Noelle here:

Steve does a great job of writing daily. Me not so much, as I seem to cover more of the major events on my mind through out the week. One of my recent highlights surrounded the grieving of our good, best friend, Buddy. Oh how I miss his tiny little face, his furry kisses, his bouncy smile, his companionship.

Buddy with his dinosaur
Buddy with his dinosaur

For the first week or so of our trek, I carried his purple dinosaur. Heck, I slept with it for weeks! But I got a little consumed with the fear of losing it, so when we met up with Danielle and Fam, they took it home for safe keeping.

We made the decision to let him go, before we began to hike. Our friends were planning to keep him, so he definitely had a place to stay, but in our hearts we knew it was our responsibility to do right by him.

Buddy loved it when we moved downtown. He had zero stairs, we walked down the hall to a dog balcony for the bathroom and it was literally like he moved to assisted living. He perked up like a puppy! I would try to get him to walk up one flight of stairs to the gym and he would stand in front of the elevator, refusing to move!

Steve and Buddy
Steve and Buddy

But then his age caught up. He was getting confused, sometimes just going in the closet to stand for a while. Sometimes he didn’t recognize us. Sometimes he asked for his dinosaur like it was on the bed and he couldn’t reach it, but really it was right next to him and he didn’t know. He was exhausted after family and friend get togethers. Very exhausted after playing with his friends Ava and Stella. And a growth started between his eyes. He pawed at it a lot. The vet scraped it off. We chose not to get the test, but the vet said if it grew back it was likely cancer. It did grow back. Buddy pawed at it till it bled.

Buddy
Buddy

All this to say, we knew his time was very short. We knew we needed to love him enough to let him go. It broke us both.

Buddy love
Buddy love

So what does this have to do with hiking and wooden bridges? We passed a couple one morning this week. They were awesome.

Steve on the Rainbow Bridge
Steve on a wooden bridge
Rainbow Bridge
Another awesome wooden bridge

And then we came around a bend and saw this bridge.

Rainbow Bridge in the distance
Rainbow Bridge in the distance

I cried the whole way to it. It’s hard to tell but it’s multi colored and is actually named The Rainbow Bridge.

PCT's Rainbow Bridge
PCT’s Rainbow Bridge

We decided it was the perfect place to leave part of Buddy’s ashes. We stood in the middle and said another goodbye. We still have one more small part and will carry him along with us. He’s in our hearts. He’s on our minds. We love you and miss you, Buddy The Dog McGarvey.

Buddy and Steve
Buddy and Steve
Buddy and Carter
Buddy and Carter
Buddy's new bed
Buddy’s new bed
Noelle and Fluffy Buddy
Noelle and Fluffy Buddy
Sailing Buddy
Sailing Buddy
Buddy at Danielle's
Buddy at Danielle’s