Last week was a difficult one for the Osak and Selkirk families as we bid farewell to our beloved lodge dog, Phoenix. He was our nine year old Bernese mountain dog who had the gentlest spirit and a mountain of personality, and here’s what I miss most about him.
I miss your familiar arrrrrooooooooooo whenever someone you recognized arrived at the lodge or the cats were pulling in. This was especially funny when we were up at A-Frame about to descend Home Run and we could hear your howl ascending up the mountain from the lodge below. I miss the way you would lie at the threshold of the dining room with the tips of your paws just inside the door knowing you shouldn’t do it, but you simply couldn’t help yourself. I miss the way you would sneak up on the couches in the living room or the den knowing full well if Mel or Rachel found you, you would be unceremoniously shooed onto the floor. I miss the way you would hover around the appie table during apres ski and how much it pissed off Kevin. You never snarfled anything but your snout was always present in the event anything should fall from an unsuspecting plate. I will miss the way you instinctively knew who needed some comfort when they made their first visit to the lodge and how you would sidle up to them so there was no way they could avoid patting you – even our less dog-friendly guests.
I miss our nightly walks in rain, snow or sleet even though I’d prefer to be inside where it was warm and dry. You were an amazing listener who saw me through the problems of the day regardless of their gravity or complexity. And on those nights when you would bound out of the bushes in the dark startling unsuspecting passersby who thought you were a bear, I will certainly miss that.
I will miss our many cross country drives and adventures between Nelson and Muskoka. Even though you slowed me down, those forced stops made the drive so much more fun at the places we stopped and with the folks we met along the way. I miss your incredibly bad swimming – actually more sinking than swimming. In spite of this, you somehow taught yourself how to tread water. I will miss your familiar arrrrrrooooooooooooo whenever we pulled into the boathouse at the island. And I still laugh knowing it would wake up our new neighbours especially when it was just a little after 1. I will miss your collection of stuffed woodland critters you carried around with you. That you never eviscerated them but rather gummed and slobbered them to death was somehow endearing. But most of all I will miss your constant companionship and the unconditional love you gave to me, Megan, Shannon and Liam. We love you and miss you more than you could ever know.
Goodbye my friend.