An extraordinary pet captures the heart

Merrilyn shares her memories of Wylie, an extraordinary pet that she misses and treasures.

I don’t know too many people who haven’t had an extraordinary pet in their lives, one that captures the heart and brings wonderful memories to mind. I am no exception.

When we first met Wylie, he was a stray pup of about five or six months. He had wandered onto property outside of Cochrane, Alberta. Luke, the German Shepherd and Sixpack, the cat had already claimed the territory so the family was searching for a home for the starving pup. We were captivated by this little fellow whose mama was probably a German Shepherd and whose papa was a rolling stone of the coyote variety.

He had a leer on one side of his face that our vet guessed was from a terrible blow with a shovel. The scar from such cruelty had healed by the time we adopted him and the name Wylie stuck.

Wylie was a perfect gentleman right from the start. He was thrilled with his good fortune. He never messed in the house, never barked or growled. However, he nearly ate us out of house and home and it seemed we wouldn’t ever be able to feed him enough to catch up. We thought we had finally got him to the stage where he was nourished but we came home one day after work to discover that he had somehow managed to consume an entire pound of butter that had been left on the counter, followed by half the kapok stuffing of a living room cushion. I figure the kapok expanded in his belly because he vomited it all up and when we arrived, he was trying to hide the evidence by eating it again.

Within a few months, Paul was offered a position in Drumheller, Alberta, running a residential recovery home for substance abusers. We packed up and moved into Grace House, sharing space with the residents. Wylie thought he had died and gone to heaven.

Ten to twelve men who were working their way through some very rough times just loved that dog! He was given walks, dropped treats from the dining table and even hugged by the toughest biker when it was thought no one was watching.

That is, except for the scorching hot evening they were all still up, chatting on the front porch. Suddenly, Wylie came tearing around the corner of the house, bounding up the stairs with that silly grin and trailing the overpowering stench of skunk. To a man, they all magically levitated toward the ceiling, standing on the furniture to avoid touching the beast. He had several tomato juice baths in the following days but Wylie remained persona non grata.

You can quote me, the stuff doesn’t work, never has, never will.

Because Wylie so rarely made a sound, Paul came out to the front porch at suppertime when he heard two sharp barks. One of the residents was coming home and although not drunk, quite clearly smelled of alcohol. There were few rules but those few were carved in stone. The fellow was asked to leave. He probably never got it but Wylie had become Paul’s early warning system and ratted out several more unsuspecting folk.

We never could get Wylie to come when called. One horrible day in July, he waited on the porch, one eye open for the screen door to be left open. He slipped out and was off into traffic, chasing a cat. The fellow who was driving the truck that ran over him took him to the vet and he died there in the office. I cried for three solid days and the house was like a morgue. It’s been a long time but I still miss him and we will always treasure his joy, optimism and sense of adventure.

 

Just Posted

Funding changes mean closure for Success By 6

B.C. making major changes to early childhood development funding

Back to work for Penticton businesses impacted by bomb threats

Multiple car dealerships were evacuated as the result of an international e-mail hoax

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

Consultations to play a critical role in shaping proposed national park reserve

Parks Canada welcomes all respectful comments on proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park

Water samples good, Hedley awaits drinking water A-OK

Water woes in Hedley had some residents questioning the communication plan of the HID earlier this week

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read