Silver Falls

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Seven years ago, my partner Spencer, myself, and two fabulous brown wiener dogs (Abalard and Macintosh) drove the 1988 Dolphin RV I impulse bought to Silver Falls State Park for a camping trip. It was a great trip. The RV ended up being a mistake for me, but even if only for that one trip, I’m glad I bought it.

Pretty soon after that, I wasn’t living in Oregon anymore, and soon after that, my sweet baby chocolate and cream dog Macintosh passed away at only three years old. I spent all the money I had trying to save his life, and he ended up passing due to a collapsed lung because the doctors who told us he needed a feeding tube installed didn’t check on him all night or move him and let his lung collapse, since he wasn’t going to lay on the side he’d had surgery on. It was one of the hardest weeks of my life, and I think Spencer’s too. I still tear up thinking about it all the time — I am right now.

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We were heartbroken when Macintosh passed, but even more heart broken than us was his big brother Abalard. Abalard started spending his days looking around the house for him. Whenever he’d go outside, he’d try get into the RV. I think he thought Mac was in there.

I didn’t think I was ready for another dog, but I couldn’t watch Abalard like that, and so a couple of months later, we brought home a sweet little cream puppy that we named Link after the hero of my favorite video game.

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A year after that, Abalard had a flare up of a blood disorder he’d had when he was a baby, and the doctors told us that if we didn’t put him to sleep, it could come back anytime and that anything we did for him would be hard and painful. I still worry a lot if we did the right thing or not.

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Abalard was Spencer’s dog and she was incredibly sad. It also wasn’t fair for Link to not have a brother, after growing up with such a great one. Pretty soon, Mamoru came along.

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Not just for us, but for everyone, the last year has been incredibly hard. I had to take time off of work after becoming maybe the saddest I’ve ever been. We’re back in Portland now, and I think it’s good for us. I want the next year, and all the ones after to be the best yet. That’s why as soon as I knew we were both going to be fully vaccinated by the beginning of June, I went ahead and booked three days at Silver Falls.

The four of us will go be outside in a place that’s special to us and make new memories. We’ll also remember we love our original brown wiener dogs.

Link and Mamoru are big boys now. They’re as big or bigger than their older brothers. Spencer and I both love them just as much, but at the same time, neither of us will ever forget how special those two were.

We’re going to come out of this horrible time better than ever. I love you guys.

Collin Donnell @collin