Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Greatest Dog in the World

It's funny, I can normally find words to write with, but I have found myself at a loss. My gentle, goofy, loving companion passed away a few weeks ago. If you you read through Simple Gift you'll find him mentioned frequently. Coal shared my adventures. He shared my sorrows and my joys. We were together for somewhat over 14 years. I've lost something and no matter how hard I try to write, words won't capture what I had. We hiked together his last day. He had a great out and was quite happy. He died suddenly that night.

Coal and Fancy cat. They slept together nearly every night. This picture was taken 3 weeks before he died. Taken 8/11/07

When I was young I read stories about dogs and dreamed of having my own dog. I imagined some brave, intelligent dog protecting me from danger and doing amazing tricks. Having a dog was one of my Big Dreams. Coal certainly wasn't brave and he wasn't as obedient as I expected. He wasn't my sidekick. He was so much more. He was his own being with his own personality. Having Coal was different then my childhood dream but it was every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be.

Taken back when I lived in Steilacoom, sometime around 1999 maybe. Coal refused to come inside, he was so happy for the snow

Coal had such a gentle nature. Except when it came to bees, then he went nuts. My sweet gentle dog would trample anything to get a bee. He caught a rabbit once. It was a very young, stupid rabbit and it literally ran under Coal's feet. His instinct took over and he pounced. There was the rabbit under his big paws. Coal looked back at me, with this horrified look on his face and then very gently he lifted his paws up. The rabbit scurried off and when it was deeply under the brush, impossible to catch, Coal gave chase. Another time, there was a young boy who was clearly scared of Coal. Coal never looked at him but slowly moved sideways getting closer. I couldn't believe he was doing it. But then the boy started asking questions and I realized what Coal had already figured out. Even though the boy was scared he wanted to make friends. So bit by bit Coal moved closer, taking this careful sideways steps until he was leaning against the boy's leg. Then the boy was petting Coal and Coal was licking the boy.

I have so many more memories I could write; how he was afraid of bubbles, him crossing the river to join my friends, their dogs and I (the river was very shallow but Coal thought he'd crossed a major obstacle and was so proud of himself), how he loved the snow and the beach. If you shared time with Coal, you know what a wonderful dog he was. If you didn't know Coal, then no matter how many memories I share, it won't feel like enough to me.

I looked through Simple Gifts and some other photos. I posted some below.

Whenever I put down a blanket to lay in the sun, Coal was delighted. I think he thought the blanket was for him and he was happy for the opportunity to lay down beside me 5/31/07

Coal tuckered after a hike on a very hot day 6/13/2005

Coal at my favorite place, Franklin Falls 9/20/06

Coal looking off Rattlesnake Ledge 9/10/05. He loved surveying the world from the summit

Coal in the water the water. Coal wouldn't swim but he loved to wade and lay in the water- taken June 2005

Coal along the Pacific Crest Trail 11/5/05. He loved the snow.

This is how I think of Coal now, up ahead waiting for me.


Blogger Casdok said...

Hes very handsome.
I am sorry for your loss.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of our greatest pleasures in life is the relationship we have with our dogs our"pets" My heart goes out to you ,Ibelieve that Coal is indeed up ahead waiting for you. Sincerely Susan.

1:01 PM  

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