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Fur kids, Dragonfly - Food Gypsy

The green, green grass that was home

May in Nova Scotia, a welcome relief from the heat of Mexico, the Yucatan was baking in 35*, arriving at the  Halifax airport, at 15* there was a very decided need for a sweater.  A month ago the Annapolis Valley was grey and dry and now it is a thousand shades of green.  Spring has arrived without me.

Back.  Back to dogs and items of business, both old and new and solutions to effect for equipment and stuff… what to do with one’s stuff?  Decisions.

Let it never be said that being a grown up is all fun and games.  With the responsibilities we take on there come times when we must make very uncomfortable choices.   We know they are the ‘right’ choices… but there lingers for a time a deep sadness and doubt before moving on to acceptance.

Business to close.  Facts and figures and sums and payments.  Business to open.  Design and layout and hosting and format.  Experts do their job, you do yours.  All very cut and dried.  Easy. What is the right time to say goodbye to a good and trusted, loyal friend?  That is hard.  Where is there advice on that?

How do you choose a day for them to depart knowing that they are in pain?   A question every pet owner knows they may face someday.   For the last seven years I have been the leader of a pack of three; a sassy bulldog, Magnus (Mags), and my sweet little girl, a West Highland Terrier named Zoë.  At the Dragonfly we all had jobs, including the dogs, Magnus our concierge and Zoë, head of security.  Now, we must all find new vocations.

Mags arrived seven years ago, when he was three.  He had horrible manners.   He became mine by default when the man who brought him into my life, left abruptly. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with Magnus” he said and I said “Oh, I don’t think you understand what’s going on here….”   I love that dog.  Now he runs the joint, cries for gravy, loves a good shoe.  He’s all boy.

My little dog, 16 years old, was with me from a pup.  We’ve been through a lot together.  Roommates.  Boyfriends.  Jobs.  No jobs.  Moves.  Sha has been my constant companion and champion and every night at 5 o’clock we walked.  Every night.  Until recently.

Liver cancer.

It wasn’t fast.  In fact, it was very slow.  She would have long periods of remission, being bouncy and happy but each time  it returned the pain got more intense and this winter we began a pain journal for Miss Zoza.  The bad days far outnumbered the good by spring.  It was time to let her go.

We spent a week making it the very best week we could, there were countless bowls of ice cream and sherbet and a little puppy party with all of her favorite people and dogs and then I had to hold true to one of the most heart wrenching decisions I have ever had to make — and put my dog down.

I know it was right but it still hurts like hell.  I miss her little face.

There was this space in my life previously filled, now, suddenly empty.  Her little bed beside my desk, which he now thinks is his.

The best thing about dogs – the reason so many of us seek them as companions in life – they live in the moment.  So while I grieved a loss of the white fur-ball that slept on the foot of the bed for 16 years, the bulldog moved on and to keep up, so did I.

We kept only or memories and the most precious things about her and let everything else go.

Now we are a pack of two and this leader has no idea where home is next; so it’s off to Camp Grandma’s for the boy… where there’s a big garden to run in and puppy pools to paddle in and bouncing big dogs to run with and snacks in the shade.

While I go off in search of ‘home’… wherever that may be.

Cori Horton

Fearlessly cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, food marketing consultant, recipe developer and sustainability advocate. A Cordon Bleu trained chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and now shares all things delicious - right here.

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