What can I say about Aspen? If he were mine I’d probably take him to work with me and spend more time with him than with most of my friends. But he’s not so I enjoy his company when I can. He’s my daughter Michelle’s dog. She wanted a dog. When she found him online, she absolutely had to get him. And she was right. She must have called half a dozen times to discuss it and then drove halfway across the province to pick him up.
He had been a rescue dog. The weekend we first met him we were in a hotel attending a family wedding in mid-December. He went from a foster home to a hotel to a flight from Calgary to Victoria with our other daughter and her husband, shedding all the way. Then he moved to our house until Michelle came at Christmas, flying when there was a pet blackout. He took it all in stride. Maybe the regular meals were such an improvement on his previous life that he decided to tolerate this eccentric family.
He stayed with us for several months once when Michelle had accommodation that didn’t allow pets. We even had a fence built so he could be outside. We loved having him but soon it was time to take him back. We packed some snacks so that we could drive through without stopping. He helped himself. Apparently he quite liked my cranberry muffin and my husband’s butter tarts. I’m glad he didn’t drink the cappuccino. Michelle was living in Lake Louise at the time. When we got near Golden he started to yip and yelp and talk. He definitely knew where he was. He “talked” all the way through Field and the Yoho Valley, getting more excited the closer we got to his human. When we were ready to leave to come home he leapt into the back of her little station wagon, went as far in as he could go and hid. He wanted to stay with her.
When Aspen was sick in the airport on their way to visit us we knew she had the right guy in her life because he went to rescue her, sick dog, unmentionable mess and all. The night before their wedding Aspen disappeared from the campground at the adventure ranch where the event was held. All the next day through the wedding the bride agonized. It didn’t seem right to not mention him in an address from her family but I had to change what I said so we didn’t all cry. There was a mini tuxedo collar for him to wear and he had been going to sit with us. Everyone was concerned because there had been bears not far away so her brother and brother-in-law went into action and got the missing dog story on the local radio and out to the backcountry guides. Her number was on his collar and late that night a call came. The groom picked up the bride’s dog at midnight and all was well.
He leans really hard against you as if to say “I’m here!” He backs up against your knee and looks at you until you scratch his ears and neck. He has one absolutely endearing floppy ear. Lying with his head on your foot is his version of a cuddle. I’m pretty sure he can almost talk.
This summer I flew to the Rockies to stay with him for a weekend because Michelle and Jeff were going somewhere that didn’t work for Aspen. Maybe a little over the top but it was a small patch of serenity with a happy dog and my beloved mountains. He sheds all over your clothes (and your black luggage) but it doesn’t matter. He can shed on me anytime.