On the Trail: Farewell tour for old friend | AspenTimes.com

On the Trail: Farewell tour for old friend

My beloved old dog is on a farewell tour of sorts. She died about a month ago so we had her stuffed, and I’ve been dragging her along by her leash on some mountain trails. It’s the first time in 11 years she didn’t protest about a tether.

OK, OK, enough of the dark humor. (It has helped ease the heartbreak, though.)

Actually, my family had Notchy cremated. She was a big dog, so we got back a lot of ashes. That created a problem. Some friends who had pets die keep the ashes tucked away in a drawer, waiting to decide what to do. Others display the ashes in a prominent spot.

My wife, daughter and I were of the same mind that we would spread Notchy’s ashes and save just a small amount. The question was, do we spread them in one spot or in various places?

I polled co-workers on the topic the other day. The only definitive response came from a sharp-witted colleague. She reasoned that since dogs are compelled to leave their scent in as many places as possible, it made sense that Notchy’s ashes should be spread around.

Good advice, especially since it jibed with the policy we already adopted. Notchy has already accompanied me and my daughter, Hannah, the past two weekends to Sawyer Lake and Savage Lakes, two delightful sites in the Fryingpan Valley. I packed a dash of her ashes in a baggy and we sprinkled them near the lake shores, in the shade of course.

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The dog will accompany us in spirit against this weekend on a big hike up the Lincoln Creek drainage. Then, the grand ceremony will occur on Labor Day. We will sprinkle most of her ashes in a few of her favorite places along the Roaring Fork River behind Crown Mountain Park.

Notchy and I took roughly 330 walks annually in the former Mount Sopris Tree Farm. Over 11 years, that’s 3,630 walks there, and that’s probably a conservative guess. I reckon that’s an appropriate final resting place.

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