“This is KC, named after my 2 sons… Kyle and Cory. She is a Husky Shepherd mix and she’s 13 and half years old. We rescued her from a Veterinary College. Actually we rescued 2 dogs at the same time. But we lost the other dog last year. They say that dogs don’t know it, but she does. We can’t even leave and she is instantly by our hip. She really feels the loss. She’s been great on this trip… she travels really well.”
“She was maybe 4 weeks old… I think. I know they say that’s too young, but this was a rescue. She’s very obedient. She listens really well. She chases bears off our property. She actually bit one in the butt while it was going up a tree!”
“Be way more stubborn than them! Honestly… be way more stubborn than them! That’s my number one thing… when you’re trying to train them, or get them to do anything… like when you want them to come and they don’t come… bring them to where you want to go. And if you do that over and over again for say 6 weeks, you’ll have the perfect dog. They’ll listen so well. That’s my number one thing.”
“This was not my first dog. I’ve had dogs my whole life. I’m a female dog whisperer… that’s what I call myself. My dogs are so trained!”
“Training is so important. Because they live a peaceful life if they are not anxious. They feel confident in you. Their lifestyle is more peaceful. I’ve known people that have dogs that bark and bark and bark out of control. Or they shake and they’re nervous. That can’t be good. I find this dog and dogs I’ve had in the past… they are just relaxed. My dogs are trained well enough that they can be off leash. KC is never ever on leash. Ever.”
She is right – while we’re talking a cat in an adjacent car meows loudly. We all turn and look. KC remains sitting, completely relaxed and unfazed.
I’m on vacation with my family, waiting in line for BC Ferry to take us from Vancouver Island to the mainland when I spot a young man sitting with a dog in the open cargo bay of the car ahead of us. So I grab my camera and ask if I can chat with him. As it turns out, he grew up with this dog but has since moved on and started a family of his own. This is his mother’s dog but clearly he is very much attached to and considers this dog his own. While we are chatting his mother joins us and there is some good natured banter over who gets to be interviewed by me.
It turns out the whole family has travelled across Canada to vacation together. Half way through chatting with the mom she takes me over to another son and daughter-in-law’s car to introduce me to them and their dog. In the end I get to meet most of the family and some of their dogs. What follows are my conversations with them…
“This is Baxter and he is 7 months old… It’s definitely life changing! It’s like a kid. Definitely, definitely in a positive way. A lot of work. A trade-off, but it‘s rewarding. He’s part of the family. He’s become a real personality. We love him.”
“We are out here specifically to do some work. There are a lot of distractions out here. Every once in a while I want him to focus on me. I will ask for a ‘down’ or a ‘sit’. I want him to do it despite all the distractions.”
“It’s made me more mature. I have to take care of him. I also have to take care of myself. I come home after work and I’m tired. But I still have to take care of Nimbus. And then do it again, later in the evening around 10 o’clock. I can’t just think of myself anymore. It’s like having a child. I got him at 13 weeks of age. But I researched everything beforehand.”
“There are things that have tested my patience. Like when he was a puppy and pulled on leash or went running off. But it was all about the training. I beleive the problem is not the dog. It’s all the person…it’s all about the training. So being patient is important”
“One of the things about having a dog is that so many people love dogs. They all come up and talk to us. “When you have a dog you meet other dog people and you have a connection.”
Do you have a nickname for him…do you ever change up his name a bit just to be playful?
“Oh yeah. When he does something dopey I call him Nimrod instead of Nimbus.”
The Taste of the Danforth is one of Canada’s largest street festivals, welcoming 1.5 million people over the course of a summer weekend in August. The concept of the festival began when a number of local competitors decided to get together and participate in what is now known as a “co-op or coalition advertising”. There are dozens of free activities for visitors of all ages and of course, FOOD, FOOD and more FOOD. It is a fun event and many folks bring their dogs. I met a couple of them, their posts follow…