Trout’s Great Canadian Bucket List
As our jobs wrapped up overseas, we planned our return to the Alberta Rockies. Of course we couldn’t leave Twigs and Trout behind, so they too were packed up with our belongings and shipped back across the Pacific. Trout took all of this in stride and found new things to chase (squirrels!), sights to see and adventures to have as soon as we were on Canadian soil.
In a twist of fate, a few months into our return to Canada, we discovered that Trout had a rare, aggressive form of kidney cancer. How unfair: She was only four years old! Instead of feeling angry or defeated, we pushed forward. Trout’s enthusiasm hadn’t changed; the only thing that mattered to her was what adventure we were on now. It took all that I had to push aside overwhelming sadness that our moments had become limited. We had a surgery to try to slow the spread, and decided to start a bucket list.
Trout truly experienced Canada in the next 21⁄2 years that we were blessed with. She swam in the other side of the Pacific, walked on a glacier, saw the Northern Lights, was a bridesmaid at our wedding in the mountains, did an overnight canoe trip, was in a parade, recorded a song, competed in an adventure race, stood at the start line of one of the biggest sled dog races in North America…the list goes on. Just four days before we finally lost her, she competed in a skijor race near Calgary. Her pace was slow, but her spirit was as strong as always.
Everyone who met Trout knew that she was extraordinary—something so much more than “just” a dog. She came into this world to bring me happiness as an adventure buddy, as a companion and as a best friend. Her body wasn’t built to last, but she always gave us everything she had, committing to any crazy idea we would ask her to try, up to her very last days. There is so much sadness in my heart, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the happiness that dog brought me.
If only we as humans could live our lives in such a pure state as Trout did—never worrying about what happened in the past or where tomorrow might take us, and instead focusing on the moment we are living in now with the people we love; perhaps we might then find what true happiness really is.
Check out these 10 Stunning Shots From a Once-in-a-Lifetime Cross-Canada Trek.