Claudette Waite: Never say never

Mickey with Guy and Claudette“When our seventeen year old Miniature Poodle died I cried and cried and said I don’t want another dog. But my late husband, Guy, he wanted a dog and he started going to the pound every day looking.

We had friends who had a little dog, part something, part butterfly dog, a Papillon. He was the cutest little dog, his name was Peanut. His ears were gorgeous of course, and he had a beautiful full tail he carried around like a palm tree. Our friends lived out in the country and Peanut would sit up on his hind legs like a prairie dog on the front lawn and if you’d say to him, Peanut, salute, he’d lift his front right paw to his forehead and salute. People would stop their cars to check him out. You could tell him to fall over dead too, but we didn’t do that too often as he didn’t like doing it all that much.

Anyway, Guy would go to the shelter all the time. One day my Peanut’s owner, the wife, calls me up and says I know you’ve been looking for a dog and we’ve got one for you. I said, you don’t mean Peanut do you? And she said, well, we’ve found a great condo to move into, but they don’t allow dogs, so would you take him, we know you would give him a good home. So when my husband came home that day I had gone and picked up Peanut and when my husband walked through the door, I said, here’s your new dog.

We loved that dog. He went everywhere with us. I was still working then and every day at 4:40 he’d get up from wherever he was and go sit by the front door because I usually came home around 5.  Peanut wasn’t fixed and we didn’t have him neutered. Every few months he’d sniff the air and you knew he’d be taking himself for a walk to find the ladies. We’d try to keep him in as best we could but one day he got out and got himself run over on one of Sherbrooke’s main streets. We were heart broken.

This time my husband didn’t think he wanted another dog. But we had acquaintances in St. Hubert, who raised several kinds of pedigreed breeds and I gave them a call and asked the lady if she could think of a good dog that was available. She said to give her about an hour. About twenty minutes later she said that she had a Blue Merle Sheltie pup that was just a bit too tall for show. She said if you come and you like the dog and he likes you, you can have him. When we saw him there was no question.

So that’s how we got Mickey. Mickey was beautiful. He went everywhere with us. I took him to obedience school and he got the gold. He was a wonderful dog, a real member of the family. When my husband got sick I quit work to look after him and Mickey was right there beside him the whole time. We were a team. Guy was sick for a long time. When I needed to go out for the shopping and so on I would always know that Guy wasn’t by himself, he had Mickey there. Well, after my husband died, I’d been housebound for years and people asked me for dinners and so on and I couldn’t always bring Mickey with me. He got very lonely and he got a little mad at me. One time when I was going out and leaving him behind he bit my cheek. I got very worried about him. I thought, this is such a good dog, I can’t have him with me so lonely and unhappy, it’s unfair, I’ve got to find him some place where he can live a better life than with me.

Not long after I started thinking like this, my niece told me about a very nice older couple I sort of knew whose old dog just had to be put down. The man didn’t want another dog but I sent him a photo of Mickey and when he saw the photo he said he had to have him. Bill was his name. He and his wife said I could come over and visit Mickey whenever I wanted to but I said no, not for a while, and I dropped Mickey off with all of his belongings, his leash and bed and toys and his gold prize from obedience school.

It was another match made in heaven. The Bill and his wife were home all the time basically so gone were the lonely days for Mickey and he became very attached to Bill especially. Bill even built a little addition onto his garage where he installed a special tub with hot and cold running water where he could bathe and groom Mickey. Years went by and when Mickey was about ten, Bill’s wife called me one day and said they’d gone out shopping leaving Mickey happy and sleeping under their parked trailer. When they came home, he was still stretched out there, dead. One week later, Bill himself up and died, likely a heart attack. Mickey must have known it was coming and didn’t want to be the one left behind.

As told to me by Claudette Waite

Life went on for Claudette too. She eventually met and married Orville and together they run a Bed and Breakfast called The Mayor’s House in Bury, Quebec. Orville’s dogs from his first marriage followed them into their new business venture: two shaggy collie mixes. After so many dogs, Claudette now says that she would never say that she wouldn’t want another dog, but rather she’d never want to be without one.”

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