Near Three Creeks Lake.

The color of wheat, with deep brown eyes and a tiny black nose, a tough little street puppy found us one late night in Carthage, Missouri. She had worms and fleas and no home. That was thirteen years ago. She made us whole ever since.

You may have known her by another name. Fachini, Fachi, Dog Face, DF, Fuzzers, Fuzzy, Fuzzini, Cousin C, C Dog, Brownie and so many more.

There were the years that she went everywhere with us. And there were some days that we stepped around her as we took care of babies. But she was always there.

She loved being anywhere. She canoed the Missouri, the John Day, the Clackamas, the Willamette and the Columbia. She climbed Mount St. Helens and the South Sister. She hiked and backpacked for miles and miles. She loved the ocean. She loved any river or lake. Yet she hated getting a bath.

She battled muskrats, possums, rats, cats and dogs. She once tried to take down a vulture. We watched her stalk three turkeys. She chased cows, deer and elk and once pondered a black bear.

She’d been slowing down lately. Taking long, long naps. Eating very little. Her breathing was slow. It took a bit of effort to get up and bark at the mailman. And yet, she jumped into the car Thursday afternoon as we headed out for a weekend at a friend’s cabin on Mount Rainier.

She died, it seems, just as we arrived. She looked so comfortable, we thought she was sleeping. And so she rests there now, beneath the firs and the ferns, by a creek, near a cabin, just down the road from a big mountain.

On Clear Lake.
all content © Tim LaBarge 2010


  1. Tearing up… how can it be so. Time always marches and somehow I am never quite aware of it until a constant, a rock moves.
    Goodbye Carthage. All my best to you.

  2. we’ll miss and remember you forever fuzzers! thank you for the short and intense times and i can only hope you got back as much if not more than you brought with. cheers and happy heaven animal chasing! a canine’s presence is unsurmountable.

  3. As Alan said, “Carthage was old school.” She died as she lived; with grace and dignity and really not asking for anything but the company of her loyal family. She will not be forgotten…she was one of the best.

  4. I’ve got a pit in my stomach thinking of the countless funny stories about that rascal. When I’d walk Olive & cousin C – inevitably strangers would ooh and ahh over the cute scruffy one. Little did they know that lovable girl was from the streets and as tough as nails. She’d give me that mischeivious underbite-grin and rub her ears on my leg – They called them her feathers b/c of the long hairs sticking out. I often feared that she would decide to return to the wild in John Day or Hell’s Canyon – but she’d return exhausted with that glint in her eye… If only she could tell us the stories. That empty spot in the canoe is too big! Have fun raising hell in doggy heaven cousin C – we’ll remember you fondly!

  5. Thanks for the stories. There are so many, of course. Even at the gas station, an hour before she died, I was digging something out of the back of the car and a lady walking by said, “Oh, what a cute puppy.” We were lucky to have her.

  6. Great tribute to a wonderful dog. I’ll always remember her looking at Sara coming down the stairs on Sara & Tim’s wedding day.
    Miss her.

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