A tribute to Fayette, 'a hard-working service dog' and loyal friend

Fayette, Ranger Darlene Wahl
Fayette, Ranger Darlene Wahl's loyal guide dog, and the National Park Service staff.
— image credit: Contributed photo

By Mike Vouri

Fayette, the beloved guide dog of Park Ranger Darlene Wahl, passed away early Oct. 29 of complications of cancer.

She was a hard-working service dog who guided Darlene through airports, big cities and small towns, and national parks too numerous to mention. She went everywhere, scrunched up in automobile footwells, marching in Fourth of July and Memorial Day parades, padding through snow and across slick pavement. In all their years together, she never steered Darlene the wrong way.

But those of us in the park best know her through the nine years she spent lying on the floor next to Darlene’s desk in the American Camnp visitor center. She slept most of the time in recent months, but would snap wide awake if a special friend walked through the door (or a visiting dog was drawing Darlene’s attention on the porch).

Being a service dog, of course, meant that she could not be petted on duty, but she didn’t miss out once the harness was off. After all, this is San Juan Island, and no other place that I can think of holds dogs in higher esteem.

She will be missed.

Bon voyage, old friend.

— Mike Vouri is an author and the historian for San Juan Island National Historical Park.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates