My friend Mark's dog, Nick, passed away this morning.
Mark was one of the first people I met after moving to Seattle, outside of online dating and pilates class. He was the first one who took me to the mountains to snowshoe. I remember my sister being concerned because she thought he had a thing for me, and he was "so much older". :)
Nick was a great, if Stinky, dog. :) I never let Mark forget that Nick always made my hands smell - even though Mark would always deny the odiferous nature of his dog, and claimed to not be able to smell Nick.
Here is a picture from April 2006, the first time I went snowshoeing with Mark. Nick is in the foreground. Mark would let him off the leash when we would hike through the mountains, and I would see Nick running back and forth across the trail, enjoying himself the way only animals without inhibitions can.
And here is a horrible picture of Mark and me. :)
Mark adopted Nick from a shelter in 1997, and later on he started the website Lumpy Dog Cookies, because, as I remember it, he said that he looked over at Nick one day and just saw a lumpy dog lying on the floor. (Maybe that is not the true story, but that is what I remember).
http://www.lumpydogcookies.com (where you can see more pictures of Nick and other Lumpy Dogs).
Nick lost a fight with cancer, which seemed to begin with the Boeing IAM strike. (Very odd coincidence, but there you go). I guess that really let Mark spend the last 7 weeks with him, instead of being stuck at work in a machine shop.
There is not much you can say to a friend who has just lost a pet, except offer your condolences and know that they don't mean much because being on the outside is Not The Same.
Hopefully Nick is eating steak and drinking beer, as Mark provided him on his birthdays.
Anyone who knows Mark will miss Nick bounding tirelessly around the house / yard / car / pier / mountain trail/ etcetera.
And I will even miss my stinky hands.