Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Remembering Smiley, Woody and Macky
Macky sits in a field of flowers near Stanley.
Thursday, December 31, 2020



When the coronavirus swept through the Wood River Valley in March, hundreds of valley residents took up Nordic skiing, which was just about the only thing left to do while sheltering in place.

But behind the bandanas and buffs you could see the fear in some skiers’ eyes, the mistrust in others as they worried whether someone passing them on the trail might have the cooties.

One of the constant rays of sunshine during that time was a golden retriever owned by Ketchum residents Kirk and Jan Mason. This golden retriever plodded along the trails, a smile stretching from one floppy ear to the other, oblivious to what was taking place in the world, just happy to be out.

And I couldn’t help but smile when I saw her smile.

Jan told me her name a few times, but I never internalized it. To me she was “Smiley”—nothing else made sense.

I looked for Smiley on the trails as soon as the snows came in mid-November, only to learn that she was among a handful of those wonderful four-legged friends that we lost this year.

She passed away three weeks before the start of the Nordic ski season after what Jan said was a “wonderful” life of 14 years. I imagine that she’s happily bouncing through the snow at that Rainbow Bridge, but still I miss her, and I know Jan and Kirk miss her even more.

Another who lost a longtime companion was Lynn Campion-Waddell, who  lost her 36-year-old horse Woody, a champion cutting gelding who brought her a myriad of national championships.

Woody was just two when Campion began grooming him to cut cows away from the herd.

“That horse just meant so much to me—he was an important part of my life,” she said. “He was an amazing horse and I miss him terribly.”

Still another great loss was that of Macky, who was a constant companion for nearly 16 years to Hailey residents Ed and Carmen Northen.

Macky was a dalmatian in keeping with Ed Northen’s previous life as a firefighter in Orange County. And for years he was a mainstay on the Nordic trails which Ed and Carmen patrolled, even taking a few spins on the frozen Alturas Lake every year during the annual Sawtooth Ski Club’s Kitchen Soup Special.

In Macky’s honor, Ed Northen composed a poem. “So many people can relate to this as in this valley ‘Dogs are people two,’” Northen said.

Here’s Ed’s poem in honor of everyone who lost a cherished pet this year … and in years past.

“Losing a Dog”

There is something


losing a dog


That uproots

The arrogance

Of our humanity


This relationship

Between species

Dispels the misconceptions


Of our differences

And we realize

The important purpose

Dogs have in our lives


For in their loyalty

Desire to please


And devotion


They remind us

Of our inadequacies


Mark Twain said of dogs:


“I have been studying

the traits and dispositions

of the "lower animals" (so called)

and contrasting them

with the traits and dispositions of man.

I find the result humiliating to me.”


“Heaven goes by favor;

if it went by merit,

you would stay out

and your dog would go in”


Missing our Macky!!


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