As many of The 15 Association brothers already know, it was announced by his family in Eureka, Jim & Mike (a.k.a. Duke), that Copper took his own life on Saturday, January 14. As some might not know, Copper suffered from a genetic autoimmune disease called idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia, whereby his body would essentially attack itself. He was being treated medically for this condition, but still this disease left Copper in pain much of the time.
Copper did not leave any note, so his motives as to why he left us always will remain a mystery. Many of those closest to him made a pact to not second guess their own actions, try to figure out what more could have been done, or play the “what if game” in any way. Such thoughts will not change the present and feel counterproductive to the healing process. They can potentially cause angst and ongoing self-recrimination during what needs to be a time of reflection and caring. For those just learning of this news, please comfort and care for each other in the ways most fitting to yourself and your nature.
Copper will be deeply and sorely missed by the many souls he touched. He will be remembered fondly for his characteristic playfulness, his deep and thoughtful eyes, his hardworking nature, his impetuousness, the fierce loyalty he showed to those he considered family, and the fun-loving side of being a pup on all fours.
In remembrance and honor of Copper, Jim and Mike (Duke) will be hosting a Puppy Wake open to the public and predominantly, but not exclusively, for those in the broader Leather Community who wish to attend. The concept of a “Puppy Wake” is (coined by Master Jim) is to both honor and remember Copper in a upbeat way. It is based on the traditional Irish Wake, which is more of a party, and there will be a time set aside for people to share, either publicly or privately, fun stories or happy memories of Copper.
This is a social event intended to be a celebration of life. There will be music, perhaps DJ’d, and a place for pups to “pup out” if they wish to. This is gathering of brothers and friends. This is not a play party, however, so please keep any “non-puppy” toys in their bags. There is, of course, no cost to attend. There will be a “Wall of Memories” where people can write or draw anything they wish. If you have pictures or prewritten prose that you wish to bring and post on the paper wall, please do so. There will also be colored markers to write with at the event. The wake will be held:
Saturday February 25 – 1:00PM – 4:00PM – Mr. S Playspace, 385A Eighth Street, San Francisco (above the retail store, with entry to the left by 20 feet of main doors)
Estimated Timing for the Afternoon: 1-2PM Greet, Mingle, Socialize, Munch (watch for puppies under foot!) 2-3PM Public Voicing of Happy Memories (for those so inclined) 3-4PM Continued Socializing, Mingling, and Munching.
While this is begin held during The 15 Association’s Anniversary Weekend, it is not an official 15 event, and members are welcome to attend or not as they wish. Jim & Mike wish to thank Mr. S Leather for the donation of the space for the afternoon, the Leathermen’s Discussion Group for providing chairs and light snacks and beverages for the wake, and the San Francisco K9 Unit for their planning assistance.