey Family Babysitting

We’re so sorry for your loss. Tinka and our Isabella left us at the same time and I didn’t have the heart to write earlier. I remember when we had Tinka for a weekend in our home in Florida. We opened the yard door for her to use the bathroom and she did. Two seconds after she jumped in the pool! She started to swim laps! Dan and Anna went to the pool to play with her. After 2 hours they got tired but Tinka was still happily swimming her laps. She did it for one more hour. Than she came inside and took a nice long nap. She was a fantastic dog! Fun, sweet, cuddly, loving, funny… One of the best dogs we’ve ever met!! She will be dearly missed. Lots of love to all of you!!

Caldwell trips to Sanibel and Lake Placid, Florida

We have been sad and sorry, Tinka may you RIP. Tinka has been one of the friendliest most well behaved dogs we have ever met. Her love of swimming in the water was priceless; we are remembering  the time in Sanibel Island, Florida,  as if it was yesterday. Seeing her enjoying the beach and swimming in the ocean for hours is our favorite memory of one happy dog. Spending time together ( Leti was absent working)  in Lake Placid, Florida, on Lake Clay was another water splashing fun time with this awesome buddy. Once Tinka spotted the beautiful swimming pool which came with the ‘ Monkey House ‘ you were sold and bought the house. We still think Tinka did all the convincing that you made this home your family nest. Tinka was the best water dog in the world! We will miss you, Love Rob, Jeanette and Erik XxOo


Winding Way runs

We all loved Tinka.  Lee and I will never forget how she would jump out of the car on the way up to Winding Way and beat the whole family………….leaping into the swimming pool, where she spent most of the day!!!  Tillie spent her day running frantically around the pool barking at Tinka.  No dull moments at our house!  She had a great life and was SO loved by all of her family and her extended family, Ed and Ona.  What dog could have asked for anything more?  We send our love and condolences. Much Love, Jane (Grandy), Lee and Tillie

Brie Cheese

Leti and I were having a few friends over for wine and cheese. Leti set out a large wedge of Brie with crackers on the cocktail table as I prepared to open the wine before our guests arrived. The doorbell rings and we go to open but notice the entire cheese is missing! Who had scarfed an entire wedge of brie but Tinka! Dog ate the whole darn thing as though it were a biscuit snack.

BGLake Tahoe Winter Stories

This is a double story of Tinka. The first is a nice family outing with Tinka in the snow of Tahoe. I can clearly picture the view of the Lake over a small hill of pure white snow that had fallen the evening before and then a rabbit hopping labrador bouncing through it chasing birds and anything else in her path. Amazing strength that dog had!

But let’s not forget that she was only a puppy too – so she sees this large Huskie nearby and runs up to say hellos (this is before she started hating other dogs); well, the Huskie flipped and had Tinka screaming for life on her back in seconds! Needless to say, Tinka never approached another Huskie again in her life.

Vovó and Vovô

Vovó and Vovô, who loved to take Tinka on long walks and give her lots of treats and love, sent some nice pictures. Here they are…

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Stunt driving Tinka

As we all know, this dog loves anything water. In San Francisco we used to take her out to OB (ocean beach) and let her run wild. We were on our way driving down Geary – near the Zoo – when, and let me preface this that she is leaning out the front passenger window taking in the salty air, Tinka leans out farther with both front paws. Still a puppy that knows no better, I grab her back the first time. Persistence pays as she does it again only a bit further and enough such that the car door fulcrum is no longer even or better keeping her inside the car. I start to slow a bit (maybe 20 mph) and this obsessed water dog literally falls out onto the street. It all happened in shear excitement for her knowing that the beach was near!

Good news that she was not hurt and we put her back in the car, screaming barks of excitement with the window now rolled up.

Steep Hill Runs

As you know, Tinka has run miles upon miles including up Winding Way in Ross in less than 5 minutes. I used to give her a workout that Lance Armstrong would be jealous of in San Francisco by dropping her outside the car at the bottom of the Castro. I’m shocked to share this because you have every right to hate me but I’d then pull away and floor the car up the hill only to have Tinka give chase. That dog could run!! Amazing what she could do and there were a few times that I saw the evil stares of liberal leftist animals are sacred and should only be carried in your arms activists glaring at me in my souped up Honda Civic! Believe me that Tinka had as much fun doing these sprints as I did. You gotta try running up just one block of these hills to understand the strength required – amazing!


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