words + photography THE BLANEY / HOFHEIMER FAMILY

We got Porter as a puppy at the local shelter 14½  years ago. We had just lost our 16-year-old Labrador Retriever and I remember saying “I don’t know if I will be able to love this dog” to my partner, Julie, the day we brought that pudgy little black puppy with white toes home. Boy, did that change.

Porter was a Lab Shepherd mix but had little interest in retrieving. He was, instead, a tireless mouser who took it upon himself to rid every woodpile, every stone wall and every vehicle of rodents that had taken up residence there.

But he was so much more.

He danced gleefully with every feather that he found on the ground or on the beach. He ran and barked after just one kind of woodpecker (we have a few different kinds) when it cheeped and flew between trees in the clearing by our house. He barked along with the crows that would caw back and forth from the treetops. He picked wild blackberries and peas from the garden. The sound of a siren elicited such a look of both interest and concern that we suspected he would make a great police dog. He was smart, looked you in the eye and could take a joke. He was so friendly and social; his expression was one of pure joy when visited by humans and dogs alike. He loved everybody.

For just over 14 years we were honored and blessed to be in the daily company of this marvelous being and are better for having known him and having shared in so many wonderful adventures.

RIP, Porter. You are and will be forever missed.

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