RIP Smudge, the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald ambassador dog

A beloved dog known to many Edmontonians has passed away.

Garrett Turta, the general manager of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, announced Tuesday his dog Smudge has crossed over the rainbow bridge.

For years, guests who walked inside the iconic Edmonton hotel were often greeted by the sight of the yellow Labrador Retriever hanging out in the lobby.

“Today I said good bye to Smudge. RIP my friend,” Turta posted online.

“You were a part of my family for the past 13 years and someone that I went to work with every day for the past 13 years.”

Smudge was a member of the hotel chain’s Canine Ambassador program and Turta’s companion.

For nearly 20 years, Fairmont hotels have “employed” dogs to greet guests and provide companionship for travelers who may miss their own pup back home. Most of the ambassadors are doggos didn’t make the cut to become guide dogs.

At the Jasper Park Lodge, a black lab named Stanley has been the resident canine since October 2013, when he arrived from the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Smudge also didn’t pass the tests to become a guide dog — she was too friendly —  so that trait was put to use as a hotel greeter and morale booster.

“Smudge was always at the hotel for guests. She was ambassador, raised funds for charity, a family member of the hotel and my personal family, and will probably be most remembered for crashing the premiers conference a few years ago.”

It was in 2017 when the goodest of girls wandered into a Council of the Federation meeting at the hotel, crashing the news conference.

Smudge the hotel dog walks past the stage full of Canada's premiers during the Council of Federation meetings in Edmonton, Alta, on Wednesday July 19, 2017.

Smudge the hotel dog walks past the stage full of Canada's premiers during the Council of Federation meetings in Edmonton, Alta, on Wednesday July 19, 2017.

Jason Franson, The Canadian Press

The Fairmont dogs are don’t actually live at the hotels. They’re owned by a staff member who takes the pet home in the evenings. Turta said Smudge was just shy of 14.5 years old.

“From the previous Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews, New Brunswick to Fairmont St. Andrews in Scotland and now to her final place at Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. Smudge shared the love all around the world,” Turta wrote.

“She always knew how to put a smile on your face and love was the only thing she knew how to give.

“Thank you Smudge for all you have given me. Chase those bunnies and squirrels, eat those treats, play with your toys and you can now go swimming every day. Until we meet again.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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