Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Coffee sits on the rocks in the Go Home Bay island in Georgian Bay - a spot she truly loved. She could hunt, swim, chase mink and otter and thoroughly enjoy herself. She was a husky/border collie cross and without doubt one of the sweetest smartest and most memorable of all the dogs that have graced my life.

She chose us. She was at the pound in Toronto when I went to find a friend for my lab. LS was terribly lonely after his mum and auntie died within months of each other in 1989. I lived in a row house at the time in the city. My neighbour on one side finally came to me and told me that he howled every day when I left for work and the sound scared her because it was so eerie. He needed a companion. Hence my visit to the Toronto Humane Society.

Going to the pound is not an experience I want to repeat. I wanted to take all those unfortunate animals home with me...some of them beating themselves against the bars of their cages trying to get out, some crying,some yipping, some howling and leaping but all terribly excited at the sight of a new person... would I be their person?

I still choke up when I think about that.

I walked round and round - twice, three times, trying to decide. I noticed this one little dog - sitting quietly by the door of her cage, watching me with big brown eyes each time I went by.

Finally I asked to take another little female and this quiet little dog out to meet my big lab who was waiting in the car. The first little dog - a part Dalmation I think - took one look at LS and put her tail between her legs and went behind the handler. So we went back and brought out Coffee (she had no name at that time.).

She walked right up to LS. Both tails began waving, she bowed in puppy play to my big dog. She had made the choice. He loved her from that day. She bossed him around the way his mum and aunt had and he was once more secure.

She was only about nine months at the time and lived with us long after LS's passing. She was so smart. She trained all the other dogs that came to visit or to stay not to chase the cats, not to jump on the counter, to do as she told them.

One of my sons called her "Little Bright Eyes." Whenever she was happy you could tell - she would be smiling and her eyes would sparkle. She loved walks, treats, other dogs, cats and to play. She was the boss dog though and if we played frisbee - she got the first frisbee and the second that I threw for the other dog... she was very funny and quick.

Everyone loved her. She was the one who helped blind James Bond the collie adjust to his new life within Invisible Fence and in a new home. She was the one who taught Herculese not to chase the cats and the same with Bugsy and so many others.

The stories are legion, the memories wonderful. I miss her and can sometime hear her sharp little delighted bark in my mind. Some day we'll meet again I'm sure.

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