After an insane 24/7 survival week in my day job, emergency management, helping the community survive the Hood River ice storm, my dog family and I suffered a crippling blow when we came back home from work.
Our 9-lives senior citizen surf dog Dude did not survive the storm. He was safe and warm but it was time.
We love you, Hood River, and your fierce survival spirit. Together, we suffered another week of Snowmeggadon, aka Oregon snowpocalypse.
A week-long ice storm, completely encasing cars and homes and hearts, on top of two feet of snow, crippled the Columbia River Gorge.
This pic on the left was our last day of commuting to work together as a team Tuesday morning - Doodle and Dude and I are leaving home in Mosier to camp out in downtown Hood River, to open the County EOC (Emergency Operations Center.)
We worked with dedicated volunteers and staffs to help the community cope with impacts of the ice storm emergency.
I learned more from Dude about strength and poise in the face of adversity, than anyone else I have ever met in my entire life.
He overcame a bad start in life, crippling rescue dog insecurities, recurring eye problems, angiosarcoma (cancer,) glaucoma, tumors, arthritis, blindness, a head injury and doggie Alzheimer's. He made it to 95 in dog years.
He did it all with dignity and full-blown can-do spirit. He lived his life all-in and all-out. What a ride!
Dude and I surfed together at the Loews Surf Dog contest in San Diego a couple of years in a row. He was supposed to be my backup surf dog behind Elvis, who had more time on the water.
But the Dudester came home with two ribbons each year, in the big dog division and tandem surfing. That's when his name changed from Little Dude to Dude. He rode many boards over many waves of life.
Our hearts go out to anyone who has ever lost a dog kid, a dog friend, a bff. Those we love remain forever in our hearts, our lives, our blood, our families, our memories.
Hugs from here,