Sunday, January 17, 2010

Remembering Chester



Our beloved dog Chester passed away in November at age 14 after serving faithfully as Stewart Inn Greeter for many years.  He joined us in San Diego in the summer of 1998, a two-year-old mixed breed rescue from the Bonita animal shelter there.  When we moved to Wausau in 2001 to buy the Stewart House, Chester's preference for cooler weather became apparent.  He loved to gallop through the snow and bury his face in the drifts.

As we hired workers to renovate the mansion, and later began welcoming guests, Chester showed an amazing talent for evaluating people. He could instantly judge the character of a person, determining in a few seconds what it took us from hours to weeks to discover for ourselves.  His herding instinct made him treat guests as part of his flock, and he would wait up late at night until the last of the guests made it back to the inn.  He stayed on the first floor, usually near the main entrance, and never climbed the stairs to the guest rooms on the second floor, even when tempted by a guest dog.  At check out time Chester would often retreat to the dining room or kitchen to avoid having to see guests leave.  Indoors, he was always a calm dog, barking only when the doorbell rang so as not to keep anyone waiting at the door.

The highlight of each day for Chester was his walk through downtown Wausau and along the Wisconsin River.  His distinctive prancing gait and ever-present smile was well-known to the locals he encountered, and it was fun to see his joy reflected in their faces.

Although we miss Chester greatly, we're grateful to have shared so many wonderful experiences with this gentle, noble creature.  May his spirit run free forever.