Meet Kasper

Meet Kasper, Tom's Dog

Some of you guys know that back in early 2014 my best friend Riley passed away. You even grouped together to write tributes to Riley, post your condolences, and share your stories of best friends lost; for that, I say a million thanks.

As always, I found comfort in the outdoors. But without Riley, those long trail miles seemed mighty lonely. A month before Riley died, my mother passed away. My mom was always the first person I’d call with a dog story or a dog thought or a dog remembrance. Loosing Riley made my mom’s absence even more keenly felt. In early 2015, my dad passed away as well. It’s been a long, cold, winter for the last two years: life was still happening within me and all around me, but in a subdued, quiet way, somewhat lonely even with my friends and other dogs around. I guess that’s grief. We all know it, or will at some point.

Then the ice began to melt: I started looking at adoptable dogs on Petfinder.com and visited a shelter or two in early 2015. But I guess I wasn’t quite ready yet. Then came Kasper.

Meet Kasper, Tom's Dog | TOM BIHN

Like Riley, he’s part Irish Wolfhound. Unlike Riley, he’s a total goofball who loves being the center of attention. If you go hiking with us, I’ll warn you that Kasper might grab a stick and, totally unaware of what he’s doing, run past and whack you in the back of the leg. If you’re hanging out at the house, you can expect that Kasper might flop himself on you — his idea of cuddling — with no regard for your comfort (or, judging by some of the lounging positions, his own.) His lack of a sense of personal space can be trying for some folks (and other dogs), but it can also be quite endearing. He seems to be saying “We’re all a family! And I’m King of this family!”

This winter, Kasper went cross-country skiing or fat biking with me everyday. This spring, he’s figured out how to ford streams, though if it’s not a wide stream, he’ll spring across, like a giant, blonde, lithe, grasshopper. As he’s still a pup of two-years-old, we’re working on leash training and other skills. Leash training for him, and other skills, like eternal patience, for me.

Tom and Kasper | TOM BIHN | Skookum Dog

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kaspershake

One of the reasons we created the Skookum Dog company was to celebrate the relationship between humans and canines; I promised myself someday I’d write an update for you guys about my dogs and my life, and, finally feeling ready, here it is. We’d like to hear your updates, stories, remembrances, good news, and sad news too: post it here, in the Forums, or if you don’t want it to be that public, email it to us.

Tom Bihn

5 Comments

  1. Dorayme on 15 June 2015 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm

    Thank you Tom for sharing with us. As I commented in the forums, Tom Bihn and crew feels like family. I am so sorry for your losses. They are all so huge. I’m glad to hear that you are healing through the loss and have found a new companion in Kasper. Your description of his furry personality tell the tale of a comical character. I’m glad you have the joy of him in your life!

  2. Ilkyway on 16 June 2015 12:38 am at 12:38 am

    There are so many different emotions comeing through this article to me. It is like crying and laughing at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am so sad for all the losses in such a short time and so glad that you found Kasper to accompany you and chear you up. He seems very qualified to do so.

  3. Kim on 16 June 2015 11:39 am at 11:39 am

    Congratulations on finding Kasper and for adopting and saving a life! Today, I am celebrating the third adoption anniversary of my sweet pup, Mr Fox, who is now 10 years old. I work for Best Friends Animal Society and get to bring him with me every day. It’s truly the best job in the world!

  4. DJ Burgh on 16 June 2015 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm

    As a huge lover of dogs (I have two Boston Terriers) I devour any and all stories regarding dogs and their humans. I am so happy Kasper came into your life. I am also thrilled about your Skookum line for dogs. I can see now that I will have to visit your Seattle store…good thing I just live across the bridge!

  5. Dee on 16 June 2015 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing so much of your private self with us, your customers and friends. And Kasper! I am in love with that face. And the pure joy in the photos that you shared. What a lucky dog. What a lucky man.
    Mahalo nui loa, Tom.

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