Hu-dad time here.
Nikita was not my first dog, but she was my first Siberian Husky and meant so much to me. Her passing on August 23, 2006, was an incredibly heartfelt moment and the pain was intense. Working through my grief, I created the original website and blog just so I could put a few of her pictures together and share a few of her stories. Much to my surprise, people other than my closest family came and read the stories. I had no idea that anybody out there would read about the dogs that meant so much to me, but I finally created the current website and consider it my legacy to the awesome Nikita (the guardian and educator of our current ruler, Queen Natasha the Evil).
What surprised me even more was that I started becoming friends with so many people through our shared stories. I have been fortunate enough to meet some of those people in real life, but so many others remain an “internet” friend – someone whom I have never actually met but still feel the tug of friendship. Who knew that you could cry with someone half way around the world as their own dog became ill and then passed? And, more importantly, you smiled and laughed with the antics of their dogs or the shared memories.
We became friends with “The Luke” and shared our love for his namesake, the movie Cool Hand Luke – one of my favorite movies of all time. I don’t know if I coined the name or not, but I began calling him Cool Paws Luke early on in our friendship. His blog was well written and funny. I loved “his voice” and his catch-phrase, “Just saying”, entered my everyday vocabulary. In short, like many readers, I became a great fan. When Luke became ill, I cried. When he appeared to recover, I cheered. And when his eventual downturn came, I was crushed. The world felt diminished at his passing.
Knowing his “The Mom” was hurting, a rallying cry was heard and, in all of this, a moment occurred where I am most proud of the dog blogging community. How could we help in some small way? The idea was born. The idea was not mine – I am not that creative – but I was glad to participate in one of the coolest ideas I have ever heard of. So simple. So small. So meaningful.
Cool Paws Luke, we wish you the Happiest of Birthdays. We hope that you have met up with our dear Nikita and the two of you are romping and playing at The Bridge. Know that we mere humans miss you, but we appreciate the ever so brief time that you were here with us. And know that a whole lot of dog bloggers are thinking of Amanda and wishing her the best on this bittersweet day.
And, mostly, know that a whole bunch of us miss you. Just saying.