Our Buddy

by Amy, January 27, 2010
Today we said goodbye to our Buddy :( We had almost 5 great years with him and he was such a loving, sweet dog all those years. It all started when we were looking for a dog once we got settled in California. We started out fostering dogs and when we went to pick up our first foster dog, Louie, we saw another big, white lab mix in the next kennel. The "situation" happened with Louie and we started looking for a dog to adopt because we knew we wanted a dog in our home. We really wanted a 7 year oldish, yellow male. We saw "Templeton" on the SCLRR website, went to go meet him, and took him home with us that day.

Darwin was a lab mix. Don always said he was mixed with a cat because he didn't like water, didn't chew on anything, wouldn't fetch, and was a little persnickety. I remember once we got home and he had gotten in to the trash. We were so happy -- Darwin was a dog!!!

I can remember the first time I took him for a walk to the little park right around the corner in Moorpark. I let him off the leash and he went running right for the road. A pick-up truck was coming and the guy jumped out of the truck and grabbed Darwin's collar. Here's a picture of Darwin after our first hike together. I think he was so worried that he would be left behind that he jumped in to the trunk.

That year we dressed him up for Halloween. Remember how he used to love to lay on the landing on our staircase in Moorpark.

And what a good boy to put up with all those foster dogs. The ones that loved him so much that they bugged the crap out of him...

...and the old ladies that growled at him...

...and the ones that attacked him...

...and the special old guy who just wanted to be friends.

Through it all, Darwin was a trouper. He felt right at home with us from the start.

And when Quinn came along, he played the role of the tolerant, sweet big brother again. Here's Darwin and Quinn at 8 days old.

And all my handsome guys hanging out.

Part of our happy family walk on Thanksgiving Day 2007.

Being his camera shy self on Christmas Day.

Taking the drive up the coast from California to Seattle with Don. He loved being in the car but barked when left alone in the hotel room. He didn't want to be left behind.

These last 2 years his status dropped in the family, but he was always kind and happy. And always watched over Quinn.

I took one last picture of Darwin a couple of days ago as his health was declining. He seemed to have had another stroke. Darwin was very unsteady on his legs unable to get up the stairs from outside and he seemed to have lost quite a bit of vision. One of his last meals was steak and rice and he loved every last grain.

I'll always remember Darwin as that sweet boy that loved to follow me around the house. Walks were his favorite thing in the world, even more than food. He brought us 5 great years and we couldn't have asked for more. This is the picture that was originally posted for Darwin when he was up for adoption. I think it perfectly captures his sweet soul.

RIP sweet buddy! You were one of a kind and we will miss you.

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