Goodbye To All That, 2016


Thank you all so much for the condolences and encouragement. It really does help to hear from those who have been touched by Bowie. This weekend marked 3 weeks without him, the longest I’ve ever gone. I miss him so much. I miss his utter contentment in my presence, paired with his enthusiastic willingness to go with me anywhere, unwavering for many thousands of miles. I miss his sprawling furry form in my lap, in my bed, in my car, in my life. I miss that big clown, King Bowie.


I’m sad but I’m happy too, happy he’s free of that tired old body. Happy he’s free. Through the tears I’m learning that he’s still right here. He lives on in his brother Dio and the hair in my soup and other forms less obvious. I put Bowie’s ashes in a tin that reminds me of my grandmother. Of course, the big dog barely fits and the lid won’t quite close. So I put a heavy Ganesh on top to help hold him in along with a piece of labradorite and a small river stone and a Chinese fortune that says “stay in touch, above all, with how you feel.” I look forward to releasing him on top of our mountain, when I’m ready. Spring feels right.

In the meantime, I’m skiing all over this place, imagining Bowie running free through the snow, on the wings of cheeky ravens, in the tracks of curious fox. This is a tough time, but I’m blessed to be weathering it in Big Sky. I’m living the most unexpected dream I’ve ever had here: after earning my EMT license this fall, I joined the biggest, baddest Ski Patrol team in the country. If you had told me two years ago that this would be my path, I would never have believed you. But skiing is believing and believing is something I’ve always done well. 

The only cross I've ever worn

Much love to you all this holiday season! I’ll see you in 2017! 

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at
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17 Responses to Goodbye To All That, 2016

  1. Pingback: Goodbye To All That… 2016 — Travels with the Blonde Coyote | O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

  2. John says:

    The path to my heart is filled with paw prints.

    Thank you & Bowie for sharing your adventures with me.

  3. Carole says:

    Sorry for your pain. I, too, lost my beautiful black lab, Lilly. It’s been four year and while it gets a little easier with time, it hurts. I can’t part with her ashes, except a few went in Lake Superior, because she loved swimming there. Best of times in your newest adventure. I have lived vicariously on lots of yours. Merry Christmas.

  4. egghill says:

    Mary, this piece is so beautifully written and heartfelt (the kind I’ll go back and read again and again). I too, have felt the loss of my pets. You are entirely correct that you’ve begun to feel him there, and that will help – the crying first, then remembering.
    Having read your blog for so long, I’m glad to know why you’ve stopped traveling. It sounds like a dream job! Congratulations.

    • I haven’t stopped traveling! I’ve just stopped blogging about it. All good things must come to an end and I’ve been letting the Blonde Coyote rest for awhile. Thanks, as always, for the support!

  5. Happy 2017.
    Nice to hear from you once in awhile. 🙂

    One of the things I most love about life is the unexpected path.

  6. Pit says:

    A Merry Christmas and a blessed 2017 to you,

  7. Bowie was a wonderful dog. Be assured that you gave him a superior and very happy life. I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning and I’ve enjoyed it immensely, so thank you for letting us know about Bowie.
    Cool on the skiing! The more skiing, the better the winter.

  8. pmdello says:

    Retired patroller here, first on and last off the hill for several years. It helped make skiing affordable for my family. Not surprised to learn you will be helping others enjoy the outdoors. Be well.

  9. David Sands says:

    So sorry for your loss of Bowie. He was a great companion.
    Good luck in your new endeavors and Merry Christmas!

  10. amberlife says:

    I’m so sorry to read this. I too have had fur friends who I’ve had to part company with and it’s like losing your right arm for a time. I’m glad you still have Dio to keep you company. Wishing you and he a happy Christmas and an adventurous 2017 from over here x

  11. Stephanie Cook says:

    Mary, Anyone reading your words can feel your loss. In time, when you’re ready, a new dog will wander into your life and a new adventure will begin. In the meantime, here is a poem I love that may help you as it has helped me:

    Poem for a departed pet by an unknown author …

    So this is where we part, my friend,
    And you’ll run on around the bend,
    Gone from sight but not from mind,
    New pleasures there you’ll surely find.

    I will go on, I’ll find the strength,
    Life measures quality, not its length.
    One long embrace before you leave,
    Share one last look, before I grieve.
    There are others, that much is true,
    But they be they and they aren’t you.

    And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
    Will remember well all you’ve taught.
    Your place I’ll hold, you will be missed,
    The fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.

    And as you go to your final rest,
    Take with you this – I loved you best.

    Merry Christmas and best wishes,
    Stephanie Cook

  12. ritaroberts says:

    I know its hard for you Mary without Bowie this Xmas. But have a merry Xmas as I’m am sure Bowies spirit is with you. Enjoy your new adventure Skying and we wish you the very best for the Coming New year 2017.

  13. Linda P. says:

    What amazes me about our lost canine companions is how we remember them each so separately, each for their own character traits and qualities. Bowie has been special to all of us, too, and I know those special qualities of his will make you smile when the pain eases enough that you can do so.

  14. Tiffani says:

    So glad to see you are living a dream job, but so sad about Bowie. I do miss your blogging. And I know from reading your blog, that, Bowie had a life that every dog dreams of having with plenty of adventure and love. So hard to let go, but aren’t you glad you and Bowie met each other?

  15. Erika says:

    Happy New Year,
    and thank you for your nice blog.

    Sad to hear about Bowie.

    I hope you’ll continue blogging again next year.

  16. j2rr says:

    Hello there, Friends come and go in life for many reasons, if a friend stays to the end – that is a true friend. Somewhere, somehow, sometime, a new friend may step in, and we go on.

    Best for the new year, and forever.

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