On a very cold February morning in 2020, I headed out early on a road trip to the central Ontario community of Bancroft. For most of the trip there, I kept asking myself what I was doing. Let me explain.
The previous November we had to have Sadie, our geriatric Doberman mixed breed putdown. She was getting older and had developed several ailments including diabetes, which, we believe contributed to her losing her sight. We had put it off as long as we could but seeing her confusion one night when she could notf ind her way back to the house after a bathroom break confirmed it was time.
I can’t even begin to explain how much of loss it was. She had been our constant companion for almost nine years. She had slept on the bed with us, gone to our shop and spent the day with us and often accompanied us virtually anywhere we went. Now she was gone and the silence was unbearable. We thought we would get another dog someday, but felt we needed more time to adjust, and besides, no one could ever replace Sadie.
Well, that was November, and this was February and Brenda, my wife just happened to come across a post on her phone for a small rescue dog, a Pittie/Lab cross. She contacted the rescue group and learned that Diva (the name she had been given) had been in three homes in the six months she had been alive and now they were looking for number four. She had originally been a Christmas gift that hadn’t worked out, been given to a friend who in turn passed her along to the rescue group.
We talked about it briefly and I volunteered to drive up on Saturday morning and see what I thought. I figured it would be a quick trip because a) I didn’t really want anything crossed with a Pitbull and b) there was no way this dog could ever replace Sadie.
I arrived just before lunch and Diva was brought out to see me. She was quite skinny, and seemed very nervous, but for some reason I just scooped her up and talked to her. She looked at me as if to say “I’m sorry for whatever I have done.Where am I going now?”
I saidI would like to take her home.
Only after I placed her in the truck did I learn that she apparently got car sick very easily, something she confirmed twice between Bancroft and Highway 7. By the time we reached the EnRoute just west of Kingston and I had cleaned up themess, I decided that enough was enough and placed her pillow on the front seat beside me and sat her on top of it.
By the time I pulled out of the parking lot, she had lay down and placed her head on my lap. It was smooth sailing all the way home. She didn’t get car sick, she was just very, very scared.
Since that day Mia (her new name) has become a part of everything we do. She sleeps on the bed at night, sits on the couch and watches TV in the evenings, is terrorized by our two cats and in return humps them at every opportunity, and fills a void I never thought could be filled.
I am a photographer who enjoys going out before dawn to capture the sunrise. I started bringing Mia with me, because (I said) she enjoys car rides so much. It has now become the rule, rather than the exception and it is a rare day when I do not take her with me. Because I seldom take a photo without her with me that she has earned the title of PHODOGRAFUR. It is her joy in accompanying me is as much as anything that motivates me to get up at 4:30 most mornings and drive around in the dark.
You can never predict what you will see in the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes the only reward is the coffee and plain donut from Tim Hortons (the donut is hers) while on other occasions we have seen deer, foxes, skunks, rabbits, birds of all shapes and sizes, beaver and the chipmunks and squirrels which are the bane of her existence. Since no two days are the same, I thought, why not share, both the words and images with others who might understand how much apart of your life a dog can become.
Mornings with Mia will be a collection of our adventures, such as they are. I will try to post at least once a week, sometimes more often, sometimes less. I hope you enjoy what we share, and if it reminds you of a friend you have now or once had, then so much the better.