On January 1, 2019, Ollie celebrated his final day – and 13th new year – while on a walk along a frozen lake with his mom, his dad, his pup Kingsley, one of his best pup friends Breagh, and her mom and dad Amber and Blaine.

An unexpected, bittersweet hello to the new year, indeed. And although we had always planned to give our golden boy a final day, in typical Ollie fashion, he chose his way – and frankly I’m not sure we would have done better…

… A golden view for our golden good ole boy

Your final view was one of your favourites: a field of snow, with cozy cabins dotting a wooded path, and some small pockets of open water that hearken back to warmer days of lakeside dips in that never ending chase of the tennis ball. I could conclude this paragraph by saying something final like, “I guess the tennis ball finally won”, but anyone that knew you knows those tennis balls were swiftly retrieved and just as swiftly annihilated once that round of fetch was over. They never stood a chance.

The evening prior was spent as close to the great outdoors as we could get you. Not because this experienced was planned for you but because your influence on this little family has kept us close to the outdoors, however urban in its proximity. Sure, I’ve done my small share of back country, and Tash is not unknown to hiking by any stretch, but your unquenchable desire for the outdoors – often for a lake to simply lounge in – was a force to be reckoned with and we surrendered to your reality.

Surrounded by some of your most familiar smells, but with an added freshness only the country can provide, you rang in your 13th new year with your typical chill vibe – though for the last few years you’ve noticed things like the shocking blow of fireworks less and less. After a few walks along the trails you settled into the evening festivities hanging close to your people as we said goodbye to 2018 with drink and fun. A snuggle at midnight and we all bid the year farewell and bedded down for a rest into 2019.

We all slept a bit late that morning, but you were patient – save for the typical 6 a.m. movement, complete with fresh snowfall barrel rolls. There were snuggles with dad in the early morning, couch snuggles with mom, Blaine, and Kingsley after that… by 11 a.m. you, me, the pup Kingsley, and Breagh had dawned our winter garb to head out into the white fray while mom, Amber, and Blaine finished the cabin clean up to join us for a walk on the lake. It was sometime after that mom joined up and the four of us, with Breagh in tow, headed down to the lake to begin that last hike before we drove back into the city.

You made those eyebrows only you can make when you know you’re in for fun.

You smiled that grin only you could make, the one that said, “let’s run”.

And off you scampered, only paces behind the Breagh and the pup ploughing ahead through the grind.

We hit the ice, your pack and you, to sniff and roll along the shoreline’s view.

You laid to feel the water below.

Then got up as if to say, “hello”.

But in those final steps you paused… as if to reflect… as if in awe…

… and your pack came to you, our part to take

… in your gentle, painless passing along the shores of great Falls Lake.

I had intended on adding some more content to this site before sharing it with family and friends, but as always, Ollie had other plans.

Tash has said her farewell on Instagram and Facebook for those that use the services and includes a snuggle shot at midnight January 1 between her and Ollie – his final photo. The comments and support we’ve received so far has simply been overwhelming. And to Amber and Blaine, all the love in the world for the physical help and support through the whole event. This golden good ole boy was a piece of our little family’s foundation and he will be forever missed.

Good bye and good night, good pup.

Published by Liam Mather

Partner, dad, dog lover, reluctant acceptor of cats, sometimes musical performer and always professional communicator.

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