Saying goodbye to a best friend. RIP Gandalf.

Where do you begin when there’s so much to say about someone? Gandalf — he’d give Marley a run for his money any day. Gandalf was the catalyst that jumpstarted my entire world as it exists today. He’s the reason that I’m married to Steve, live in the desert and living my dream of working for Best Friends Animal Society. He’s the reason for so many good things. And he was a great dog and friend to us.

I’ll start off by saying that Gandalf left this world with the same sort of brazen defiance we’re used to and come to expect. Why should we think his death would be any different? He had a great day yesterday. He played all day with this dog friends, chilled with his human friends and relaxed under slightly stormy Utah skies. Gandalf was 14, but don’t let that fool you. He was no old man. His last act of bold and sneaky “Heh, I’ll show you..” resulted in stealing one last cheese sandwich from a high up counter two hours before he closed his eyes and drifted off. He never suffered.

Gandalf aways loved his kids. From the day they came home from the hospital he was by their site. (thanks Molly Wald for the photo)

Steve and I worked together in PA and the first thing I saw when I started my new job was a photo on the desk of a guy… and it was Gandalf. Our first conversation was about Gandalf. And then about dogs. And animals. And our love of them… which lead to a trip to Best Friends… then a move here… then a job here.. then a wedding here and more dogs, cats and kids (years later).

Gandalf was a puppy mill dog. He was neurotic from the start. The poor guy was flipping out in a small crate in a pet store (someone’s returnedย  Christmas present). Steve naturally felt sorry for him, and… well you know how that ended.

Gandalf was known for his ability to bend steal and eat through doors (and lightbulbs, wallets, couches… oh how he loved couches). He’s steal a slice of pizza right out of your hand when you weren’t looking. He broke out of any crate (reinforced), ate through a cellar door, chewed legs off tables, and destuffed anything he could get his teeth on.

But then we moved to Utah…. and he truly changed. He calmed down and lost his anxiety. He had 2 acres to run on and came to work with us. He had pet friends and a quiet life.

I love this guy. I’m so happy to have photographer friends to capture these moments ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks, Molls

Our young fam back in the day

Squinty ๐Ÿ™‚

I remember when I got pregnant with Harry I thought…. “how will i ever love a human child as much as I love my dog?” Silly, I know. The love never left, of course.. it grew. Especially when I saw how much the dogs loved our children, and vice versa ๐Ÿ™‚

JJ letting Gandalf know who’s boss

Gandalf and the scrunt. Although Mack won’t admit it, he loved his brother.

Gandalf got to go to one of THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER hikes in all the world!! The WAVE!

Our adventure buddy


Steve and his best bud

Mischief is his middle name

Gandalf at our wedding. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love this pic (thanks, Denise for taking this!!)

First kisses (that’s HARRY!)


Love xoxo (thanks Ann for this wonderful memory)

Never forget this guy

Center of our fam

I always called Gandalf “Steve’s dog” (especially when he was being a jerk). But of course that’s not true. He was OUR dog.. .our Gandalf. He brought so much craziness and love into our lives. We’ll never forget him. Rest in peace, Gdawg. We love you.

  • I am so sorry that you had to say good-bye to this amazing fur kid. I remember walking by your yard for a year and having Gandalf come running to the fence to greet us. He was so sweet and I never would believe that he was a little stinker in the beginning. He left paw prints on your heart and will always be there…

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