Friday, March 20

Saying Goodbye to Saba

Earlier this year we had to say goodbye to Saba. I shared a note with our facebook friends, and am writing about it here, because so many of our guests have enjoyed the hospitality of our four-legged innkeeper over the years.

Saba was just shy of three years old when we uprooted from Toronto to buy this B&B on 120 acres of woods and meadows 10 years ago. Saba must have thought it was the best thing to ever happen in her short life—and she was probably right! Here she got to run leash-free in fresh air, to roam the woods on daily walks full of fascinating smells, and best of all, she got to meet new people all the time, people who had surely come just to play with her!

I think she loved everyone she ever met. Saba would greet people with enthusiastic and happy barking if we let her, which is why she was NOT part of the official greeting team. But whenever guests were interested in sharing her company, she was delighted to play hostess. She would often tag along with guests out hiking or snowshoeing our trails. Some days she would be out for hours, starting first with one set of guests, then heading right back out with another set. Before we had trail maps to give out, we just told the guests "follow the dog home if you get lost".  Sure enough, Saba always led them back home.

One guest who was here with a group of eight girlfriends told us how they were all out for a walk, spread out along the trail as their paces varied, and that Saba would travel back and forth from the front of the group to the back the whole time. Our guest lagged behind at one point while maneuvering a bad leg over a fallen tree, and said that Saba sat and watched until she was over and on her way again before returning to the front of the hikers. I guess Saba's shepherding instincts extended to include her "flock" of guests.

Saba taught many a guest the fine art of throwing a stick. If she couldn't find a stick, she'd raid the wood pile for a nice hardwood log. Sitting around the bonfire on a summer or fall evening, guests might find a stick dropped by their feet and Saba staring intently, willing it to be thrown. When the stick would inevitably be chewed down to a soggy bit of wood no bigger than a match box, Saba would deposit it on a lap and still expect to be rewarded with a throw.

We miss her dearly and I'm sure our repeat guests will miss the "ohmygoodness I'm so happy to see you again I can't believe it's really you I'm going to explode with joy!!!" greeting that only a dog can give. Saba was a natural at this business and lifestyle and she loved it as much as we do. As hard as it is to say goodbye, she lived a long, healthy, happy 13 years which we were blessed to share.

You'll see Saba in tons of photos from the inn and the area if you browse this blog, our website or our facebook page, so I'm posting some photos below from Saba's days before the B&B.

We brought Saba home at 7 weeks old.

Meeting one of our friends. First taste of hospitality?

Geared up for interior camping in Algonquin Park.

Another camping trip, this time flying in to Temagami (Saba's first & only plane ride!).

Quiet time in the park.

Sunlit after a swim.

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