A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter's drawing near.
--Mary Carolyn Davies
Yesterday, my beloved dog Duke was put to sleep. This was very sudden and unexpected. On Wednesday, he was running and playing, on Friday he was paralyzed and in terrible pain -- and the prognosis was not good given how quickly and aggressively the paralysis was spreading. It was an awful decision to make. Duke was my best friend -- a constant companion for six years. If there's consolation it's that he lived a very full and happy life -- he took in more trails and beautiful vistas than most people I know. He always stayed on the trail and led the way. And when I stopped to take pictures, he stopped and patiently waited. He brought lots of joy to my life -- I'll miss our walks in the woods and curling up with him on the couch. He was so smart -- he knew lots of tricks and loved to put on a show for friends. Today, everything I see reminds me of him. The house is quiet and empty without him here. I know the hurt will one day heal, but I'll always cherish the memories of a dog named Duke.
This video of Jimmy Stewart reciting a poem about his dog is especially touching (and helpful to me today).
And finally, on another note, here's a fun video of Duke being tormented by my friend's dog, Teddy. More photos of Duke here, here, here, here and a picture of us together here. I'm grateful to my friend Lee who put together a wonderful slideshow of photos of Duke. I've also put together a slideshow of some of my favorite photos.