Smitty gave me permission to share this Facebook post.

My best friend, my constant happy companion, my wing man Champ Smith died earlier today. After almost 12 years spreading happiness to so many people, his end was unexpected, sudden, and quick. I think his big heart just gave out. Kristin and I are numb.

To say Champ helped keep me alive 4.5+ years ago when we lost Gerry is not an exaggeration. It was hard to have a bad day with the Little White Dog around. We logged over 100,000 miles together in just a couple years, wandering and visiting. Champ gladly ceded his front seat spot to Kristin McCool when she joined us in our travels. He has friends and fans all over the country. Family, friends, people at drive thru windows, and musicians who performed at Pump House Concerts or attended various Folk Alliance conferences where he often ran room to room, spreading joy and looking for snacks. As we walked campus, sullen students feeling the weight of the world would perk up and smile when they saw Champ. Once on a solo trip to Austin, a musician said they thought I looked familiar but couldn’t place me, only to remark ‘Oh! I didn’t recognize you without your Little White Dog!’ Thank you, everyone, for giving us places to visit and rooms to stay in over the years.

There are so many who loved him, and he loved all of you. Drew Nelson, one of Champ’s musician friends, wrote ‘So much love, so little time. Break me open, there’s only one thing you’ll find. So much love, so little time.’ Nathan Bell, Champ’s ‘funny uncle’ and a great songwriter, wrote ‘The Champ’, providing a nickname and observing of Champ’s larger than life personality: ‘You can’t measure heart inside of the bone. Sometimes a pebble is a mighty stone. Sometimes a stone is the rock of ages. That can’t be moved and won’t be faded.’ And then he summed up our lil’ buddy, writing: ‘I’m 15 pounds, half a foot high. Barely look a cotton tail in the eye. But I won’t back down and I won’t run. I’m a tail waggin’ fur covered loaded gun.’

We’ll all miss you Champ. Thanks for the love and tail wags.

Our hearts go out to Smitty and Kristin. Champ was part of the FARM family and I personally adored this pup and will miss him terribly.

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