My first pet was a black and white cat I named Butterfly. She came to me as an “after present” from my friend’s seventh birthday party. Her cat had kittens and guests could take one home. That was in the ‘70s and my parents were cool with that. As a family, we had a variety of pets coming and going in our lives and their antics play a strong role in our family’s story.
I had never considered myself a dog person, but for the last 18 years our home has been dog filled—at my own doing! First there was Ginger, an adorable Bichon/Shih Tzu mix, bought from the pet store at Carlingwood. It was a classic case of “how much is that doggy in the window?” Our daughter Olivia, ten at the time, had to have her after she and a friend spotted the fluffy white pup in the shop display. Home she came.
While Ginger looked sweet, she was anything but! For the ten years we had her she threatened to bite almost everyone who came through our door. I shudder now at the anxiety we experienced in dealing with a problem pet, but we coped and for the most part she was a loved family member. Her loyalty to us was her greatest asset.
Lola, the 85-pound Goldendoodle, came next and continues to prove herself to be the best dog in the world. Fun-loving and mischievous as a puppy, kind, loyal and a lover of long walks at the cottage, Lola has turned herself into the perfect dog as she ages.
Ceelo, the tiny rescue pup (pictured with me here), has proven to be our most challenging dog yet. He is the embodiment of the saying, “it takes a village.” Olivia (now all grown up and still a lover of dogs) took him after a friend in Maine was moving to Australia and couldn’t bring herself to put the anxious dog through the flights and required quarantine process. The move to Ottawa sent Ceelo into such a heightened state of anxiety that Olivia cannot leave him alone at home while she is working. So, she resorts to bringing him to our house every day where he takes great comfort in the company of Lola and me. He is always by one of our sides.
Pets bring us great joy, yet their natures can be complex. The decision to bring an animal into the home should never be taken lightly, but their arrival can most definitely bring lightness into your life.
- Dog Bowl, Le Creuset $30
- Dog walking sneakers, Veja- V-Lock, Velcro, extra white, $190, Schad
- Duck River Textile Hasley Round bed, $44.26, Nordstrom.com