Puppy Love

I’m not a huge fan of Christie Blatchford at the Globe and Mail. She’s a little … shrill about most things. But although some readers hate it when she writes about her dog, these are probably my favourite articles of hers. Saturday’s article, in particular, hit a nerve.

As my dogs get older, there’s not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for their continued existence. The vet once told us that we’d be lucky if Bowie made it to 10 years, because of his size, but we’re currently working on 11.

But they’re both slowing down. They don’t want to run and play as much as they once did. They often don’t have the patience to be petted and mauled. And when either dog gets injured or ill, or even sometimes when I walk past and look at them sleeping, I have to shake the fear, nay – the sheer dread,  of the inevitable out of my head.

When they’re gone…

No. Stop it. Not gonna happen. Never.

But it will. And somehow we’ll deal. Hopefully.

In the meantime, I make a point of enjoying every minute with them. Even if all they’re doing is sleeping; sprawled out on the floor, feet twitching, eyes rolling under their soft eyelids, barking at imaginary squirrels, chasing imaginary balls, nomming imaginary snacks.

People say it’s impossible for a dog owner to claim to love their dog as much as a parent loves a child. Those people are idiots.

Leash Laws Exist For a Reason

I was devastated when the news on television last night announced the death of a Toronto man and his two dogs when they were hit by a train. The man was walking along a train track in mid-town when one of his dogs ran onto the track. He jumped into the path of an oncoming train to try to grab the dog. His second dog followed behind him. The man and one of the dogs were killed instantly, the second dog was put down later on when it was determined its injuries were too serious.

The police that the various news reporters talked to cited trespassing as the main cause of the accident. The tracks are fenced off, but many people clip holes in the chain link fences to allow access to either cross the tracks or to walk alongside them. This isn’t unusual, it happens everywhere – we have a train track nearby and people constantly hop the fence to save themselves the extra two minutes it would take them to walk to the same spot via the streets. And until it was fenced off, many people in the neighbourhood with dogs, us included, would walk along the service road that ran alongside the tracks.

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