Maheono, my long time friend, has crossed the Bridge.
I usually put together a brief tribute to my canine companions, to honor them, to process my own grief, and to share their wonderfulness with others. I have tried and tried again to write Ono's tribute, and keep putting it off; the truth is, that I will NEVER be ready to write this one. The old man was integral to my life in so many ways that he defies a linear story, a sequence of photos. I realised, my god, this must be what it's like to have to write the obituary for a human partner, or a child. It's simply impossible.
That said, I will just share some links, and a simple paragraph...knowing that, like so many others, his life was SO much more than this handful of words.

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Maheono passed away on January 2, lying on a blanket on my kitchen floor, surrounded by his family.
He was just shy of 15 years old.
Ono was a high content British Columbian cross wolfdog, son of Kiowa and Remus.
He was a bottle baby, coming home at 10 days of age and eventually maturing into the benevolent leader of his pack.
He cared for many foster dogs in his time, treated all resident puppies as his own, and was a gentle soul, not just to humans but even to our cats.
The inspiration for the Wolfdog Project, the subject of various articles written over the last 15 years, and the host of a great many wolfdog educational tours, Ono has served well as an ambassador for his kind.
He enjoyed many things, like leash walks, stuffed toys, playing in the stream behind our house, "fridge cleaning day", stalking and pouncing on his "brother" Avatar, positive reinforcement training, swiping your tools while you work, hiding bones in the couch, getting other dogs to chase him around the back field, and eating canned food off a spoon.
He had a deep personality, a strong sense of humour, and a way of making me think of life's bigger questions.
Ono is survived by his two humans, his best friend and right-hand man, Lutro, and "his" puppy, Dingo Karoo...along with various other canine pals, and quite a few no-longer-feral cats. All of his other packmates and wolfy friends are already waiting for him on the other side.
Ono was the first "real wolf", and the last. I'm sure there will never be another in my life like him.
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I have a million photos of my old man, and all the fun we had.

Here are just a few, on Flickr...


There's one silver lining to Ono's passing; his spirit lives on, in lovely, soulful dingo puppy Karoo. She was always his special baby. While he was resting and preparing to pass on, she brought him a toy



and ate her dinner beside him. Then she kept watch for him while he slept.


After his cremation, I set his collar on the table. Soular kitty rubbed and rubbed on it. She always did love the dogs.




I have had the privilege of living with a LOT of really neat canines...and enjoyed almost all of them. Some, though, are just "extra special"...Ono was one of those special ones. When I watched the light go out of those beautiful green eyes, something in my world changed forever.
It's been an amazing 15 years of silliness and shennanigans...but most of all Love, and I wouldn't give back a minute of it. Thanks for being my friend all these years. I know you're still with me.
I love ya, buddy.