How do you say goodbye to a good friend? This was a tough week at the inn as we had to say goodbye to our best buddy, Bre. We'd had some really nice weather the past 2 weeks so we were able to take her for hikes at Winslow Park and she went for her early morning stroll with Rock over to Bow Street Market for her coffee & biscuit. But, she had a really difficult weekend and we knew it was time.
It's changing the routine that's hard. Every morning she'd be at the top of the stairs waiting to go out. Or, she'd be poking her nose under the covers to remind us it was time to get up. Then, after her breakfast she'd come over to my side of the bed and belch in my face. Always loved to share her happiness with everyone. (Asleep or not.)
After cleaning up the inn breakfast I always came over to the office to give her a leftover buttermilk biscuit or peanut butter cookie and then she'd park herself under the desk while I checked the email and phone calls and got set up for the day.
For years she followed us all over the inn, supervising our work to make sure we were doing everything right. But, the degenerative nerve disease that finally did her in stopped that about a year ago. No more trips up and down the stairs and it got too hard for her to maintain her balance on the hardwood floors.
Bre rescued us back in Vermont in 1999. We found ourselves at lost ends after my old dog, Sammie, died from cancer. A friend told me the shelter in Morrisville had a litter of 12 Golden puppies. By the time I called they were all gone. But, we drove out there in January and found Bre instead- 8 months old and looking for a better life. She was the ultimate Beta dog. Never tried to lead, always happy to just go where we were going no matter where that was.
She was the perfect dog for me. Hated the heat & humidity and liked nothing better than lounging in front of the fire on a cold, winter's day after a morning of snowshoeing. And, when we lived in Vermont, she loved going out to the general store for coffee and a donut every weekend morning with Rock.
We weren't sure how she would take to Maine, but the day we came here to look at properties we stopped at York Beach to stretch our legs. The granite stairs down to the beach were frozen solid with seaspray and she almost broke a leg racing to get to the water. She was home. Just like me.
Her favorite place in Maine was Popham Beach. When we would turn down the last stretch of 209 she would start doing the happy dance in the way back of the car. We'd walk along the beach eating oyster crackers (she'd walk backwards to be sure we didn't get more crackers than she did!) and enjoying the day.
Rock & I sat around trading stories last night. We have a million of them, some of them you've heard about: the day she ate a baker's dozen of bran muffins; how she would let my now 13 year old nephew walk up and down her back like she was a mountain he was climbing when he was 11 months old; how she would race around and around the car until you finally opened the door and then she'd jump in your lap; how she once sat looking up at Rock stranded on the roof after the ladder fell over in the wind, nothing but patience waiting for him to come down; how she liked Rock's brother, Kevin, so much it was embarrassing to watch her when he was around; snorkeling underwater in the Brown's River; walking on our snowshoes or x-c skis so she could avoid the extra work. A million memories.
Apologies to all of you who think you have the best dog in the world. We just said goodbye to the best dog in the world. And we're missing her quite a lot.
White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main Street Freeport, Maine 04032