Lead On, MacDuff

Our travel-loving, super lovable, intrepid companion, MacDuff, has crossed the rainbow bridge. We imagine him swimming his heart out, accepting every treat offered by his first best friend, Bill, and chasing every squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, armadillo and porcupine. We were ill-prepared to make such an announcement. Particularly for the first post of the next chapter of Folksblogen. We couldn’t wait to show MacDuff the west coast of Canada and the provinces in between, explore the Baja of Mexico with him this coming winter and bask in his joy as he entered the Pacific Ocean for the first time. We were not ready to say goodbye. And we are starting our journey feeling as sad as we have ever been.

We left Amherstburg on Friday, June 3rd and spent two nights with the kids and grandkids in Guelph. Duff was happy to have a yard to patrol and a canine companion (Mini the poodle). From there, we went to Singhampton to visit our dear friends, Michael and Nobuyo, at their farm, Eigensinn. It was a bit like ‘old home week,’ and we saw several more friends, including our pal Erin from PEI, Oyster Boy, Lise and STP. We even explored the shores of Georgian Bay in the pouring rain. After leaving Amherstburg, all our movements led to scheduled doctor’s appointments in Toronto on the morning of the 8th, followed by visits with friends and family. His last 24 hours were spent in blissful harmony with his first dog friend, Marley, and our friends, Mike, Graidhne, Quintin and Ellemijn with whom the three of us have met in Florida, Nova Scotia and Barry’s Bay. What was not planned were the follow-up tests the next day. Between Christian’s tests in our old neighbourhood, we enjoyed coffee from our favourite coffee shop, Cherry Bomb. Despite his deteriorating eyesight, Duff spotted a piece of apple on the ground, and the conniving food ninja he is (thanks, Jeanne), he snapped it up before we could say Bob’s Your Uncle. We continued walking down Roncesvalles, but a minute later, he stopped and keeled over. We initially thought he was choking on the apple as he was having difficulty breathing. We did our best doggie Heimlich to no avail. Passersby reminded us of the Veterinary Clinic a couple of blocks south, so we ran as fast as we could with Duff in Christian’s arms. They took him immediately, put him on oxygen, did some x-rays and a while later let us know that he wouldn’t make it out of the clinic alive. We were utterly devastated. We learned that day that he had tumours affecting his stomach, spleen and heart and an arrhythmia. We cuddled him and reminded him how much we love him. He was such a devoted and loving companion not just to the two of us but to Mom and Dad, our extended family, and to many friends, far and wide. It seemed somewhat fitting that MacDuff’s end was in the neighbourhood where he spent the first few months of his life and lots of time in the years that followed.

It may take us a while to find our enthusiasm for wandering without our best little buddy. We are eager to get out of Dodge. If you’ve signed up to receive a postcard please be patient they will come! And again, if you wish to receive a postcard just email us at info@folksblogen.com with your mailing address.