Travels with Dogs

Stellar leaps a wall at Seneca Rock in West Virginia.

I’m so grateful for travels with dogs through the years, and tons of digital photographs to remember them with. It’s delightful to take these journeys again with Stellar and Raven as I peruse years worth of images from our many trips back and forth across the country. As Stellar’s journey through this life winds down, I’m grateful for the memories.

Stellar races along a state park lakeshore in Oklahoma.
Stellar and Raven romp at the same beach.
Stellar bites a stream in Tennessee.
They were both such good little travelers.
Stellar runs along a lakeshore in Connecticut
They made the most of being tied to picnic tables at various campgrounds, like this one in South Llano State Park, Texas.
… and these, and many others, in various state parks.
They were good on-leash… pretty sure this was at a Tonto National Forest visitor center. Many of these pictures were taken with my first digital camera, which lacked a GPS feature, and the files have lost their context through several software upgrades. So has my memory for those details.
… and off-leash, most of the time, though Stellar is the only dog I’ve ever had who was reliably well-behaved when loose. Wilson Arch, Utah.
We crossed quite a few bridges together, on foot and in vehicles, and in our lives. Crowley’s Ridge State Park, Arkansas.
One of our favorite places on the planet, Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve on the Chesapeake Bay. At the time we roamed it freely it was an Audubon preserve.

As Stellar lies dying, I roam through these images, remembering him at the peak of his vitality, and tell him of these adventures: all the beautiful parks and creeks and beaches, the forests and deserts and picnic tables, the friends and family we visited.

Stellar and Raven fit right in whenever we went back to their birthplace, Dog World in Florida, where every morning began with a sunrise walk for the whole family: Their mother and father, one brother, an uncle, a cousin, and little Chigger, who ruled the catahoulas. Plus David, top dog of all.

Each image, each memory, validates my choice to let my best friend live his life to the end as long as I can keep him comfortable, as I would for any other beloved person for whom I had the responsibility. When he was a tiny puppy, I could see the dog he would become; in the prime of his life I could see in him the tiny puppy he once was and the tired old man he would become; now that he is that tired old dog, I see the fullness of his life in each glance, each caress–through it all he has been the epitome, the best dog ever on the whole planet. I don’t begrudge him this time of total focus, after the years of unconditional devotion, protection, and delight that he’s given me.

4 thoughts on “Travels with Dogs

  1. You have been so fortunate to have traveled with all your dogs to beautiful breath taking places. All your dogs have been excellent travelers because how much they adored, loved, and trusted you.

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