A Passing Gilker Friend

The forest is still cool and shady in the mid-morning when my best friend Pancho and i usually go for our walk through Cliff Gilker Park. The creeks there drop a little lower each day now, the booming falls of the wet season are just a murmer and most of the mud has retreated into summer hibernation, but the forest and the creeks keep the air cool for us still.

Pretty much every day we meet groups of regular Cliff Gilker hikers on the different circuits through the park. Pretty much all of them are some combination of dogs and people, we know them and greet them each with pats and wags and admiration, they are our forest friends. Some times groups stop and chat/sniff for a bit with others, over time these bits add up. The dogs are as different as the people, we are all different sizes, colors and shapes. We share in the wonder of Cliff Gilker and we all love our best friends.

Today Pancho and i met an old friend we haven't seen in months, Pancho wagged bigtime, she remembered him too. He was walking with, and introduced me to, his son just as i have introduced him to my daughter who ccasaionally comes with us. Usually the way it goes is the dogs meet up first ahead of their people, then pass each other and go on to get greetings, pets and wags from the trailing two legged species, finally the humans in each group intersect-chat-etc.

Today Pancho wagged and ran back to me as our old friend got closer. Stupid me, within seconds i'm asking him where his dog is, he bent and turned away a bit, our old friend had had a good life, he was 14 just like our good boy Happy was, his worn out rear hips were beyond drugs. i felt like a total shithead even more than usual. Our best friends share our little lives, they give us everything they have. Today a passing friend reminded me how much i care.