In our 26 years of marriage, Kris and I have shared our lives with four dogs: Joe and Gypsy from Japan, Angel from Utah, and Jenna from Texas. After Joe passed away, we thought it a good idea to get a new companion for Gypsy. We saw an ad in the local newspaper and decided to take a look at a young dog named Angel.
Kris said beforehand, “We’ll just look; we don’t have to take her if she’s not right for our family.”
“You know if we go look at this dog,” I said, “we’re going to end up taking her home.”
And so we did.
Angel shared our home and our hearts for some seventeen years. She ran a trail or two in the Uintah Mountains of Utah before moving with us to Alaska. She ran thousands of miles with me on the trails of Sitka. She loved pulling me forward in the local races. Her name appeared next to mine in the race results printed on the Sentinel sports page. She used to run from our home to Medvejie, sit in the front seat of my open cockpit, double kayak while I fished for king salmon, and then she’d run back home. She summited Mt. Verstovia, Bear Mountain, and Mt. Edgecumbe. A few years ago, she outran a bear at Thimbleberry Lake. And although she was too old to run last year, she joined our family as David and I ran from Huntington Beach, California, to Ocean City, New Jersey. Since April 1st, 2014, she has put up with Jenna, the spunky pup we picked up in Dalhart, Texas.
Seventeen years is a long time for a dog, but as all dog lovers know, it’s not nearly long enough.
While hiking Edgecumbe recently, Olivia asked, “Are there dogs in heaven?”
“If there aren’t,” I said, “then there’s no such thing as heaven.”
“What about the people that don’t like dogs?”
“Those people won’t be in heaven.”
Angel’s in heaven now and she’s running—running hard, running fast, and running free.
RIP, Angel. Run in peace.