Monday, August 16, 2010

Old friends

One of my sons had some wonderful dogs - Roo was first. He came as a puppy - a tiny little Hungarian hunting dog - a Vizsla. None of realized that Roo's genetics weren't quite right and his life was shorter than we'd wanted, but what a sweatheart - he won many hearts in his brief stay with us. Then came Cayenne - another Vizsla seen in this image "sitting pretty."

We called her Pepper and the stories about her and Roo are legion. This imaginative pup could jump up onto the kitchen counters to grab a snack, turn on the stove and generally cause havoc... but the two dogs were so loving and so much fun, we couldn't help but laugh in amazement.

Then Satchmo arrived - a brown German short-haired pointer that my son just couldn't leave behind when he spotted him in a shopping mall, sitting in a cage in the middle of the hallway, looking quite forlorn. Satchie immediately adapted to life in the country and in the city. As long as my son was around, Satchmo was fine. When he stayed with me, he was okay, but he moped a bit.

The other dog in the top photo is Coffee - one of the many dogs who has graced my life - and probably one of the smartest I've ever known. She was part husky and part border collie we figured. I found her at the pound when I was looking for a companion to my lab whose mum and auntie had passed on a few months prior.

I used to take all the dogs to the Leslie Street Spit - a man-made point of land projecting into Lake Ontario on the east side of Toronto. It was created from the excavations made to create the first subway in the city.

By the time I began walking dogs on The Spit, it was well established. There were two sailing clubs who had harbours in the small basins along its two to three miles and it was a staging spot for migrating birds. In winter you could see all kinds of ducks in the waters surrounding the point. And it was pretty wild... few people went there. There were fox, coyote and deer as well as other four-legged city denizens. It was a perfect spot to walk two, three or five dogs. They could run, hunt (they found a skunk one time - but that's story for another day) and generally be dogs.

Coffee, though she looks fairly small and quiet compared to Satchie and Pepper in this photo, was in fact the boss dog. She was the boss with all the dogs who came into my life while she was around, whether they were just visiting or becoming permanent residents. There are many many stories about Coffee, Satchmo, Pepper and all their pals which you'll find in my book sometime this fall. (You'll be the first to know.)

The bottom photo is of Satchie, completely in his element - dashing through the snow like a deer, Pepper beside him. Great memories of old friends. Miss 'em all.

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