SACRE COEUR, Que. – The animals at Ferme 5 etoiles are orphans and rescues. They have a ton of land and some incredibly attentive staff.
Trev, the dog whisperer, made fast friends with the farm’s two border collies, Lasso and Kira, and the golden retriever, Buddy. Buddy and Kira were our guides on a tramp through the bush, wherein Buddy would run ahead, then stop and wait for Trev to catch up while Kira ran in circles, herding us.
They took us into the bush along a ATV trail, where we picked raspberries and kept our eyes out for bison (and found bear tracks). Around a bend, we came across two teepees. Melani thought it would be cool to spend the night in one of them, but I’d seen Buddy mark his territory on both.
A buffalo head nailed to a tree marked a fork in the road. Buddy directed us right. Kira was far ahead somewhere; we could hear her splashing through a creek. The path led to a blue bridge that formed an overpass so bison woudn’t be disturbed by humans tramping through their meadow.
The path narrowed further, then forked, and just over a ridge the dogs led us to a cabin there in the middle of nowhere. Following family tradition whenever we come across something creepy, one of us said: “I seen this movie …”
Trevor and the dogs were already at the front of the log cabin, relaxing on the porch. He was in a wicker swing with Buddy at his feet and Kira snaking around them, her tongue lolling. The firepit was close to the house, a river a stone’s throw beyond that. Footpaths led into the woods, toward beaver dams and a nesting area for great comorants.
Buddy and Kira were good tour guides, but they were even better salesmen – we spent the night at the trapper’s cabin, drinking sangria and gorging ourselves on steak we cooked over the campfire and potatoes we roasted in the coals. It was hands-down one of the best nights of our Saguenay tour.