On February 4, 2020, our beloved dog Cohen passed away peacefully at home in Whistler, BC. She was 12 years old. Cohen was the original pack leader at Chromag Bikes. She leaves behind her loving Chromag family and her dog pack – Wesley, Laska, Khyber, Joey, Rocket and River.
Cohen (‘Cohee’) touched the lives of many people and we wanted to honour her by telling her story and sharing her life in photos.
Mount Currie Special
In 2007, our friends Lon Martin and Karen Davies were driving through Mt. Currie, BC when they spotted a little puppy under an old wrecked car. She was thin and hungry, with mud and ice hanging from her coat. Some other dogs were antagonizing her so they pulled over to shoo the dogs away and they carried on. But this little puppy followed them down the road. It was clear that she didn’t belong to anyone so they picked her up and took her with them. Once home, Lon and Karen’s cats did not take too kindly to the puppy and after getting her all cleaned up they decided to find a home for her.
We were thinking about getting a dog at the time and when Lon came by with this puppy, Ian had to have her. She was such a sweet dog. We named her Cohen and she turned out to be the most amazing dog. Our new life with Cohen began and we will forever be grateful to our friends for deciding to pull over and rescue her that day.
Cohen was a trail dog. She loved being in the forest and the Friday Ride was one of the highlights of her life. She covered a lot of ground on those rides including many alpine epics. Her original crew of Friday riders consisted of Kevin Phelps, D’Arcy Burke, Sean Dinwoodie, JJ Desormeaux and Julian Hine. But over the years it grew to include many more people including all the staff at Chromag. She reserved her most animated and vocal greeting for her original Friday Ride crew and a select few others over the course of her entire life. Her special greeting made you feel so good and was something we will never forget.
Cohen and Ian. Robin O’Neill photo from her winning slide show at the Deep Summer Photo Challenge 2011
Up Up and Away
Before the Lord of the Squirrels alpine trail, there was Up Up and Away. The Friday Ride always did this ride at least once a summer. This was not a well-travelled area and there was no Trailforks app at the time. On a beautiful sunny day, the group headed up but rode into a cloud in the alpine and lost the trail. Unable to find their way forward they had to spend the night in the alpine! Cohen had just climbed from the valley into the alpine and she was not happy about spending the night with no dinner. Luckily they were led out by a trials biker in the morning. Everyone rode with emergency blankets and extra food after that.
Like most dogs, Cohen did not like thunderstorms. One summer when she was young, we went away and left her in the care of Julian Hine, who lived next door. Because Cohen was such a good dog, he left her outside one evening while he went for a road ride. After he left, a huge storm rolled in and when he returned she was nowhere to be found. The next morning he found her waiting outside our office in Function Junction. Amazingly, she had run 16km from our house to the opposite end of the valley and spent the night outside waiting for Julian to show up for work. We have no idea what route she took or how she knew how to get there.
At the cottage in Minaki, Ontario
But it was not the last time she ever took off. She would regularly take herself to visit Sean Dinwoodie and Sarah O’Byrne who lived close by whenever she wanted some extra love and steak nugs. If she disappeared from the front yard we knew exactly where she was.
When Cohen was 8 years old she was run over by a car in the parking lot at Chromag. Her femur was broken into 3 pieces. Two long days afterward she had a major surgery to repair her leg with a metal rod. Dr. David Lane performed the operation that saved her leg and she had months of physio to recover. That was the end of the long Friday Rides for Cohen, but she recovered extremely well and continued to ride with us.
The past year Cohen started to slow down quite a bit. She continued her regular dog walks every day at work with her pack until this winter. She liked to ‘supervise’ all the other dogs. She loved lying outside in the sun and having her peace and quiet.
Cohen, you were a huge part of our family. We loved you so much. There will never be another Cohee. You touched so many lives and Chromag will not be the same without you. Rest in peace in doggie heaven until we see you again.
You are forever in our hearts. xo
The Ritz Family – Ian, Rebecca, Marlowe and Barrett
A Poem about Cohen by Julian Hine