I was first introduced to Gabe by Gus Stager. Gabe was Gus’ dog and favorite friend, and his constant companion. Gus’ is 95 or better at this writing. And so it was that his daughter Ann Raab needed a little help with him; as he has dementia, but is otherwise healthy. In return for helping her with him I got room and board in her big house overlooking Port Townsend Washington. Part of my duties included care for the dogs.
The other dog is Sophie, a beautiful White Labrador. This is Ann’s dog. Together with a Duck, these were my ward. Quiet to a fault, Gabe always deferred to Sophie when she was around. One day while hiking in the woods with this crew, after I had taken a course on mushrooms, I was on the lookout for them. While I saw a few growing here and there, Gabe had stopped in the middle of a trail and sat looking up at a tree. He would not move nor stop staring up at that tree. When I looked up to see what Gabe was staring at, to my incredulity and amazement was a rare Turkey’s Tail fungus about 30′ up the trunk! He then looked at me with a sly smile (or a wicked grin) and ambled on to continue his snuffling and leg lifting, down the forest trail.
I was in and out of Port Townsend; for every year I would do a Sojourn of the Southwest. The desert was cool enough to campout in my car in the winter, and I would see family and friends along the way; but always returning to Port Townsend, when the desert becomes too hot for me to survive. The first place I go, is my adopted home, to see Gus and Gabe and company. Gabe would always know when I was coming, and be sitting at the end of his driveway, waiting and wagging. He was always happy to see me. I know that the Household will never be the same without him, and even though he was not my dog, we had bonded in a different way. He always knew he was Gus’ dog, and he also knew that I was his friend; and he had enough love to share with me. I will miss him as much as Bandit and my other dogs; who have given so much to me, in my life. I know Gabe is sitting at the Rainbow Bridge that crosses the River Styx, and will wait there for Gus. Here’s to Gabe!