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Stories From Willowbrook Manor: The Legend of Chango

Willowbrook Manor | 01/29/2019 | Accommodations, Bed & Breakfasts / Country Inns, Cabins, Camping & Glamping, Lodges & Resorts, Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island, Tea

Hello!  This is Terry from Willowbrook Manor.  I thought for my first story I would share ‘The Legend of Chango’.  In a corner of the East Lawn at Willowbrook Manor is a large rock.  It is the grave marker for the place I buried a most faithful dog and companion. Chango came to me as a rescue Great Dane.  It was timely as I had just lost Bungwe (which is a story for another day).Chango was an obnoxious yet lovable dog who became my most loyal friend and hiking buddy. Wherever I was, Chango had to be there.  He would follow me around the house ‘like a puppy dog’…..only his size sometimes made it exasperating. He had a ‘slime’ problem and Sunday mornings I would try to avoid any contact with him so as not to get myself slimed before heading off to church.  Some people have tissues boxes around their homes. We had  ‘Chango rags’. He learned how to open the sliding glass door to let himself out of the house.  I never could get him to close it behind him. He fancied himself a lap-dog and when I would sit on the couch, he would put his bum on my lap with his front paws on the floor, so content to be with me.

One summer we took a group of Young Women for a week-long canoe trip up to Ross Lake and I took him along with, not sure how he would do in a canoe, but sure he would not go anywhere without me.  He did not disappoint, and though he hated being in a canoe, he managed the anxiety by sitting right next to me, bum on the seat. (which made it a bit hard to paddle) From that time on he became our Canoe Camping Dog (CCD)  Baker Lake is just 40 minutes from Willowbrook Manor and a summer favorite thing to do is hook up to the canoe trailer, throw some food, sleeping bags and tent into Costco bags and head to the lake to paddle across for an overnight stay.  The mountain view is spectacular!  Chango was always game to go.  I liked having him with us for bear protection.  The ‘story of stories’ was how he saved my life from a bear attack! My mom blogged about the bear attack back in 2010.  It is a great little story and worth taking the time to read.

Chango lived to about 8 years old.  He was devoted to the very end.  Just a month before passing we were at Baker Lake and when he saw me out on the paddle board, he waded into the water to join me for a last water voyage. I slept on the floor beside him the night he slipped away. The large rock covering his grave is fitting for this gentle giant who saved me from a bear.  I’m sure you will find him in many of the pictures I will post of projects and stories that make up the history of Willowbrook Manor. 

Thanks for reading~


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