Upon our return home to our homestead farm 15 miles out on the McCarthy road, Dexter became mine. As new additions to the family we became best friends. Over the next eight years Dexter and I became inseparable. He would come with me to visit my friends, and when we where home we would take turns playing tag around the kitchen island. One of my first memories of Dexter was waking up to him licking me in the face after being kicked across the driveway by a spooking horse. I was four years old and extremely tired, crying because my mom wasn’t paying attention to me. She had been busy trying to calm down a horse that had been spooking. Being a needy child I had followed her down to the driveway and walked up behind the horse only to be kicked in the gut and thrown across the drive way into the grass. I don’t remember passing out or the pain, but I do remember waking up hearing Dexter’s nervous whines and feeling his tongue licking my face. He was always there for me and I was there for him. He was my first best friend and I loved him so much.
Dexter’s life was cut short on one rainy afternoon when we were both eight years old. I was at the Park Service building in Chitina with my mom working when the phone rang. It was my dad. He sounded really quiet and had a hard time telling me. He told me that he was sorry, that Dexter had been hit on the highway by a Semi-Truck. My dad buried Dex in his favorite spot beneath a tree by our horse tack shed. After hearing that my best friend -- pretty much everything to me -- had been killed, I went into a deep state of depression. I cried for weeks, and wouldn’t talk to anyone. Then one day I finally decided that Dex wouldn’t have wanted me to be sad. He would have wanted me to move on and to be happy. To this day I still remember his watchful eyes and the way he would smile when he was with me. I loved that dog, and I will always have him in my memories.