In February few envisioned lockdowns, quarantines, masks, border closings, airline collapse, remote work, historic public debt, shut offices, mass protests in the streets, fear and pandemic. But here we are. In June. Living in an altered society, craving normal, but pried two metres apart.
Dogs don’t get it. They can’t social distance. Lately animal adoptions have been at record levels as people separated from people look for bonds, loyalty, touch and love from another species. Over the years this blog has used canines as the representation of trust, continuance and goodness in a sketchy world. These days we need it more, when everything else seems so irrevocably screwed up.
The smell of pads. The caress of fur. A waggy tail. Unabashed joy when you return. A soul never afraid of walking too near. Eyes speaking volumes. An utter dependent that’s also a fearless defender. A suck and a hero. Unashamed at both. Such is a dog.
In days of virus, economic chaos and civil unrest, here are a few glimpses into the lives of some readers whom the animals have captured.
“My son just sent me this photo,” writes Dharma Bum.
“He put in an application to foster a dog, and unexpectedly ended up with getting 2 puppies (among dozens) rescued from a reservation in Saskatchewan (he lives in Alberta). So, he and his girlfriend now have the responsibility of raising these cute little critters. Luckily, he’s maintained his employment throughout this recent COVID madness.
“I thought you might like the photograph and could use it for the sheer adorableness of the image. The puppies are pretty cute too! Hahahahaha!”
“Hi Garth. My beautiful friend passed away in my arms last Monday,” Elena tells me. “I thought I would send you her best pics, starting with the very last one of us together. Everything sucks.
“Her name was Hrusha (it means piglet in Russian) and she was 8.5. Dogue de Bordeaux dogs live a short life, and anything over six years is a huge bonus. She was tender, clumsy and so very good. She’s never not once growled at anyone (I guess who needs to growl if they look like a perfect liking machine! She was formidable when she ran.. every creature froze in its tracks, knees bent:)!) You are very welcome to use her pictures and name. Thank you. This means so much.”
“After a decade of reading your blog,” says Kate, “we finally got a dog.
“His name is Billy and he is 11 week old. Feel free to use his picture on your blog, if you want to. Your daily dog photos helped us to make the right choice albeit it took so much time.”
“I was turned onto your blog from a coworker around 2009 when I was a young and naive kid who just got up to Fort McMurray,” says Corey. “Appearances would put me square into the Male, Albertan, redneck, boom/bust energy sector worker but a balanced, diversified portfolio has given me the ability to weather anything and the confidence to take risky career moves that occasionally pay off. The wife knows that my longest relationship to date has been my used 1997 Lincoln towncar, followed closely by this blog.
“Louie is a two year old rescue dog, saved as a pup by my sister who works for an animal rescue in Edmonton. He enjoys destroying things with his baseball bat tail, fiscal responsibility and eating giant ice cubes that hit the floor instead of into a whiskey glass. Louie is not impressed with the thought of going to work.”
:Just a quick note to say thank you so much for being one of the few voices of calm and reason these days,” writes Aaron.
“Your blog has been very meaningful to me over the years, but a recent post really got to me. It was informative and blunt, but still kind and funny, as usual. It also made me realize anew what a dearth of common sense, honesty and true leadership there is at the moment. And yes, I suppose anyone with those traits would indeed make a lousy politician.
“Anyhow, don’t let the haters get you down, and thanks again for continuing to try and save Canadians from themselves. As a small thank you, I did up a quick illustration of Bandit wearing a face mask. Take care, and stay healthy – we need you more than ever these days!”
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