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Okanagan writer rediscovers the joy of having a dog around

Boomer Talk: Finnigan’s first Christmas

Carole Fawcett

Boomer Talk

My Christmas present has arrived.

He is a three-month-old whirling dervish apricot miniature poodle.

He is the best present. I’ve named him Finnigan Fawcett and he has brought joy, laughter and love into my home already. He loves to play, tossing his stuffies and chew sticks into the air and then pouncing on them in pure glee.

He loves to zoom around my small back yard with his nose in the snow and his happiness is evident. It’s like watching joy in action. I feel certain that his first Christmas will be anything but dull.

Our pets impact our lives in such a positive way. They are non-judgmental companions and they give us unconditional love. Puppies, as I am currently experiencing, are also natural comics.

We know that animals think and use their brains. We see it with all animals.

When I lived in Regina in the ’70s, I had an example of that.

My son was two years old and having his afternoon nap, when, during a very snowy and windy afternoon (we would call it a blizzard in B.C.), there was a tapping at my front door. I opened the door and there sat a snow covered, very cold looking German shepherd. I opened the screen door and he walked right in, shook himself off and walked through to the kitchen where he laid down.

It was like an episode of the Littlest Hobo. I gave him some water and something to eat and then he fell asleep. One and a half hours later he asked to go out. We said goodbye and off he went into the cold and snowy afternoon. He actively and purposefully sought shelter in the storm. He had to think to do that. I never saw him again.

Our family dog when I was a child was a cross between a German shepherd and a large boxer-like dog. His name was Rex. He worked with my dad (CN Police) and would patrol the rail yards with him. He went to my mom for affection or when he needed medication, and he came to me to play and as it turned out, protect. I was very safe when Rex was by my side.

Rex and I wandered around what is now called Cottonwood Island Park in Prince George. Back in the day it was an island wilderness, and we would cross over a beaver damn to access the island.

Mom worked for the department of immigration in Prince George. Her office was approximately eight blocks from the CN Station, where dad worked.

Imagine her surprise when she looked up from her desk one day to find Rex looking over the counter at her. He had never been there before, but I guess from his view in the back seat of the car, he had paid attention to where dad dropped her off each morning.

So, he must have made a conscious decision to visit her, walking along the streets, then waited patiently for someone to open the door and off he went to find her.

Perhaps not that surprising that he found her office, as a dog’s sense of smell is apparently 40 times stronger than humans. They can smell medical issues (cancer) sense emotions and so much more. It seems they may also be empaths.

Being empathic is akin to being intuitive. Our pets tune in to our emotions and are a gift to our heart and soul.

Finnigan and I wish you (and your pets) a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanza. We hope that whatever you may celebrate brings you joy and happiness.

Carole Fawcett is a freelance writer, clinical hypnotherapist and retired counsellor.

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