Timberline Lodge welcomes Bruno, the new St. Bernard mascot
Oregon’s historic Timberline Lodge is a place of traditions. One such tradition continues this week with the arrival of a new Bruno, an adorable St. Bernard puppy. St. Bernards are commonly associated with snow-capped mountains. These large dogs are resistant to cold and have an uncanny sense of smell and direction. They earned their name for saving lives in the Alps’ St. Bernard Pass between Switzerland and Italy in the 1700s. St. Bernards have been a part of Timberline’s traditions since 1937, when Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the lodge. The first Timberline St. Bernards were reportedly Hansel and Gretel, and then Lady and Bruel. For a brief time, the St. Bernard mascots were replaced with Huskies when the Kohnstamm family took over management of the lodge in the 1950s. The first mascot under the Kohnstamms’ watch was Mac, who belonged to an employee. Then, due to popular demand, the Kohnstamms reintroduced St. Bernards. Since the early 1960s the lodge has had St. Bernards named Heidi and Bruno. They lived at Timberline, had free-roam of the building, and greeted countless visitors, skiers, and climbers. The dogs have been featured in the ski area’s brochures, ski pins, posters, and on Timberline Lodge matchbook covers. In the 1980s a children’s book, “Heidi’s Rose,” was published. In more recent years, the dogs have been featured in many of the outdoor-oriented fashion catalogs that are often photographed at the lodge. Guests can also purchase their own plush Heidi or Bruno at Timberline’s gift shops.
In the mid 1990s, their job as mascots became more stressful. The increasing volume of visitors to Timberline Lodge became a bit of a burden on the dogs, leading to concerns for their health and demeanor. After considering the situation, management molded the long-term tradition to a changing world and came up with a wonderful solution involving employees. Since that time, rather than allow the dogs to live independently at the lodge, Heidi and Bruno have belonged to long-term employees who become their primary caregivers and alpha masters. The dogs cheerfully come and go to work with their appointed alpha master, still spending most of their time at the lodge carrying on the tradition and bringing happiness to Timberline’s many visitors.
This week, Ski Area Sales Manager Kim Nylund has taken on the master responsibilities of a very playful and sweet purebred male St. Bernard mascot. He comes from the same breeder and lineage as Heidi, Timberline’s female St. Bernard, who is about a year and a half old. While Heidi is based at Timberline’s Front Desk in the Main Lodge, Bruno will be stationed across the parking lot at the Wy’East Day Lodge. At just 11 weeks old, Bruno is already getting a lot of attention at Timberline.
Meet Bruno at Timberline’s Wy’East Day Lodge most Tuesdays through Saturdays
Bruno on Mt. Hood
Bruno meets sister Heidi
Bruno poking around the lodge
Bruno and Kim playing in front of the Tucker Sno-Cat
Bruno playing in the snow with Kim
Bruno taking himself for a walk
Bruno exploring Mt. Hood
Bruno and the Tucker
Bruno and Kim