After almost 12 years we said goodbye to Tokul. We all cried, but knowing she's not in pain anymore made us rejoice in her freedom.
It started on my birthday in 2000 when Amy caved in to my burning desire to get a dog. She gave me a tiny collar with a tag that read, "Tokul."
We found a litter at Delphi Labs south of Olympia. We met Kiwi and Petunia, but it was Petunia that would become Tokul. I spent a week off work sleeping with her in the living room helping her to get used to our small house on the river.
A few months later we started hiking. I got bored walking around the "block" with her. So we started playing around on trails. It turns out there are a lot of trails.
We spent the next few years racking up the miles whenever we could. Then came Clara. Tokul was no longer our only child, but she took it in stride. She proved she was a big hearted dog as she shared our love with Clara.
She was my go-to hiking partner whenever I needed one. She'd happily cuddle by the fire even if she wouldn't chase a ball in the yard.
When she started slowing down we still hiked with the kids. But then Clara could out hike her. Then Lilly. She could keep up with Henry, but she'd pay for it afterward.
When Treen arrived she shared her beds and her place in our hearts. She watched as we left for a hike without her, but still welcomed us home.
Even on our last hike she smiled at us through the pain.
No more leashes for our puppy. Nothing but clear skies, refreshing lakes, gentle snow slopes, and as many treats as she wants. We will miss you.
(More photos in Tokul's gallery.)