There's a small yet familiar bar in Westport where all the locals flock too after a long day of hard work. It doesn't matter if you're a farmer, a fisherman, or just in town for a few days; the Westport Social Club has always been a welcoming drinking hole for anyone looking to sit down for a cold one among some pretty great patrons.

One of the bartenders is Ashley Ford, who is the "mom" of a very special dog named "Captain." Captain was the goodest of boys and the unofficial mascot of the bar. It is with a heavy heart we share the unfortunate news that Captain, the brown lab, has crossed the rainbow bridge at the age of 13. His legacy will forever remain here in Westport.

Courtesy Ashley Ford
Courtesy Ashley Ford
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You see, Captain only had three legs after he was hit by a vehicle a good 10 years ago. He learned to walk on his one good front leg and two back legs for the remainder of his life, and it never slowed him down, not once. If Captain had to get somewhere, he would hobble along, making good use of his strength.

These days, dogs aren't allowed inside the club anymore, but let it be known that Captain had his own booth when he could roam indoors (pictured above) and the regulars supported it with open arms.

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Sadly, Captain was diagnosed with severe kidney failure and soon after on Wednesday, January 26, Ford was instructed by veterinary professionals that it was time to say goodbye to this good boy. Not an eye was dry on these old barstools.

When Ford found out the heartbreaking news, she did exactly what any dog mom would do and took him to his favorite spot once more: the beach, for one more memory in the sand together.

Courtesy Ashley Ford
Courtesy Ashley Ford
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Rebecca Haines Mosher, manager at the Westport Social, recently released a heartfelt message on Facebook for all who knew Captain:

"It is with extreme sorrow and the heaviest of hearts, that we report the passing of a great and loyal patron. Our beloved boy Captain has crossed the rainbow bridge, on January 26th, 2022.

Captain, you were the bestest, most goodest boy that ever roamed the earth. Your tail wag and welcome bark could bring a smile to anyone who crossed your path. You lived the good life: a well-traveled life, well-loved life, with your mom and family by your side. You were a friend to all, and you leave behind hundreds of people who love you. You taught us to live life to the absolute fullest and enjoy every moment.

You lived head high and with belly and tongue out (amongst other things). Every beach outing, boat ride, and lazy afternoon on the back porch will have a little hole in it without you. Till we meet again, you’re a good boy Capt… a good boy. Cheers to you!"

Courtesy Ashley Ford
Courtesy Ashley Ford
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Personally, I've known Captain for a little over five years now and every time I walked into the social club, it was a pleasant surprise to be greeted by such happiness. He may not have remembered who you were, but after a good scratch behind the ear, he was automatically your best friend. It was the way he always appeared to have a smile on his face that lit up the barroom.

Although he was Ford's baby, he was everyone's buddy and designated doggo at the "Soch." Now, there's nothing left but fond memories and an empty water bowl and old slimy chewed-up tennis balls that sit idle outside. There's no more barking every time he needs to go out or wants a tasty treat, just silence and old groans from the regulars – a void, more than anything.

For now, Westport will always remember the good times spent with a dog whose goal in life was to not only make others smile but to take a moment to stop whatever you were doing for a quick pat on the head.

You were such a good boy, Captain, and although you're no longer around these parts of the sticks, know that your legacy will forever live on in our small town.

Plans are already put in place to have a plaque hung above his favorite resting spot and a celebration of life will be held at a future date.

Courtesy Ashley Ford
Courtesy Ashley Ford
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Rest easy, Captain, forever in the hearts of the patrons. You'll live on each and every time we walk through the doors of the Westport Social Club.

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