HONOUR A DOG
Honouring Dogs allows our supporters to share stories and pictures of their favourite pooch with our community for a small donation and mark the envelope "Honour Dogs" or simply contact us to arrange for the tribute for your dog! Send in your stories and your pictures and we will proudly display your story for up to one year.
In Honour of Bandit
The summer of 1994. While the rest of us were going on with our lives, my brother was adopting a puppy that was destined to become a vital member of our family. He walked into the SPCA, picked up a happy puppy mix of Golden Retriever, and Chow and couldn’t put him down. He was light golden brown, but had dark colouring around his eyes. That colouring earned him the name ‘Bandit’, because he looked like he was wearing a mask.
Bandit and my brother were inseparable for seven years; when he moved and had to make separate arrangements, he asked if Bandit could come to live life with us. Bandit was a gift, and we will always remember him that way. Throughout his life, Bandit wore a happy smile. He was an awesome dog with a huge heart. He loved people, and people loved him.
Bandit lived up to his name when it came to food. He loved food. SERIOUSLY loved food, and he’d do whatever it took to get it, even if it meant nabbing the steak right off the barbecue. As he grew older, he slowed down, playing less, sleeping more, but he never lost his appetite for food, fun and adventure. I remember the day in his final year that he took advantage of a quick shopping trip. When I was picking up a birthday cake, Bandit jumped into the front of the car to devour a whole loaf of Italian bread (from Commercial Drive) that had been destined as a special treat for the birthday dinner.
He was a hit wherever he went. He liked to nip a beer with the guys. He had a great time at our Toastmasters’ party vacation trip to Africa, when he came along as ‘The Ferocious Beast’. He rode in the fire truck and wore the uniform (shirt, tie and hat) when the firefighters presented a safety talk to the school kids. Bandit stole the show, never mind the safety talk. He presided at all the meetings and gatherings held in our home.
Then in the summer of 2008, Bandit started limping. On Monday, he was having trouble getting around. And so later that day, my husband helped him into the car and I drove to our vet. She said that his body was starting to shut down; but he could spend a few more final days at home being loved by us. She said, take him home, and talk to your family. But I didn’t do that right away. Bandit and I headed straight for the Dairy Queen for a burger, watched the hockey game with my son, after which we headed to Wendy’s for some chicken strips. Then I took him home to spend time with the rest of the family, and make him as comfortable as possible.
Later we all gathered and shared memories of good times with Bandit, and celebrated his 14th birthday a month early. I think Bandit liked that. Especially since he got some beer in the process. Memories are a good thing, a comforting thing. We remember things he did when he was younger-that loping enthusiastic gait that showed his zest for life, his begging for tidbits at the dinner table, racing into the kitchen every time we even considered getting some food ready.
There are so many good memories. Bandit, we will miss you so much. You brought so much love to everyone. We will hold on to your memory and your spirit forever.
In Honour of Bandit
July 1994 – June 2008
In Honour of Binky
I loved her instantly, even though she was the runt. Maybe because of it. I loved her, and so she came home with us. My boyfriend had some trepidation about her at first, but he quickly came to love her as much or more than me.
We were both full time students. We didn’t really have the time or energy to care for this little creature, but something in my heart said we needed her. The stress of school was causing me some anxiety and I was feeling overwhelmed. When I held my dog for the first time, those feelings went away and I was just happy.
She was so sick after we brought her home; the vet said she nearly died from kennel cough. Her little body could hardly withstand the illness, and I just stroked her weak head and cried while she clung to her young life. She recovered, but slowly. She was so weak that I had to hand feed her every two hours all day and night or she would have seizures. I diligently set my alarm in two-hour intervals around the clock for three months to persuade her to stay alive.
And she did, and she got bigger and stronger and funnier and more full of life all the time. She got better, and I got better too. She told me when it was time to go outside when I wanted to shut myself in. She loved me when I couldn’t love myself. She brought me back to life when I wanted life to just pass over me. I had kept her alive, and she has kept me alive ever since. She pulled me through my anxiety many times. She took care of me and kept me company while my boyfriend, now husband, worked many long hours in grad school. She laid her perfect face on my lap while I studied, until I graduated too. I didn’t think I would. Now she waits, patiently, for us to come home from work. The thought of seeing her makes me smile, and I can ‘t wait to see her.
This little animal has brought us so much joy, she means everything to us. We have countless nicknames for her. She has her own passport because she has travelled everywhere we have. We take her with us because she belongs with us. No negotiations, not ever. If we go, she goes.
We spoil her, and it gives us immense joy to do so. She is part of our family, and she keeps us full with ongoing memories and laughter. She loves her yellow ducky, it’s her favourite. We cherish her sounds, her funny stretches, the spot under her neck where she loves to be scratched.
I look at her, and she looks right back at me. We know each other.
She is my pet, my fur child, my best friend, my baby.
She is my dog.
Find your dog. He or she is out there right now. Find them, and take them home. They depend on us to take them in, to care for them, but the truth is that we need them much more. We train them, but they ‘re the ones who really teach us; about patience, responsibility, commitment, forgiveness, and most importantly, love.