Goodbye Niko

This week our family said goodbye to our most loyal friend and the star of this blog, Niko Bear G.

Niko has been in our family for almost 14 years.  Kylie and I adopted him when he was 8 weeks old.  He was our first kid.  It was Niko that trained us to get outside for a hike or bike ride every day, rain or shine.  If we didn't we (or our furniture) paid the price.

Niko was built for snow and loved the mountains.  He enjoyed leash walks, but it was in the mountains that he came alive.  We are lucky enough to live in a place where the mountains could be his home.

His puppy stage was marked by boundless energy and enthusiasm.  Typically dogs grow up around 2 or 3, but Niko calmed down around 7 years old.  He was our constant companion on hikes, bike rides and picnics, rounding up the stragglers and keeping watch over all of us.

 Mountain biking was Niko's favourite thing, and in the last few years accompanying me trailbuilding  was a major pastime.  He was always gentle with the kids on the trail, both the volunteers and families hiking through.  Over the last year, as his joints got too stiff for biking, the slower pace of trailbuilding became his favourite pastime.  Adding kids to the mix brought out new protective instincts. Niko was gentle with the smallest, even when getting pinched or poked. And if I got too far ahead, or someone fell too far behind, Niko made his concerns clear and kept us tight.

Years of biking and hiking paid off and Niko was able to stay fit enough to hike right up until the end.  Just three weeks ago he was chasing mice through a boulder field like a young dog.  When the end came it was surprisingly quick.

Always a steadfast presence, his absence is felt more deeply than I expected.  As our first dog and our first kid, there is a hole there that no other dog can fill.  Niko we love you and feel blessed we were able to provide you with a life full of love and family and chasing squirrels.


overnight on cheam with ty

 ty's first overnight hike is as good a reason as any to awaken our quiescent blog.  he did so well, helping me pack, excitedly leading the way and chanting "i think i can, i think i can" when he was getting tired.

"wow, this is pretty.  please take a picture so mommy can see!"

snowball fight!

like, a lot of snowball fights.

 natural refrigeration!

 i was proud of ty summiting a small gendarme that he spotted and wanted to climb.  i thought it was too hard.  "no daddy, i think i can do it."  and he did.

collecting water.
 throwing rocks.

 our campsite under lady peak.

morning coffee!

the peak!

mountain dog!

a great 2 days!


Manning Park 2016

 for the second year in a row we packed up the family and drove 90 minutes to gorgeous Manning Park for a few days.
 ty fully engaged with skiing this year.  his lift ticket is still free, and i have access to free tickets as well, so he got out on the slopes 3 days in a row, lasting longer each time.

 we were blessed with a few cm of new snow every day.
 ty did so awesome on his first chairlift ride ever.  a clean exit and not at all scared of the height.  he was just wondering at the views of the mtns and skiers and trees all around him.

 right outside the resort are a multitude of snowshoe and xc ski trails.

 we have a german student kathe staying with us for a few weeks.  it was great to take her out and show her around our area, and also great to have another adult along so that kylie and i could get out for time by ourselves.

 there was so much snow up there!

 if ty's thing was skiing this trip, levi's was tottering along in the snow.  he was happy to fall on his face repeatedly and DID NOT want to be picked up.

 zeke's thing was def. toboganning.  a nice amount of excitement for him.  he enjoyed varying the rides from kathe to me to "by mySELF" and was shockingly fastest on his own.
a good time was had by all.  playing in the snow all day, pool and hottub in the evening, a home cooked meal and do it all again tomorrow.  this is our kind of tradition!