Karyn Williams: Rumor

Young Rumor, homed from as shelter

Young Rumor, homed from as shelter

One day I adopted a dog from a local shelter. She was about six months old, a cross between a Lab and Shepherd and I called her Rumor.

Apparently her first six months hadn’t been so great. She was scared of children and most adults. Although settling in with me quite well, we had several puppy problems, mostly abandonment related whenever she was left alone. Parts of my house were destroyed; everything seemed fair game to her. With lots of love and consistent positive attention she got better.

A few years later, my father, Ed Williams, who had worked for years as the International Sales Manager of Braun Canada, was diagnosed with dementia. While he still lived at home, we decided that Rumor would keep him and my mother, Viola, company while I was at work. My Dad adored this dog and the feeling was mutual. My father began losing his eyesight and in no time found himself completely blind.

The magic of Rumor began to unfold. Anytime Dad went near the stairs, Rumor was there to block him from falling; she would nudge and push him away from the landing until he was safe. Rumor would also take my Dad for short walks around the block, always bringing him home safe when he could not find his way back.

It was winter and we had just had a severe snow storm. My mother had left my Dad in the house while she went out to shovel. Rumor was in the backyard enjoying the fresh downfall. After about half an hour of my Mom shoveling, she was standing across the street chatting with a neighbour when she heard Rumor barking, crying, almost screaming to get her attention. My Mom had never heard or seen Rumor behave this way, so she excused herself to see what all the fuss was about. When she opened the gate to the back yard, she saw Rumor going crazy, pulling at her gloved hands.

My Mom was mortified when she saw what she was being dragged to witness. My father had wandered into the backyard wearing only his pyjamas and had fallen through the ice in the deep end of our vinyl pool. With the help of the dog, my mother managed to pull out my Dad. My Mom grabbed his hand and Rumor gripped onto his pyjamas. They both rescued him and got him back into the safety and warmth of our house.

What could have turned into a horrifying situation ended with a happy ending because of my beautiful dog. Rumor was truly my Dad’s guardian angel. She was later recognized by the Toronto Humane Society with a medal for bravery. The relationship between my Dad and Rumor remained strong until she sadly passed away. My Dad has also passed away. We scattered their ashes together in a ravine where they walked together frequently.

Rumor morphed from being a sad, abused puppy to a strong beautiful hero. She truly was the best ever dog to us.”

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