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Here’s to good memories

I’m sure by now a lot of you know of Blacky, Niqora’s black wolf pet. I did not name her Blacky because I am that unimaginative 🙂 As I have mentioned briefly before, the wolf is named after my RL black Labrador retriever. The real Blacky passed away on May 15 of last year. She was my best friend for 14 and a half years. In honour of her, I would like to tell you who exactly she was.

There are some souls that can never be kept down, no matter what happens to them. Blacky was one of those souls. She was always so full of life that even when she was far into her years, I would still call her my pup. Her bones could be sore from her mild arthritis but she would walk up to greet me with her little jump and toss of her head. The two of us had a special connection that is hard to describe. We understood each other in a way, with sidelong looks and an intuition of what the other was thinking or going to do.

There were many times when I was feeling down or I just needed her company so I would go into the garage where her bed was (she was an outside dog) and just spend some time petting her. Even on the coldest winter days I would do that. We both enjoyed these little pockets of time together and sometimes when I would start to get up, she would clamp her paw down on my leg hard, telling me to stay put and pet her some more. I would always chuckle when she did that.

My parents always said that she was a “people dog”, which contrasted with me being an “animal person”. If there were people hanging around, that’s where you would find her. She would saunter from person to person, eliciting pats with a wag of her tail. She was never one to bark much; instead she would whine and moan and nuzzle her head against your hip or hand to get attention. A large chunk of her time was spent on our back deck, where she could lay in the sun and watch us through the glass sliding door that led to the kitchen.

She also liked food…a lot. I know that everyone says you’re not suppose to feed a dog human food but my family disregarded that rule. There was always scraps for Blacky after dinner, usually bones from meat. We could even give her chicken bones as she was smarter than most dogs and knew how to chew them so that they wouldn’t splinter. In addition, if I was eating something and she was anywhere near me, I would always share with her (except chocolate which is poisonous to dogs). During hot dog roasts outside, I would give her up to a third of what I ate. She would always sit by me whenever my family was eating outside. She knew who would give her the most food 🙂

She was not a fan of toys like most dogs. In RL, it would kill me to have to harm an animal but Blacky’s favorite activity was hunting. Anything that wasn’t human or canine was fair game. It was not something that was ever taught to her, she was just a natural born hunter. Both of her prey included rodents from nearby fields and the occasional unfortunate sparrow that came to our numerous birdfeeders. Having said that, she was unafraid to tackle bigger obstacles, including deer, cows, and yes, she once chased a 200 pound black bear from our yard. She never did manage to catch any of these larger targets but that sure didn’t stop her from trying.

I could go on and on about my beautiful (as I also called her), but I think I will save those stories for another time. You should know that Blacky now rests peacefully in my parents’ backyard, under the maple tree close to the house. I imagine she still enjoys sunning on the deck, or stalking birds that visit the bird feeder in the maple tree. I miss her more than I can explain but part of me takes solace in the fact that she no longer has to worry about her aching bones and ageing body, and can run and prance and toss her head without feeling pain.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without you, pup. You were the most important factor in me becoming me. My memory may be poor but I could never ever forget you. Here’s to you, my beautiful, and all the joy and knowledge you brought to me.