Thursday, December 17, 2009
Meet Fred the Dog
Ah, this story really gets me.
Cyril Roy was a former forestry service worker, but ended up unemployed and living alone in a trailer in a remote area of Nanaimo, B.C. He was depressed and ill from complications of diabetes, but he had his dog Fred to keep him company. And for close to seven years, Fred did exactly that, as Cyril's devoted and loyal companion.
Just how devoted? On November 30th, police found Fred sitting by his late master's side. Cyril died three days before of a heart attack, but Fred kept his lonely vigil until he was rescued and brought to a shelter.
According to the people working there, it's unusual for family members to want to take a deceased relative's pet, especially when they live halfway across the country. But Cyril's family stepped forward to claim Fred.
There were many problems to overcome. Besides the expense involved and the difficulty of finding a crate big enough to accommodate him, they missed the deadline for transporting a dog on an airplane because at this time of year here in the Great White North, it is simply too cold.
Cyril's family in Quebec came together to work on ways to bring Fred home. They got calls and emails from people offering to help, including one from Fred Caron, the man after whom Cyril named his dog. He and Cyril had served together in the Grenadier Guards.
Enter Frank Palumbo, who runs a freight forwarding company and is a resident of my own teensy tiny town outside of Montreal. He has offered to both organize and pay for Fred's trip back to Quebec.
Last I heard, Fred has been bathed and groomed and will soon be leaving B.C. for Montreal by train, and not in a carrier stuck in the baggage car, which they felt would be too traumatic, but sitting with two handlers. This is meant to keep him calm and allow him to take frequent breaks along the journey, which is expected to take several days.
And when they arrive, Fred will join Cyril's sister who will make sure he is loved and cared for, just as her brother would have wanted.
And if that don't just warm the old cockles of your jaded heart, I don't know what will.
Welcome to your new home, Fred.
Après la pluie le beau temps.