One of Bill’s closest friends and constant traveling companions happened to be a Border Collie named Kokomo. Kokomo formed an immediate bond with Bill when they first met back in 2002. Their clandestine lifelong friendship began over coffee and smoking down at a local coffee shop that they both frequented. From their relationship evolved a friendship and business partnership with her owner Sara Troy.
Over the years Kokomo and Bill spent many hours and more than 10,000 miles walking and enjoying each others company. Bill attributes that one of the primary reasons he is alive today is due to her unconditional love, intuition and empathy. In the summer of 2011 Bill broke his back which was caused by an extreme muscle seizure. These muscle seizures are caused by neurological and neuromuscular damage that resulted from childhood brain trauma injuries.
During Bill’s recovery and healing process from these injuries, Kokomo was always by his side. No matter what time of day or night, or what type of weather, whenever Bill decided to go out for one of his walks she was ready to go. Kokomo was very empathic and often knew before Bill when he was about to have a major seizure and she would prod him to get up to go for a walk, even in the middle of night. She was also extremely intuitive and knew exactly what type of walk Bill needed to go for. Sometimes she would run ahead of him pushing him to go faster. Other times she would walk slowly forcing him to slow down and take his time. She always knew when Bill needed to stop and rest to prevent him from doing further injury. Sometimes they would simply walk for hours pushing Bill to his physical and pain limits. During Bill’s 18 month recovery period they would walk at least 5 miles every day, which often took them more than 7 hours to complete!
Bill’s nickname ‘Smok’n DAWG’ came about as a tribute to Kokomo. You see, ever since Kokomo was a young puppy she loved to chase and jump through smoke rings. Over the years she became known as the ‘Smoking Dog’. In September 2012, Bill found himself getting back into creating digital music on his laptop as part of his healing and recovery regiment. At that time he decided to build a website to share this love and passion with others. The name ‘The Smok’n DAWG’ popped into Bill’s head for the sites name. The name literally means ‘ The passionate digital audio workstation guru’. The name also serves as an alternative way to spell Kokomo’s nickname ‘The smoking dog’.
On the Saturday morning of Easter weekend in 2013 after returning home from his walk with Kokomo, Bill found himself at his wits end because over the previous few weeks his recovery progress had taken a dramatic nose dive. Upon arriving home he literally exploded in verbal outrage of frustration. Within ten minutes after his meltdown, his seizures stopped and he has not had another one since that day!
In August of 2016 at the age of 14.5, Kokomo had to be put down as her health rapidly deteriorated to a point that she couldn’t see, hear or walk any more. She may be gone physically, but Bill’s love, memories and gratitude for all that she has done for him will live on forever and never be forgotten…
Bill Macquis – ‘LIFE’ explorer, discoverer and pioneer.
‘Live’n Life Loud…’