A dear friend of mine, Robert Cunningham aka “Red Dog” passed away yesterday (photo). I feel like I lost a brother. There were five of us, all high school buddies who stayed in contact these past 50 years.
Now there’s only four. Tom, Larry, Ernie, and me.
I want you to know that Red Dog was very intelligent and a compassionate man. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and espoused passionate beliefs throughout his life.
He was also a loyal friend who was at my side during many important times in my life.
He was at Shirley and I’s wedding 41 years ago this August. At one point I came up to him and patted him on the back. He responded by throwing up on the table! I never let him forget that embarrassing moment – and he owned it in many conversations afterward.
Red Dog went to all three of my sons high school graduations, and their marriages. He was always there for important events in my life.
I don’t know how many times we went to wineries and restaurants as a group and had a fantastic time. Wine, love, laughter. Good times. Wonderful memories. Red Dog cracking us all up with his quick wit.
Red Dog was an independent person, unencumbered by many of societies rules. He was never afraid to speak his mind. And he had a lot of friends. It was an honor to be one of them.
I grieve for his passing. Just another sign of my mortality. He was younger than me. He was going to retire this year. He had the whole world ahead of him.
His big heart gave out yesterday. It’s hard to believe. Just a few days ago we were joking about a portable sauna that you can take camping. He said a luxury like that wasn’t really camping.
Red Dog knew about camping, daily walks, and hiking. He explored many beautiful national parks and especially loved Yosemite. He went on the harrowing 14-mile hike up Half Dome at least twice.
He was careful about the food he ate, always conscious of his weight and health.
Yet, Red Dog isn’t here today. I sure hope he’s in a place that allows dogs because he loved them dearly!
Good bye old Buddy…Cheers!
I’ll see you down the line.