It is the season of giving so I'm ready to share the truth.
Ten years ago, I stole my husband's dog.
No, I didn't raid his man-cave/garage and take the dog to make him come out.
When we got our Angus, a dog that was supposed to be for him, Angus bonded with me.
Last month Angus, our large mixed-breed Rottweiler family member, had to be euthanized just a few weeks shy of his 10th birthday. Our whole family misses him but I miss him fiercely.
It was my husband's idea to get a rottie because he likes the breed, but it was my idea to get this dog who was a five-week-old baby born in the home of a local rescue for Rottweilers.
"We'll take him," I famously said, as he fit into the palm of my husband's hand.
It was a great plan. I was at home on maternity leave with our newborn second child at the time so we'd raise the baby and the puppy at the same time. Except that it was February and minus-30 outside. Getting up multiple times in the night to feed and change the human baby as well as take the dog baby outside, not such a good plan!
Within a few months, it turned out Angus and I were a match. It also turned out that Angus, my fired-up four-legged friend, looked nothing like a rottweiler.
When our youngest child was just a toddler, I once saw her feed him a Cheerio, change her mind, pry his huge jaws open and reach in to take it back. Our gentle giant just let her take it. He patiently wore bonnets during tea parties. He was kind to our cat and tolerant of our little pug dog. He rolled in the grass every day he could and went camping with us every summer.
I loved it when people would see him with us, notice his rottie markings, long hair and docked tail, and say, "What kind of dog is that?"
Angus was a high-energy, lively, loyal and joyful creature who got old too fast.
I wanted to tell you Angus's story because this is also the season to remember what we are thankful for and share blessings with others.
In the Free Press sports department, we're inviting you to share what you can in support of the Cheer Board to bring hampers to needy families at this special time of year.
Executive director Kai Madsen of The Christmas Cheer Board said the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association is collecting pet food donations which families can access at 550-1395 Ellice Ave.
If you can help deliver hampers, call 989-5680. Delivery begins today.
Sports editor Steve Lyons told you last week The Christmas Cheer Board will need to raise $840,000 to break even this year. Last year, with your help, our Spirit of Christmas campaign was able to contribute $149,432 to The Christmas Cheer Board.
Please join us and send your donations to The Spirit of Christmas, c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6.
This week's contributors:
Olive Peirson $100.00
Bettina & George Nyman $100.00
In Memory of D. & J. Moran $100.00
Albert T. Shipman $200.00
Mary Robertson $25.00
Icelandic Canadian Fron $150.00
William & Jean Leanders $25.00
In Memory of Serafine & Georg Ternette, $40.00
Marjorie & Ernest Smith
Laura Campbell $100.00
Beryl Sawkins $50.00
In Memory of Bob & Joan Caswill $50.00
In Memory of Wilfred T. Moore $200.00
Fred & Phyllis Forsyth $100.00
Paul & Evelyn Mearon $100.00
Nancy Cullen $100.00
Rick Phillips $50.00
In Memory of Ernie Schneider $125.00
Kenneth F. & E. Mary Hurst $100.00
Minnie Green $100.00
Chris Finnbogason $100.00
Ron Buffie $50.00
Jane Hayakawa $50.00
Gladys Anderson $100.00
Ted & Jean Dupley $50.00
L.S. & Helen Hamende $35.00
In Memory of Ivy Land $20.00
In Memory of Doris Chapman $20.00
Bert Moon $50.00
R. & P. Winton $200.00
Senior Melody Group $100.00
Avis Briscoe $100.00
In Memory of Bennet & Morgan's grandfather, Leonard Finney Sr. $100.00
Allan Roy Besson $25.00
Allan G. J. & Louise Fedoruk $25.00
141 Fishing Club $30.00
Jerry G. Ilchyna $100.00
In Memory of B.D. (Buck) and Eva Hay $200.00
Harold K. Irving $200.00
Rick & Christine Station $50.00
In Memory of Mickey Stokelteny $25.00
Cheryl L. & Barry E. Fiebelkorn $50.00
Kay Schalme $30.00
In Memory of Archie Nunn $200.00
June & Jerry Trueman $100.00
Virginia G. Johnson $50.00
J. Spence Shiach $50.00
Debra Fredborg $40.00
Margaret Mills $25.00
D. N. Eastoe $25.00
John & Betty Dyck $100.00
J. Borley $100.00
Tony & Lillian Kuz $100.00
Helen Schaetzle $100.00
In Memory of Jack & Janet Livingstone $100.00
G. & M. Wynne $75.00
G. L. Rockman $50.00
In Memory of Eric Refvik $50.00
Mr. & Mrs. G. Lintick $125.00
Norma Scholl $100.00
In Memory of Frank & Polly Chervinski $25.00
In Memory of Bert & Eloise Patterson $25.00
North/South Consultants Inc. Staff $1,703.24
M. G. Joyce Allen $200.00
Graham Bain & Co. $50.00
Paul & Shirley Lindsay $55.00
Beverley Swan $50.00
H. Brownscombe $100.00
Bill Halpenny $50.00
Mabel Egan $40.00
Paul Platz in Memory of Dorothy $100.00
Norma G. Thorkelsson $25.00
Edward Hallama $25.00
In Memory of Alice & George Smallacombe $50.00
Joyce Anderson $50.00
Robert W. Harder $100.00
Rose Lock $100.00
Arthur J. Wheeler $50.00
Elaine Garychuk $50.00
Bernice & Ernie Barlow $50.00
H. & L. Schuster $20.00
S. Schwark $25.00
In Memory of Clifford & Lois Burgess $50.00
In Memory of Olive Barnard & $50.00
Honouring Bruce & Pat McBeth, from Patti & Guy $100.00
Manitoba Seniors Golf Association $300.00
Coughlin & Associates Ltd. $250.00
Margaret Stuart $30.00
In Memory of Angus A. MacLeod & Walter & Jeanne Penno $400.00
Anonymous (three donations) $2,300.00
Today's total $11,338.24