I like white dogs, big white dogs, the ones you see guarding sheep. Great Pyrenees, Kuvasz, and Maremma belong to this group. We have owned two of this type, sort of. Ours were Great Pyrenees hybrids. The first was 3/4 retriever but I emphasized the Pyrenees in her lineage because it seemed more exotic than retriever. After our first one died of cancer at the ripe old age of thirteen, I began the desperate search for a replacement. My wife wanted a Golden Retriever. I wanted a Golden Retriever x Great Pyrenees.
Eventually I found a suitable dog on Kijiji at an SPCA in Alberta. It was billed as a Pyrenees cross and, despite a distinctly hound- like appearance, I just knew that he was part retriever. Such an anxious, nervous dog, we had never seen. He spent the entire trip from Hanna to Golden circling and dropping to the floor of the station wagon. After we got home we let him go off on his own. We did not realize how far he would roam.
At the bottom of the hill live our neighbours. They too owned a big white dog but infinitely more purebred than ours. It did not take very long for our dog to discover their dog. They became fast friends. No sooner would I bring him back up the hill than he would return down the hill to his friend. I found it difficult to tell them apart. One night when a coworker alerted me that the two dogs were playing in his yard, I captured the wrong one. This state of affairs continued until I finally built a fence enclosing about 2/3 of an acre. Our dog’s life had been changed but whenever we drove by our neighbour’s house, he would look to see if his friend was there.
I was at a local auto body shop when I first heard the news. Our neighbours’ dog was dead. I first thought that maybe he had been hit by a vehicle. After all, how else could a dog get killed? No, I was told that he had been poisoned. Later on, I found out that the poisoning appeared to have been deliberate and that he had been fed what amounted to be an entire container of rat poison. I was told that he was sick for an entire week before he died. It is impossible to understand how somebody could be so cruel. A young family is heartbroken when some demented soul causes so much hurt in our world.
I did not know this dog that well but he was the best friend of my best friend.