Under One Woof

Humber Et Cetera's Pets and Animals Blog

My dog Prince

on March 26, 2012

By Alex Zakrzewski

One of the first photos we took of Prince in what would become his spot. Photo by Alex Zakrzewski

Robert Louis Stevenson said that dogs will be in heaven before any of us, and after having owned a dog like Prince, I believe it.

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Prince and I don’t know how I am going to get through writing this blog entry.

He was more than just a family pet.  He was a guardian, a companion, a shoulder to cry on and an unconditional source of love and affection.

Prince was a rescue dog that we adopted through Adopt-a-Dog/Save-A-Life Inc., an incredible Ontario-based charity committed to rescuing abandoned dogs and finding them loving homes.

I will never forget that day in May 1998 when we first brought him home.  From the moment he crossed the threshold, he was a beloved member of the family.

When we adopted him we were told that he was a German shepherd/husky/ lab mix and that he was two years old.  But as with any abandoned dog, it’s impossible to say for certain.

I cannot recount my favourite memory of Prince as there are too many.   I remember how he used to smile when he was with us, how he used to swim for hours in Grenadier Pond, how he once snapped a metal chain in a fit of excitement, how he used to sleep curled up with our cat Milo, how he hated baths and how he particularly hated this one Pomeranian that lived in our neighbourhood (we called him “Puffy Dog”).  The list goes on and on.

A big teddy bear to those he loved, Prince was also fiercely protective and had a look about him that distinctly resembled a wolf on the prowl.  When my mother walked him at night, men would cross the street as she approached and solicitors quickly learned to skip our house.  I always slept soundly knowing he was in the home.

Not surprisingly we spoiled him absolutely rotten.  Any new “no dog on the furniture” rule lasted about two minutes and he ate better than most people.  There is one memory that comes to mind when I think of how well he lived with us.  It was March 2001 and I had a horrible case of the stomach flu.  As I lay on the couch, bowled over in pain, Prince kept pacing around me, back and forth.  At first, we thought he needed to go out, but when he came back inside, he kept pacing with an irritated look on his face.   Finally I got up to go get an Advil, and the second I left the couch, he hopped on and immediately laid on his back with his belly in the air.  It then occurred to everyone in the room that I was in his spot and he was obviously not pleased.   Despite my discomfort, I could not help but laugh and I conceded the couch and went to bed.

I know that’s not the best story but it’s the first one that comes to mind.  There are so many more and I could spend hours typing up little anecdotes that probably sound dumb to most people but are none-the-less treasured memories that I have of my dog.

Prince died on August 26, 2009, at home, surrounded by the members of his family.  He went gracefully and with dignity and I thank God to this day that we were spared that awful drive to the vet to have him put down.  I’m not a particularly religious man but I do believe that Prince was meant to come into our lives to make them richer and I know that wherever he is now he is free, well-fed and probably getting his belly rubbed.

Cherish each moment you have with your dog because they cherish every second they are with you.

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