Farewell My Friend

He was my best friend… He went with me everywhere, pretty much anything I did, I did it because of the pure joy I received from the great enthusiasm he had for life and nature and all that could be discovered in the great outdoors. I met him full grown in 2016 and it wasn’t long before we became inseparable. He was the smartest dog I have ever known and it wasn’t long before he figured out that our main goal on all of our excursions, whether it was a hike or just a ride in the truck, was to find wildlife. As we drove along the mountain roads his eyes would scan the hillsides and ridge lines looking for deer and elk. When he finally spotted something he would let me know by pointing and woofing. Out on the trail his nose was in constant motion, his ears eventually alerting me to the presence of wildlife long before my human senses had any hope of detecting them. At the end of our treks we would go to the grocery store and get a ham, egg and cheese sandwich that I would bring out to the truck to eat. I would give him a puppy treat while I ate my breakfast and he would wait patiently and expectantly for the last bite of my sandwich. By day he was at my side, by night he slept at the foot of my bed. His snoring put me to sleep at night and his whining to go outside would awake me in the morning. He asked for nothing other than to be at my side wherever I went and when we got home from our travels he would lick me on the cheek to show his gratitude as I reached for his leash to hook him up to his run in the back yard.

Son Boy waiting in the truck

Now, suddenly and without warning he is gone. Struck down in the prime of his life by complications from his Lupus Medicine. Monday began like any other day with a long hike in the woods. Monday afternoon he ate his food and a few hours later he was gone.

My heart is broken, I can’t seem to do anything because everything I try to do just reminds me of him and without him there is no joy in anything. I’m sure in time I will find the strength to go on, I always do. But for now I mourn with no desire to do anything so you all will probably not be hearing much from me for a while. My camera lies dormant in the corner along with my hiking boots, out of sight so that they cannot remind me of him. Without his hopeful eager eyes to spur me to action I have little incentive to reach for them.

Sooner or later my heart will once again yearn for the snap of the camera shutter, the sight of God’s creatures peering out from the woods at me and the smell of pine in the crisp Colorado mountain air. Eventually I will answer the call of the wild, but for now it just doesn’t seem worth going on.

I take comfort in the knowledge that he is running free in the tall trees on the other side of Rainbow Bridge where he will meet me some day and we can resume our adventures in eternity.

Majestic Snowcapped Sangre de Cristo

 

 

 

 

Buddy

My best friend Buddy crossed Rainbow Bridge tonight. He was all heart, but his heart could hold on no longer. When he came to me the vet thought he was about 6 years old, which would make him 22 tonight. He has been faithfully sitting on my lap while I work at my computer or watch television, happy with nothing more than to enjoy my company for all these years. And I have so enjoyed every minute of this faithful and sweet soul, and he is on my lap yet tonight as I cherish the last bit of warmth and love his small frame can provide, as I write down my memories of him. He was my last living link to the good times in Parker, before my world imploded around me. My life will seem awfully empty without his eager company.

Buddy

Beloved Buddy

Many years ago he was hanging around my house in Parker, but  I didn’t realize it. A neighbor who had moved had abandoned a cat that looked just like him named Miles and we were taking care of him outdoors as he didn’t want to come in. Finally someone bought the house next door and we explained to them that the house came with a cat. Fortunately they were amenable, and Miles moved back into his former house. We stopped putting food out and life went back to normal. However one day Miles was in our driveway yelling at me for some reason, so I asked the neighbor what was up with Miles. She said, it’s not Miles, we think it is his twin brother, and he was some kind of upset that we weren’t feeding him anymore. So I got him some food and went back to feeding a stray black cat.

Our neighborhood south of Parker was pretty wild for a suburban housing development. We had plenty of fox and coyotes and even an occasional mountain lion roaming the forests. Once I heard a commotion and I went out to see what was going on and it was Buddy faced off in the driveway with a fox. The fox was clearly looking for a meal but it was obvious to him that Buddy had no intention of becoming a meal. The fox dared not take another step or I’m sure Buddy would have turned him into mincemeat! During one commotion I couldn’t find him, so I just turned Klondike my 90 pound Samoyed loose and the commotion stopped and never came back 🙂

Later on he got into a couple of cat fights and had to get patched up at the doctor, which was when the doc figured he was about six. Not too long after that one day, he came to our ground level sliding basement window, so I opened the side that didn’t have a screen and he sauntered on in. He strolled around the basement for a while locating the kitty box and the food and water… After a while he went back out, but it wasn’t long before he was spending his nights safely indoors on the basement couch. He still enjoyed going outside during the days to sun himself on our deck, but I guess he knew nighttime was not a good time to be out.

Finally our time in Parker came to an end and we packed up and moved to Woodland Park. Once we got Buddy moved here, he didn’t like going outside anymore and fully retired from his outdoor escapades. From then on he was content to spend every minute of his time sitting on our laps at the computer or watching TV with us. Turns out some old Sonny and Cher episodes were his favorite. He would never fail to return from his wandering through the house when he heard the familiar jingle of those old episodes playing.

So for six solid years I have had Buddy on my lap by day and on my chest by night. He is at peace now, it looks like he is curled up asleep. I’m sure he is basking in the warmth of Heaven tonight, eagerly awaiting my arrival. I will miss him terribly until that day.