If you’ve stayed at the bnb you’ll recognize this fellow. Anton.
A fixture around the property (and part of my life for many years before the bnb), Anton was ever-present. He was part of my “meet and greet” ceremony, accompanying me on the walk down the steps to the driveway as cars pulled to a stop (I often had to hold him back for fear he’d excitedly walk in front of a car). Then it was me and Anton on the walk-through, me jabbering away about ceiling fans and dehumidifiers, Anton standing at my feet soaking up the information. During meals he invariably managed to sneak in a treat or two, sometimes begging loudly, enunciating his desire for a morsel of this or a chunk of that with a well-timed whimper or semi-growl/plea.
When we weren’t taking a walk to the compost pile or down to the river he could usually be found on his round bed in the living room or sunning himself on the asphalt of the driveway. Everyone loved Anton. Of course, some loved Anton more then others. Oh, it made me smile to see him soak up the attention.
If you loved that dog, count yourself among many, many others (though I will go to my grave thinking I loved him the most).
He got attention from wonderful people like Hannah who took time after breakfast one morning to give him a hug and a kiss. I remember that moment so clearly. And Paul and Beth who were among the most dog-friendly guests (with three of their own back home). And Chris, tall on two wheels but huge of heart when it came to my dog Anton. And Anne who stole many a kiss from Anton. And he loved to sit in the dirt at Bill’s next door; loved the coolness and calm I think. So many others hugged and pet and kissed that lad as well.
Anton’s time to move out of this life and into another came last week. He took ill and a day later he was gone.
For fourteen years I think he lived as good a life as any canine can. Rarely alone, little time in a collar or tethered to a leash, tasty salmon on his plate when we had it on ours and all the rice cakes he could eat, he swam free and almost daily in the Smith — and in the San Francisco Bay, and in Lake Pontchartrain, and once in the Gulf of Mexico I believe. But he really loved the Smith — loved to bounce around on the shore and loved to drink it till he nearly burst. So it feels right to have placed his ashes into the river and also nearby Mill Creek this past weekend.
Today when I looked, no, searched, for his bones or a trace of what we set in the river that day I saw only pebbles, smooth sand and the shimmer of a gentle summer current. But he’s out there. Truly another day in paradise for Anton.