The end of any romantic relationship can be difficult. People find a myriad of coping mechanisms. Some play guitar, some travel the word, some contemplate the past, and some look to the future.

During the historic 2010-11 ski season Tahoe received record amounts of snowfall. 130+ days of powder skiing was otherworldly. Apparently, my girlfriend didn’t have the same epic experience. As the season wound down I found myself newly single, and somewhat lonely. I think she moved to Arizona.

After a few glasses of whiskey, a donation to the local NPR & KVIE station, and some Ben & Jerry’s I knew how to move on….

For the next 3 months I spent seemingly every waking moment contemplating dog ownership. A Golden Retriever was the only option. I searched NORCAL Golden Retriever Rescue, local breeders, far-away breeders, Craigslist, Humane Societies, you name it. I was looking for a new companion. I was looking for a new best friend.

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With the newly acquired Ken Burn’s Civil War dvd’s playing in the background my search came to fruition. I found the perfect pup in Folsom, CA and arranged to drive down the following morning. The decision was not in haste, nor ill fated. I was about to meet the best dog I’d ever know.

Buckingham was a fluffhead of a pup. His medium energy, playful spirit, and human-like smile were enchanting. Before long we were driving back to Squaw Valley & Lake Tahoe, his new home.

Over the course of the next 7 years (and counting) Bucky has been by my side. We have traveled across the Pacific Northwest, backcountry skied Tahoe Peaks, swam in frigid alpine lakes, mountain biked endless single track, backpacked Desolation Wilderness, and chased countless tennis balls.

During the epic back-to-back Broomball championships in 2017 & 2018 he was the first teammate to greet me on the sidelines. While defending the Truckee Winery Overall Bocce title he reminded us not to take anything too seriously. After a stressful day at work his love was unconditional.

Squaw Valley Dart League victories are fun, sunbathing on a Donner Lake dock is relaxing, and paddle boarding the Tahoe shores is tranquil; but, my Tahoe adventures are incomplete without the best damn sidekick in tow… Bucky.