It is with deep sadness that I share the news of the death of Travis the boy dog.
Travis was a very, very good boy. He spent his days as shop dog at Kush, perched regally on a rug stack or upside down with his legs in the air, encouraging belly rubs. Travis greeted our visitors with a calm, easy-going manner and watched our movements with his shining, chocolate brown eyes, front paws crossed politely in front of him, eyebrows working up and down independently of one another, as if watching us was all he ever cared to do.
He may very well have been the most expressive dog in the history of dogs.
He learned to love the mailman, and even the UPS guy, and eventually he announced their arrival before they turned the corner onto our street. He recognized and loved our repeat customers, and he was always eager to befriend the newcomers. Strangers knew his name, and visited him regularly. He was a part of the team, and days were not complete when he was absent.
Travis spent his nights with his family, following us from room to room, soaking up the laughter, love, noise, and ritual that made his days complete. He always found a spot that was central among us so that he could be out of the way, but watching our movements, reading our faces, and hearing our voices. He watched us endlessly, happiest when we were happy, but searching for any sign of sadness or upset, eyebrows narrating his perception of our feelings, as if watching us was all he ever cared to do.
Travis loved his people purely and unconditionally and he showed us, every single day, just how to be. Happiest with the ones we love.
When Travis was younger, he accidentally killed a chicken. She’d gotten out of the chicken yard and the neighbor threw her over the fence into his territory. He couldn’t help it, I’m sure. I got home from work that day and found the feathers, and saw his shame. After a few moments he reluctantly showed me where he had buried her - upside down in a stand of bamboo, so that only her legs were visible above ground, camouflaged by the shoots. He’d hidden her there, because he knew I cared for her, but he fessed up right away.
Throughout his life, Travis aspired to be a master squirrel hunter. With vigor and enthusiasm, he barreled out the back door every morning, intent on chasing down the hoard of backyard squirrel intruders. His lifelong failure to catch one was never a deterrent. Travis knew that you should never give up on your dreams.
But mostly, Travis was not a flashy dog. I don’t have long list of anecdotes about his foibles and mishaps. Travis was a devoted and flawless companion, whose sole ambition was to be with his people, and ensure their wellbeing. And eat.
Travis died peacefully in his home on Thursday, September 19th, under the tree and the full moon, in our arms. He was even more handsome than I can say.
He leaves behind so many people, and so many animals.
Clark, who made him happier than he had ever been, and who inspired countless toothy smiles.
Ruby and Owen, his adopted kids, who taught him how to be a family dog, and whom he protected as his own.
Trevor and Alan, the cats who forced him to accept them, and showed him how to love cats. They were his closest animal pals, he loved them, and his embarrassment over this obvious fact was hilarious to observe.
Christa and Eric, the Kush team, who loved him as their own and spoiled him rotten during his long days at work. Every day he looked forward to seeing them.
His grandparents, who loved him and cared for him during my frequent trips away, and for whom he flashed his last toothy smile. They were his second family, he loved them completely.
Brian, his oldest friend, who taught him who to protect.
And me. The luckiest and most heartbroken girl in the world.
We will forever miss his smile.