Monday, July 8, 2013

Last night was a beautiful summer evening. We gathered our little family and tramped up to the pond, with two dogs and a goose in tow. It was Harpo's first introduction to the pond and we sat on the edge together laughing and enjoying the humorous antics of our animal companions. Clay tossed sticks into the water and the children shared our delight as the dogs plunged in, splashing and exuberant. Baldrick swam for probably the better part of an hour, with obvious high enjoyment.

It was a wonderful and fun time together. And looking back, I'm extra grateful for those memories. Because today Baldrick is no longer with us.

Throughout our lives God often allows us to form a special bond with certain animal companions. I often think what a mystery it is that God has given us this capacity for loving animals, and the ability to form such strong bonds and relationships with them. Pets are not people (though I often used to shop at Moscow's "Pets Are People Too"); but they are God's creations and are loved by both God and man. They are a blessing and a gift. They can fill a void in our lives and make our lives richer. And some exceptional animals become an integral part of our families and homes, and find a special spot in our hearts.

Baldrick was a special dog. Just a few days ago marked his fifth birthday, and I was planning on having him around for at least another five or ten years. But life is temporal and we never know what each moment will bring. Especially when one is remarkably short, and hard to see, and has the extremely bad habit of running out in front of cars. Even on a dead end road, this is never a good idea, and there is necessarily some guilt and regret for the lack of training in that department. But life happens.

I'm extremely thankful for the life of Baldrick, and the joy he brought to our family in his short time shared with us.

Once I saw his picture on an online ad I was smitten and it didn't take long to win Clay over to his irresistable cuteness and bring him home.

Then ensued hours spent at Portland dog parks, including some Saturdays spent with the corgi meet up group and  Herding Trials. All puppies are cute, but Baldrick blew them all away.


He accompanied us on countless hikes and adventures all over the northwest. 

Baldrick's First Hike at Opal Creek

Trillium Lake by Mt. Hood
Elk Rock Island
Swimming in the  John Day River
With Margaret at the Cove Palisades
Crescent Beach

Indian Beach

Watching sheep herding trials

With Geordie BFF

Monkey Face at Smith Rocks
He was always patient with the increasing number of little people around.  Especially if they shared toys or food.


He chased frisbees and balls and sticks with unceasing vigor. 


He relaxed in adorably ridiculous poses.


He loved his playmate Peshewa (though, it is debatable whether the feeling was reciprocated).


He made the transition from city dog to country dog with ease. (And there were his critter finding skills.)

Stopping at the Grand Canyon on the way to Missouri

 He loved keeping the horses in line and stealing their grain.


He hung out with his buddy Athos.



 He obligingly performed tricks for morsels of food.

And he was generally one of the cutest and most endearing dogs I have ever known. The only one whom I have ever been able to give full sentence commands to and feel confident that he knew exactly what I was talking about. There was a lot going on behind those intelligent brown eyes. 


We love you and miss you, Baldrick.

I will hold in my memory the sight of your happiness and expressive eyes our last evening together at the pond. And remember you every time I pass by your grave there.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In His hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
-Job 12:7-10


  1. Sorry you're missing such a good faithful friend. A fitting tribute to a classy canine companion.

  2. So sorry to hear he is gone, but I'm celebrating with you the joyful, adventurous life Baldrick had as part of your family. What a beautiful memory you'll always have of his evening at the pond.

  3. Awww, I'm sorry, that is so sad! :(