PUPPIES modified

“Hey business guy,” she said, sticking her head through the doorway and loud-talking over the Dow Jones machine, “wanna dog?”

I didn’t. As a crusading daily newspaper columnist in his thirties, I was too busy saving the planet. When that proved tiring, I bought commercial real estate, published two investment newsletters and owned a couple of stores. Inflation. Expansion. Opportunity. Excess. God, I loved the Eighties.

Then I looked up and saw the pup. It looked like a miniature wolf, all silver and trouble. We locked.

“Okay,” I said. And I had a dog.

She came fully equipped with a collar, a name (Sheba) and a piece of string, which was handy to keep her from getting trampled in the big-city daily’s newsroom. The entertainment-section babe who gave him to me said Sheba had been found wandering down an alley off Queen Street. Lots of panting. The only cup I could find was columnist Mark Bonokoski’s favourite coffee mug with the death warning on it, and she drained it of water.

Sheba and I drove over to pick up Dorothy from her office job downtown, and waited in the lobby by the elevators. The dog, which I figured out was a purebred German shepherd, made astonishing puppy yaps, peed a little and embraced every single person she could ambush. Later Dorothy told me she heard this weird dog noise, ten stories up.

In those days we had a hobby farm about sixty clicks away, where this puppy turned into a 100-pound comedienne. She routinely attacked and killed the lawn sprinkler. On walks down to the pond she would flail around the edges making the maximum amount of splash and noise possible while other dogs paddled serenely by. In the barn she jumped the partition into the sheep pen for a visit and was almost turned into a wall hanging by Blackie, the bone-headed, moronic ram. She ran joyously with our goats, BillyJean and Thriller. She crowded the wheel and dripped all over me whenever we went to town in the F150.

And she routinely became sauced.

At first we failed to connect the dots. The dog would try to get up and couldn’t. Then she walked, weaved, fell over and smiled. Often she would spend an hour or so lying on her back, paws in the air, under the pear tree. In fact it wasn’t until we watched her eating at least a dozen windfall pears a day that we realized what was happening. She was getting high on fermenting fruit.

Samson came along. Another puppy. Another German shepherd. Magnificent, jet black and tan, noble and serious. They played incessantly until, a year later, Sam started having epileptic seizures. Infrequent at first, later almost daily despite every remedy we could find (it was a brain tumour). Sheba did not run away when he flailed, fell on his side, convulsed and paddled. Instead she stood over him, protective until the violence stopped, then licked him clean of the foam as he lay in a stupor. It took our breath away.

One early morning Sheba slipped down the driveway. Unexpected and out of character. I heard the thump from upstairs. My heart froze, as I knew instinctively what had happened.

We drove the ten miles to the vet at warp speed, Dorothy’s nightgown wet with blood as she held her. Sheba lived two more hours. It was thirty years ago, but feels like yesterday.


A picture of Sheba hangs in our house. Samson, too. All the dogs we’ve lived with are there. Selfless, giving, loyal, friendly animals who – led by the puppy with a drinking problem – showed me how the world could indeed be saved.

That’s my puppy story. Yours?


#1 TurnerNation on 07.24.15 at 4:48 pm

The dog that didn’t bark mystery. Holmes.

#2 Jim Shular on 07.24.15 at 4:50 pm

It’s nice to take a break now and again to reflect on why we’re doing any of this, isn’t it? I still think of my first dog as though she is still around sometimes… thanks for sharing with us, Garth.

#3 Keen Reader on 07.24.15 at 4:54 pm

17 years with a golden retriever mixed with a cocker spaniel. He looked like a golden puppy even into his last months. We found him irreplaceable and never had another dog afterwards, but enjoy walking the strays from the Humane Society.

Nice write-up, thanks again!

#4 bill on 07.24.15 at 5:20 pm

Well Garth
I grew up with at least three dogs and a couple of cats at all times.
they all were great dogs and cats. not a dud ever.
mostly two hunting dogs and a lap doggie for my mother -usually a apricot poodle . one of which enjoyed ‘gold Cadillacs’ if you were unwise enough to leave it in her reach.
the duke [a black lab] was known to knock over your beer and lap that up. this was easily tolerated as he was very good at finding and retrieving the birds.
the rest for the most part were sober canines as far as I know.
the last two big dogs were an interesting mix -border collie ,rottweiler ,Labrador and…coyote. which was the reason the rancher didnt want anything to do with them. good yard dogs though however hard they were on the lawn.
I wouldnt trust either coydog with the chickens but they were daunting sights to anyone who thought of robbing the place.
for the most part they never got past sit stay and come commands unlike Duke who apparently understood english…
wouldnt trade any of them for anything.
same with the cats by the way ! consistently terrorized sundry rodents to good effect.
we currently live with two feral cats [now carpet kitties] in an apartment.
born under a woodpile in a construction yard in east van ,now living the privileged life of Kitsalaino cats.

#5 Jarnac on 07.24.15 at 5:23 pm

While I loved sharing my Croissants with the dog, it was too much for her.
She will be in France forever.

#6 Randy on 07.24.15 at 5:23 pm

Great Story Garth. I have two long-haired german shepherds on a hobby farm. They are my best, most loyal friends. They taught me how to live in the here and now. Let’s play.

#7 Joe2.0 on 07.24.15 at 5:46 pm

Nice story.
Dogs are a great creation that can warm the heart.
You lock a dog in a trunk or your wife, guess who’s happiest to see you;)
Thanks for sharing.

#8 JSS on 07.24.15 at 5:47 pm

we were not allowed to have any animals, because as children we were like animals anyway.

#9 old gringo on 07.24.15 at 5:50 pm

No greater friend can man have!

#10 FormerSaskie on 07.24.15 at 5:52 pm

Lacey, a heeler/border cross abandoned tied to a tree in the middle of nowhere, Alberta. I am thankful for the oilpatch guy who picked her up as he was leaving camp for days off and turned her into the SPCA ( and paid the fee).

She is a marvelous dog and friendly to all people but loyal to me. I work in a remote area and Lacey is adept at chasing bears and never catching them :) As far as I know she doesn’t drink but she steals the cat’s food every chance she gets.

Great blog topic, thanks.

#11 Ronado on 07.24.15 at 5:53 pm

Let’s see. What’s my dog story. I was 9 years old living in a small town in northern Saskatchewan. We lived on the very edge of town right across from the graveyard.(spooky)

Our family had just moved from the family farm after our father (aged 42) suddenly passed away leaving 5 children at home under the age of 13.

Walking home from school one summer day I noticed movement under the front steps of the house. I looked under and there was a small black and white short haired female dog about the size of a collie sheep dog. She seemed very afraid but I managed to coax her out from under the steps and gave her something to eat which she gobbled down in an instant.

We soon became best of friends and she would follow me everywhere. When she would wander off into the woods I would whistle for her and she would come running to me.

A couple weeks or so later we got a knock at the door and a native man said that he had been told by another native person that his dog had been seen at our house.

The dog which I named Tippy must have known he was arriving as she had run and hidden under the bed. My mother told him that yes we did have a small dog that had been found under our steps and she went and got her and sure enough it was his dog. So, he took her back home with him.

A couple weeks went by and I once again, arriving back from school I noticed movement under the front steps and sure enough, Tippy had come back. The owner never did come back to claim her again as he probably knew that she would just leave.

That was the happiest time of my young life. Well, a week or so went by and once again arriving home from school, there was a man in our house talking with my mother about my dog and that she needed a license which would cost 2 dollars. He was the towns dog catcher.

My mother asked if I had any money to pay for the license and I told her that I had saved 2 dollars from the 1 dollar a month I was getting picking up and delivering the mail for the nuns who lived kitty corner from our house. I paid the 2 dollars and got to keep the dog once again.

Well, a year went by and Tippy had a litter of puppies. 6 I believe. My grandmother had come to visit us from BC and had convinced my mother that we should move there as there would be a house for us and we could all likely get jobs of some sort. The move was to take place in about a month and that meant that Tippy would not be able to come but I could choose one of the pups to take with us as long as it was able to eat on its own.

Time rolled on by and it was only a few days before we had to leave for BC and still my puppy could not eat on his own. Finally on the last day he started drinking milk from a saucer after my constant attempts at making him drink. What a relief that was.

The sad part was that now I had to leave Tippy with my uncle and I recall tieing a rope to her collar and walking her over to his place and handing her over to him. I walked away, looking back several times and watching her trying to get away from him.

My puppy I named Rex and he became once again my best friend and he lived for 9 years. He came to a sad end when one hot summer day he laid down under the front of my sisters car and she did not see him there. He was not able to get out from underneath in time to avoid the front wheel which ran over his upper body.

We quickly loaded him in the car and took him to the vet but the injuries were to serious and he had to be put down. As I was taking off his collar on the operating table he looked up at me and then started licking my hand. I think that was his way of saying goodbye. A very sad day indeed. He left me with a lot of good memories.

#12 Heaven_sent on 07.24.15 at 6:01 pm

An ode to Gracie,

You are gone so soon
And hearts are broken
The loss is immense
Words not easily spoken

Your joyful presence
And exuberant play
Our constant companion
Throughout evening & day

Most who met you
Would stop and remark
She’s so friendly & frisky
And without ever a bark

We reach for you still
Down there by our side
Wishes of new adventures
With our partner & pride

But to heaven you went
So for a new master we send
The very best dog
Our very best friend

Fetch !

#13 takla on 07.24.15 at 6:02 pm

Had the good fortune to live next door to the Canadian G S Schutzhund club back in the early 80’s and as a single ,young up and comer biker ,needed a companion,the early 80’s recession was in full swing and I had much time on my hands to fill when not out rideing all over hells acre.

Got the pick of the litter P.B German Shepard from a member and proceeded to raise one hell of a beautiful Shep pup and when the time was right emersed him fully into obedience,tracking,home/personal protection
training which he exceeded in.
When the wife and kids came along “Nero” welcomed each with a big lick to the face and put each under his protective arm and luved each member of the family equally.
Like you Garth we have many pics of him and as I type im looking a full portrait wall hanger we have of him.

We’ve had a couple since{includeing his son ‘hunter”} but none that lived up to ‘ol Nero as he set the mark for those that came after
rip Nero

#14 MSM-Free Zone on 07.24.15 at 6:08 pm

“….She crowded the wheel and dripped all over me whenever we went to town in the F150…..”

Excellent, touching story, Garth.

A Peterborough breeder put me in touch with a Calgary couple who were going through a divorce and had to unload a couple of Samoyeds, one of the most loyal, laid back and people-friendly breeds you could ever imagine. The fact that they look like miniature, 50-lb polar bears and smile like dolphins doesn’t hurt their cause either.

I could only take one, and chose the smaller 6-month female to return home with me. Probably the worst Marley and Me moment for me ever, as she looked back, whining from the rental car, watching sobbing parents and crying teenagers become ever smaller in the distance as we made our way back to the airport. I turned the car around, offered them second thoughts, but they politely declined. It had to be done.

Upon returning home, I posted monthly YouTube videos of her for her former family, frolicking in snow forts, galloping long sandy beaches, chasing ever-elusive squirrels, imitating polar bear rugs near fireplaces, and generally doing what Samoyeds do best. It helped ease the pain of a lost loved one.

That was seven years ago, and as Garth and others will tell you today, no matter what the breed, a dog will give you a life time experience like no other.

#15 Transplant on 07.24.15 at 6:10 pm

Only one dog, Charlie, a handsome tri-color Basset Hound. Just recently married, my wife and I went to a dog show at the old Greenwood Track not far from where I was training in 1970 and were smitten with these cute Hush Puppies, purebred from a kennel in Scotland and now being bred in Southern Ontario.

Four years later, my wife is now caring for 2 toddlers underfoot and I’m caring for my “baby” 80 hours a week, living in my hometown way up North. Paid $300 for Charlie, a princely sum then, and picked him up from his Air Canada flight. Cute but completely untrainable which I blamed on my lack of time to devote to him. I would take him out at 6 AM before heading to work, 40 below, and his look said to me, “If you think I’m going to freeze my butt off crapping in this weather you’re nuts”. He was right, so I’d take him in the house where he’d have a nice warm crap. I was so dumb.

A couple of years later I rented a home with an office attached, separated from our kitchen by a hallway where Charlie would snort and sniff under the office door and then growl like a bear and bark like he was a bull-sized beast, scaring the life out of everyone.

Sway-backed, teary-eyed, chronically caked ear tips from dried food and drooled like a fiend. Finally gave him away and he became a police dog after a fashion-his new owner was a local policeman.

Years later I saw on TV a documentary rating dogs based on intelligence. 65 breeds were ranked. Poodles were #1 and Bassets were #64. That’s my story-I call it Dumb and Dumber.

I still like dogs, but they need a lot of attention. We turned into cat people 35 years ago. They’re smart as whips, very sweet little hunters and are way lower maintenance.

#16 cmj on 07.24.15 at 6:14 pm

I had many dogs over the years but our schnauzer Benji was my favorite. To transgress a bit, 6 months proir to Benji, we had bought a schnauzer from the US. it was supposed to be 2 years old and already house trained. When I went to pick it up, I should have figured out something was not quite right – the owner quickly picked up the dog and placed it in our back seat, then held out her hand for the money.
We went to the vets in the US to get updated shots and the vet cautiously asked how old was the dog. 2, I replied. How about 10 years old….maybe more. Poor Silky was not long for this world with an arched back and serveral teeth missing! Silky was supposed to be a pet for my very active 8 year old son and Silky was as delicate as fine china and eventually became my lap dog for 5 more years.

We needed to buy a real dog and so Benji, our rescue dog, arrived to be my son’s pet and Silky’s best friend. This schnauzer came with such attitude. His first 7 months had been in an abusive family. The 3 young kids tugged at him, tried to ride him and give him very little peace. Even in his final years in our home, we had to supervise him carefully around young children.

Benji was the so loyal to our family. Whatever mood we were in, he was there to greet us happily and want to play. Full of mischief and determination, he knew that after us saying “No” 3 times, we would give in on the fourth misbehavior. Even if we would tell him to stop and point a scolding finger at him, he would playfully try to bite it. We couldn’t help surpress our giggles. We worked with Benji on much of his dysfunctional behaviors but then drew the line of not wanting to extinguish his unique spirit. What a character he was with getting into mischief. Once he wanted to befriend a cat and even though the scratches on his nose told him to forget it, he persisted. He finally realized it wasn’t worth the friendship, wandered over and ate all the cat’s food and drank its milk regardless of the torture of hissing and clawing before racing home

When Benji was 8 years old, I became quite ill for several years. This overactive dog would cuddle up to me for hours at a time and nurture my fears. During his 14 years, he taught all of us perseverance and how to be playful. Benji has long since passed away but whenever my husband and I are frustrated about an issue, we just grin and try again to solve it. We call it “pulling a Benji”.

#17 April. on 07.24.15 at 6:16 pm

Thank you.

#18 jj on 07.24.15 at 6:17 pm

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.
Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.

#19 wallflower on 07.24.15 at 6:21 pm

Our two rescues, one a German-ish mix – ex-sled dog – the other, a Rottweiler-Doberman mix, lead us nightly to the mailbox 3 kilometres down the road in Thunder Bayurbia. (The ex-sledder ALWAYS leads. His trot is remarkable and I believe, with stops for water and food, he would be happy to trot from Halifax to Vancouver.) We follow on our bicycles. Last night, one took off after a deer; the other saw the commotion and joined the hunt. The dogs never win. (Thankfully.)

#20 Tom Nielsen on 07.24.15 at 6:22 pm

Nice story Garth. Life’s not all about the economy and real estate. Thanks for sharing.

#21 Leo Trollstoy on 07.24.15 at 6:23 pm

Representing old man schnauzer here.

#22 nonplused on 07.24.15 at 6:24 pm

Great and touching story Garth, but now I don’t feel so bad when I go off topic! :-) Sorry yours is really the only place I post online so sometimes I use it to vent.

Mine is more of a “boy” story than a dog story. We were renting a place having sold in 2008 partly on your advice. (The place was also getting too small for our growing collection of toys.) We rented a nice little 2600 sqft house on 4 acres, and we were out in the yard playing when a friendly retriever appeared out of the pasture to come play. After about an hour of playing ball and such the frantic owners came by yelling out the car window and we returned the dog. (Turns out they were our neighbor down the hill and the sneaky dog had compromised the fence.) After that the boy was convinced he wanted a dog too. But I kept saying “no, we can’t have a dog we are renting.”

A few years later we bought again, this time on 2 acres (I decided anything over 1 acre is just for mowing we didn’t use it for anything). The neighbor’s free roaming dog would regularly come by to visit the boy. After a few months the boy proposes a question: “Dad, we own this house right?” (Where the “we” came from I am not sure.) “Yes.” “Then we can get a dog now right?”

A few weeks later we adopted a rescue mutt that came off the reserve (probably mostly shepard-collie) that came off the reserve and the 2 have been best friends ever since. He’s turned out to be a very good dog except for the occasional mess in the basement when he’s left at home for the day and has eaten something he found in the yard he shouldn’t have. Yuck.

We can’t have fences here so the first year he had to go outside on a lanyard I rigged up on a rope and pulley system, but he kept wrapping it around the tree. One night while freeing him I got an eye full of branch, so we decided to try an electric collar. The first one I bought was the buried wire system, but after reading the instructions I thought “how in the heck am I going to bury this wire going under the sidewalk and driveway and twist it double at the doors and all this?” That system goes in best before the landscaping. So I took it back and got a wireless system. I strapped the collar on my wife (ok she was holding it) and after some experimentation with the transmitter location we were able to get it set to maximum radius and it only encroached on one neighbor by a couple of feet. They don’t seem to mind as long as I keep it clean. So he has about 1/2 an acre all around the house. You can tell exactly where the limit is because that’s where all the poop goes.

Some people say these collars are cruel but I think it’s the best thing ever if you don’t have a fence. It gives him an audio signal first, so it’s up to him if he wants to push it. The shock feels like one of those machines the physiotherapist uses and we have it set pretty low. He seems to know exactly where the boundary is, to the point if we forget the collar he usually stays put anyway. It’s way better than the lanyard.

It’s not perfect though, one time the battery went dead and he figured it out so he went next door to visit all the kids at the before and after care. Another time a coyote was tormenting him from the other side of the boundary and he’d had enough, shock or no shock he was giving chase. Another time my CBD wife forgot to take it off when she was taking him somewhere in the car. Luckily it has built in “mercy” and stops after a few seconds. But other than that it’s been pretty smooth sailing, we followed the training instructions and it’s been fine. I’d highly recommend it.

#23 Goldie on 07.24.15 at 6:25 pm

Sad ending, like they always are.

My dog also has epilepsy, but not from brain cancer. Just plain old… crappy epilepsy. Multiple meds, multiple times per day for the life. She’s a fighter.

Beautiful GSD Garth.

#24 Guy Willoughby on 07.24.15 at 6:37 pm

Good story Garth. There are many reasons why dogs are mans best friends. I had a Dane/Husky cross for 13 years. I learned by the dogs behavior what it was telling me. If Jamie didn’t trust someone, that person would eventually show they were not trust worthy. Through out the centuries, dog working with man has been able to achieve quite a bit.

#25 Estrella on 07.24.15 at 6:38 pm

First dog was Nilo. Our miniature Schnauzer. On our drive home our 4 yr old was so excited that he must have pinched him in the back seat. He was chastised by our 7 yr old daughter and my son began to cry. Nilo the newest member of our family licked his tears. That was when we knew he was special. While we lived sometime in Ohio we has a few close calls with some tornadoes. NILO would warn us every time, and we would giddy up to the basement. Moving back to Ontario we have a hobby farm. Nilo would love to run and walk our 40 acres of forest. Periodically stopping to catch a squirrel or rabbit. He had 2 close encounters with skunks, and I still have the tomato juice in the cupboard although it’s long past expiry. Nilo developed pancreatist, and went quickly. We now have a one blue eyed Australian shepherd that sheds everywhere but who’s such a gentle dog. His name Dragon is such a juxtaposition. Our next member Olive (black olive aka). Is a large schnauzer that will bite your head off for some banana bread. We also have one chicken named henreitta, who lays greenish blue eggs. So there you have it. Thanks for sharing your story. I knew we were kindred spirits.

#26 Karma on 07.24.15 at 6:40 pm


#27 BG on 07.24.15 at 6:43 pm

I always had a dog with me while growing up.

The first, Daisy, was born around the same time I was born. I don’t know what race she belonged to.

I would lay on the ground and rest my head on her side while she was herself having a nap.
She was not sociable with other people or dogs. But extremely loyal and kind to the family members.

The second one was a female too. But a German shepherd. We named her Lady. I was maybe 15 when we got her as a puppy.
This one was all about playing, much less about hugging. She would do really hilarious things out of the blue!

Nowadays, my mobility comes with the price of not being able to take care of dog. And I wouldn’t want to leave my dog alone in my apartment all the time.

But someday…

#28 Financial Freedom at 40 on 07.24.15 at 6:44 pm

Our black pug. The first ‘baby’ in the family, prepared us for the real thing. After a few tumbles down the stairs, being fat with no neck and bad eyes, he stayed on the first floor, only to come up to my bedroom and sit right by me and walk right underfoot, hours before I went into labour, not knowing, but he always knew.

He helped our toddlers sit up by always parking himself right next to them on the floor as a leaning post. Then he helped them to stand, acting as a solid step to push again, their ever-clenching toddler fists full of dog fur yanked from his back, not a snarl or bark in return (almost never barked). He patiently endured being dressed in little girls’ clothes, and rolled around in doll carriages. Put up with being painted with two white stripes down his body to go out as a skunk for Halloween.

Loved to chase bicycles, and back out of his harness (repeat no neck) which proved to be his undoing while visiting a property next to a rural highway. We hope there was no pain. The void still hurts.

#29 jess on 07.24.15 at 6:47 pm

who else greets you at the door like your a celebrity along with licks + four paw tackles

18 jj on 07.24.15 at 6:17 pm

yes, and the real life mysters and the best

my dear watson!
Big chunks of Baker Street are owned by a mysterious figure with close ties to a former Kazakh secret police chief accused of murder and money-laundering.

The mystery owner of a £147 million London property empire which included the Elvis and Beatles’ Stores can be linked to a former Kazakh secret police chief accused of murder, torture and money-laundering, this report shows. The property includes 221 Baker Street – where Sherlock Homes would have lived had he and his fictional apartment 221b really existed.

In 2009, an unknown individual acquired a network of offshore-owned companies which in turn invested in £147 million worth of prime property in some of the capital’s most famous addresses. Documents seen by Global Witness reveal how the managers of these companies are linked to Rakhat Aliyev, the former Kazakh secret police chief found hanged in an Austrian prison in February 2015 while awaiting trial for the murder of two bankers in his home country.


#30 CraigM on 07.24.15 at 6:47 pm

Our family had a Great Pyrenees that was extremely protective of us. Every night, she would make the rounds to check on each one of us and get my Dad if she sensed something amiss (such as the first few nights I was away at cadet camp). She was very gentle: she’d let little children play on her without a fuss and even if she sensed a threat to a member of our family (such as when my mother was hugged by a friend), her response was to gently grasp the perceived threat’s elbow. She even kept our psychotic cat in line; she had essentially adopted him and was very patient with almost everything he did, even when he would attack her (his idea of play), but she would nuzzle him down when she thought it was enough. She always got very excited when she was called for a ride in the car and enjoyed camping with us (four of us, plus her, in a 14 foot travel trailer).

I had to take her in to the veterinarian one day when it was obvious that was starting to fail; the look on her face after she lost control of her kidneys and bladder was heart-breaking, as was having to answer “she won’t be” when I was asked by the receptionist how long she would be staying.

That was 30 years ago and the memories will forever live on. Good girl, Princess…

#31 Mike T. on 07.24.15 at 6:50 pm

this is one that you really have to see it to get the full effect

we had a Cairn puppy (2 actually) named Finnegan (sister Casey) and the first time she discovered the end of the dock at camp was priceless

she just walked right off the end into the water

it was the best holy crap moment I have seen, completely innocent

#32 huh.. on 07.24.15 at 6:51 pm

nice story…

“showed me how the world could indeed be saved”

I think we all need a good global ‘purge’ before this could even be attempted….nowadays….

a dog, pshychiatrist, and economist go into a bar….
I’ll stop there…

#33 604renter on 07.24.15 at 6:54 pm

Our Dog
Saved from a truly awful kill ‘shelter’
Cried in my lap for hours on the way home
Loves and protects us
A joy every day
Anchor to the important parts of life

#34 bigtown on 07.24.15 at 7:00 pm

It was 1969 right around this time of year and the summer of Woodstock. I was working at my uncle’s boutique in Manhattan..not really working more like staring at the customers etc. Claude did not pay me but there was all the hippie clothes I could wear and endless New York City tours plus Jones Beach and upstate New York peaks into how the people who were wealthy lived their whole life without a job due to the fact they had to go to analysis on a daily basis.

I took creative writing at New York City College and the big assignment was writing an essay on the MARLBORO MAN spread in a magazine…can you imagine if I had the wherewithal to buy PHILLIP MORRIS shares…oh well 13.

CoCo was a very New York City dog. Our rent controlled apartment on 58th Street East (at Lexington Avenue) kitty corner to Bloomingdales and Central Park was perfect as Coco was a boxer and had to go more than twice a day. That dog always tried to sleep with me which really is not possible in a 3/4 bed. New York is really a dog eat dog town but back in the 60’s you could sit out on the sidewalk and people would stop and talk to you. No fear and very good energy and vibe. On Friday all the musicians would come up from Harlem to play in the park for free. Oh well I lived in paradise at least once…I hear they have it down in South America and the Caribbean.

#35 Justin on 07.24.15 at 7:03 pm

Eight years ago I was a house horny young professional who bought a downtown bungalow with 5% down and a 5-year fixed rate mortgage at a record-low 5.75% interest. After I bought the house I had to get the dog, especially since this girl I was interested in had a German Shepard growing up and loved dogs. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a German Shepard or Black Lab, but then I got wind of someone in my old home town having a litter of German Shepard – Black Lab cross puppies they were looking to get rid of. So I had them throw one on a plane for me and a Friday after work I picked up my new best friend Major.

Major turned into a 90 lb multi-talented beast that I always have a blast with, whether we were hunting in the fall or ski-joring in the winter. You can check out how awesome he is in this video.


About five years ago we had an experience that really galvanized out relationship. I had Major with me a on a work road trip in the NWT and we stopped at good fishing spot for Arctic grayling. This spot is at the base of some waterfalls. You need to hang onto a rope and go down carefully through a crack in rock cliff to get to small outcrop on the river. As soon as we got there Major went a drink of water, slipped on the wet rock, and ended up in the fast moving river. I dropped my rod and ran over to see if could grab him, but I couldn’t. He’s a good swimmer, but the current was just too strong. He was just out of reach for an agonizing period of time. Finally I gave up and directed him to swim to another outcrop a few hundred feet downstream. He managed to get there and pull himself up on the rock. Unfortunately there was no way for me to get there. There was nothing but the river and around 130 feet of a vertical rock face.

After realizing there was nothing I could do for him there, I told him to stay and drove to the nearest town 45 minutes away to get to a phone. Of course on the way there I got a flat tire and had to change it like a one-man race car pit crew. I got to the town hall just before 5PM and good people let me use their phone to call everyone I could think of to help; RCMP, Fire Departments, Search and Rescue, no one wanted to help. I did get a call back from a Territorial Parks Officer who felt it was more appropriate to lecture me on keeping my dog a leash rather than offering any help. Although I was near a park, I wasn’t in it, but I digress. The good people at the town office let me stay to use the phone while they locked up for the day and one guy came back with some dinner for me even though I was too much of a nervous wreck to eat. I called many people in two nearby towns and got some crazy suggestions, but no real help. Finally after a few hours of trying I got the name of a couple of guys from a town 3 hours away who volunteer with search and rescue offered to come help. I jumped in my truck and raced back out to meet them.

Major was still on the second outcrop when I got back and was pretty happy to see me from the cliff above. It was starting to get dark so I decided to light the path of the cliff from the road with some glowsticks I just happened to have with me. My rescuers had a much longer drive than me and it was agonizing wait. Finally they arrived with some climbing gear. I told them I could abseil down, but there was no way I could climb back up with him. Those poor suckers would have to haul our combined weight back up. Once I got down to him I gave the biggest hug ever and then made a harness for him out of some webbing. I managed to get us both secured and gave the signal for them to start hauling us up. Major was pretty good, but the ride up took a while. About half way up he started squirming. I was terrified he was going to wiggle out of the harness I made and fall to his death in front of me. Fortunately I was able to calm him down and we both got to the top safe and sound. I thanked my two heroes for being outstanding human beings and started the trek home. The ferry I needed to cross had shut down for the night, but I was perfectly happy spending it in my truck with my dog.

Five years later and Major is still my best friend, but I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to that site. Oh and that girl I was interested in, I somehow managed to convince her to marry me and we now have a 18 month old hairless puppy who’s learning a new word every day. My only regret is not going variable with my mortgage.

#36 Win on 07.24.15 at 7:08 pm

Great shaggy dog stories.
in the 80’s, I ran a roofing company in New Westminster, BC. Found a beautiful German Shepherd 1/4 wolf cross.
Smart as a whip, she learned voice commands by the time she was 6 months.
She loved our kids, was very protective and loved coming to work with me.
She climbed ladders and went up on the shake roofs to catch all the wasps from the wasp nests we found in the eaves.
I still have some amazing pictures of Countess.
Smartest dog I ever had. Would have won each and every obedience contest.. had I been aware of them.
Thanks for loving us for so long, Countess.

#37 espressobob on 07.24.15 at 7:13 pm

Animals are our connection to nature. Their love is pure and un-conditional. Unlike our species, maybe they have something to teach us?

Loosing a valued companion is something words alone can’t answer. That gutwrenching emotion has no explanation.

“Deep in your heart your pet is never far, Your friendship will live forever beyond the stars”

Author Unknown.

#38 Greg on 07.24.15 at 7:16 pm

At first I thought “wanna dog?” Meant something else!

#39 robert turpin on 07.24.15 at 7:25 pm

what a beautiful story garth..it reminds of what is important in life..not always running and scheming after the almighty buck..reminded me of our dog…picked from a litter because of his white patch on black coat….Named scamp .. after 11 yrs he was going blind and was getting repeatedly kicked and abused by my drunk father ,i finally got him into the car and drove him to the vet to put him to sleep…a very painful moment…many happy memories of scamp as we grew up…except shovelling the shit he scattered around our back yard !

#40 Scooter on 07.24.15 at 7:28 pm

Thanks Garth,

You have me sitting at my desk at work welling up with tears as I think about the most wonderful dog my wife and I lost just over a year ago. A three-legged husky cross we fostered, fell in love with and who was family for about eight short years. He was far from the brightest dog but what he lacked in smarts he made up for with personality. Always showing up at your side for an ear scratch when all you really needed was a dog at your side to distract you from whatever had your goat.
Pingasoot was his name. A play on “pingasut”, an Inuktitut word for “three”.
Man, I miss my dog.

#41 Washed Up Lawyer on 07.24.15 at 7:29 pm

Springer Spaniel was our gift. A big rangy and athletic Springer. Purchased from a breeder as a pup. Loved by all, especially the daughter.

He gave us far more than we could ever give him.

He reached about 13 years and started to fail. He reached the point that I decided it was time to say goodbye and I made the appointment with the vet for the Saturday afternoon.

We woke up on Saturday and he had passed away.

They know.

#42 Cici on 07.24.15 at 7:31 pm

Wow Garth, first you had me reeling with laughter, then in tears…now I can’t go out, my eyeliner’s smudged all over my TGIF face, and my face is red and swollen…ah don’t worry, didn’t really want to anyways.

With all the things you’ve done and accomplished in your life Garth, I’m surprised you’ve never wrote fiction or semi-fiction (if that’s a word; I’m too lazy right now to look it up). I COULD TOTALLY SEE YOU WRITING THE SCRIPT FOR A DOG-CENTRIC TV SERIES…like Lassie! It’s been a while since we’ve had a good dog show (but then again, I wouldn’t really know since I don’t watch much TV). But regardless, it seems to me that all of your furry friends and the memories inspired by their friendships would make for an excellent TV show.

#43 Nathaniel Hartney on 07.24.15 at 7:33 pm

In 1870 a little-known Missouri lawyer named George Graham Vest made a speech to a jury that would ultimately make him famous. Vest had been retained on behalf of a man who’s dog had been been shot and killed by a neighbour. In his speech to the jury, Vest made no reference to the evidence, but said only this:

“Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith.

“The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.

“When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

“If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true, even to death.”

#44 Whitey on 07.24.15 at 7:40 pm

My pal’s name is buddy. Since he was a pup he was always a strong willed little guy, now 9lbs (shi tzu). He’s resting on an air mattress that I’m currently blowing up for the kids. Wherever I go, so does he. in 2008, all hell broke loose in my life. A diagnosis of Multiple sclerosis. I have not been able to work since. Every Sunday I would inject a drug that would help prevent further relapses. It gave me a fever for 24 hours. I would sleep in our recliner to deal with the side effects and Buddy was at my feet for the whole night each time.

I love my wife, my kids and my dog equally…just differently.

#45 family beagle on 07.24.15 at 7:41 pm

Thought I share a few insights on what it’s like to be a dog.
First, I can smell what you ate last week. I use smell like you use wifi, or gps, or email, whatever. Smells rule.
I have vice grips on my face. It’s fun to rip the tar out of something. Try it. Chomp an old shoe, you’ll love it.
I see colour, but not like you. Everything is brighter for me, and I see auras. That’s how I can pick scum out of a crowd. If you’re dirty, then your aura is dirty, and I’ll see it.
I can eat anything, except chocolate, which I love. So i pretend your shoes are chocolate.
Yes, i can and do lick my own nards, but it brings me no pleasure, well, not very much pleasure. Okay, it feels good. Yes, i do have a problem and i can’t stop. Please, don’t cone me.
I thought fleas came from you guys. Who knew?
I wish you named me Frank or Steve or Joe. I just don’t feel ‘Pookie’ is for me.
It’s nice knowing I will go to heaven. I wish you all could go to. Oh well.

#46 joblo on 07.24.15 at 7:42 pm

Mini Schnauzer pup starts it off, you know what they say.
Pet first, trial for baby. Anyway once baby arrives the jealousy is unbelievable. Pup tries at every chance to attack bambino, super territorial.

Then we move across the country, new job, crying bambino burnt out most days. Out for the 6 a.m. walk one day and upon returning I get in elevator, pup balks, door closes and up, up, up with no pup. Leash snaps thank god and the thoughts crossing my mind WTF happened.

Back down, elevator door opens and a guy is holding pup in his arms. Says he arrived just in time to see the pup up in the corner of shut elevator door and caught her on as the leash snapped.

Needless to many thanks and my monetary offer refused.
Explaining back at the apartment what fun not, off to vet. Happy ending pup ok just a bit of shock.
Lived to be 13, in the end a great little friend.

#47 triplenet on 07.24.15 at 7:46 pm

One dog under a pear tree – try a small herd of expensive Holstein dairy cows pissed as a newt at the bottom of our corn silo. Cob spillage was the attractant we thought.
No we did not make moonshine but I do enjoy a bourbon now and then. Moooooo

#48 Daisy Mae on 07.24.15 at 7:48 pm

Pets. Let’s see…as a child we had a terrier who jumped fences in the city. Not acceptable. We gave him to a prospector who took him into the hills with him. Probably a good life. Numerous pets thereafter –and today I contemplate another. Great companions.

#49 Susan on 07.24.15 at 7:48 pm

Only 1 month in my home in Brentwood Bay, I heard a puppy crying outside at 11 pm; cold freezing rain pelting down. Outside in my slicker and flashlight, I found a small black lump of sogginess in the neighbours farm in front of us. As I bent over to scoop her up, out of the sleet emerged a full grown border collie/rotti cross – mom by the look of her underside.
We brought them both into the basement. In the morning we would see where they were from. My 6 year old blue heeler Misha was not impressed. I kept her upstairs.
3am, mom started making noise, frantic to get out. I was told the yard was fully fenced when I bought the place – hadn’t lived there long enough to question it. She found a way out of the yard, so I went back to bed.
5 am, I heard puppy cries outside again. NO!! I went out again with my slicker in the freezing pre-dawn rain, followed the cries. A ways away, on a (quiet-now) busy street, I saw two full grown dogs cross the road. A small dark smudge crawled out of the ditch on the other side, stumbled to the center yellow line, sat down and puppy-howled. The two dogs seemed to be coaxing him to the other side, but he was done. BAM, bright lights crested the hill 500 meters away. I booked it into high gear, ran up the slick road and scooped up the drenched brown puppy in my arms, to safety on the side of the road, where the other dogs waited. After the truck passed, we returned to my house; now 4 dogs – two of them puppies, in my basement mudroom.
My friend took the adult dogs and walked with them in the direction from which they came, in the Reserve. He said they trotted away, obviously at home. He couldn’t see where they went in the dark, but saw many eyes staring at him. Not the bravest of men, he went no further.
I tried to find the puppies owners, but no one knew where they were from.
It snowed soon after, and in the morning I would see dog footprints leading up to the door where I brought them all in, but they also lead away. I’ve always believed the mom led them across the road in the dark freezing rain, in the hopes of finding them a better life, and she kept coming back to check that they were still safe.
We found a wonderful home for the first puppy – loving family, waterfront acreage in East Sooke. The other – Ed – is still with me today; a long-legged all-brown pseudo chocolate lab, so handsome despite his dubious lineage. I’ve always said he’s a genetic burp gone right. He and I have hiked many local mountains and trails. A little needy, he’s always at my side. When he was really happy his long brown ears would corkscrew out sideways. Sometimes he’d have to shake his head; I’m sure it was from ear cramps. He cleaned the local park of years of lost lacross balls, some buried deep in decomposing leaves yet still no match for his nose. Funniest was how he would carry his own flashlight when we walked in the dark, and always enjoyed it when people saw him and said, hey look at that dog with his own light!!
“Eds Meds” is the label my daughter put on the egg carton pill organizer she made for him when his epileptic seizures started when he was 4. Now at 13.5 years, that same tatty organizer holds many more pills which make Ed’s life more bearable, as arthritis, alergies, and a host of other ailments plague him. Our long walks are now a shuffle around our small rental acreage, his main focus in life now is food. He still sometimes greets me at the door with a favourite ball in his mouth, but the rest of the treasured toys sit idle in his toy basket. The spirit is willing, but the body no longer complies. His transmission is failing; sometime reverse doesn’t work, and more worrisome is sometimes his back end doesn’t work at all. I know that soon he may not be able to get up at all, at which time I’ll have to make that dreaded call. When he lays in the shady grass for a nap when I’m working in the garden, part of me hopes that he doesn’t wake up, as wouldn’t that be a lovely way to go? So much better than me having a kind but lethal stranger coming here to pay him that final visit, while I hold him in my arms.
But, he just came into the room just now, looking for dinner. I snap into the present, and enjoy every minute with my old friend, as the gift it truly is.

#50 Cici on 07.24.15 at 7:54 pm

#14 MSM-Free Zone

…Samoyeds, one of the most loyal, laid back and people-friendly breeds you could ever imagine. The fact that they look like miniature, 50-lb polar bears and smile like dolphins doesn’t hurt their cause either.


Beautiful description of a beautiful dog…I can’t understand why they’re so rare…I’ve always loved them. Maybe they’re expensive? Maybe it’s all the fur? Although they are hypoallergenic…

#51 Cordoroy Cowboy on 07.24.15 at 7:58 pm

Thanks for sharing Garth. I’d also like to share my dog story(s) but after a recent loss, my heart strings just won’t take it. After each dog of mine passed, I always said “we’ll never get a dog as wonderful as —-fill in the blank” but each and every dog I’ve ever had has been just as wonderful as the one I lost, everyone was magnificently special in their own way, all greatly loved and cherished. Sniffling at the memories now.

#52 Dean on 07.24.15 at 7:59 pm

My dearly departed dopey black lab had so many phobias and habits I lost track.

One of the most amusing was after I tore all the carpet out of the house and layed down laminate flooring.

He had a habit or running around the house like the lunatic he was and the nightly ritual was running up the stairs as fast as his legs would carry him before retiring for the night in our bedroom.

Laminate flooring does not offer the same traction coefficient as mid eighties shag carpet and it only took one rip up the stairs and a high speed smack into the wall to ensure he never came up those stairs again….ever.

Gladly slept by himself downstairs, no whining, resolved to the fact the floor upstairs were now dangerous and to be a avoided at all cost. I had to carry him up the stairs for baths from that day forward.

I miss that little moron and so does our 16 year old cat who grew up with him.

#53 Nora Lenderby on 07.24.15 at 8:01 pm

Friends (including dogs) are Nature’s compensation for relatives.

#54 cramar on 07.24.15 at 8:11 pm

Garth, you need to give up writing this prosaic financial stuff. This is by far your best writing!

#55 roial1 on 07.24.15 at 8:28 pm

Dam You Garth!
Here I sit all teary eyed from being able to relate to many of these stories.
Had dogs almost all of my life and these stories brought them all back to life for me.
The two I have now are “pound puppies”, all be it, 10 years old now.
The one that I last acquired you met.
It was the day you where in Duncan for the Libs.
I had just picked him up at the Parksville SPCA.
Well, he is now 10 and in good health. (doesn’t time fly when you are having fun)
His only fault is “ball obsession” I can’t do anything in the yard but that a ball is in my way. (all my fault. I always trough it for him.)

One of my dogs was also a Sheba. A 2year old boxer that was given to us back when I was still a teenager.
(some time in the old stone age)

Thanks for the memories.

#56 saltpony on 07.24.15 at 8:31 pm

My dad was never an affectionate man. Cold and withdrawn and in a bewildering marriage to my mother who had schizophrenia. There weren’t many hugs to remember between any of us in our lonely immigrant family..

He’s now 85, and his second wife has a penchant for bringing home little white flea-market puppies. When I visit, those 3 little ankle-biting yappers flank alongside my dad all day long. They adore him.

The other day, he picked up the oldest poodle-bichon cross. She’s 17, blind, deaf, stiff and smelly, but still a happy waggy little thing. He snuggled her up close to him and kissed her on top of her head. My heart smiled to see him bestow such warmth and affection on that little white dog.

#57 tundra pete on 07.24.15 at 8:44 pm

That’s awesome Garth. Like a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the “time out”.

The wife and I lived in the north for years. Never forget our first time north and the shock of seeing how some animals were treated. It wasn’t long before we formed a rescue society and partnered with airlines, gov. etc. to relocate dogs to southern shelters and beyond. Many years of hard work and heart aches. I was trained by visiting vetrinarian to euthanise injured/sick, reduce the suffering. Always glad to help animals but hated when I had to put one down because of abuse/neglect. Still to this day I harbour real bad feelings toward abusers and can make their lives difficult.

Nothing makes my day like a wet furry kiss first thing in the morning. I know it is going to be a great day. Would do anything for you, ask for nothing in return. Sometimes the more I get to know people, the more I like my dogs!!

#58 Mira on 07.24.15 at 8:46 pm

Thanks Garth, for the blog and reminding us all of many great memories. Max, we’ll miss you forever!

#59 Trevor on 07.24.15 at 8:56 pm

Beautiful story. Our dog’s almost 9, wife got him a couple of years before I turned up in their life. Scared of dogs before, I could never imagine life now without one.

Heinz 57-type; husky, shepherd cross, likely more. The love he shows, being a rescue, is awe-inspiring.

#60 New Babblemaster on 07.24.15 at 8:57 pm

I was savagely bitten in the rear by a neighbor’s poddle when I jumped the fence to retrieve a ball. That was more than fifty years ago and I still don’t trust dogs.

#61 cramar on 07.24.15 at 9:01 pm

My wife came from a family that had no use for dogs. When my teenage son came home with a Doberman-Pitbull puppy, and the tiny thing snarled at her, she screamed to get it out of the house. As time went by, my wife grew to love her as did I. A decade later, my son moved to Chicago and left Athena with us.

I marvelled over this dog. So intelligent. That was the Doberman in her. I could fill a book with stories. Such a fierce disposition when confronted. That was the Pitbull. Two thirds the size of a real Dob, but with a lovely tan colour of a Pit.

As the years rolled by, I knew that terrible day would come. With a friend and companion who taught me so much, I was not going to abandon her to some unknown animal cremator like a discarded piece of garbage. I made arrangements with a farmer friend in the heart of Waterloo Mennonite country. He gave me a pick of plots to use. I chose a beautiful spot at the corner of several fields with a view over the whole farm. I thought it would be a wonderful spot for any human grave. Only the best for my trusted buddy. Man’s best friend!

In her 13th year, cancer overtook her and the merciful end came quickly. Her lifeless body lay in the van overnight and the next morning I made the solemn 45 min. trip to the farm. I laid out a rectangular plot and started digging. It was March, and the ground was still frozen. It was slow and laborious work, but I had to do it. It started to snow. I kept digging. Here was this solitary figure in a blizzard digging in a field. Finally, I wrapped Athena in a white sheet, then her blanket and gently lowered her to the final resting place. Then her favourite toys, eating dish, dog collar, and tag. No Pharaoh was buried with such love. After covering the grave and saying a prayer the job was done. It had taken me six hours!

Every year I would pay the grave a visit to say my respects. Haven’t been there for several years, but her memory lives on. Just last night we were looking at some photos with my visiting son. We have another dog now, a real member of the family, but you never forget your first dog. First love never dies.

#62 Rudygq on 07.24.15 at 9:02 pm

Yes, dog lovers are the best!
Had an energetic black Labrador growing up. Always excitedly greeted you at the door when you came home. Chewed up the furniture but forced us to get exercise by taking her for a walk. When my siblings and I entered into high-school and got involved with other extra curricular activities (see jobs, girls and sports) we had little time for old Cleo and sent her to live on a farm. Great memories!

#63 John in Mtl on 07.24.15 at 9:03 pm

Great story, Garth. Thank you. Dogs, more joyful than balanced portfolios LOL. Okay, they are joyful too when you see nice returns.

2 dogs in my life, none of them mine though, to them I’m “Uncle John”. I thank my friends they share their dog with me. Curently, I’m uncle to a beautiful Golden Retreiver, she’s 13 years old already but still in great shape. Whenever I’m around (which is often enough!) she follows, always begging for a pat or a hug, sleeping at my feet. She loves to play tug-of-war with me. Truly lovable, I’ll surely cry when she leaves us.

I live in an apartment complex and here dogs are allowed so I`ve made friends with lots of them. One is special, a beautiful super friendly calm beige labrador, always recognizes me and comes running for a hug and gives plenty`o love in return. Makes my day every time :)

Wish I could have one but time constraints would leave the dog neglected and I can never let that happen.

#64 debtified on 07.24.15 at 9:06 pm

I had been going to this local SPCA for about three months by then – walked some dogs but was generally just hoping to find a little one I can take home with me. One day a cute girl working at the pound asked me why don’t I take the only little one not spoken for for a walk.

This little rascal had been a permanent resident in the pound for a while. Everyone just ignored him – dogs and humans alike. He had been the smallest and loudest dog in the hood. I was afraid of him.

Not to disappoint the cutie I obliged. We didn’t get far. He got away. He ran so fast I couldn’t catch him; sprinting across a couple busy industrial roads while dodging several multi-wheelers. The dog had skills or was just very lucky.

On my next visit another cutie (yep, that pound was my kind of hood – puppies and cuties) thought I came back to take this little rascal for another walk. Thinking that he had warmed up to me by then, she opened his cage and let him out without putting on his leash first. He ran out, sprinted passed both of us and headed straight to the cage where a menacing giant of a pit bull was surveying his kingdom and his minions. He launched. Luckily for the little guy the chicken wire that separated him and death held. The whole place turned into hell. I wished I could understand doggie-speak because I was very curious to find out who the other dogs were cheering for.

Long story short, I knew I had to take the little rascal home. His days were numbered in that pound. On the paperwork his name was Bruno. I had to change it to something more fitting to his size and to disguise his demeanor.

The next day was the start of the weekend. I realized that I had to fly to Whitehorse that weekend for a search & rescue training exercise. The rest of the crew were flying in from Calgary in a Cessna 172 to pick me up then continue north. That’s when I learned about the existence of kennels and kennel cough vaccination. The SPCA lady on the phone assured me that the dog-formerly-known-as Bruno the Terrible was up-to-date on his shots. She said: “Just drop by on your way to the kennel and I’ll have the documents ready for you.”. She sounded nice but I suspected she wasn’t one of the cuties. Turned out, I was right about her and she was wrong about the shots.

No kennel cough shots, no kennel. I just had my first doggie stewardship problem. Good thing the un-cutie had a flash of genius. She offered to keep B the T for the weekend at the pound. I swear, I will never forget the look on this doggie’s face when he looked back at me while he was being led to his cage. It’s the first time in that pound that I didn’t hear him make a sound but I understood exactly what he was trying to tell me. That was when I promised myself that, when I pick him up, he will never not have a loving home ever again.

#65 Tess on 07.24.15 at 9:07 pm

Our first Golden Retriever, Jess, liked the fallen pears too, although he never let them sit long enough to ferment. He usually got stung a few times each summer by the wasps that were also partaking. After a sting or two, he came up with a method to avoid them: he would paw the pear, and run away. Then he would pick it up, immediately drop it, and again, run away. On the third approach he would pick it up and run a few feet with it and then drop it. On the fourth approach, he would eat it.
He was a wonderful dog – smart, good, kind and gentle. We have been fortunate to be loved by three Goldens since, two of whom are snoozing at my feet as I type.

#66 Bob Santarossa on 07.24.15 at 9:07 pm

Purebred English Springer Spaniel (black and white), named Rocky, runt of the litter. Got him in the mid 1980s.

Trained him using Barbara Woodhouse’s “No Bad Dogs” for social manners and “The New English Springer Spaniel” – for hunting man ners. Local dog owners had spent $1,100 back then on training their dog and all would you say your dog way better trained. I trained him to respond to verbal commands, whistle and hand signals (the latter important especially when hunting).

He was an eager student and I always heaped tons of praise (along with the odd treat) for each of his accomplishments.

Lived in Calgary then and would take him to Lethbridge area for hunting pheasant and locally for upland game birds (Springer Spaniels are the desired dog for that type of hunting) and I also enrolled him in the local Springer Spaniel Club.

He was so smart and well behaved that the kids next door (with 2 Irish Setters – pretty boy dog with no brains…reminds me of some past politicians) would ask for Rocky to play street ice hockey with in the winter – he was a good goalie (they played with a tennis ball).

Well he got stolen by a dog napping ring when I relocated to Edmonton at my parents house for a short period of time. Looked for him every night for 3 straight months in the area he was last seen (never spayed him, so that Spring he wandered off to find a female was the story and got lost).

We bonded. My Mother would tell me that in the mornings when I would leave for work, he would cry for 20 minutes even with leaving personal effects with him such as shoes and the like with my scent on them.

Never bought a dog since – could not handle losing another “family member” again.

And yes Garth, I gave him some beer (just a bit) and once only – your dog was smart and slept it off, mine was determined on 4 legs to show he was just fine. Never saw such a well coordinated dog fall over left, right and center but with a smile on his face…LOL.

I loved that dog and no other can ever replace him in my heart.

#67 rower on 07.24.15 at 9:12 pm

Hang on a minute. Wiping tears…

There was something very special about each Airedale we’ve had, but Airedale #3 was the dog of a lifetime.

We got Ralph from the breeder when he was 8 weeks old. He was so easy to train and was totally house trained in two weeks. Incredible.

He was known and loved by everyone. Neighbours said hi to him before they greeted us. He would very gently take treats that kids held out for him. People would look in wonder as their small dogs would run up to Ralph to play. We would then hear story after story about how the small dog was attacked by a big dog and has been afraid of big dogs ever since and has never done this with a big dog before, etc.

He was a friend to all until the day our son took him for a walk around town. A Rottweiler ran out of a yard and headed straight for our son. Ralph went to the end of the leash and waited for the Rottie to come close enough. Before the Rottie knew what had happened, Ralph had jumped on its back with his mouth on the Rottie’s neck and turned that Rottie over onto its back on the road. He let out a growl at the Rottie and then allowed the Rottie to get up and run back to its yard as its owner had finally come out to call it back. It all happened so fast that our son didn’t have a chance to react. They carried on with their walk and Ralph was a perfect gentleman when they met up with kids on the way.

He was the only Airedale we’ve had who smiled. Of course, the smile always came when we were a bit unhappy with something he had done. How could anyone stay mad with that face looking back at them? He was such a clown.

In the end, after 12 and a half years, that big, beautiful heart gave out. We had the vet end his suffering during one of his attacks. A big part of my heart went with him. That was in 2013. 2014 was a miserable year. The year without an Airedale was very empty, but I couldn’t go through that pain again.

Life was just too empty, so we arranged to get another puppy. He came home in January and has been driving us all crazy (in a good way) since. He is related to Ralph, but has his own personality. He is more like my first Airedale, which has brought back some great memories.

There will never be another dog like him. I miss my Ralphie every day.

#68 Yuus bin Haad on 07.24.15 at 9:14 pm

Not often that I read all the comments (and I guess there will be more to come).

We don’t have animals of our own – we get to enjoy all the neighbors’ – and they’re all welcome on our property (we have great access to a flowing creek that they all covet).

In the end, it’s like having grand-kids – I get to enjoy them for a time and then send them home when it’s time to be fed (and taken to the vet, and cleaned up after, and …).

#69 Contrarian Coyote on 07.24.15 at 9:22 pm

Great story today. Nearly tearing up a few times. My wife and I adopted ‘Choco’ a small American Cocker Spaniel born in South Korea.

Tenacious little dog who was passed around to 4 different owners before she was a year old. My wife and I were the 5th owners and have had her for 10 years now. She’s lived in 5 different cities in South Korea, then Calgary, and now the GTA.

I was scared we’d lose her on the flight from Seoul to Vancouver and again on the flight from Calgary to Toronto. She made both flights and looked pretty pissed at me. Haha.

She’s got cataracts now and weak kidneys but still the same attitude and tenacity she had when we first got her. Keep fighting, Choco – we still got a few more years together ;)

#70 SWL1976 on 07.24.15 at 9:25 pm

I was in my mid twenties and a friend of a friend had a dog that they wanted to get rid of, she was 6 months old and was apparently vicious. So I said I would take a look and go from there. Love at first sight. Rhodesian ridge back cross with mutt and her name was Amber after her colour.

I knew right away that the name Amber was not going to work for us and our life style, so I quickly changed her name to Tahoe dog. When I got her I was just recently self employed ready to make a go of it on my own with a business venture that was more about lifestyle than money. Tahoe dog and I used to do mountain bike tours and shuttles, and the first 4 years of her life this was all she knew. She became a staple of the shuttles and tours and always had seat in the van no matter how many people there were. Everyone loved Tahoe, she was a welcome addition to all tours. She was a rare dog who knew how to smile to say hi.

Life was grand.

Sadly though, the day came where I had to get a regular job and start working 9 to 5. Poor Tahoe dog didn’t know what to make of this, and couldn’t figure out why we just didn’t get to do fun stuff with interesting people all day like we used to. Ultimately it was the cost of insurance that shut down our operation, despite never having a claim or an accident premiums went nothing but up.

Even Tahoe dog understood soft despotism at this point.

Dogs will never hold a grudge and only value time spent together. Money or material items matter not. Fortunately Tahoe became very skilled at sleeping and relaxing all day and was always happy to see me after I would return home from work. Eventually I started working away and would be, and am currently gone for weeks at a time.

Tahoe dog is now gone and I miss her so, but she had a fantastic life. Fortunately we just got a new puppy, lab collie cross who we named Calicho. I said to myself I didn’t want another dog until I had more time at home, and didn’t work away. While I still work away, you don’t choose dogs, they find you.

Since Calicho found us the price of oil is going for a shit again and they sure know how to take the fun out of a work place in a hurry here.

Maybe it’s a sign

Nothing like being diversified in all aspects of life

I feel like this is now the start of the next chapter…

#71 Tammy on 07.24.15 at 9:27 pm

my favourite dog.. We bought a home and noticed a lovely shepherd, Jesse. She was 8 and had never been inside, we lived in northern bc. We made an offer on the house agreed on a price and asked that Jesse come with the home. The owners readily agreed. They were retiring to the south. It was joyful watching her come inside for the first time. I knew we had done a good job of welcoming her inside when I woke up one morning and found her stretched out on the leather sofa by the fire. We had another 5 wonderful years with this remarkable dog.

#72 Smoking Man on 07.24.15 at 9:28 pm

Ha, let me tell you about Sophie, she’s a five pound brown toy paddle. Intelligent as hell. She watches TV all day long, just like her mom. And whenever an animal appears on the screen, she lunges and barks at it. Same way mom unloads on me when she discovers a spent Micky of JD that I poorly disposed of while on a stopper.. Sohphies an Alpha chic, just like her mom.

In the morning, before I go to the tax farm, I give her and Wyatt a milk bone. Wyatt being a dogs, dog, devoures it, Sophie hides it. When I come home from work, she gets it, jumps on me and prances on my chest to show me it. She lifts my glasses with her snoot, and puts it in my eyeballs, make sure I see it.. This goes on fir five minutes, then she slowly eats it, while growing at Wyatt.

Now Wyatt, when I went to purchase him I had no intention of buying another dog, but when I saw him, cross eyed, clumsy, a bit of a retard. I had to have him. His back legs moved out, then forward. We walked like a cowboy. Sold…..

He’s 10 months old, 5 lbs toy black poodle and finaly he’s doing his business outside. Just yesterday he became a man dog, he lifted his leg for the first time…. He’s barking a bit now, and about a week ago, he growled while shaking a slipper.

He’s been watch me, he’s seen me Stare at the sky, and have angree words with God, he’s seen me water the bushes in the back yard, when drinking beer and Jack. I do recall on a few occasions lifting my leg to show him how it’s done..

Buffy who passed away two years ago, was not DOG, she was people trapped in a dogs body.. Her ashes are on in dinning room cabinet, with our finest China.

We love em to death. And will never be without dogs.

#73 western observer on 07.24.15 at 9:32 pm

Thanks for the opportunity to recognize and remember the dogs in my life.

Texas – Shepherd Collie cross. He was already with the family when I was born. My Mom’s dog. Beautiful creature – I was six when he was”put to sleep”. My Dad cried .

Wimpy – cocker spaniel. Loved to escape and roam the neighbourhood looking for females.

Burton – named after the bass player for Metallica. A “lowered” lab .

Cody – my first dog when I moved out. Red Heeler. Got him as a puppy – belly full of worms. He was my best friend. Loyal, intelligent. I’ve never felt pain the way I did when it was his time to go.

Sophie – husky cross. Wanted to rescue a dog. Got her from a shelter when she was 9. Lots of skin problems. Glad I made the last years of her life as comfortable as I could.

No more dogs – don’t want to put them down anymore.

Now I walk dogs at the local shelter.

#74 lala on 07.24.15 at 9:36 pm


#75 Smoking Man on 07.24.15 at 9:44 pm


Our dogs… Now you know why I had to have Wyatt, look at those crazy eyes. With a Newfee mullet to boot.

#76 Ms. E on 07.24.15 at 9:57 pm

What a break from all the finance drama. and my first time to write a comment.
I had a dog for 8 years. His name is Patrash. When my dad remarried, my step mom secretly took him away (because she doesn’t like dogs). I have no idea if it was killed but It was really tragic and sad. since then, I never had a pet again.

#77 Vanecdotal on 07.24.15 at 10:09 pm

What a touching post GT. There is much more to life than the economy, so true. Thanks for sharing. :)

First childhood dog was also a great big German Sheppard. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but such a gentle giant. Used to ride around the yard on his back like a pony. “Conehead” as he became known, to my parents’ horror, escaped the fenced yard on several occasions and lost (won?) the chase with his favourite Car-shaped prey. Twice. I still recall that haunting humiliated stare from within the depths of plastic paper wastebasket Cone of Shame. (Thankfully, he fully recovered – both times).

Same dog would just sit and bark and bark at mushroom circles (fairy rings) on the lawn whenever they appeared. Always wondered if maybe he’d had a bad trip when we weren’t looking…

Still remember coming home with my folks late one stifling hot summer evening, opening the door to the house, and the most awful stench greeting us. Seems Dog had manged to open the child-proof under-sink cupboard, and torn into the irresistible garbage which happened to contain the rare treat of left-over festering carcass Chinese take-out duck. This delicacy apparently did not sit well with our 120lb German Sheppard, as the resulting gastronomic turmoil evacuated itself… from both ends, mingling nicely with the other garbage strewn from one end of the kitchen to the other.

The next statement from my Mom is forever etched in my mind: (to Dad) “That’s your dog, Dear. YOU clean it up!” and off to bed I was whisked as a steady stream of cuss words I hadn’t even heard before emanated from the kitchen… ahh memories. We all (even Mom) did love that dog in spite of the shenanigans. (There were many more).

On a camping trip years later he suddenly collapsed from a rheumatic hip halfway down a remote mountain trail. With the gracious help of our neighbouring camper recruited hastily in the middle of the night, he & Dad set of up the mountain, made a sling of branches, bungees and the leash, and carried down the dog to safety. He recovered from that too, but it was the rheumatism that did him in the long run, sadly.

There have been 5 more wonderful dogs since then, mutts and rescues, all quirky, unique, and wonderful beings. Grateful to get to share my time here with them all.

#78 A Yank in BC on 07.24.15 at 10:10 pm

Max was his name. My Sister’s dog actually. A terrier-mix that she had adopted from a local no-kill shelter. Somebody had left him tied to the front door of the shelter before business hours one day. He was in pretty rough shape, a large bald spot on his back, and obviously underweight as well. Had sort of a temper, but who could blame him under the circumstances? The vet estimated about 9 years old. Whatever his life had been like in those 9 years was anybody’s guess. Obviously rough. He couldn’t tell us. But he immediately accepted his new surroundings and settled in. Was fiercely loyal to my Sister, but was very friendly to me and most others as well. Terrified of car travel though. He’d shake like a leaf when it was time to go somewhere. Six years later, when his incontinence and dementia simply got to be too much, it was time for one last trip to the Vet. Most would have taken him two years earlier. I admire my Sister for that.

#79 Medic Mike on 07.24.15 at 10:10 pm

Thanks Garth!
Proof again that you are the best! Dogs are what ground us for sure and its heartwarming to read that most if not all the replies today are dog related not $$. Rebel is 8 now (golden retriever) and Brody (golden as well) lived till almost 16 with a seizure disorder. I wouldn’t be sane without them for sure. There’s no telling what dogs are capable of when put to the test as Sako and others have taught us. Always happy to read dog stories here!

#80 Smoking Man on 07.24.15 at 10:13 pm

Boom, I figured it it.. This is a Gartho Phy-op.

He wants to separate the dogs people from the cat people.

Let’s face it, dog people are awesome to hang out with.. Cat people not so much.. Cat people are wierd. They can’t be trusted.

Cat people are sneaky buggers, probably arrogant, and up tight. Inflexible autocrats..

Where as dog people, your safe to have a drink with..

If you own a cat, lie and tell a dog story to stay out of Garths dog House.

#81 George Unwashed-ington on 07.24.15 at 10:22 pm

“I bought commercial real estate, published two investment newsletters and owned a couple of stores. Inflation. Expansion. Opportunity. Excess. God, I loved the Eighties……In those days we had a hobby farm about sixty clicks away,…” Garth


Where did it all go wrong, you were headed for the business Trumposphere and then ended up in politics, before deciding do to this great public service and counsel the great unwashed real estate hordes.

Methinks your inner Che Guevara humanitarian altruist triumphed over the capitalist political establishment dude…..

In any event, you can effect greater social change these days on a blog than sitting in a frozen castle with other talking heads on the banks of the Rideau.

Besides this rabble is more entertaining than if you had to arm-wrestle the likes of Putin while bare-chested

#82 Kevin on 07.24.15 at 10:24 pm

Good Job Garth….

#83 anotherstabbinginsaskatoon on 07.24.15 at 10:28 pm

A neopolitan mastiff bit me in the nuts the day I would meet the woman who would wreck both my body and mind, the dogs owner. The dog liked me. I liked the dogs owner. She was a irresponsible bc treat but I was the meat. The dog ended up being shot by the RCs. It would do what it’s owner did, run you down and tear you to pieces. Not a nice story, no, but I am from Saskatoon.

#84 Brew on 07.24.15 at 10:38 pm

Her name was Queenie. A Shepherd Collie cross who we found as a stray down by the river. I was about four years old at the time and just starting school. Queenie would come meet me a few blocks from home and take me by the hand I guess to get me home safely.

She was an amazing and loyal dog and was known by many people in the neighbourhood. In those days it seems good dogs could wander around and not fear the catcher. Just as long as they chased squirrels and not the postman.

She lived long 18 or 19 years.

#85 Scott Macpherson on 07.24.15 at 10:44 pm

You are indeed a gifted writer and obvious dog lover. I’m a fan of both these qualities. Thanks for entertaining me over the last several years. I enjoy your wit along with your photos. Keep them coming.

#86 Suede on 07.24.15 at 10:47 pm


The deal was i get a motorcycle and wife gets a dog.

The motorcycle is no longer with us.

Marriage 101

#87 For those about to flop... on 07.24.15 at 10:55 pm

I will skip my dog story and instead talk about a bumper sticker I once saw on a pickup truck .
It read”Neighbours cats make good hats!”
As I drove down the highway I kept staring at it just to make sure I was reading it correctly .
I am not particularly fond of cats but good lord.

#88 theAwakenedOne on 07.24.15 at 11:05 pm

Thank you Garth, for a touching post,
to let us forget about money and worries…

I met a mixed breed dog during my service time, named Suzz (“bear” in some First Nation language…). He looked just like a black bear.

And I gotta tell ya all: he’s the most loyal, warm and decent friend I’ve ever met in my entire life… possibly even better than some of my own family: this furry fella never asked me for any money… he’s always happy to see me day or night… enjoying my company.

This furry friend touched me at the most human level that no other human being has ever done… (including some ex’s! ). He also saved a camp nurse from a bear attack as he barked and chased it away… buying his friend more time to escape.

Check this out (ignore the human conflict / war aspect… just look at these furry friends and their loyalty), and you’ll see why we human are not the best species ever walked this planet:


#89 Alberta wing-nuts on 07.24.15 at 11:15 pm

16 years with our JRT…. Filled with chase and tireless retrieval. Best dog I ever knew, best friend too.

While I went to work he and the honey ran a day care of 5 or 6 kids just tall enough for him to slowly steal their cookies. Never ever complained about licking up their spills and crumbs. Jacks are great dogs and this one will never ever be forgotten.

Any and all tennis balls became his. Anyone visiting the house had his complete attention of which he would constantly drop those tennis balls, looking up and somehow getting the message up to them “hey, throw this ball and watch me bring it back”, over and over…..

The final 2 years were difficult watching this ball of muscle slow down to the point of needing a lift up the stairs and occasionally tumbling down the stairs.. Sad in the end but he showed that ageing is a tough thing and that we’re all headed down that path, even the most tireless of us….

We said our good-byes last April and the house hasn’t been the same since…..

#90 Brunett43 on 07.24.15 at 11:19 pm

As a kid I always wanted a dog, but we we’re allowed to have pets. I spent my childhood finding strays in the neighborhood bringing them home only to be sent out the door to return them where I found them. One day as I cut through a field on my way home from school I found a small puppy, maybe 6 weeks old, whining, and hungry I had to take it home, surely my parents would let me keep it. My father drove me back to the field and I was forced to put it back where I found it. The next morning as I was walking to school along the roadside next to the field , at the side of the road laid the the poor pup…it had been hit by a car and was dead! I was totally devastated. And I vowed that one day I would have my own pet no matter what.

Flash forward, my first year of college, my own apartment and I get a kitten, I named him Fluff. After college I moved back home with Fluff, but guess what, my dad fell in love with him and the two were inseparable, even mom was jealous. When I left home Fluff stayed home with my dad, no way I could ever separate them.

At 24 I bought my first house, married the next year and 3yrs later I got pregnant. At 5 months I had a miscarriage. I was heartbroken. About a month later, I arrived home from work, called for my hubby, he was in the family room, I entered the room where he was laying on on the sofa, to my surprise, next to him was the cutest, smallest golden American Cocker Spaniel puppy curled up at his side sound asleep like a small child. It was love at first sight. I named him Shelby (after my Ford Mustang) and he was with us for 12 years. So he was kinda like our first kid. He was part of our family. After our first son was born, I quit my job to become a stay home mom, but I was bored, so I took a course and became a dog groomer, got a 2nd cocker and opened a grooming business and worked from home to raise my family. I did it for 9 years and lovingly enjoyed every pooch that came through my doors. Every dog left with a little bandana around their necks to go along with their new “doo’s”. That was the best job I ever had.

These days I have a Jack Russel “Terroist” her name is Lucy, too smart for her own good, and a cat named Tia. They provide me with much love, joy and entertainment. I’ve had pets now for the last 28yrs of my life. Their love is unconditional, as is mine for them.

And that’s my pet story.

#91 Craig on 07.24.15 at 11:27 pm

Lovely write-up Garth, with such a sad ending.

I’ll take you up on the invite to share the story of my first dog Bruno.

I had just moved out from my parents and was feeling all grown up, so figured it was time to get my own dog. Always had dogs growing up, but this would be my first one while living on my own. I had just starting dating my GF (now wife) and life was grand.

I went to the local rescue society to see a cute dog they had just posted. By the time I arrived, he had just been adopted. Somewhat disappointed, the rescue volunteer suggested I look around at the other pups. As we were chatting, this big lump of a Rottweiler comes and parks his 110 lbs ass on my foot. He kept knocking my hand to scratch his ear and get my attention. So instead of coming home with a 25 lb mix, I end up with Bruno.

We figure he was about 3 or 4 when he was picked up wandering the streets around town. He was a gentle giant, who came with the warning that “he will kill cats”. Fortunately, I ensured he never had the opportunity to do so anymore.

As I was travelling quite a bit for work, as was my roommate at the time, my GF (also 110 lbs) stayed over a LOT to look after him. We lived on an acreage just outside of Edmonton. Some of the highlights over the years:
– He was an escape artist. Climbed a 6 ft fence, pushed open a garage door (not the man door, the overhead door), was found at the bus stop, Canadian Tire entrance, gas station, sleeping on someones deck…etc. Keep in mind, we lived out of town!
– The time he bit me (only time)- out for a walk in the wilderness, he pounced on a dead rabbit. I instinctively went to pull it away from him, at which point he clamped his teeth around my hand…gentle yet firmly. Scared the hell out of me, but my yell and follow-up of pinning him down set things straight.
– one of the few Rotties I have seen with a tail. It cleared many a coffee table of wine, coffee, ornaments…etc, as well as caused some testicular trauma to yours truly over the years.
– Climbed into my 65 year old mothers car when she came to let him out for me, proceeded to sit in the drivers seat and refuse to move.
– Climbed in the drivers seat of GF’s car as per above, but leaned on horn for 10 straight minutes.
– Was leashed up to one of those overhead dog wires that allows them to run around the yard while I was out of town, proceeded to do $1000 damage to my roommates new Jetta while trying to get at some coyotes in the trees.

Fast forward through numerous Christmas’s, bags of dog food, long walks in the dog park and generally some of the best days of my life…discover he has a rare heart ailment that will eventually take his life. We have him on several med’s and he lives another 18 months. Then one cold October night, we gear up for our regular walk. I had one of those days at work that makes you thankful to get home and clear your head with a nice long dog walk. I sit down to gear up with my winter garb as usual, but I just site there with Bruno…thinking about my day, scratching his ears for an unusual amount of time. We head out, 10 minutes in he stumbles a little…I thought he slipped on some ice, but it wasn’t icy. His rear end falls down and he collapses. My dog died right there in my arms outside of my neighbors house…and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way other than maybe a few more years to enjoy his company.

I now have kids, another crazy-assed Rottie named Kona and life is much different. I have Bruno’s ashes, but can’t bring myself to spread them yet. One day.

#92 Craig8 on 07.24.15 at 11:32 pm

BTW that was 8 years ago and still brings a tear to my eyes. Time for a drink. Craig

#93 Nattie on 07.24.15 at 11:36 pm

Next door to my parents lived a man in his 80’s, a widower. His sister bought him a border collie puppy – born without a tail – for companionship, even though he wasn’t a huge dog person and didn’t do much with the dog other than feed it. One day, he slipped and fell coming into his house in winter (door still open.) His house was not visible from the road or from any other property. The border collie managed to get loose from his chain at the house and ran over to my parents place (several km) refusing to leave. By nightfall, my dad put him on a leash and walked him over – obviously finding the old man and calling 911. While the old man spent the rest of his days in Assisted Living after that, if it hadn’t been for the dog he may have not made it through the cold night. The border collie was happy to only move a few km to his new home with my parents, too. When visiting, my sister and I (yes, adults) like to have a few drinks and dress up the dog in our clothing – from full skirt suits to bridesmaids dresses.

#94 Obvious Truth on 07.24.15 at 11:50 pm

It’s true. Dogs find you. And always at the right time. And they leave you in amazement.

Who didn’t love the littlest hobo.

‘Every stop I make I make a new friend. Can’t stay for long just turn around and I’m gone again.’

#95 Cloudy on 07.24.15 at 11:51 pm

Mine’s a big furry Bernese Mountain Dog. He’d do anything for me and I’d do anything for him. When I worked in camp I’d get up early (very early) before I left to take him for a long walk and two to three weeks later when I got home he would go bananas. Now I’m home every night and he still goes bananas as if I was gone for weeks. Dogs are the best.

#96 Mark on 07.24.15 at 11:55 pm

Garth, This stuff is never offside and is a welcome reprieve from the despair of the world that you so often write about. Understand why you write about it, just glad you took a break from it. You’re like the comedian actor who nailed the dramatic role and got the Oscar! Who knew you had it in you! Your best post yet!

#97 mitzerboy aka queencity kid on 07.24.15 at 11:59 pm

guy at work said been through 3 divorces they were easy at the end….takin my old dog over the rainbow bridge was the hardest thing I ever had to do

#98 Obvious Truth on 07.25.15 at 12:02 am

Haven’t heard Mark Bonokoski on the moose lately. What’s he up to?

#99 NEVER GIVE UP on 07.25.15 at 12:04 am

My puppy story is a bit of a downer, Sorry.

It’s about when I was nearly dog food while backpacking across Asia in 1978.
I got off of a bus late in the night because I did not know how to speak the language and could not figure out what time I would arrive at my destination which was a small town in Southern Turkey called Antakya. A disputed territory with Syria, which was my next country to visit the next day.
I got off the bus in this very small town and saw only one hotel with no lights on outside of the bus depot and decided to just roll out my sleeping bag in some back alley instead of paying for a night when it was already 3:00 am when I arrived.
As I was walking down the street I heard a few dogs barking from a vacant lot and they came close to me barking ever louder.
The whole town erupted after that with the echoes of dogs barking from what sounded like a chorus of thousands of dogs from many miles away.
Soon many more dogs started to arrive from every alley and street around.
They formed a semi circle in front of me as I backed away slowly, holding my backpack in front of me as a pathetic form of protection.
As I walked backwards there was at least 25 dogs mostly the size of a medium German shepherd and all looked very wild and scruffy.
I rattled one residential door and no one came to my aid and not even one light went on from the residences above.
I was on my own and I was scared to death.
One dog was particularly aggressive and while he was frothing at the mouth and barking wildly he bounced with both paws on the ground simultaneously as if to say “I demand a meal”!
Another hundred meters down the road and I was saved by a higher power. There was a pile of bricks piled up the side of a 6′ x 8′ utility shack in the front of a brick making yard. It was perfect for climbing up and I pulled some of the bricks up behind me to stop the dogs from trying to follow me up.
The dogs stayed for a half an hour wildly barking, angry at the loss of a good meal. When they finally left I rolled out my sleeping bag and did not leave that roof top until some worker arriving in the morning shook my shoulder.
In Damascus a couple of weeks later I related the story to a German dog handler I met in a hotel bar and he told me I did exactly the right thing by walking slowly backwards with my backpack in front. He says it saved my life!
He also related the fact that many people die of wild dog attacks in the Middle East.
My legs went weak when I heard that.

#100 Christopher Lackey on 07.25.15 at 12:15 am

Must love dogs

#101 gut check on 07.25.15 at 12:17 am

You really are a great writer, GT.
wonderful story.
I miss my old friend, too – I guess I always will.

#102 Hy on 07.25.15 at 12:23 am

Wall Street pooches being sued for treasury market manipulation. But meanwhile the lapdogs think everything is awesome.

#103 Wiseguy on 07.25.15 at 12:46 am


#104 [email protected] on 07.25.15 at 12:47 am

‘My dog….a little heartbeat at my feet’..

We have 2 dogs, King Charles Spaniels….one of whom we adopted, ‘Bandit’.

Unconditional love….unlike humans…

#105 Washed Up Lawyer on 07.25.15 at 12:52 am

I have regained my composure and can now offer a pithy dog comment.

Quanto’s Law.

Now in Canada, a killer of a police or service dog can now be sentenced for up to 5 years.


And for those goofy enough to read an academic legal piece about dogs, a November, 1914 article in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review on the treatment in court of the evidence produced by a tracking Bloodhound.


#106 ANON on 07.25.15 at 12:53 am

There’s these two ex-stray absolutely amazing tomcats. Honestly, the ones some would make youtube videos about, to score millions of hits. I don’t, I keep it all selfishly to myself and family.

This looks like the first blog post from the bunker.

Peace out, Garth! Thanks for the blog and for trying.

#107 Washed Up Lawyer on 07.25.15 at 12:59 am

Sorry. Screwed up the second link about the treatment of evidence produced by dogs in a criminal trial.


Now I have regained my composure.

#108 still learning on 07.25.15 at 1:00 am

More puppy stories please!

#109 TRT on 07.25.15 at 1:01 am

Garth, what’s this chatter I hear about a huge CMHC announcement Monday? And you thought governments don’t interfere. Lol

Huge announcement ! Prices Going up another 10 %

#110 TRT on 07.25.15 at 1:01 am

I hate dogs. Sorry.

#111 SealTeam0 (so secret I,m not sure I exist) on 07.25.15 at 1:05 am

Come on dude. Made me cry and remember every dog I’ve ever had which just made it worse.

Your financial knowledge is well passed on in your writings but when you do stuff like this it shows how talented a writer you are.

#112 Fed-up on 07.25.15 at 1:14 am

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find – it’s your own affair, –
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!),
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone – wherever it goes – for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear!

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent,
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve;
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long –
So why in – Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

#113 Nonplused on 07.25.15 at 1:23 am

so while we are so far off topic, can we talk about people who think the world is only 6000 years old and all scientist are liers for the devil? Probably not I bet this gets deleted.

Anyway I hate tolerant christians who won’t tolerate anything but their own bible stories. 6000 years is not a small error. And what is this “firmament” in the heavens that took the whole third day to create? Our space probes haven’t found it yet. Although on the 4th day dog set the sun and the moon in the firmament, so I guess it could be space. Not really firm in my mind.

And let’s not forget the tower of babble, which was looking to reach to heaven before dog put a quick stop to that. The space shuttle was ok though.

And don’t get me going on Lot and his daughters, or Adam mating with his biological twin Eve.


#114 I'm Still Around on 07.25.15 at 1:35 am

Thanks for sharing Garth. Dogs really are a man’s best friend.

#115 Cyclist on 07.25.15 at 1:45 am

My kitty just died :(
I like cats. they are independent and dont slobber on you. Maybe a little drool from the denutted boys.

#116 Ronaldo on 07.25.15 at 1:55 am

#176 Shawn – from previous post.

For your info.


#117 Vangrrl on 07.25.15 at 2:04 am

I was living in Taiwan, friends called and said they’d found a puppy under a truck- I said ‘bring him over’.
That was the start of 16 years of Zen, a beautiful black mix of what is called a Formosan dog. At first I carried him in a backpack as I rode my bike around the town I was living in, then when he grew he rode on my scooter when my friends and I would go up into the mountains to the waterfall or rock climbing. Three years later I brought him back to Canada.
13 years in Van- dog beach Sundays with friends, north shore hikes galore, backcountry hiking and camping, road trips all over the west coast of the US and BC. He barely showed signs of aging until he was 14.
Right to the end he was a trooper, but his body gave out until he could only walk to the corner park and I had to carry him home. On our last day (just over a year ago) a dear friend took us to Spanish banks, and he lay in the sand and closed his eyes in the sun. We sat for a bit. It was a beautiful day.
He was chomping on liver treats at the vet’s, lying across my lap when he crossed over… and my heart went with him.
That’s my puppy story. Thanks for all of them ;).

#118 B Riding Dirty on 07.25.15 at 2:35 am

I have three cross bread little ones. Me and the wife started with one. Gilbert, named after my grandfather as he wanted my first son to be named after him.
Gilbert At age 5 was left for the day while we where at a wedding at my mother in laws, her not knowing that little dogs cant have ham bones allowed him to munch away, next morning he died on the way speeding to the vet on my wife’s lap.

We adopted one, then two, now three, And will always miss our first baby pup!

Needless to say we dont leave our children at our Mother in laws anymore!

#119 Popeye the Sailer Man on 07.25.15 at 2:36 am

Well we are hoping for a new dog story. We have been on a waiting list for a dog for our daughter who has Autism, OCD, and Anxiety.

This “Dog with Wings” I hope will be the rock in her world when she need it.

There are many working dogs doing so much good for the people that need it. Let’s celebrate these dogs also.

#120 NoOneOfConsequence on 07.25.15 at 2:48 am

So many memories…so many dogs over the years.

It’s amazing how they work their way into your heart, become a part of your family.

Our last dog, Buddy, developed a nasty spinal tumor and had to be put down. The suffering was just too much.

Ever since then, just the thought of another dog makes me think “no more…we just can’t take another heartbreak.”

Dam pups, they sure work their way into your heart.

#121 Blobby on 07.25.15 at 2:54 am

There once was a young man named Steve. Who promised senate reform when he was elected. He forgot about this promise, until one day he was due for re-election – and the people he put in the senate were all being found out for doing bad things. He once again promised senate reform and hoped that people would forget about his friend Mike, and would believe his promises yet again.. For he had never read the boy who cried wolf.

Thus ends my shaggy dog story.

Then End?*

* We’ll see in October.

#122 Vanecdotal on 07.25.15 at 3:50 am

#80 Smoking Man

What about the transcrittered? (Cat lovers trapped in a dog lover’s body)?

#123 LP on 07.25.15 at 4:46 am

#80 Smoking Man on 07.24.15 at 10:13 pm

If you own a cat, lie and tell a dog story to stay out of Garths dog House.

Wrong! Nobody ever “owns” a cat!

#124 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.15 at 6:41 am

Life is fragile. Don’t spent it on a mortgage, it is not worth it.

Dogs could be more human/humane than certain breed of politicians/bankers/real estate agents.

#125 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.15 at 6:41 am


#126 maxx on 07.25.15 at 6:47 am

We need leaders who have the same level of love, loyalty and dedication to the Canadian people as these furry angels.

Canada would reach its true potential which would be vastly superior to its current status. A world apart.

#127 maxx on 07.25.15 at 7:03 am

#63 John in Mtl on 07.24.15 at 9:03 pm

One of the things I love most about dogs is that they’re never too proud to ask for love. As if to say: “hey! I’m so worth it, show me you love me too!”

Beautiful souls.

#128 X-pat on 07.25.15 at 7:20 am

Most loyal dot I ever had was a pit-bull named Canela (Cinnamon) by the dog sanctuary where I got her, she was a faithful companion/watch dog until one day a cane toad tried to enter the house. She caught and ate it, despite the best efforts by the vet she died of the toads poison 3 days later.

#129 Almontage on 07.25.15 at 8:00 am

Cat person here.
17 years with the smartest, naughtiest, loudest four footed bundle of Siamese love you could ever imagine.
Then 16 more with a kind, gentle, soft, quiet Russian Blue mix whose purr I’ll never forget.
Starting over right now with the irrepressible energy of a marmalade and white tabby who has a bit of both of his predecessors’ spirits.

#130 SOS on 07.25.15 at 8:15 am

I skimmed a few comments and noticed people writing about spending a few years with their dogs and then abandoning them. Leaving them with your parents when you move out of their house is fine, you can visit the pet when you return home and keep tabs on it and bring it to live with you if necessary. No longer having time to play with it is selfish. The dog bored you so you sent it to a farm. Be responsible. Don’t own a pet if you’re not going to be loyal until the end, like your pet. Some people move out of their houses and leave their cats behind to fend for themselves, and half the time they’re not neutered. Some “loving” people end up treating their pets like disposable objects.

#131 Smoking Man on 07.25.15 at 8:34 am

#122 Vanecdotal on 07.25.15 at 3:50 am
#80 Smoking Man

What about the transcrittered? (Cat lovers trapped in a dog lover’s body)?

Kathleen Wynee has your back…

#132 ~umiouius~ on 07.25.15 at 8:49 am

A great post Garth..!! Thank you for sharing your story.

“Old men miss many dogs.”
Steve Allen

“The best way to get over a dog’s death is to get another soon.”
Ronald Reagan

Garth, we believe, that our dogs choose, seek, and find their owners. They allow us to think we choose them.

And that once in Heaven, they become members of your own Guardian Angels team. The bigger the hole in your heart, the more they work to watch over you.

If so, we here are well protected by our dears-departed: Sissy, Willow, Oakley, Shiloh, and as of April 10, 2015, our beloved Millie.

ALL, fondly still with us, as – “dogs of our dreams, hounds of our hearts, and pooches of our paradise.”

Lastly, in deference to this blog, one last quote:

“There are three faithful friends: an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”
Benjamin Franklin

#133 Peter on 07.25.15 at 8:55 am

Growing up in the countryside of Aberfoyle (near Guelph) was fantastic. When I was 12, my Mom bought our family a cute German Shepard puppy and we named him Schultz after the tv character. Schultz was nervous and missed his family the first night at our house, so I let him sleep on my bed with me.

The next morning when I got up to go to the bathroom I noticed Schultz following me to the bathroom door, and when I came out, there he was sitting at the door waiting for me.

I wondered if this was a coincidence so I walked all over the house, going in and out of rooms, the basement, etc…to see if Schultz was following me. And every single time, there he was sitting at attention waiting for me!

From that moment on he never left my side and continuously followed me everywhere I went, in and out of the house on our 40 acre wooded property.

One day my Mom picked me up after school to drive me home, when I normally caught the bus? On the way home she started to cry as we approached our side road. I saw a dark object lying on the shoulder of the highway…it was Schultz.

#134 Sparky on 07.25.15 at 8:55 am

Garth..you’re alright..Have a great weekend!

#135 Steve French on 07.25.15 at 9:48 am

A) Pitt Bulls are a menace to society and should be eliminated. Sorry what sort of idiot canine eats a poison toad. Darwin award !

B) Enough talking about doggy stories while Rome distengrates.

C) The Australian property market has entered the upper reaches of the stratosphere and its flaming burning descent back to earth is going to be a sight for the ages.



#136 Steve French on 07.25.15 at 9:58 am

OK here’s one doggie link:


“One of Canada’s most iconic television programs stars a German shepherd and a melancholy theme song that can stick in your brain for days and make you question conformity. The Littlest Hobo is an example of Canadian television done right.”

#137 jess on 07.25.15 at 10:04 am

Trouble the dog who inherited $12m from billionaire Leona …
slots vs visually impaired
objective vs. subjective?

” Rising prices had attracted “unsophisticated speculators” keen to try their luck in the market; Bridgewater says that 67 percent of people opening new margin accounts in China had less than a high school education. “(bloomberg)

financial education curriculum for the wealthy
$36 trillion transfer to heirs in U.S. households alone from 2007 to 2061, according to a 2014 study by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College.


paris hilton loophole …Do ya think the Donald is running on self interest?
…”Take casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who is worth $30 billion and recently made headlines by meeting personally with all the leading GOP presidential hopefuls in what the media deemed to be his own private primary. Using this loophole, he’s already given his heirs $8 billion. This tax-free down payment on their inheritance will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.8 billion in estate taxes down the line.

How did he do that? Adelson used a scheme called the Granter Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) to shuffle assets in and out of 30 trusts in order to game his taxes down. Other early adapters to the GRAT loophole include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Dish Networks’ Charles Ergen, fashion designer Ralph Lauren, and multiple Walton family members.”

Chuck is also a co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, a network of business leaders, high-income households and partners working together to promote shared prosperity and fair taxation.He is co-author of The Moral Measure of the Economy and with Bill Gates Sr. of Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes

#138 Innav on 07.25.15 at 10:13 am

Very sweet story Garth

#139 Paul on 07.25.15 at 10:20 am

My Dog story,

#140 rower on 07.25.15 at 11:15 am

@135 Steve French

You represent everything that is wrong with this world.
I would rather spend time with the Staffordshire bully.

#141 Ron on 07.25.15 at 11:36 am

Garth and many of the repeat posters on here suffer from extreme cognitive dissonance. What is currently happening in the economy is going to slam them in the face with such force that they will probably commit suicide. There is no refuting the established economic factors that matter. If the economy’s of the world are fine why are ALL commodities crashing(Dr. Copper)? If the US fine why is EVERY g20 nation shunning the US dollar with bi-lateral trade agreements? Why is the US labor force participation rate the highest in 40 years? Why are food stamps usage 3x since 2008? Why is the velocity of money an ALL-TIME low? Ect Ect. Why is the dinosaur extinct? Because they failed to ADAPT! Cognitive Disonance.

It’s a fine day. We’re celebrating dogs, and what actually matters. Buzz off. — Garth

#142 JimH on 07.25.15 at 11:55 am

A beautifully written, heartwarming post! Thank you, Garth.

But perhaps the moving aspect of this entire post lies in the simple truth that despite all our differences of age, political viewpoint, geographic location, nationality and financial circumstance, we can all treasure the many fond memories of our best friends, and appreciate the moving stories told by others.

Perhaps we have much more in common than we think!

#143 Ron on 07.25.15 at 12:08 pm

You can use your dog to get a better MIR when you are begging on the street corner.

#144 Daisy Mae on 07.25.15 at 12:09 pm

I did have many pets over the years, various breeds — cats and dogs — but my favorite was Benji, my Shih Tzu. So cute, so well-behaved!

When I went to the breeders to pick up my puppy the breeder pointed out to me, the parents. She failed to tell me, however, that the parents were related. As a result, Benji developed so many health issues he needed to be euthanized, age 5-1/2 years.

Still miss him…..

#145 Russ L on 07.25.15 at 12:16 pm

Teddy, red setter cross & Tuffy, golden retriever mutt.

These were a pair of childhood dogs that my brother and I had. One day we tried Dad’s home-brew beer from the basement store room. It tasted awful to us so we poured it onto the sidewalk beside the house. The dogs loved it, lapping the puddle happily. We opened a few more for the dogs until stopped by Mom. She noticed Teddy wandering and falling in the back yard, visible from the kitchen window.
For a while she called the dogs, “Tuffy & Tipsy.”

I forgot about that little episode many years ago until reading your encouragement. The brother and dogs are long gone.
Thanks again Garth.

#146 Get back Loretta on 07.25.15 at 12:32 pm

My girlfriend and I decided to adopt a dog (a boxer) when we were first going out. It seemed ridiculous to our friends and families at the time (What if you split up? Who gets the dog?) But we went ahead anyway. We had both wanted a dog for a long time, but because of our respective work schedules felt we couldn’t handle a dog on our own. Yes, a crazy plan.

So we adopted a scared, thin boxer with a cute face from boxer rescue LA. Although we didn’t know her backstory, my Mother kept insisting that she believed she came from Hurricane Katrina. It was all coincidence that we got her because she was our first choice, but had just been adopted by another family. Luckily for us, the family had a cat and Rhuby didn’t like cats. So a few days after our first inquiry about her, she gingerly walked into our apartment, scared and thin, a bit beat up but somehow loving at the same time. I won’t ever forget that moment.

Rhuby defined a life change for us. We started out raising her like divorced parents because we weren’t living together at the time. But she began to grow into such a noticable presence that we were often requested to bring her with us. We met and talked with so many people that I never would have just walking her. She really grooved on people, and was equally happy meeting a jogger as she was a homeless guy in the park. I remember people running down the street to meet her. I remember bosses at work insisting I bring her the next day even as a heavy deadline approached. And I remember the day that a row of Hells Angels stopped traffic for Rhuby and I to cross the street.

My girlfriend and I eventually got married, and it made Rhuby happiest when we were finally together.

Rhuby passed away last year at around 11 years of age, but not without leaving a mark on our life and mostly everyone she met. She taught us a lot, got us through some tough times and don’t think we can ever thank her enough.

It took us a year, but now we’re celebrating each dog with our new crazy boxer rescue pup, Billie.

#147 Get back Loretta on 07.25.15 at 12:34 pm

It took us a year, but now we’re celebrating each ‘day’ with our new crazy boxer rescue pup, Billie.

#148 Leo Trollstoy on 07.25.15 at 12:41 pm

Some touching stories here.

Now who’s cutting those friggin onions???

#149 Joe on 07.25.15 at 1:55 pm

Harvey is pretty much our Marley. A 90 lb German Shepherd-Rhodesian Ridgeback, I’d post a pic if I could. He came to us from a pound in Quebec where he spent 3 months. His old owner is in prison we were told. No one wanted him from the pound because he was so big and scary looking. People want dogs they can put in their lap which is a shame because he hasn’t even nibbled on a shoe since we’ve had him. He was slated to be euthanized before we got him. In the 3 years we’ve had him:

-He didn’t like car rides at first because he thought he was going for a car ride when in fact he was being dumped off at a pound
-He’s scared of balloons, garbage bags, construction boots and vacuums
-He ate 2 inches off the bottom of our xmas tree and was pooping out pine needles for weeks
-He has a weird fetish for feet
-He swallowed a chuck it ball and needed to have his stomach cut open to remove it
-He almost knocked a hippie woman out cold at a dog park
-He likes to snuggle and thinks he’s a little dog
-He’s our best friend and the best fuzzy brother our little boy could as for.

Love you buddy. Now go to your mat and sit……

#150 Ernest B. on 07.25.15 at 2:34 pm

A few years ago I was in Amorgos Greece, walking around in Chora, ancient city on a hilltop, overlooking the Katapola bay below. As I am wondering through the narrow, cobbled streets, I notice this cute little dog, running around, inspecting things here and there. I take my camera and try to take a shot. It’s not easy though, the little fellow is too busy doing whatever he’s engaged in. Then, suddenly, he looks up, sees me with the camera
in my hand… He stops, sits, faces me in a perfect pose, staring straight into my eyes.

I take the shot and I am ready to move along when I see him coming up towards me. He sits once again, this time right at my feet. He’s looking up at me, waiting, head tilted a bit towards the side…

Ok, I see, my friend… I bend down, pet him on his head, slide my hand over his neck and body. We both enjoy the warm feeling of instant friendship.

It is a late spring afternoon, a gentle breeze flows over the quiet sleepy village, a scent of citrus trees is subtle in the air. I am happy, we both are…
Life is good.

#151 Joe2.0 on 07.25.15 at 2:38 pm

“From Russia With Cash”
A soon to be released UK documentary detailing the billions of dollars being laundered through RE.
Hidden cameras capture transactions with top lawyers connecting rabbit holes leading to off shore accounts bankers, lawyers and criminal activities.
Yup it’s real it’s big and it’s global.

#152 Nagraj on 07.25.15 at 2:59 pm

If after a little while I get the idea that the dog doesn’t like you – yer history. If I get the idea that you don’t like the dog – yer dead.

#153 Retired Boomer - WI on 07.25.15 at 3:28 pm

I have not owned a dog for nearly 50 years. Not since I had top put Red my beagle down in his advanced age.
Too painful then… never to be repeated…

A cat is different. They may like you, love you, be there for your, but the don’t ‘need’ you. It is a contract, nothing more. Mutually satisfactory usually until death do you part.

Sort of like marriage actually.

#154 OXI in GREECE !! on 07.25.15 at 4:10 pm

#151 Joe2.0 on 07.25.15 at 2:38 pm
“From Russia With Cash”
A soon to be released UK documentary detailing the billions of dollars being laundered through RE.
Hidden cameras capture transactions with top lawyers connecting rabbit holes leading to off shore accounts bankers, lawyers and criminal activities.
Yup it’s real it’s big and it’s global.


Not in Vancouver though. Because there is "no proof". The witness of thousands of individual accounts of such transactions does not count in a democracy.

#155 Entrepreneur on 07.25.15 at 5:39 pm

Great pet stories. My daughter would cry at the end of the show “Littlest Hobo” so we would turn the channel near the end or off. Something about the sad music and hobo didn’t have a home. We laugh about it now.

Always had pets but when the last of the last batch we thought we were free, but too late or too slow, a homeless mother cat had kittens in our backyard. When they grew older we captured them (by trapping as they were wild) and took them to the vet to deworm and fix them. Over the years down to two. Still trying to get away, lol.

Can’t get enough of animal stories, read them all time.

#156 Dog Days of Summer on 07.25.15 at 6:01 pm

The dollar was high the dollar was/is low yet all along Canadian beer is cheaper in USA thats discrimination against Canadians!!! where is the free trade why are we taxed to death for BEER at the boarder it’s not fair and the stupid thing is it’s still cheaper after all that to buy Canadian beer in USA!!!

#157 Smoking Man on 07.25.15 at 6:45 pm

Picked the wrong day to visit senica, 3 hours for a 55 minute journey…

Damn Rediculos HOV lanes….

Heads will roll if this continues.

#158 Freedom First on 07.25.15 at 6:58 pm

#83 anotherstabbinginsaskatoon

What did you learn?

#159 nonplused on 07.25.15 at 8:00 pm

I have a sad dog story too. This wasn’t my dog.

A cute little escapee Beshaun (ok I have no idea how to spell that) was roaming around the road trying to make friends with the motorists. Traffic was not moving something was going on up ahead. It was obviously an indoor dog as it had no car sense what so ever.

I was thinking of getting out of my car and grabbing it just when the car in front of us decided to lurch forward 4 feet. Yup running over the ass end of the little dog. Of course we were out of the car then but we acted to late. Another motorist also tried to assist. So sad watching the little cutie just try and get up and be friends in her last few moments but there was nothing we could do we acted too late. I talked to the driver and she seemed really upset about it, but I was thinking “everyone else saw the dog and wasn’t moving, why did you have to roll forward 4 feet?” But I didn’t say anything she felt bad enough.

We let her expire where she lay and the other motorist petted her and got licks while the eventual happened, and fairly quickly thank dog. Then we moved her off the road, phoned the human society and carried on.

She seemed like such a nice little dog and I am sure the owner was devastated to loose her. She was well cared for and groomed but just didn’t know cars at all.

My brother-in-law lost a Beagle to a car as well and the whole family was devastated. They don’t let their new dog roam free but she’s an escapee as well. So far she seems to understand cars though.

Ravens and crows always fascinate me. Try and hit one of those it’s hard. They seem to know exactly how fast you are going and how much time they have got. But not all dogs.

#160 Jim on 07.25.15 at 8:24 pm

From Australia, here’s a story that combines puppies AND greater fools! This story looks like it was custom-made for today’s post from Garth;


Woolhara is a very “exclusive” subburb of Sydney, and the Domain publication is a Super Spruiker, sort of TREB meets Brad Lamb and had a love child.

Trust a bloody poodle to get you in to trouble.

#161 Prairieboy43 on 07.25.15 at 9:18 pm

We lived in Whitehorse , YT in the early 70’s. Watched the Dog Sled races. Thought those huskies were awesome dogs. Later that day, told my father about the dogs. Week later he purchased one of those race dogs from one of the racers. He was a strong Siberian Husky. However the owner said he was good for 5 miles, then would loose interest. Needed to cull his herd,sold it to my father. He was great, tied my bike to him and pulled me around town in the summer. He is gone now, miss him (TukTu).

#162 sockeye sam on 07.25.15 at 9:42 pm

FROM RUSSIA WITH CASH.It’s already released. Here it is.

#163 45north on 07.25.15 at 9:45 pm

That’s my puppy story. Yours?

My grand parents lived in Burks Falls Ontario. They had a german shepherd, Nippy. Despite his name I saw him as quite benign, I guess because I was family. They also had two daughters, the first my mother and the second Sylvia, my aunt. They were separated by 20 years so Sylvia was more like my cousin, in fact she was the leader, taking me and my sisters out for hikes and out for boat rides.

One day, Sylvia was crying. Nippy had died and Sylvia was going to dig his grave. I still remember her, maybe 16 years old, vigorously digging in the sandy soil and crying, her grief eased by the physical effort of digging the grave.

#164 cynically on 07.25.15 at 9:47 pm

What I noticed about today’s postings was that they were mostly names I’ve not seen before on this blog. None of the usual bitching and far-out views on the regular topic and a much softer tone to the writing. It was needed and I think Garth knew this too so I give him a well-done, sir!

#165 Obvious Truth on 07.25.15 at 10:14 pm

No dogs on team canada tonight!

#166 Bottoms_Up on 07.25.15 at 10:34 pm

Dogs are amazing animals. Type in “dog saves” into google and you get “dog saves/baby”, /baby from drowning, /owner, /owner from drowning, /owner from attack, /owner from bear, /owner from fire, /owner from bus etc. etc.

#167 Tiger1960 on 07.25.15 at 10:38 pm

I rember my dog amigo was gone I checked the the spca there he was barking and happy to see me,I never said a word ,that nite I went back and broke all the locks where the dogs were being kept including my dog!
Some dogs just ran from there cages others just were like I can’t do this, I’m like come on let’s go soon there their were like 30 dogs running down the road following me and my dog Amigo he never wandered far after his two jail breaks yeah I did it two times
The ex has 5 rescue dogs !
Peanut butter and 5 chow dogs,
5 dogs to replace me,
Buy stocks in peanut butter

#168 Toronto Dog on 07.25.15 at 11:01 pm

Crazy ass beagle who runs my life.
She’s my first dog. 4 Years old now…
Without her, I don’t know if I would’ve made it this far, the past few years.
Still a pain in the butt – and stubborn. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

#169 theAwakenedOne on 07.25.15 at 11:06 pm

@ RON # 141 & 143: “Cognitive Disonance”.


Pssst… Speak for Thyself !
All yo need is a clear mirrow…
don’t let me bring out ma fly zapper

Yo won’t have the balls and heart to be dog lovers with cognitive disonance like others here.

#170 LP on 07.26.15 at 12:20 am

Having read your puppy entry last night and all the responses since, I’ve got to say my resolve not to engage in the whole dog ownership thing again is hanging on by a gossamer thread.

We have loved and been loved over 44 years by six Scotch collies, a noble breed by any standard. They are intelligent, loyal, loving, playful, easily trained, reliable, and protective if necessary.

Over the years we lost two to cancer, 1 to epilepsy, 2 to old age and, yes, 1 to the road. That was the worst since we thought we’d done everything to prevent his going down to the highway from our country home. We didn’t count on the accumulation from a late-season snowstorm that had drifted in one corner against the 4-foot chain link allowing him to just step out of his backyard dog run. He was only in the run long enough to relieve himself and when I went to let him back in the house, he was gone.

The driver came to our door, almost in tears. Telling the children to remain in the house, I ran down the hill to the highway to find Griffin close to death. He died licking my hand.

Now, it’s almost financially impossible to buy a pure-bred collie, costing as they do more than $1000. Who can pay that responsibily? Even if I were wealthy I would not consider paying that for an animal, companion friend or not. And then there’s the annual trip to the vet where one is fleeced hundreds more for needles, check-ups and recommended supplements, nevermind the pressure to get dental work, eye checks (in the case of Scotch collies) and on and on.

And so I harden my heart, turn a blind eye to those lovely dogs in the neighbourhood, and when I hear that short sharp deep bark so like every collie I ever knew, I no longer turn my head and tap my thigh with spread fingers. But boy, it hurts.

#171 Bucky on 07.26.15 at 1:02 am

The family dog during early childhood was a german shepherd inherited from a 17-year old cousin who wasn’t ready for dog ownership. That dog was the best dog I ever knew. He protected the family headed by my single parent mom, woke the family up one night when the stove had been left on, and would not allow anyone in the yard who was not invited, though he understood exactly where the boundary was and would not go beyond it. 40 years ago, still think of him. Good boy.

#172 Steve French on 07.26.15 at 1:15 am

#162 sockeye sam

FROM RUSSIA WITH CASH.It’s already released. Here it is.


Wow.. well thank goodness that this internationa money laundering flowing into prime global property markets could never happen in Canada and Australia.

I mean with our fail-safe legal system… where we require national identification for people to purchase existing home dwellings… could never happen in Vancouver or Sydney…

#173 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 07.26.15 at 1:20 am

My best friend was Bomber. He was a German Shepard. Went everywhere together back in the day. I would come home from university every day and as usual he was waiting at the door. Some days I couldn’t take him out to walk as I had to study. Now I look back on those days and wish I could have spent less time studying and more quality time with him. He was definitely my dog from the day my father brought him home as a pup. He would follow me on my bike into the canyons behind our home. We would ride our bikes up to the tops of the ridges and hills and he was right behind me. When I signed up for the Air Force after graduation I never gave any thought to how much I would miss that dog. After basic training I was on leave and decided to drive down the coast to my parents house. When I arrived they told me the bad news that Bomber had been hit by two cars the day before. They knew I would be upset and didn’t want me to know what had happened until I was back home. The bastards that ran him over didn’t even stop to check on him. It killed me inside. Man we really get attached to our mutts. Still think about him all the time.
RIP Bomber

#174 Mic on 07.26.15 at 1:36 am

Beautiful dog, heart-warming story Garth. Thank you.

Baba, a gentle yellow Labrador retriever who lived for food and food alone. A pound of butter comes to mind. Carrots stolen from the refrigerator, sandwiches from lunch bags …

He walked me through our neighbourhood /urban orchard several times a day to retrieve crap apples. During our week-end walks, Baba accompanied me to the neighbourhood coffee shop where he patiently waited outside while I fetched a latte and slipped into the neighbouring store to buy his much anticipated organic apple.

With age, he became burdened with neurological disease. Last April, Baba and I cuddled on the couch and shared a pizza and carrots and apples. With his stomach full, I euthanized him at home. It was very peaceful.

And I still cry. He was a great dog! :-)

#175 BadMagpie on 07.26.15 at 2:08 am

This is Cassie. http://bit.ly/1HRviyO
She’s been helping us a lot with our taxes recently. And she wins Agility quite often as well! She doesn’t mind working like a dog, because she knows she’ll get treats afterwards. Although she doesn’t belong to me personally, her owner would be thrilled to see her on the front page one day!

#176 Frank on 07.26.15 at 4:38 am

I didn’t like her at first. She was more my sisters dog than anyone else’s.

Then my mother got sick and I had a hard time with it. I used to run late at night to clear my head and once the dog realized what I was doing she would follow me to the front door. I started taking her with me as a favour for my mother.

Then our runs became the best part of my day. She would see me put headphones on and rush for her leash. She was my best friend in a hard time and even better friend when things got good again.

I’ve lived in 9 different places since I moved out of home and stuck a picture of her to every fridge in every place. She died 3 years ago, the picture is still there.

#177 theMemoriesMadeMePost on 07.26.15 at 4:52 am

Had many furry family members over the years. Was never permitted a dog when I was a child so I was nervous around them as a young adult. When we adopted a crazy mongrel soon after we bought our first house, it took me a bit to feel comfortable with her. She was short haired and brindle coloured, some sort of terrier mix. She loved that we loved her. Was as gentle as rain but oh my God….if she thought I was in danger she would get between me and whatever she thought was threatening. She was fearless and I loved her for it. Can hardly type this… When my husband was away the house was so big and empty. You know, that kind of unnerving empty. She would come and lay down at the side of my bed so she was between the bed and the door … I slept with no worries.

Goofy dog … One day as my husband drove away down the highway, she found a way out of the yard and ran like Hell down the road after him. If she was outside she often picked up in her mouth her fetchaholic ball and threw it down the stairs herself ! Then ran down after it only to bring it to the top of the stairs and throw it down again. And jump?? Man she could jump…

She developed cancer around 8 years old. She was gone the day before my oldest was born. That was 21 years ago. I loved that dog.

Our next dog lived to be nearly 16. A crazy blue heeler that loved to play with the cat.

Can’t see the screen, gotta stop

#178 Mic on 07.26.15 at 8:09 am

Worth watching –
Jimmy Stewart Reads a Touching Poem About His Dog Beau on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show


#179 Ben Bur on 07.26.15 at 9:59 am

OMG: BlackRock Seeks SEC Clearance for Internal Fund Lending

#180 Grey Dog on 07.26.15 at 9:59 am

I organize my family and daily supervise and inspect the trails, pathways and sidewalks of Unionville. I have a few I meet that adore me and give me treats if I sit pretty. I am a miniature schnauzer. Daily I insist on picking up a branches, there are now so many in my pile , the old folk I live with could have a HUGE bonfire!


#181 Forzudo on 07.26.15 at 11:24 am

#179 Ben Bur:

That news is a month old:

#182 For those about to flop... on 07.26.15 at 11:26 am

Well,keeping with the weekends theme of canines and felines.At about 4:30 am in Vancouver it rained cats and dogs for about an hour ,our first meaningful rain for about three months.I don’t like the rain but this time we needed it badly.

#183 NorthVanBeagle on 07.26.15 at 11:47 am

Dude, That was saddest posting I have read so far. No more. Stick to housing and finance, or at least happy dog stories, please. Your blog is Top Shelf BTW. Thx for your insight.

#184 Broke Dick on 07.26.15 at 12:50 pm

for all those shots you took at Kia, well I guess you feel pretty dumb now.


#185 roial1 on 07.26.15 at 12:51 pm

It has just dawned on me why you are pounding the “dog stories” all of a sudden.

You have bought shares in Kimberly Clark, haven’t you?

A dammed way to get rich if you ask me.
Or my dogs.

#186 happity on 07.26.15 at 12:56 pm

The BIS in their recent report acknowledges that the policy of cheap money has failed.

Even Morgan Stanley admits the global commodity prices are down so bad the globe never recovered from 2008.

Earnings season and the stock market thinning with a handful of stocks pushing it higher shows all the stock buybacks and central banks intervention of debt cannot create capital, savings and tangible economic recovery.

The mainstream media and those who promote the “everything is awesome” meme are only going to discover karma.

#187 Larry Laffer on 07.26.15 at 1:16 pm

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who loved cats and dogs. Then, the little boy became allergic to both. And that was the end of it.

#188 there must be a life lesson here on 07.26.15 at 1:44 pm

Its sad that the duration of a dogs life is similar to the lengh of childhood.
Just when adolescence kicks in and the future is wide open, you have to say goodbye to your best and most loyal friend.

#189 madame guillotine on 07.26.15 at 2:17 pm

Thank you for that.

#190 TnT on 07.26.15 at 3:08 pm

Hey Humans

It was just last June 24th I had to put my beloved Charlie down. He’s was truly my best friend.

He was born June 4th 2005, Chocolate Lab up north near Rice Lake.

We rescued him from Adopt-A-Dog-Save-A-Life when he turned 4 in 2009.

What a job I had to do just for my wife (who is a cat person) to meet Charlie downtown at his foster home. When we showed up for the viewing there he was, fat, panting, fur was matted and his eyes were cloudy, greeting us from a 1 bedroom condo but boy could you see the beauty within. He had character, you can see it in his inviting smile and wagging tail. My daughter at the time was just 5 years old and she ran full sprint to give him a hug and he just sat there enjoying the comfort, this made my wife happy that this 90 pound dog was not a threat.

We loaded him up in our car and drove off to a small town up north were he could reach full sprint in my backyard. We introduced Charlie to our cats and I never seen a dog so gentle. Charlie would be wolfing down his food and if any cat came close he would actually back away, sit and wait for us to chase the cat away.

Charlie was extremely intelligent, took no time to learn all the basic commands and he had a way of paying attention that made him so human like. He would stare right into your eyes and tilt his head when he understood what you wanted of him. He never missed a single day when I got home where he would act as if I have been gone for weeks and he would “bucker roo” his whole body in excitement then run off and knock every one or thing over just to get my slippers and drop them sagging wet at my feet.

His slimed right down to a healthy 78 pounds as we would walk and job every day. He was so fast at retrieving balls thrown so far and would never quit, I had to stop throwing to save him from himself.

We packed up the family and moved into a house in the city with a short walk to the beach where he fit right in. Swimming in the lake was new for him and he proved himself a true Lab. Swim for hours and fast too. We took up jogging along the boardwalk during most weekends in the summer where he would still act as a pup pulling on my leash in excitement.

Being in a smaller house we spent a lot of time together in closer quarters. All of a sudden everyone would complain “wow! This dog stinks!” His breath was horrible, I started brushing his teeth daily and using doggy mouth wash and still he stunk so badly. Took him to the Vet to check him out and they agreed stating big dogs stink when they get older. It turned out Charlie was snacking on our cat’s kitty litter box! OMG! Once we found out I instantly remembered every face lick he ever gave me. ~Barf~
I built a cat door which instantly fixed that issue and he went from being pungent stick to just barn yard stink.

He just turned 10 years old back on June 4th and the whole family celebrated, I felt sad that my boy was getting old. He was getting a white beard around his muzzle showing his age. He really showed his age too when we went for our last jog and ball throwing game. We switched it up to just long walks.

Back on June 22nd I came home from work and there he was as usual, “bucker roo” with my slippers. That night around 10 pm he was laying on his side and I noticed that his stomach was distended and he was panting. I thought I fed him too much and it was a very hot day. After looking it up online I freaked myself out when I learned about “bloat” and rushed him off to the 24 hour Vet. They stated it was not “bloat” and suggested X-Rays. At first I thought no way, these Vets are scammers sometimes but I conceded and did the X-Rays. No “bloat” and $600 I looked at Charlie and said, Dam Charlie… that’s a lot of hot dog money we just spent. But the Vet pulled me into the X-Ray viewing room and started to explain to me that there’s a lot of water in his abdomen. I did not understand, I thought they was trying to get more money out of me suggesting bloodwork. Subconsciously I did not want to know the truth. I left, taking Charlie home and felt scared.

The next day I repeated every other work day, came home, “bucker roo”, wet slipper and just sat with Charlie, rubbing his fat belly, feeling sad. I took him for a long slow walk, let him smell everything for an hour. I knew something was wrong. I called our regular Vet and the X-Rays were sent over. In the 2 days since Monday his stomach was larger and he could no longer lie on his side. I had to bring him in for the eternal sleep.

What a long sad drive that was however he would not know it. I was cheerful the whole time. He loved going for car rides. I helped him in the car and we drove, I spoke cheerfully in an attempt to not get him scared.

At the Vet I took him for a walk in the field, I was locking every memory of him running thought the tall grass with the sun shining through. I nearly broke down and drove off. This was the hardest thing to do, watching him like my child playing knowing he was going to die soon.

We went into exam room #5, they put a catheter in his leg and we lied down on the floor together. He had no idea what was coming. He was a gentleman the whole time. He huffed once, I told him how much I loved him. When the Vet said he was gone I cried. Still crying. I miss him dearly.

Bye Charlie, I love you.

#191 jess on 07.26.15 at 6:32 pm

#172 Steve French on 07.26.15 at 1:15 a

Christine Lagarde said, in Mansion house, 26th May 2014….
“Capitalism has failed, but there is the chance for a future ‘inclusive’ Capitalism”

you might like this movie too
conduits/inflated legal bills/ mobilisation fees
Briefing / July 2, 2015
how to move dirty money overseas.
“The allegations centre around a deal made by NAMA, the agency set up by the Irish government in the financial crisis to buy up bad property loans from Irish Banks. The idea was to help banks get lending again by freeing them from their toxic assets.
It is alleged that when NAMA sold the Northern Irish loan portfolio to Cerberus Capital in a deal worth £1bn a Northern Irish politician stood to benefit from the arrangement. At the centre of the controversy was a man called Ian Coulter who was previously a partner in Belfast law firm Tughans.”
John Paulson Calls Puerto Rico Singapore of Caribbean
by Katherine Burton

#192 Jackie Seal on 07.26.15 at 7:14 pm

Darn, that story made me tear up and remember a white Alsatian that my mother owned when we had the farm. Her name was Duchess. She was an Alsatian and Samoyed cross, which turned out to be an awesome combination. She had the Alsatian protective guarding instinct and the Samoyed goofy, clownish good temper. She and my mom had a language of their own and that dog would do tasks for my mom that to this day I cannot figure out how the instructions were given. She accompanied us to the lake every day of summer vacation and guarded us while we swam for hours and hours. She tolerated kids mauling her, cats cuddling her and licking her fur, chickens pecking at her, cows chasing her with aplomb and grace. When she was diagnosed with bone cancer, I thought it would be the death of my mom. We had her put to sleep and I cried for a month afterwards. I will never forget her. That was 30 years ago, and my mom has never had another dog. She says there would be no point: there was only one ever made like Duchess. I think she might be right.

#193 Derek R on 07.26.15 at 10:14 pm

This must be one of the best set of comments that Garth has ever had. Funny, touching, sad and dramatic in different places. Thank you to all commenters for sharing your stories and making the weekend better.

#194 Barry on 07.26.15 at 10:20 pm

Touching story, Garth. I rescued a dog from an army base in a far away country and named her Spot. She had been abused and although I was saving and finding homes for all sorts of stray dogs, I had fallen in love with Spot and kept her for 17 years. She was put down in my arms, tears streaming down my face – she had cancer. She lived with me in 3 countries, met many girlfriend, then my wife and then my daughter. She would sing to my saxophone, walk all over town without a leash and pass gas and then look up at me, get up and leave the area as if it was my fault. She came with me daily to a beautiful campus where I did my PhD. Everyone in the institute knew her – many people I never met. I had dogs my whole life and love the animals… Spot was special. My son, 7, who never met her can tell many stories as if he knew her. Cute.

#195 Roland on 07.28.15 at 2:54 am

My Mom was an elementary school teacher. A stray poodlish-looking mutt had been living near the schoolyard, surviving off handouts from the kids. Eventually my Mom brought him home, and we gave him the very original name of Rover.

My Dad was disgruntled about the whole dog-owning thing. The first time Rover entered my parents’ bedroom, Dad bellowed, “Get the hell out of here!” and Rover fled with his tail between his legs.

However, within a few weeks, Rover could climb up on my Dad’s lap at the kitchen table, and eat right off his plate! The whole family let the dog get away with almost anything, but Dad most of all.

Rover did love to bark. Later on, in my rebellious teens, it was a real challenge to sneak back into the house late at night without getting busted.