Saying Goodbye to Dear Friends
Last night the oldest of my dog friends passed away. In the past two years, all three of the original crew of dogs who were my closest animal friends during the chapter of my life that began in Humboldt County, California have died. This includes Stella, the wonderful dog my wife and I adopted just over 10 years ago, as well as Lucky, the beloved “prince” (as I called him) who lived a full life with my mother and step-father, also in Eureka.
Rudy’s passing truly marks the end of an era for me and my closest friends from Northern California. He was the eldest of the three dogs, and decidedly the alpha of the group. Before I had Stella, Rudy and I spent months together traveling the Northwest while his owner, Nick, would visit family in Hawaii. This is a dog who always understood his geographical whereabouts and could easily find his way home from anywhere in Humboldt County, and seemed to always have a firm grasp on what was going on with his human counterparts.
When Stella died last year, the entire experience was extremely sobering. She was not even 10 years old, and with no warning she fell severely ill and was gone within 36 hours. We ensured that she passed in the comfort of our home, cradled in my arms and with my wife and our surviving dog, Cleo, at her side. After speaking today with my long-time friend, Nick, I understand Rudy had a similar end-of-life experience. There is a lot to be said for witnessing the passing of a loved one. Though, in my opinion, being present to experience the death of a loved one unquestionably helps his or her survivors cope with the loss and move forward after the fact, there is a still a great deal of mourning that lies ahead. Though it may today be a bit less difficult to revisit memories of my dear friends Stella, Rudy, and Lucky, I felt compelled to put together a bit of a memorial here in the form of a photo slideshow and a short video I made with some photos I pulled together quickly from my archives. I hope the friends and families of these beautiful creatures enjoy the memories in these images, and I apologize for not investing the time to dig up even more imagery and stories to share and remember them by. Sometimes just a brief review is better than a full blown cinematic experience. I hope this is one of those times.