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Man’s best friend. It’s a phrase coined to describe the loyalty, love, and companionship of a dog.
Nurturing this unconditional love is a staple in Seattle, with so many different breeds and temperaments to strike your fancy. And, for the lucky, you could hire Mark Stover, Seattle’s own “Dog Whisperer” to train your beloved pet.
If only communicating with humans came as easily to Mark, maybe he wouldn’t have had to go through such a messy, ugly divorce that rocked him to his knees.
His former wife, Linda Opdycke, was beautiful, tall and lean with glossy blond hair, and she was an heiress. They built Island K-9 Training together on her family’s private island in Puget Sound.
Before it was said and done, Linda accused Mark of not being able to let go, of being a gun toting, emotionally unstable stalker. The lowest point came when Mark was caught rifling through her garbage. He was arrested for stalking and slapped with a domestic violence protection order.
Through it all, trusty Dingo was by Mark’s side. They went everywhere together. Not only was Ding his best friend, she was his protection.
And, by October, 2009 Mark had moved on. He had no contact with Linda. He even had a new love in his life and was settling nicely into a new location for his dog business.
But, despite all the progress, those closest to Mark knew he had worries. Like a dog with a keen sense of smell and intuition, Mark was fearful and anxious. Some say he was afraid of his own shadow.
He even hired a private investigator and shared with her the source of his terror: that his ex-wife and her powerful father were out to destroy him.
Michiel Oakes was Linda’s boyfriend on that crisp October morning in 2009, when Mark’s worst fears would come to pass.
Mark, never did come back that day.
But they found his beloved Dingo, bloody and growling. He was gravely injured with three bullets in his brain.
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