Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Dog "Pal"

I remember going to the pound to find a dog in March of 2000. I hadn't had a dog since we put our last dog Sandy, down in 1992.

For some reason, I have always loved dogs. My dad and mom brought home our first dog when I was just a 7 year old boy and you couldn't have found a happier boy than me on that day. When I was 12, we got our next dog who we named Sandy. Sandy was a male cross of Boarder Collie and Sheltie, and was a light brown neurotic but lovable dog.

I loved that dog with my whole heart. He was 10 when we had to finally let him go, and he took a little piece of my heart with him when he left us. Those 10 years had seen me grow from a boy, to a young man and that dog grew with me. I took him on my paper route with me every Sunday for 3 years. He was always at the window everyday waiting for me to come home from School at 4pm, and he always made me feel special walking through that door. -It was like his entire day revolved around seeing me again after only being away for 8 hours.

So when I walked into the Toronto Humane Society, and I saw a dog that looked very similar to Sandy, I was the first person to give her a new home. Instead of being sandy in colour, she was mostly black with tan and white markings. She had big floppy ears just like a small beagle, but she was the cutest thing I had ever seen. As soon as she saw me, she got up from her corner, and stood up on her hind legs and licked my hands as she looked at me with those big brown eyes. I knew right there that she was going to be a real pal of mine, so I named her "Pal"

Pal had me at "Hello"-That was 10 years ago, and she still has that effect on me...

Being of Boarder Collie, Sheltie and Beagle mix, she had A LOT of energy, and walking her just wasn't going to do it. -I needed something better. So I got her a body harness and I had her pull me to and from work everyday on my rollerblades. I started off trying to grab her tail, and that was all she needed to start trying to "get away from me." People used to think it was funny to watch a little black dog pull me like I was waterskiing behind a boat…

Pal was a real cuddler, and obviously her time with her previous owners was not well spent, and she showed it. She was the most intelligent dog I had ever seen, and she would learn tricks at an alarming rate. I would take her down to the beach and I would get a million compliments on her and how well behaved, and loving she really was.

She gave me so much love, and I literally took this dog everywhere I went. -In the truck, to cottages, to my hockey games, on long road trips, everywhere... Wherever I went, she went with me. When Pal and I were alone together, I couldn't have asked for more than she gave me. She was truly a boy’s best friend…

I remember watching the movie, "My Dog Skip" and I can hear Harry Connick Jr's voice describing how he became a man because of his dog, Skip. I cried at the end of that movie while clutching Pal because I know that someday, she too, will leave me and our time will be done.

I bet that if you are left reading this blog by now, you have had a pet who you have loved. People who aren't lovers of pets would never read this far about another person's story of a pet. -They just don't get it. But if you are left reading this, you DO get it, don't you? There is just something intangible that you simply can't put your finger on about having your best friend being furry and having 4 legs.

Pal is in the Autumn of her life now, being almost 77 in her years. She was once the absolute fastest dog around, period. And now in her last few years, she has come to disappoint me in her speed, but still make me marvel at her heart. She is still out there doing it. Not as fast as she used to, but she's still doing it.

I hope I demonstrate the same attributes when I am her age.

Anyone who knows me well enough, will tell you how much I love this sweetheart of a dog, and how lovable she really is. I really believe that God was looking down and gave me a best friend, when I walked into that shelter to rescue that dog. It may sound stupid, but that dog made me a better person. She taught me responsibility, and how to care for someone other than myself.

Where is Pal now you ask? lol, oh don't worry, she is still here. She hasn't left my side just yet. She will still be here by my side, as only a loyal dog can be. She makes the dullest days bright, and the brightest days brighter. I love to watch my daughter laugh at Pal and smile and want to play with her. I love it that Pal is the most gentle creature that loves my daughter.

And when the day comes when Pal has to leave her place beside my side, it will fill my heart with such an honest hurt, that I won't be able to suppress for a long, long time. But for now, she is still here. And I love this dog so much. I think I'm gonna go over to tell her so while she lays there so peacefully sleeping.

Goodnight Paligirl, you're the best friend a boy could ever ask for...


  1. Beautiful.
    And yes, others DO get it. :)

  2. I may never have a wife, but I'll always have a dog. Take your dog and your wife, lock them in the trunk of a car for a few hours and see which one's happy to see you when you let them out.

  3. You couldn't have said it better! I don't have a dog right now but have felt exactly the way you described about the ones I did have. There is no love like that of a dog!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.