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.

Apr├Ęs la pluie le beau temps.


Linda G. said...

Awww. That does tug at the heart. Also, he looks kind of like a polar bear, and I love polar bears. :)

BB said...

Tearing up badly here... wonderful. Just wonderful. Dog's 'll do that to ya!

nightsmusic said...

Oh, geez. I SO didn't need to be crying tonight. What awesome people. And yay Fred! That kind of devotion is beyond wonderful. Thank goodness he's being rescued.

jeanie said...

Aww - you got me too. Beautiful story of loyalty - both the canine and human kind.

A Novel Woman said...

I know, isn't it wonderful to know good people are out there, doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

From Kyle about Cyril Roy
January 04, 2010.

Note: I have written this because journalism is about both sides of the story. It does not take away from anyone's kindness but at the same time, Cyril's behavior should be seen in proper context. Also, he worked only briefly in the forest service off and on did a variety of jobs.

Who is Cyril Roy and how does he relate to this well documented story? I am happy to answer it. I was Cyril's stepson for many years.

My experience of Cyril is that he was an abuser (both emotional and physical). He abused me regularly, mainly of the emotional variety, which took many years in counselling to undo. Cyril was a con artist who used the guise of working in the past for the federal government (and eons ago being in the military) as credibility to creating many go-nowhere projects. I've never known one single project to be finished. He made a lot of promises to a lot of people that were not kept. We were evicted countless times while he drank but his behavior continued well after he stopped drinking. He was a very angry person and very dangerous. So why was he alone? He was alone because he had used up everyone around him, blamed everyone he could, and in the meantime neglected his body (and probable mental health issues aside from depression) despite a lot of medical people requesting he care for himself. This is no case of society failing, Cyril. Cyril failed himself.

And by the way, he once owned a German sheppard that got stuck under our fence while living in Richmond, BC and he booted the dog so hard it may have bruised the animal's ribs. I do imagine he did treat Fred well, though.

Therefore, I am happy that our fellow citizens have taken care of this dog. With Cyril's behavior aside, Fred the Dog is a very deserving and thank all of the people involved. Great work.

One last thing - is Fred the Dog was in a trailer, just how is it assumed that this dog was keeping a vigil by his owner? If the door had been open, perhaps Fred may not have been there at all. This story has almost taken on Lassie proportions in the media. Let's be critical thinkers.

Anonymous said...

I find it very low to attack someone that has passed away.
Close this book and go on with your life.