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Very often, in writing this diary, we tell of the less pleasant things, as well as some of the good things about the area. Our purpose in providing this information is to enable buyers to beware. No-one else will tell you the unpleasant things about an area. We have never seen information like this made available before. Buying a home is the most expensive investment you will ever make. We are not sales people. Apart from our own homes, we do not own any property in the area. Please do not write to us telling us the good things about this area .. any sales person or the local tourist office can provide that information. Of course, they are only interested in selling. That is the only information they want you to know. For other such matters of interest about Guelph go to http://www.sentex.net/~oficserv/Guelph.html

Tuesday 31st October 2000

This afternoon I took Tsunami (my golden retriever) to have her annual checkup and shots. She is such a beautiful creature. It seems incredible that one day she too will be old and in pain.

I took Moose along for company. As soon as we arrived in the waiting room I began to feel that Moose's time had come. His breathing was laboured. His eyes were blue with cataract. His hearing was bad. He could hardly walk. His backbone was visible since he no longer seemed to be eating well. When the vet examined him she pointed out that the "sore place on his pad", which I had noticed, was not a sore at all, but a large growth like an extra pad. He had also swollen lymph glands. There was an ugly black warty growth on one of his eyes. Since I bought the Tsunami, Moose had been chewing on some of her cured bones. His teeth had improved dramatically. Actually all that remained of my personal body-guard, friend, confidant and companion were his teeth, his beautiful golden coat, his undying love and his determination not to leave Tsunami and me. Did I tell you, he had a seizure a few days ago? He came out of the gate barking and gasping and desperately trying to bound along on his spastic and collapsing legs. Suddenly he fell on his side. Urine poured down the driveway. His legs flailed and I thought "Thank God, he's going on his own". He stopped breathing. I stroked his head and told him it was ok to go. .. but no way! With that his began to breathe again, looked up at me with such love .. and came for his usual short stagger down the street.

A few months ago I had called Rhona Raskin (in the middle of the night) as I had been wrestling with this horrible decision and couldn't get to sleep. Rhona was very sympathetic - as she has a lovely companion called Phoenix. (Rhona has an international talk show which runs through the night. She also has a web site and the address is at the bottom of this page). Rhona thought I would know when the time came. Other people also called in and had the same opinion. They also gave me advice about the burial - as I didn't want any friend of mine cremated. .. So now the time had come and I just had to get my amazing Moose put to sleep. The vet laid him quietly down on a blanket. She gave him an injection in his arm. I held his paw. He went to sleep. .. forever. I guess I'll stop crying sometime, but I'll always miss him. In fact I have owned seven golden retrievers to date:

There was Shane (very similar to Moose). He died at age six, when his digestive system suddenly became blocked we took him to the vet. To our horror the vet told us his system was strangled with cancer. I cried for several weeks. We lived in the country and I couldn't stand being alone without Shane.

Next was Peggoty. We bought Peg on the rebound. She had hip dysplacia very badly. We kept her until we emigrated. The airline wanted far more than we could afford, so we left her with our farmer friend. Fortunately he had taken us to the airport. She lived to be about ten. She followed our friend around the field when he was ploughing .. and he said her dysplacia problem was a lot better with the gentle exercise, plus she could rest at the end of rows.

In Canada we didn't like to remain dogless, so we bought Foxy-Roxy from the Shadybrook Kennels near Orangeville. Rox was beautiful, but when she was about seven I didn't want to go through the trauma of her death again without an overlapping dog. I decided to get a puppy. As Rox was still a female we thought it would be best to get another female. (Bad move!) We bought a really cute puppy, this time in the lighter colour. That was the first Suzy the Floozy. Rox became consumed with jealousy. When we walked she would walk at a distance. I have not experienced doggy jealousy before. It ate Rox to death .. literally. She was only with us for another year.

Again, when Suzy was about seven I decided to overlap her with another dog. This time I was lucky enough to see a handsome young male advertised in the local paper. The young couple had thought it would be nice for their two little children to have a puppy. They had been given a pedigree golden named Tippy-Tip. He was to have been a stud-dog and show-dog .. until his hips were checked and diagnosed as suspect displacia. He had grown much too big for the couple - who were expecting a third baby. He had been living in the hall closet in their small condo. He knocked everyone flying when we arrived. He sat on the smallest son. As a parting gift he smacked the larger son in the face as he waved his huge paws around. What a clumsy great oaf. When we got home I said to my husband .. "That's no Tippy-Tip .. That's a ruddy great Moose" - so we agreed to change his name and he answered to it better anyway.

From the time we bought Moose, Suzy seemed to regain her youth. She lived to be twelve. She loved Moose and departed only when she became really senile and didn't seem to know where she was. Eventually she caught gastric-enteritis and died suddenly in the early morning. My husband and I cried for hours - as usual. He buried her in the woodlands and we planted a forsythia over her.

Shortly after Suzy died, I looked for another golden .. this time to keep Moose company. He obviously missed Suzy. Someone gave us Molly the Wally. I had been warned that Molly was a trouble-maker .. but nothing could prepare me for the mess that her mind was in. She had not been socialized at all - and was eighteen months old already. Poor Molly and her sister had been bred by a young couple who were in the throes of a divorce. The two puppies had been left in a barn on their own. Molly also had ingrowing eyelids. These had to be fixed by surgery. Poor Molly, no wonder her mind was a mess. Everything she did was filled with misunderstanding, pain and rage.
She ripped the back tyres off my new lawnmower and chewed off the wires. She forced her nose and head through the bars of the steel container which we had bought .. as we had been told that she should be "crated" to give her security! We were late taking them for their five o'clock walk So, she pulled a large portion of carpet into the container and completely shredded it.
We gave her to some friends .. They left her at the back of their house, where she destroyed the garden and barked incessantly. They left her in the basement, where she ripped into everything. They tied her up in the basement and she ate the first three steps off the stairs! Poor Molly the Wally was the only golden for whose departure I did not cry bitterly. I did very much regret my inability to provide a home for her and it was not at all her fault that she was so messed up. People do such rotten things to their children, let alone their dogs!

Anyway, the night my lovely Moose was put to sleep .. it was Halloween. I didn't want to be alone, so I went to Swiss Chalet for supper and told anyone who'd listen .. about Moose. It's surprising just about everyone has had a beloved pet and gone through this trauma. After supper I went to see "Meet The Parents". That was a comedy and for a little while I managed to relax my face. Afterwards though .. I was totally beside myself. I didn't get to sleep until about three in the morning. I was going to call Rhona Raskin and tell her I had taken her advice. My voice had gone, I could hardly breathe .. I could not have spoken to her.

The vet put Moose in her freezer overnight and I'll take him out to the farm for a decent doggie burial tomorrow. He was about twenty. That's very old for a golden. It was a privilege to own such a lovely creature. I think old age and death was a major design flaw in God's plan. Odd that it's Halloween tonight (I didn't plan it that way) .. when all souls get to go to heaven. I'm sure Moose has a place there. He will look really good standing beside an angel.

Sunday 21st October 2000

October started by turning suddenly cold. We had the first frosts, but even those did not kill my one zucchini plant. This produced three huge courgettes, which I gave to my neighbour, plus about eight smaller ones which gave me enough ratatouille to satisfy my requirement for that particular delicious dish.

Tuesday 10th October 2000

Made my annual visit to Brampton Airport and Forks of Credit. I like to leave this trip until the day after Canadian Thanksgiving. The weekend of Thanksgiving the roads are crowded bumper-to-bumper. On this Thanksgiving the weather was not very good either.

My friend decided to come along on this trip. We had a good lunch at Brampton and I took a few photographs, which you may like to see .. as follows:-

Return to other months of Diary from Canada at http://www.sentex.net~oficserv/Canlet.html

Return to home-page of OFICSERV Computer Office Services & Drafting at http://www.sentex.net/~oficserv

Link to the Movies Pages at "movies.yahoo.com"

Visit a site for many photographs of North American Birds and animals.

Rhona Raskin Home Page at http://www.rhona.com.