Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Guardian

Reilly the Guardian: Watching out for his brother’s Adam (reading) and Liam (smiling) People always find it comforting to think that someone is looking out for them. Whether it’s a parent or a spouse or a friend, the idea that someone has taken your best interests to heart is a real source of gratification. Some folks even like the idea of a guardian angel. I suppose a dog is like a guardian angel. Ideally they look to protect a person and, by extension, their family. It’s all part of the pack mentality. Italian painter Pietro da Cortona captured the classic idea of the guardian angel in his oil painting aptly … Continue reading

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The Day We Lost Reilly

          Don’t it always seem to go That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. (Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell)   That’s right, I am drawing inspiration from that chain-smokin’ diva (Joni Mitchell’s a diva to me anyway) who immortalized those words in a song. Of course she was referring to the time they “paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Instead, I’m just going to talk about the day we lost Reilly.   It was actually a beautiful day in Southampton, Ontario. We had driven up to visit our friends Lola and Claude. The north wind coming off of Lake Huron … Continue reading

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Reilly’s Going to Miss the Snow. I’m Not!

It’s like he just drank three Red Bulls after someone gave him a shot of adrenaline. For some reason, Reilly went bonkers today at the sight of fresh snow. He kind of reminds me of both our sons before a day of skiing. They could stay up until three in the morning and still be up at six to hit the slopes. Where does that kind of energy and will to live in the snow come from?   We are now in the middle of March and spring is just days away. This doesn’t mean much in Canada because the spring usually doesn’t really present itself until early April – … Continue reading

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The Life of Reilly

On the drive home from picking up our puppy, my son Liam and I tossed around a few names for our newest family member. Liam liked the name Einstein and I was partial to some super-macho name that escapes me now (it was probably something like Thor or Spartacus). At one point, I said to Liam, “Mom likes the name Reilly.” The discussion continued for most of the ride home and, the more we talked about it, the more we both felt that the name Reilly fit. We weren’t really sure why the name fit so well. What we did know was that we were immediately attached to this little puppy. Liam loved the dog … Continue reading

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Dogs Love to Bond

Any dog owner knows that dogs love to bond with their pack. They are also inclined to select a master to whom they devote most of their trust. Two stories jumped out at me today to remind me of this. The first involves a British soldier serving in Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Liam Tasker was assigned to an ordinance disposal unit. His main task was to work with a Springer Spaniel named Theo to sniff out bombs. Take a look at this very sad story: My uncle shared a story with my mother a few months back that is very similar to the one listed above. He went to a wake … Continue reading

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The Prisoner

  I suppose we are all prisoners to some degree. We are confined to a life of not fully realizing everything what the world has to offer. In other words, while we want to know everything, we can’t know everything. Sure we try. But the bottom line is that we can only know so much and accepting this allows us to deal with our limitations. To be a prisoner is to be confined; to have our liberty stripped away to the point of not being allowed to fully participate in everything we would like to participate in.   A dog’s life – while surprisingly easy and, at times, enviable – … Continue reading

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Coming Home

 You wanna know how lucky I am? Last weekend I was in Whistler, British Columbia, skiing – shredding the mountain as the ski bums like to say. Well it really wasn’t all that glamorous. I was supervising 17 teenagers from the high school I teach at. And I hardly shred anything because my ski skills are not the greatest. But I digress… When you visit British Columbia you cannot help but marvel at the province’s beauty. The mountains and trees and sea – the combination makes you wonder why anyone would want to live anywhere other than this majestic setting. There were a couple of moments while skiing at Whistler … Continue reading

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