On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In Loving Memory of McBaine aka "Pretty Boy"

We feel a great void in Robin Hood's Hideaway today. Our companion of 11 years "McBaine" passed away in LD's arms this morning. A big thanks to the doctors and staff of Welborn Pet Hospital for all of their efforts, and the compassion they showed us as we said goodbye to our loved one.

We think he was actually 15-16 years old, but we never knew his true age. And we think he was a Pointer/Border Collie mix. He found us 11 years ago on a crisp March morning. We went for a run on the Katy Trail near McBaine, Missouri just to break up our routine, which usually consisted of running on the MKT Trail in Columbia. Given that there were not many people on the trail, I turned around to make sure that LD was okay. It was then that I realized that a beautiful red and white dog was following LD. I asked her if she was aware that she was being followed by a dog, and she was surprised. Well that beautiful dog kept us company for the rest of our run. We figured he must have been a stray, and we literally went door to door trying to find his owners. Nobody claimed him, and a man we spoke with told us that he had seen him running around for about a week. He also told us that the area was a popular place for people to drop off unwanted pets. So we decided to take him home with us, and made a report at the Columbia Humane Society just in case somebody reported a missing pet. After having him for more than a month, we figured nobody was going to claim him, and we decided to make him a permanent part of our family.

We enrolled him in a dog obedience class taught by a local sheriff officer. Baine was a very fast learner. At the end of our training class, the instructor suggested that he might be good for search and rescue. We didn't think much about search and rescue at that time, but a friend of ours told us that there was a person who lived right down the street from us who was a member of a search and rescue team. So LD decided to give her a call, and they invited her to bring in Baine for a tryout. LD took Baine to the local rubble pile; they were very impressed with his agility and his ability to "dance" in the rubble pile. So LD and Baine started training with the FEMA Missouri Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team, and certified him soon thereafter.  Not only was Baine a disaster search dog, but he was also a wilderness search dog with the Boone County Fire Department Wilderness Search and Rescue Team.

Baine retired from search and rescue in 2003. He was an awesome partner, teacher, friend, assistant dog trainer, puppy trainer, mentor, and hero. He made us better human beings, and we are grateful for all his gifts and unconditional love.  He changed our lives forever and enriched us. Without Baine, LD could not have accomplished all their search and rescue efforts, and the many lives she, Baine and Katy have touched.

Outside of search and rescue, he was a great friend and companion. He was with us through thick and thin. He loved going on trail runs, swimming, and always did his best at making sure that stray branches or logs in lakes or rivers made their way back to shore.

We are forever grateful to him for saving Morgan from herself when she was a puppy. As a puppy our independent-minded Morgan went on her little adventures into the tall grass prairie where a den of coyotes lived. All we had to do was ask Baine to get Morgan, and he would bravely run into the grass and retrieve our little puppy for us.

He was also a great couch potato and a food mongrel. One day we came home to find that our freshly baked loaf of bread had dissapeared. He also loved to beg strangers for their food. I was a little embarrased when after participating in the local vet school dog jog, he started barking at strangers asking them to share a piece of their bagel with him. He was definitely a "carbo boy".

Pretty Boy we love and miss you, and are grateful to you for having touched our lives forever and bringing such joy and unconditional love to us.


  1. Sorry to hear about the loss of your pup -- what a beautiful and loving tribute!

  2. Baine was the BEST bed partner anyone could ever have. and by "BEST" i mean, of course, that he hogged the bed and groaned a lot. but still, he was the best! i am going to miss him.