This past weekend’s loss of our lovely cat Bayona seems to have got both Raymond and me thinking about pets more than usual. Most of our attention is focused on how much we miss that fat cat, and discussion of whether or when we should get another companion from the SPCA for Sieste, our other cat of long standing. But Raymond also seems to have really come around to an idea we’d only talked jokingly about before: a dog for the Manse.
And not just any dog. It has to be a beagle named Kip.
“Where did that idea come from?” you will be wondering. Well, I’ll tell you. It came from Whitby Ontario. So there.
About a year ago, Raymond and I were travelling west to Toronto and beyond on Highway 401, and we wanted to stop to load up on cat food for “the girls” (Sieste and Bayona). We have taken to buying it at an outlet of the PetSmart chain in Belleville (which isn’t far from the Manse in Queensbrough); PetSmart sells big bags at a considerably lower price than we have been able to find here in Montreal. At that point we weren’t near Belleville, but we were near Whitby, and there is a PetSmart store not far off the 401 there. So in we zoomed. And as it turned out on that bright Saturday spring morning, the store was holding a special event in collaboration with the Humane Society to urge people to adopt pets. And one of the dogs up for adoption was the cutest and liveliest beagle you ever saw. And his name was Kip.
I told Raymond that Kip would be the perfect accessory for his red truck, which he had just purchased. But Raymond, being sensible, pointed out that there was no way we were in a position to have a dog, what with our lives and time divided between the Manse – where a dog could have a fair bit of freedom – and the city, where we’d be stuck walking him through the city streets in rain, snow and slush. He was right, of course. But ever since I’ve been teasing him about his need for a beagle named Kip.
And it kind of seemed like a sign that, one morning in Queensborough six weeks or so ago, when our neighbour Chuck was over with his truck giving Raymond’s a battery boost (which it needed after a winter in storage), a dog suddenly came rampaging up who looked a lot like – Kip! Now, clearly it wasn’t; I don’t even know if it was a beagle. And of course it belonged to someone.
But on that bright morning Kip (as I shall call him anyway, since I don’t yet know his real name) was on the loose, exploring the neighbourhood and everything that was going on (which is never all that much in Queensborough, you must understand) at high speed. He spent quite a bit of time checking out Raymond and Chuck and the trucks before scuttling underneath the fence to have a look around our neighbours’ yard. He was a happy, busy little fellow.
So anyway, as I was saying, Raymond seems to be coming around to the idea of a dog. Do you know what he asked me last night? “Do you think we should phone that store [that would be the one in Whitby, from a year ago] and see if we can find out who got Kip?”
Raymond, I fear that particular Kip is gone. But you shall have your Humane Society beagle. And he will look great in your truck. And we will name him Kip!