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A Final Goodbye to George and Fido

R.I.P., George and Fido

Starting last June, Bay Woof invited Fido the Mountain Dog to write a back-page column. His human agreed to facilitate. Fido turned in five funny, poignant, well-written columns ruing summer, celebrating parades, reading pee-mail, welcoming winter, and strategizing over politics. Each one carried this bio: “Fido is a red, 70-pound chow/retriever mix. He and his human pal, George Shirk, live in Mammoth Lakes, at 8,000 feet. Fido is 9 years old. In dog years, that makes him the exact same age as his human.”

“Hey hey hey hey hey!” Fido often said in those columns.

Sadly, Fido—who loved biscuits and found that they solved everything—died Sept. 15 of complications associated with heart disease. George sent this message: “He was a great friend, an erudite hound and he had a terrific sense of humor until the very end.”

The loss was unbearable for George, who then added, “I am heartbroken.”

Now I am heartbroken.

My brilliant, funny, creative, sport-obsessed, dog-loving friend, who lived with so much gusto, humor, imagination, and insight, died Dec. 8 of a heart attack. George—who loved skiing; motorcycles; Mammoth; good hats; the story; his twin brother; and, above all, his constant furry, tongue-lolling companion—won’t be making me laugh any more with tales of his and Fido’s shenanigans or stories from his own swashbuckling past or far-from-quiet retirement days in the mountains full of snow, bears, and stars.

Fido and George, a longtime newsman with gigs that took him from Iowa and Philadelphia to San Francisco, Oakland, and, ultimately, Mammoth Lakes, were well known around Mammoth, thanks to George’s reporting, smooth wordsmithing, and column and fiction writing at the weekly Mammoth Times and Mammoth Monthly.

Bay Woof readers got to know George, hair often akimbo, and his main pal, mighty Fido, for far too short of a time. R.I.P., George and Fido.

“Hey hey hey hey hey!”

Main article photo by: George Shirk