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April 27, 2015

Thank You!

You’re looking at an exhausted but married man. The weekend was a huge success and it was so much fun having everyone in town to celebrate with us. Eko insisted on nuzzling each and every family member who visited But before the weekend kicked off we
You’re looking at an exhausted but married man. The weekend was a huge success and it was so much fun having everyone in town to celebrate with us.

Eko insisted on nuzzling each and every family member who visited

But before the weekend kicked off we received such an incredible outpouring of kindness and well wishes in all the comments on last week’s posts. Emily and I read each and every one and were grinning from ear to ear.

I can’t wait to share some photos from the big day with everyone here, but the photographer said it will take about two weeks to get those. In the meantime he did send over this preview of our first kiss.

Not really. Hopefully we pulled it off with a bit more grace! 

Emily has a hectic schedule at the hospital, so we elected to hold off on a honeymoon/vacation until her next break. Thankfully she does have a few days off, because I’m not sure either of us has ever been so drained in our entire lives.

The other good news is that all the activity over the weekend exhausted the pups too, so they’re operating at our speed:

And what’s our speed? Zero.

This looks like the perfect adventure right now

We’ll be taking it easy this week, but I just had to drop in and thank you all for the joy, love and excitement you brought to our hearts. It was and is very much appreciated.

Comments for Thank You!

  1. Emmadog says:

    Sounds like you all had a wonderful time. We were actually about an hour from Chicago Sat and Sun, but didn’t drop by obviously 😉 Get some rest!

  2. Congrats again. Welcome to the wonderful world of marriage…an adventure all on its own. 🙂

  3. Mona Sigal says:

    Wishing you the best in the world!

  4. Mags says:

    Congratulations! Wishing for you and Emily a long happy life together filled with lots of love, comfortable living and good health. Can’t wait to see pictures. Hugs

  5. Eve says:

    It is always hectic when wedding plans are ongoing! Just relax as it’s over and done! Congrats on the new status and relax with the pups! Congratulations to the newly wedded couple and of course Eko & Penny!

  6. Victoria says:

    congrats!!!! Can’t wait to see the pics when you get them done and so glad it was so wonderful for the two of you!!

  7. We’re so happy for you!
    ~Lowryder~ & his human!

  8. The first kiss is always spectacular, right? Congrats again! Have some comfy naps :o)

  9. Ogee says:

    Bet you didn’t know that thousands of bloggers were at that ceremony with you – or at least thinking of you both. Congratulations! Decompress. Looking forward to pics. 🙂

  10. Congratulations! Delighted to hear it went so well – look forward to seeing the pics.

  11. Ellen Quilty says:

    What is the secret to a great marriage?Chosing the right person.Sure looks like you took care of that.Congratulations to the both of you and many years of happiness together.

  12. Kismet says:

    Pups go on the honeymoon?

  13. KDKH says:

    Could you tell us a bit more about Emily? Med student? Nurse? Not trying to be nosy, but a little detail to satisfy our interest would be nice — and fitting as co-dog-wrangler!

  14. So glad it all went so well, and I’m looking forward to the pics. 😀 Even though you can’t have your honeymoon right now, at least you can take it a little easier for a few days. I remember how exhausting your own wedding is – much as I love married life, I wouldn’t want to go through all that planning and the day itself ever again!! 😉

  15. Someone else said it – you had a LOT more wedding guests than the ones you SAW – you had all of us who’ve followed your blog for a long time and were wishing for your perfect day to be just that. Sounds like it was! Can’t wait to see pix…………enjoy some time off…..weddings are EXHAUSTING.

    Hugs, Pam and Sam

  16. You guys take some well deserved R&R and we’ll catch ya on the flip side as they say. If “First Kiss” was any indication, we’ll be very impressed with the rest of the photos. Can’t wait till it all comes out in paperback. 😉 Very best wishes!

  17. Stef says:

    Congratulations! I’m new to your blog, but I LOVE it and so glad I stumbled upon it! Thank you for sharing your lives with us!

  18. fredrieka says:

    wooooo hooooooo brotherwithoutpaws is coming home today, and picking up Riley tomorrow.. Momwithoutpaws is excited she was Pawlessgrandbabies, She also wants to go back to having only 3 doges whew we are tired

  19. coastingnz says:

    Been thinking of you. Glad to hear all went well – so excited for you all. Enjoy your little break – in preparation for the bigger break that you both well deserve. I’m sure the pups will enjoy having you at home for a while longer yet before they go on their holiday too…..

  20. Misaki says:

    Huge congratulations! Sounds like you had a fab time xxx

  21. Nikitaland says:

    Congratulations to you both! I am so happy for you!

  22. Yay! Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Will!!! <3, Noodle

  23. Wendy says:

    Congratulations! Sounds like the wedding was a great time. Hope you enjoy your mini break/recovery time. Best wishes for your future adventures!

  24. Jan & Rusty says:

    Congratulations! A good day, a good weekend, and all went well. Looking forward to seeing the pictures. And as others have said, all of us in your blog family were there with you in spirit. Life is good!

  25. harrispen says:

    Loved the “first kiss” picture and can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures.

  26. EVERY time I read your posts I get tears in my eyes!!!!! lol! Here I go again!!! Was thinking of you both often throughout the weekend and I am certain that it was not only a beautiful wedding but one of the most FUN and most genuine.

    You and Emily both have such wonderful spirits that emanate through the blog.

    You are so incredibly thoughtful!!!

    You touch us all each and every day and make us all so happy, how could we NOT want the same for you?

    Have a great week and enjoy some romantic time with your WIFE!!

  27. Dottie and Tuffy-Cat says:

    It only get’s better after this . . . (unless it get’s worse). But with all the backing and love you’ve got from Eko and Penny’s Fan Club, I don’t foresee anything like that happening.
    Congratulations from one fan who’s hooked forever. Be happy and be good to each other. This is one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Dottie and Tuffy-Cat

  28. awe what a special post, great pictures of the pups.

  29. Debbie says:

    Congratulations! Just curious if as ND grads, you were married at the basilica? My daughter is finishing up her first year there (pre med). Our Bauer is Eko’s brother. I”m curious…was Eko born after midnight on the 17th? We always celebrate Bauer’s bday on Feb. 16th.

  30. Congratulations!! We wish you many, many years of happiness!!
    Wallace, Samuel and Robyn
    xxx

  31. becky says:

    Congratulations Will and Emily!!! You two make the sweetest couple and Eko and Penny just add to it!! Here’s to many many days, months and years filled with lots of love, happiness and smiles! Becky, Scott and Kiwi the ridgie.

  32. T&S says:

    Congratulations from all of us! Hope you had wonderful wedding day!

  33. cdog5 says:

    So sweet! Congratulations again, 🙂

  34. Love the pic of them cuddling!

  35. DZ Dogs says:

    Congratulations!!

  36. Katja says:

    oh Will, I look at Eko and read your words then I start crying. My Ridgeback girl is 4 years old and I hate to think of that moment in the future. Stay strong, you have a wonderful wife and a pup who need you. Take time to heal and then please please get back and let us see you smile again!!!

  37. Leigh Anne says:

    Words cannot express my sorrow when I read of your loss. Godspeed, much too soon, to your boy. Peace and love to you and the rest of your family. Know the Eko is still always by your side.

  38. Somehow you will be ok, even if you can’t see the path from here to there right now. Eko will guide you.

  39. Michael Bondor says:

    You have the heart and soul of a writer. Eko is calling you back to the pen.

  40. Laura McGrew says:

    We will wait. In the meantime, I wish with all my heart that there was something we could do to ease this suffering and pain for you. Words fail.

  41. Jenny says:

    I feel every word you write to the depths of my soul. My howls return as I read them. It hurts, and it will always hurt. There is nothing we can say to take away the pain of that sudden, meaningless loss. All I can add is that, after a year of our loss, there are times when I am breathing. Prayers to you and your family Will. Thank you for sharing Eko with us.

  42. Eko’s beautiful spirit is a beautiful gift you shared with us. How can we not also share in the pain of his passing?

    “A life is eternal and love is immortal and death is nothing but a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. Lift us up Lord that we might see further, cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly, draw us closer to you that we may closer to our beloved who is with you.”

    From a prayer by Father Bede Jarrett,OP

  43. Jan & Rusty says:

    We love you, Will, and are traveling this road with you. Words fail me. But even in this heartbroken time, you shared the ashes of your heart with us eloquently.

  44. Pat says:

    Your gift to us is too beautiful for words. I spoke to my old buddy Leo. He’s been gone for twenty years and I still talk to him. I told him to keep an eye out for Mr. Eko. He’ll be in good hands.

  45. Dashlilly says:

    Well said, as always. Eko gave you your voice. That will remain true. But I admit that ear flapping in the wind begs to be stroked and kissed. So much to miss.

  46. I’m so sorry for your loss! It’s hard when we lose our pups.

  47. I’m glad I got to know you and Eko through the internet, your love for each other shown through and we all learned from you. Take your time and know we will be here when your ready. Many hugs to you right now.

  48. Mary says:

    When I read the post, I was at my desk at work. I felt like someone kicked me in the gut. I had to fight tears!
    I have loved and looked forward to your posts! They were always so heartfelt and honest!
    I am so sorry! I have been praying for you all week!
    You loved him well and gave him your heart! You blessed each other and through the blog, -all of us who read it!
    I will keep praying for you!
    Hug Penny extra hard!
    Mary

  49. Elyse says:

    This song has helped me when I’ve lost someone — “We become birds when we die.” I know which birds my sisters are and which my parents are, and which my furry children became. They are with me whenever I see one. Eko will not leave you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8feGQ0toVo

  50. You will be OK. You will all be OK. Because you have to. And an angel is watching you and helping you to be OK again. So, yeah. There’s that…

  51. wakefll says:

    I was sorry to hear about Eko I have lost 3 of my old timers in the last 18 months and am still devastated. It never goes away but time will make it bearable, one day his memory will bring a smile……his spirit will always be with you

  52. Victoria Coleman says:

    hang in there – my heart breaks for you as well – he was an amazingly well loved pup who loved you with no holds barred – you will carry that love for him in your heart as long as you live and he will see you many, many, many years from now when you go to your great reward (sorry if that seems to be a bit on the dopey side but i do believe it)

  53. TheRidgebackLife says:

    I knew the second I saw your email pop up in my box, that I would start crying again. Your pain is so deep , yet you still find the strength to write such beautiful words to thank US. Eko will live on in so many lives because you have the heart and the incredible skill to share with your community the most inpassioned love for your dogs. When Khoi does something so Penny-like, I will always stop and ask him, “Why can’t you be more like Eko?” Neeka would agree.
    Our thoughts are with you during this terrible time, but please remember to smile at all the incredible memories Eko shared with you. He will always be the perfect embassador for Ridgebacks and gives all of us hope that our dogs have the potential to be just as perfect as Eko. We will cherish the piece of his heart you so elliquently passed to us.
    Love to you all,
    Karen, Neeka and Khoi

  54. I wept as I read this post to my husband, with whom I share your blog posts every time they appear. The pain of this kind of loss changes you forever, just as the joy of this kind of love changes you forever. Mr. Eko is molding you into the person you need to be, both by his life and his departure. Someday you might look back and understand…until then, know that Mr. Eko is with you every second of every day, guiding your path.
    Once again, so many thanks for sharing Mr. Eko with us, as well as the rest of your life. You’ve both touched so many hearts, I believe it would be impossible to count the ways.

  55. Tricia Thompson says:

    I cried when I read about Eko’s passing, and I cry again now. I cried for a person I’ve never met, and a dog I’ve never seen. But in a way, Eko belonged to every one of us, because you so generously shared your life with him with all of us. We have lost five beloved Ridgebacks over the years and it is always so painful. And Eko was far too young. Please know that many understand the pain you are feeling. You will never ‘get over’ losing Eko, but, hopefully, in time, the pain will dull and the memories will help. We all ‘get it’, Will. Our hearts are broken with yours. Take the time you need to grieve, knowing that we grieve with you, but please come back to us.

  56. Connie Taylor says:

    Will, Emily, and Penny, Thank you all for allowing us into your home and sharing so many adventures with Eko! The love you had for him was so evident in your writings. I smile when I think of the stories, problems, fun times and life’s daily events that I read. Eko will always, and I mean always remain with me like he was one of my own. Never has one of God’s great creatures been loved and shared by so many across the world. Please give Penny our love and extra hugs everyday from all of us.

  57. Emmadog says:

    We have cried over your loss as well as our losses since we heard this terribly sad news. Nothing can help you but time and your wonderful memories. You may not even want Penny around sometimes, but eventually, you will find help in healing with her as well as Emily. This will make for a long comment, but when we lost Katie in June, someone sent us this and we find it so very fitting. Mom cries every time she reads it, but she loves it. Eko wasn’t old, but for the most part this still fits.
    A Living Love

    If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember . . .

    The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter — simply because something in its eyes reached your heart. But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room — and when you feel it brush against you for the first time — it instills a feeling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come.

    The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising instant, you will look at your longtime friend and see age where you once saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep when you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend’s diet — and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day finally arrives.

    And on this day — if your friend and whatever higher being you believe in have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own — on behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you — you will feel as long as a single star in the dark night.

    If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you.

    But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul — a bit smaller in size than your own — seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come.

    And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg — very very lightly.

    And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lie — you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely to be painful, and leave an ache in your heart–

    As time passes the ache will come and go as if it has a life of its own. You will both reject it and it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

    But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when — along with the memory of your pet — and piercing through the heaviness in your heart — there will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love — like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this Love will remain and grow — and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a Love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our Beloved Pets — it is a Love we will always possess.

    ~~by Martin Scot Kosins

  58. Richard Nichols says:

    I’m so sorry, I feel your pain. Your posts have brought much joy over the years. I wish there was something I could say that would make it easier. What I can tell you is that I lost my Weimaraner Marty back in 2012, much like your relationship with Eko we were very close. The pain did become bearable over time. I hope Penny is doing ok.
    Richard Nichols

  59. Eline says:

    Dear Will, Emily and Penny,
    2 years ago I began to read your blogs after my first ridgback Salamon died. It was the most difficult time of my life and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have another dog ever again because of the hurt when they go. Reading your blogs and watching your videos from Eko and Penny was a turning point in my life, and yes, I found another love, her name is Binti. The memory and love will never go away, but it will get better! I cried too when I read Eko had died, its true he was a little bit from all of us. I wish you guys all the best and think about you three every day, hugs from a distance.
    Eline de Jongh
    Berkenwoude
    The Netherlands

  60. The tears continue to flow from this end as well, Will. Through your voice and unwavering love for your boy, we all were privileged to get to know sweet Eko. Know we continue to share your grief and will wait till your heart is less heavy. Please give Ms. Penny an ear scratch from me and Sam and know we are sending digital hugs to you and Emily.

  61. Lee Lewis says:

    So very sorry to hear this Unfortunately we know what and where feelings go when you lose your best 4 legged friend.We lost our German short hair in Jan of this year.Out of the blue good the night before,next day not. Our animals are precious just as our human loved ones.So one thing I have learned love your animal (s)
    Spoil them,enjoy them because everyday is a gift,blessing and no one knows how long we will be together.
    Time will help,but there will be a void.It will be hard to fill those paws,but we are going to get another rescue,So we can love spoil and enjoy. Hoping in time you may get another dog because you other dog also lost his true friend also. Hugs .

  62. Dear will, i will hold and treasure your Eko in my heart. And will,Emily and ofcours Penny i hope you’ll find peace and calm again soon. And keep in mind mourning takes its own time so take it. Don’t let anyone rush you. Lots of love and hugs and in my thoughts.x willemijn

  63. Abbie says:

    Take your time. We love you, and hurt for you. We can only try to comfort with our words from a distance, but that won’t make you heal; only time can do that. Sending lots of virtual hugs your way! ❤️❤️

  64. Stef Luciano says:

    Will…I wanted so badly to comment when I first saw your post and could not find the words. I felt as if I lost my own dog….and was overwhelmed with sadness for you and Emily and your family’s loss. I have thought of you and Eko every day since then and so appreciate you reaching out again today as I know everyone who follows your blog has been heartbroken. I’m grateful for you and for your willingness to share your lives with us….and we will forever be grateful. Sending you love and light.

    Stef

  65. Kim S. (nerdgrl) says:

    When I told my husband of Eko’s passing, I asked him how I could be so distraught over a furbaby I have never met and he told me, but you have, through the blog postings over the past three years. I cry anew over reading this post and all the comments. Words fail. I, and I’m sure all who’ve come to know Eko, you, Emily and now Penny wish we could all give you a shoulder upon which to cry and hug. Alas, a cyber shoulder will have to do. Grief is a necessary part of life so take all the time you need. We, too, will never forget Eko. Hugs.

  66. Jo Rhodes says:

    We are with you. Sending love and comfort. Thank you for sharing your phenomenal family with us.

  67. Tom says:

    I am so sorry. Eko was the most beautiful dog I had ever seen and I’m not exaggerating, I truly mean that. You were so lucky to be his best friend, I envied your relationship with him and this just breaks my heart. I got nothing but love for you and your family man, you have an army of Eko and Penny’s fans right behind you and we are all here for you.

  68. Kismet says:

    It gets not-so-bad but it never stops hurting. Isn’t that right, Kyla?

  69. Rose Frame says:

    That was one loved dog, Will. Thankfully “just” a dog, right? (I’m referring to that post- do not mean this negatively). Hope you, Emily and Penny find comfort in each other. I hope you guys do feel comfort knowing that we are all grieving with you. I’m glad to know others feel as impacted as I do. I think we all in turn feel…. Thank you for letting us know you and yours.
    KC &Jack Stack & Rose

  70. Ellen Quilty says:

    Oh Will,I cannot tell you how sorry am to hear about Eko.When I saw your post on Monday I was so shocked I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.I had to read it twice and then could not read it again because I had started to cry as I am doing now writing this.I know you are suffering and I don’t wish that for you who loved and cared for Eko so much.No dog was cherished as much as him by you and thanks to your wonderful writing by so many of us.I really think he gave you his soul so that you could find your voice.
    Thank you for sharing Eko with me; he truly was so special and I know that as time passes you will find your voice again in a different way with Eko by your side.Until then draw Emily,Penny and all the people who love you around and let them help you through this.
    I hope you can come back to us when you are ready.

  71. joanne says:

    brings tears to my eyes again…
    I can not imagine your sorrow

  72. coastingnz says:

    Thank you Will for taking the time to keep us all included. This latest post is so typical of you and your thought for others – that showed in your love for Eko. Hearts broke all over the world and the tears haven’t stopped flowing. Just know so many people are thinking of you – hugging their puppies harder as life can be so fragile. You gave Eko the best life – he was your best friend but you were his too. He brought us all such joy and love through your postings. He was a big part of many families all over the world. The pain does ease but it does take a very long time. 8 years on and I still say good morning and good night to my angel. Eko will be with you forever in your heart. Love Penny hard – she will be hurting too. My boys send their love – they seemed to sense my sorrow that day – it was a very sombre household. We are all thinking of you – sending you our love to you, Emily and Penny. Let your heart break – Eko deserves it and you need to do it to come out the other side. Just know he had the best life a pup could possibly have.

  73. Karen in Oregon says:

    Thank you for allowing us into your beautiful life with your dogs. We are still reeling over the sad news about Eko. Our family loved him too. Take care, take care.

  74. Sarah Pressl says:

    Will, my heart sank when you shared the news of sweet Eko. And it breaks because your sorrow was mine when I lost my 10 year old Sugar in the blink of an eye. The pain doesn’t diminish but you learn to live with it; to use it to honor the soul that brought so much happiness to your life. I am getting a little teary just writing this post to you but the most powerful thing I can tell you right now, in the midst of this nightmare, is that you are not alone. You will never be alone in your unending love for Eko. Your blog has touched us all and we are all mourning for him in the same way that we mourned for our own loved ones.

    THANK YOU for bringing us together through our love of dogs.

  75. Marc says:

    Hello Will, my name is Marc and I’m 17 years old. My family and I have been following your blog for about a year now. Since the moment we first saw one of your videos, we were illuminated by all of the joy and happiness you share and spread with your dogs. We were so moved, we became ridgeback owners in this past April to a little pup named Maiya, all because of your adventures with Eko and Penny. The connection we have formed with our dog is nothing short of invaluable to us, so we thank you sincerely for introducing us to the wondrous world of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. As i sit now in my dining room doing homework while Maiya chows down on a new bone, I remember a dream I had when we were still considering the possibility of getting a dog after seeing your videos. In this dream, I am doing what I am doing right now, sitting in my dining room, doing homework, while my faithful companion rests beside me. I realize now that you, Eko, and Penny have literally made my dreams come true. Thank you. I extend my deepest, most sincere condolences to you in your time of grief. A day will not go by that we do not remember Eko and all of the love you shared with us all.

  76. Lynne Powers says:

    I can’t imagine the depth of your sadness at losing such a perfect example of a best friend. Especially so suddenly. Thank you for sharing Eko with all of us. Your pain is our pain, and every furry family member that passes (whether it is one of mine or not), brings me to my knees. I am sending light and love to help you out of the darkness. The sorrow never goes away, you just learn to push it back with time.

    I found this video helpful after I’ve lost one of my “kids”, and in fact one of my ridgebacks is featured in the video (the ridgeback that follows the chocolate lab in the water). I hope it helps you too!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRYTbLuZbzA

  77. Jennifer Ward says:

    Will, I’ve just read all of the messages from your friends who are so grateful as I am to have been blessed to know Eko through your amazing writing and photography. I howled Will, and sobbed too reading your heartbreaking news. Following in the paw steps of “Just a Dog” my Lab Taylor kissed my tears knowing something was terribly wrong. Sending you, Emily and Penny our love and prayers. God bless forever beautiful spirit, most handsome Eko.
    Jen & Taylor

  78. You thank us, but we, my friend, thank you – for sharing Eko with us and letting us be a part of the wonderful times you shared and the joy he brought. Just look at the number of people who LOVED him and watched his love for you, Emily and Penny as it blossomed. We are all here and hoping that you return to writing soon because as someone else said, you are a born writer. Sammy and I send you, Emily and Penny our warm and healing thoughts………

    Hugs, Pam

  79. Robyn Brown says:

    Oh no Will. I am writing this with a tear stained face. I truly feel for you and your family as you mourn the death of Eko. What a tragedy! It will take time to heal such a devastating loss. Losing our four-legged family members is the worst. Praying for you, Emily and Penny as you heal. May God be with each of you.

  80. fredrieka says:

    I feel your pain. We lost 3 last summer and still miss them. I join you in the howling

  81. Robin says:

    I’ve erased and retyped this multiple times and still words fail me. I am shocked and saddened and wish I could find the right words to adequately express my sorrow. I am so very sorry about Eko.

  82. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be here to read along. You’re in my thoughts.

  83. Jean Elias says:

    Will, Eko and Penny gave my children so much joy and excitement that they inspired us to get out own RR. Our family is thinking of you in this time of immeasurable loss.

  84. Kadly & Brian Ruder says:

    Will and Emily,
    Thank you for sharing your adventurous life with Eko & Penny with us. We hope you quickly find peace in your heart.

  85. Will, I am overwhelmed by this news still, and I only knew Eko through you. As so many of your readers have said, I fell in love with the world of Eko and Penny. I can not imagine how hard it must be to have lost your first partner in this blog. Eko was your friend, companion, business partner, counselor, comedian, and so much more. I’ve thought of you and Emily and Penny so much over the last few days, so I must ask–how is Penny responding to this? We may not “understand” why, but we at least understand what’s happened. I pray you and Emily find comfort in Penny and she in you. Eko will always be a part of you and a part of us. I look forward to meeting him on the beaches of heaven some day…and the tears return, so I’ll close with that thought.

  86. Once again I am sobbing uncontrollably. Thank you for mentioning email. I never knew it was located on your “About Us” page and it was killing me that I couldn’t get a hold of you. I just emailed you so I don’t want to repeat it all here. Please know that you are ALL deeply loved. Please hold Emily and Penny close, (I am sure you are)…………I agree, they need you too now. I pray that God gives you strength in this most heartbreaking time. Do what you have to do for YOU………….we will all be here when you feel up to communicating with us in whatever way you choose to. Eko will never, ever be forgotten……..nor will you…….you hold a special place in our hearts and we will never, ever, ever let that go. Much love to all of you.

  87. Lena says:

    Heartbroken by the news… Eko and then Penny played such a big role in our decision to get our own ridgeback pup. Thank you for letting him be part of our lives.

  88. Elisa says:

    my husband reminded me, you saved us a year ago. We had just lost our beloved Roxy, and we were lost. Up until that moment we swore we would never have another. It was too painful. But I somehow discovered your blog. Eko and you helped us to realize our love has no limits. We decided to get Abby and later this month we are picking up our new pup Tara. You will never forget Eko. Like Roxy, they are always with us, especially when we continue to love again. Thank you.

  89. Ben says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Echo was simply amazing and what I’ve always wanted in a dog and didn’t know was possible. I’ve been following this blog for 4 years and knew immediately after reading your posts and seeing your videos that a Ridgeback would be a perfect fit. I hope that you can take some solace in the fact that thousands have read this blog and because of Ecko decided a Ridgeback would be a great fit in there lives as well. Because of you, Echo, and Penny I have my beautiful Ridgeback girl next to me.

  90. Merry Band of Hooligans says:

    Thank you, Will for sharing with all of us the love, joy and happiness that this beautiful soul has brought to your life. We just lost our beautiful girl as quickly as a blink of an eye to something we cannot identify. It has made a hole in our hearts that can never be filled and changed every part of our lives in a way that we never imagined. We understand your pain, your tears and the annoying repeated question of why….why did this happen?! The only thing that understood me- the smiling face with a head butt and paw on the leg right when I thought I would lose my mind, the happy roll in the middle of the floor when I thought the world was crashing down around me. Maybe, just maybe…heaven needed them more. We will never know. For now, we hold tight to the beautiful memories we have of love, hair and sloppy kisses at just the right time until we can see them again. Grieve, cry, scream do whatever you feel will help you heal and know that this amazing, fabulous and wonderful crazy is watching over you and will ALWAYS be in your heart.

    So very sorry for your loss- hold tight to your girls and let them help you find the path to your “new normal”, it will be hard, and it may make you crazy but…let them help you heal, and all will be right in your world again.

  91. Nick says:

    Will. When researching ridgebacks 2 years ago it was your blog and the wonderful Mr Eko that finally persuaded us to bring Dexter into our family. Now my heart breaks for you. I can’t imagine the void that must be left but I do know that Eko will have loved every minute of his short life with you. You are the example that all dog owners should aspire to and my thoughts are with you.

  92. Peyton says:

    Sorry for your loss. We can never replace them. We can only remember and love them.

  93. Will, I wanted to share this with you yesterday, but I had to look it up. I think it expresses loss of a loved one perfectly. I don’t know who wrote it, but I have shared it with many who are mourning:

    A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam.
    And for a brief moment
    its glory and beauty
    belong to our world.
    But then it flies on again
    and though we wish it could have stayed,
    we feel so lucky
    to have seen it.

    God bless.
    Barbara

  94. Jo Rhodes says:

    We just want to check in with you today. Remember to breathe in and out and in and out. When the time comes, can we send you pictures of the families that love your family so much?
    Love, Jo, Sam and Dean.

  95. cafall says:

    I’m in tears. I am so sorry. I loved reading about Eko and Penny. Hugs to you and your family. We are thinking of you.

    Monty, Ramble, Harlow, Christine and Aaron

  96. Carrie M says:

    Such devastating news. So sorry for your loss. I know the profound sadness of losing a pet, it is unbearable at times. Just know you gave Eko the world and we all got to share in his wonderful life. I hope you get answers to help you heal.

  97. Victoria says:

    Will, I found your blog a few years ago, about loosing a dog. I had just lost my brother, and while he is not a dog, I inherited his dog. I found the words and the journey very much helpful, and I ended up reading all the way to the start. I love your dogs, as I love my own, the stories are my stories the laughs till you cry are mine. Your words are always so eloquent and I keep it as a special time when I get to read your blog, and read your adventures. i looked on Wednesday and immediately felt the pain and helplessness even though we are miles away, and do not know us. I feel you are a friend because of the sharing of lives, dogs and stories, our hearts and thoughts go out to you and Emily and Penny.
    My two dogs and I sat and re read some of the stories and watched the video. Penny and Eko are the best, and they are in all of our hearts. I wait to hear you voice, just like this summer. I love to read your stories, good and bad. Know that we think of you, and only wish that this never happened, and that your life will return to some normal pace.

  98. Cathy & Jason & Banjo says:

    Will, we are so very sad for you. Eko was your heart, and we can hardly believe that he’s gone. You are the best doggie daddy imaginable. You loved him every day, and that’s all we can do. Hugs to you and Emily and Penny. We are thinking of you and crying with you.

  99. devereux66 says:

    “We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own,
    live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
    never fully understanding the necessary plan.”

    – Irving Townsend, “The Once Again Prince”

    Even though the pain is immeasurable we always choose to love again. My heart aches for you. I’ve been where you are and I know sometimes even breathing is difficult. Sending you love and prayers for your heart to heal.
    Donna Devereux Mosher

  100. Dear Will and family,
    It goes without saying how deveststed we were to read your news. My son called me to tell me and we both cried. He immediately wrote to you expressing his condolences. The next day We took our RR Maiya for a meditative walk to pay tribute to Eko. After posting pictures of the walk and mentioning Eko I never expected to find out that most of my Ridgeback “family” got their pups after following your blog and falling in love with Eko. I have never had a dog ( as an adult) and didn’t know much about RR except that they are ridiculously cute . So I researched. And researched. And researched. And found you. After watching your videos for a year we did our Hw, found a wonderful breeder and entered into a new family. Our breeder has puppy reunions, playgroups and private “litter” group pages. We all got to know our littermate families before we even got our pups , as well as other litters from the same breeder both online and in person. It is a warm wonderful intensely supportive family of RR owners . Something unique No surprise now that Eko had his paw in this somehow. You so generously shared his heart with the world with such grace and humor, and a beautiful loving family was found. We mourn with you. We send healing hugs to your broken heart. Eko was here for a reason. I hope you know that we are all part of this reason. Lots of love, Lenora DeSanctis. …and Maiya, Levi, Khaya , Ziggy , Bella, Levi, Keilan , Bakari, Cali and so many more from our Imari Family.

  101. Francine says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Echo was a beautiful dog. I am sure that Penney must be so sad and confused. My heart goes out to you.

  102. Donna Impey says:

    I understand your pain all too well. I lost my beautiful girl about 18 months ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t cry for my Izzi. Shortly after that I found your videos of Eko and Penny. Watching your joyful dogs helped me forget for a while. I don’t have any words of wisdom for you, because I know it’s something you have to come to grips with in your own way, and your own time. I will say that your desire to do a tribute to Eko will likely help. I make jewelry, so I made a charm bracelet to remind me of all the things I loved about Izzi. I don’t know why it helped, but it did. As I sit here tonight, crying for your beautiful boy, I have my 14 week old puppy Boots sleeping in my lap. My baby Ridgeback helps too. She’ll never replace my girl, but she reminds me constantly of all the special things about these wonderful dogs. Boots and I send you love, and the wish your heart will begin to mend soon.

  103. Danielle de Koekkoek-Simon says:

    I just found out. I know how it feels. I found our precious RR Dayo on January 30th. She was gone and I was heartbrokken too. That doesn’t help you. I wish you find the strenght to keep going on for Penny. Mr. Eko was such a sweet and wonderfull RR. He has touched so many peoples lives. Those clips on YouTube are great. I love them. They gave me strenght to keep going on after losing our Dayo and they gave me strenght to open our home and heart for a new RR Themba. I hope reading this gives you more strenght.

  104. Barbara Richie says:

    I know only too well the pain you are feeling. We lost our 8 yr old yellow lab, Stella on December 30, 2016. Stella, like Eko loved the beach. We went to the Outer Banks every year on vacation. We rented a pet friendly house right on the ocean. This year we brought some of Stella’s ashes to spread on the beach she loved so much. The only solace I can offer is that you gave Eko an incredible life and he is looking down on you and your family and smiling and thankful for everything. I am so grateful that Stella shared her life and love with us for those 8 short years. I remember picking her up as a pup like it was yesterday. Remember, you have very fond memories; hold them close – they are yours forever and will never go away.

  105. Gregory Pike says:

    Will, I just stumbled across this and words can’t express my sympathy at your loss; I know too often the pain that comes with finding your best friend is gone (and is impatiently waiting for you at The Bridge as is nothing has happened). It seems like only yesterday that I first discovered your blog of you and Eko traveling cross-country! Be glad you have Emily and Penny to lean on but you have a universe I see of loving fans and friends across the country who mourn for you. Wishing you prayers during your time of grief — just know that Eko is bounding across the pastures by the Bridge waiting for you when the time comes. 🙂 Take care my friend, Greg

  106. Caroline Edmiston says:

    No! No no no no no no no no no! This can’t be happening. Your Eko is too similar to my Chase, your Penny is my Maggie! I am sitting here, tears steaming down my face, my heat broken for yours. My nightmares come true for you. My only thoughts are how can you possibly survive this much pain? There was a question running around facebook, asking one to describe their dog in 5 words. I only need 2. Soul dog. Eko was your soul dog, as Chase is mine. My heart bleeds for you. If there was anything I could say that would help, I would, but tragically there are no magic words of comfort, so just know that I raise my voice and howl with you into the vast chasm of pain.

  107. Dear Will… I cried, I cried for you, for Penny and for Eko! I could not believe your blog… I really don’t know what to tell you but remember; my Storm and Nala are in my life right now because of your adventures with Eko❤️ they are my best friends and I cannot believe a life without them. Next january we are going on a roadtrip true Europe for a Year with the four of us and our landrover! I want to spend Every minute with my dogs❤️

    Will, Lots of love from the Netherlands

  108. lexy3587 says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish there were something to say that could help.

  109. Cdasay12 says:

    Will…. I started following your block with you and Ecko took your journey across America. I loved the adventures you two had on your journey. I would read your Blog to my Champ.

    I had stepped away from your blog for a bit and just read about Ecko. I am so sorry for your loss. Am I am reading I am crying like a baby.

    I know words can not make Ecko come back but you I loved the special bond the two of you have!

    Mine and Champs thoughts and prayers are with you, Emily and Penny. Also with Ecko. I know he is watching over you!

  110. Ronda says:

    I just found out about Eko, I am so sorry. There are not words, but I hope you take comfort in the love you shared with him, your memories, adventures and those beautiful photos. Joy. Eko.

  111. Barbara Richie says:

    No one knows the excruciating heartache of losing a dog; until you’ve experienced it yourself. Sadly to say, I have experienced it 3 times in my life. The last one was the worst; my Stella was my world and to lose her at 8 was devastating. She was my Echo. My husband and I still talk about her; what a great dog she was and how she was taken from us too soon. No matter the age, the loss of a dog is devastating. We have 2 new dogs; Ginger and Walter – whom we love very dearly, but they are not our Stella. A friend from work turned me onto you your blog, and I look forward to hearing from you and seeing your videos. They brighten my day! You have a beautiful family; so much to be happy and thankful for. The pain gets less as time passes, but never goes away. Keep doing what you’re doing and keep us updated on Penny, Zero, Lincoln and Emily.
    Thank you for everything you write and post!
    Barbara Richie

  112. […] Eko died three years ago yesterday. In the years since I’ve written about loss as a measure of both time and space. Loss as a painful lesion across a once pristine stretch of heart. Loss as an invasive grief which I could not excise but refused to accept. […]

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