Friday I some new scans back from the lab and found, as I often seem to, a few shots from the front of a roll I’d forgotten about. One was this shot of Christine and Yesler taking a nap on the couch.

nap time
nap time (Nikon F4, 50/1.8 AF-D, Fujifilm 200)

The photo was a bittersweet discovery. Yesler passed away in late July.

We’d taken a trip to the Oregon Coast for a long weekend and a friend’s wedding Yesler had been struggling all spring, finally being diagnosed with a spinal tumor which was progressively impacting his mobility and which we knew would eventually be fatal. Still, he was doing ok and we wanted to bring him with us as we always did. What we didn’t know is it would be his very last road trip.

Yesler has been part of our lives, and this blog, for over a decade. Photogenic and friendly, he was frequently my subject.

best lookin' dog in America
wet yesler

When we arrived at our cabin he was doing ok, but throughout the next day took a rapid turn for the worse. He stopped eating and could barely walk as the front leg was nearly useless, while the tumor had started to degrade use of his rear legs. Even laying in the grass outside didn’t raise his spirits. It was like he was fading away.

saying goodbye in the grass

There was nothing to be done. He wouldn’t eat that night or the next morning and could barely walk. We made the hard choice to find a vet and say goodbye that morning.

To say we were devastated doesn’t begin to cover our loss. I got Yesler not long after Christine and I started dating. He was always with us. After we moved in together and while I was often away on business, Yesler slowly became more Christine’s dog than mine. Each time I came home he’d acknowledge me with a head nod while Christine’s return would merit a cavalcade of paws and a whipping tail thump-thump-thumping against the walls and furniture. He was the happy heart of our home and brought joy to all who met him.

Christine and I will get another dog someday. Probably two as we’ll want them to have a playmate. But someday isn’t today. For now we still miss him and have all the photos I’ve taken of him over the years to remember one of the best dogs ever.

Published by Steve Banfield

Kentucky born, Seattle based. Entrepreneur. Team Builder. Photographer.

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