ANYONE WHO HAS ever owned a pickup truck or a dog knows that there will be that inevitable day when there will be a final farewell said to both of them.

That moment came home to me last week. Happily, it was not one of my dogs. Rather, it was Old Blackie, the GMC Sierra that has reliably, most of the time, carted me here, there and everywhere for the past six-plus years.

Sure, there is some good life left in the old boy. He only has a mere 102,000 miles under his hood. He has garnered his share of scratches, dings and dents over the years, and has had to have a few things replaced, but all in all, he will still make a fine companion for the next person who adopts him.

There will always be the memories of trips he and I took together to such exotic locations as the White River Springs, Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and North Dakota. Shorter voyages over many logging roads, pot-holed dirt roads and bumpy town byways have carried me to just about every place I’ve cared to see in north Wisconsin and the nearby Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

I didn’t always have trucks in my life. The first one I ever drove was my brother’s ’41 Ford which had a “three on the floor” and could go places a Jeep would hesitate to tackle. Most of the time, but not always, it got us to and from wherever we were hunting, fishing or wood cutting, but there were a few times when a swamp, berm or other such natural truck trap necessitated calling Leonard Olson to come and tow us out with his Dodge Power Wagon.

Several of the $200 specials I had for cars in the early going might as well have been trucks. It might amaze you how many sacks of decoys, tackle boxes, shotguns, fishing rods and such can be loaded into a ’63 Rambler or a ’67 Ford. Add in various and sundry large objects in the trunk and you’d have a load any pickup would be proud to haul.

I imagine loads of firewood, including 16-foot lengths of smaller logs lashed to a homemade canoe rack on top, along with rows in chunk length piled up to the ceiling in the back seat and two more rows of the same filling up the trunk just might have had something to do with worn out shocks and tailpipes torn from mufflers while traversing logging roads.

The first truck I owned was a Ford of mid-’60s vintage. I bought it from my cousin for the princely sum of $50. Before I could drive it away, I had to use a hacksaw to cut apart a leaky gas line, then attach a marine 6-gallon gas can in the box, then attach it to the gas line leading to the carburetor with a rubber hose.

It was replaced by another ’60s vintage truck, a Chevy with outside fenders and narrow box. It gave me yeoman service for more than a year, hauling wood, a couple of bucks during deer season and even stooping to taking loads of garbage to the Bear Bowl dump.

That truck was unique in that its front bumper consisted of a 6-foot wide piece of railroad rail bolted and welded to what was left of the original. On jaunts where there were no roads at all, that bumper came in handy for using the truck as a bulldozer, mashing over popple saplings and springy young jack pines. Sometimes the truck won, sometimes the saplings won, but one way or another, the truck was always ready for more.

Later, newer, more reliable pickups entered my life. I started with smaller models that had fold down back seats. They put me much more at ease during long trips to North Dakota, Wyoming and New Mexico on hunting trips. They also held up well in the woods, although one of them did get the worst of a logging road run-in with an oak tree about a foot in diameter.

I graduated to a full-size Chevy Silverado extended cab. What a great day it was when I could load up dog, wife, boat, tent, large coolers and lawn chairs to head out on a camping trip with room to spare for a half-dozen young urchins from the neighborhood if need be.

Blackie carried on that tradition, but now, his place has been taken by another Silverado. It comes to me in snow-white garb which soon, if I am any judge of character, will begin acquiring a coating of mud, sticks and such, some of it in places where they are not meant to be.

You might notice that I called my last truck Old Blackie. Not being too imaginative, all my trucks have been named for their color. The Ford was Old Blue. The first Chevy was Old Greenie. Then came a succession of Old Red, Old Red Jr. and Old Red III. Then, it was Old Blackie. I would name a truck Old New, Something Or Other, but not wishing to pay more for a truck than I paid to build our house 40-odd years ago, I tend to stick to tenderly used models.

The latest is hardly broken in. A 2018, the mileage is low and the body, paint job included, looks brand new. I have chosen for its name, Old Whitey. At least I’m consistent.

I’m sure he will make all his predecessors proud throughout the coming years as he totes loads of all sorts, accumulates a layer of fish scales and innards on the tailgate, and a carpet of assorted duck, turkey and partridge feathers on the seats and carpeted interior floor.

The old king is dead or at least moved on.

Long live the new king, Old Whitey.