Thirteen years ago, this six month old yellow lab came into my life after being rescued from a dog catcher that found him in a park near Monroe, Oregon and he was brought to Eugene, to the Greenhill Humane Society for adoption. It was swift wet winter day in December 1999, when a high school buddy and I debated about having a companions in our lives together. We set out looking for the perfect canines that would become our best friends for life – ultimately, I mustered up to the shy little guy who seem like he was in “doggy jail” – I could resist the look on his face and the wagging tail the he flustered boldly.
His eyes matched with mine, as he was looking for a kind soul to “bound” him out of the “doggy jail.” We bonded almost immediately, but, the timing took a while for “The Dude” as he was nicknamed at times – but, he was given the full name of “Shiloh” to begin with.
For the next thirteen years, his life was being a homebody – a homeward bound dude, that kept watch on the fort, he traveled to the mountains to the foothills of the Oregon Cascades during his first Christmas in 1999, took his trails and adventures to the family farm where I once grew up and enjoyed the scenery of the Northwest country. He no only brought the joy of my life, he literally changed it to begin with.
He mended the fences with my parents own dogs and made friendship with them as well. But, the greatest deal of life is that he had a great and a good life with me for thirteen years until his death one week ago – I’m still recouping from the realities of life and the passing of my beloved best friend. For the first time since my Grandfather’s death and that of my Aunt and Grandmother who passed away in 2010, a few short days before Christmas – became the lonely path of friendship.
I had never felt being alone would be this tough or even this agony of man’s best friend leaving his side after so many years and good times, the agony is the sorrow of one’s guilt that you couldn’t be there when it was his time to say good-bye. I only felt Shiloh would tell it was time – perhaps him being dazed and confused before I left for my training class was his cue? – but, I never picked it up.
I hope he’s in a better place with the family pets and those family members that have left us behind for better lives in heaven – It makes me sad, that I have to wait in time to see my best friend once again as he plays and befriends to other animals that have passed before him to the so called – “Rainbow Bridge.”
In closing life would never be the same without having the “dude” near my side or during my stints of watching the Oregon Ducks win each college football game they’ve won this season – the little fritz loved college ball and it was amazing to watch him watch it on television with me.
His final star log entry date was June 1999 – October 8, 2012.