Glenn’s emotional farewell to ‘best friend’ Victor

Glenn’s dog Victor has been the protector of the family for quite some time, but more than that he’s been a ‘best friend’ as Glenn described on radio today. Victor has been battling health issues in recent years and tomorrow, the family will say their final goodbyes as he will be relieved of his suffering. On radio this morning, Glenn reflected on what Victor has meant to he and his family and the difficulty in coming to this decision.

"Most people after a long relationship with their pets know what it feels like. They become member of the family," Glenn told listeners.

Glenn and Tania got Victor years ago when Glenn got his first death threat. Neither of them felt they were ready to have a gun in the house for protection at the time, and they agreed that it would be better to have a guard dog. They ended up going to Harrison K9 where they found Victor.

"Here's a dog that looked like a lion or a bear, giant. Head the size of a cinder block," Glenn remembered.

Victor was always very kind and gentle, and Glenn recalled that when Raphe was a baby he would hang onto Victor's teeth like they were rattles.

But Victor was more than just the family dog, he was the kind and gentle protector of the Beck family.

"I never knew what it felt like to be afraid for your life. We now have 24-hour protective details on my family and I. And I can't even explain to the men who stand by my side or in front of me or behind me, what it means to know that someone will risk their life for you. Victor has been our best friend -- I apologize. And a guardian," Glenn said through tears.

Listeners and viewers know that Victor has been sick for the past several months, and the Beck's have been preparing to say goodbye for some time now. And despite knowing that their time with Victor on Earth is coming to an end, the decision has not been an easy one.

"When they get sick you usually have to bring a decision in a short period of time. You bring them to the hospital, and you have to decide now to put them down. Once in a while you watch your best friend decay and suffer and you wonder when? You pray, please Lord, just take him."

"Nobody wants to put an animal down. But somebody has to say the hard things. We've known this day is coming. He's very old. He's 13 now. Which is extraordinarily old for a purebred German shepherd. We thought we were going to lose him two summers ago, but he just kept coming back. And last summer, we talked about putting him down when we were up at the ranch we have. We have a place where if he were younger he would have chasing the cows and barking at the sky, and running through the fields. We brought him up, thought he was doing better last summer. When we came home I think Victor retired," he explained.

"We've decided to have him cremated even though I'm not sure that's the right thing to do. We wanted to bury him up at the ranch because we just are afraid that God forbid, things happen, we'd sell our house, and move away. We didn't want him alone. I've tried to give my kids the experience this week that they'll always remember, and wanted to be able to dig his grave myself and bury him because I think there is something in that honor and dignity and I think it's something that a boy and his dad should do," Glenn said.

"I just wanted to thank you. Especially those who have listened in Tampa or Philadelphia when we got Victor. We'd go out and meet people, and so many people say how is he? I thought of you yesterday as we took a walk. I told him that he's been loved by people he's never even met. I don't know if it means anything to him, but it means something to me."

"It's going to be a tough weekend obviously. And sure would appreciate your prayers one last time," Glenn said.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!