For my best friend

Steve Boykin

Well-Known Member
My beloved Stanley passed away 3 weeks ago. I can't begin to do justice to the sadness and despair I feel daily without him. He was my best friend for almost 17 years. This was the last photo I took of him. It's not a good photo, but it does him justice. We were out hiking in the Sam Houston National Forest. This trail was washed out and basically an obstacle course. I said "Let's try another trail." He gave me his typical "You big sissy we are going this way" look.

This dog saved my life. When I got him over 16 years ago, I was in a horrible place. I am not ashamed to admit I was a bad drug user and basically a useless human being. Within two weeks of having him, my life changed completely. I got an camera so I could take pictures when we went walking. I started getting up every morning at 5 so we could go out. I didn't have time anymore for my friends who really weren't my friends. Sure he got bit by poisonous snakes, sprayed by skunks so many times I lost count, my best guess is we ended up with 30+ stitches through various encounters, he got stung by bees so bad one time that his leg was swollen to twice it's normal size, then there was the stick he got jammed in his eye...and on and on. But through it all he taught the real meaning of friendship.

He never met a dog or cat or person he didn't like. He wasn't demanding. If you wanted to pet him great, if not he had things to do. You were always welcome to participate, but if not he was OK with that also. I travelled all over Texas with him.

He was one great dog which makes him better than almost any person I have ever met.

We had a lot of adventures in the 16 plus years we lived together. In all that time, he was only boarded for about 20 days. Basically if he wasn't welcome then I wasn't interested. I was miserable when he wasn't with me. Forever would not have been enough time.

Anyway, thanks for looking. I am still trying to figure out how to go on without him.


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Steve so sorry to hear this and have enjoyed greatly the many images I have seen posted here of Stanley. Your story and most prominently for me your survival of your past and how Stanley helped you through a part of your life as told, comes across as a life with so much compassion and heart felt love of Stanley and him of you and this time must be extremely difficult.
What can I add to what Julian has so eloquently said already. I too have enjoyed the many pictures he featured in (and of the adventures they / you all had). I am also very happy that your walks with Stanley inspired you to start taking pictures. I truly love your work and the visions you present.
I too would like to share some words on this. As I am especially fond of animals and dogs in particular. My long time friend and companion, my border collie and I had to part and till this day, tears appear just by thinking of him. But all the more I respect your openness about your life and what you tell of how he encouraged you to change. I myself have struggled with a close relative who also was in that position and condition for years. But as you, he has come out of it with flying honours. My deepest respect Steve! Take care!