Make the McKenzie Connection!

Ridin' the Rapids


Growing up it was a festive month with plenty of cake to go around because we celebrated my Mom’s birthday, and five days later, mine.

That was many years ago and now far away as I moved around the country before settling in Oregon.

Three years ago COVID and the Holiday Farm Fire impacted all of us. It was devastating to Louise, my wife, who was already being battered by the negative impacts of Alzheimer’s. Her passing made me less likely to look forward to future arrivals of the ninth month of the year.

That foreboding proved to be accurate when rather than going to the Walterville Fair I spent that day, and part of the night, at an animal rescue hospital in Springfield. X-rays and blood tests confirmed fears that my best friend, Chance, was in critical shape. There was some hope when leaving the clinic that their new medications could help.

They didn’t. A night of petting helped him survive longer but it wasn’t an existence he deserved to suffer.

On Sunday morning we returned to the clinic and he was given a peaceful exit from the living. Sure, I regretted his passing but was glad to have an opportunity to end the pain.

He’s still with me as I look up when putting on my shoes to see if he’d also like to go outside. Those sorts of things will continue, as will my thanks for the many times my dog and I had together.

Rest in peace, my friend. I hope to see you again.


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