Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on January 11, 2023 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with no comments yet


Book launch Saturday, January 14, 2023 at Antigonish Heritage Museum


“How much is that doggie in the window?

The one with the waggly tail

How much is that doggie in the window?

I do hope that doggie’s for sale.

That Doggie in the Window – Patti Page

This short piece could be a case of the tail wagging the dog. Of course, I could be barking up the wrong tree too.

With apologies to my friends and acquaintances who own dogs.

I quite like dogs even though one bit me in the arse when I was a youngster. We had a dog during our childhood. Chipper was a “Heinz 57” whose primary function was to pick up any scraps left under the dinner table. Fat chance when there were 10 hungry mouths to feed. Chipper’s special treat was liver, a meal that we had regularly, with most of it discretely dropped on the floor.

On Boxing Day, I had dinner with friends in HRM.  (Halifax Regional Municipality). One of the couples arrived with their dog.

I have had a lot of exposure to dogs in recent years, especially in the streets of India and Kangiqsujuaq. But these are dogs that run wild, a far cry from what I learned about the lives of some dogs.

We were having a robust conversation about the upcoming junior hockey tournament, my trip home from the north, and world affairs. I can’t quite remember how the topic of dogs arose but I’m sure it had something to do with the magnificent Samoyed husky prowling around the dining room. I believe that I was on my second glass of wine when we started a discussion about people who are vegan. Jokingly I asked the owners of the Samoyed if they knew of any dogs that were vegan. It was a tongue and cheek remark. I was astonished to learn that many dogs have highly specialized diets and that some are vegan. The expression on my face was easy to read: “Surely you are pulling my leg?”

The next shocking revelation was that a massage parlor for canines had recently opened in HRM. I thought I would lose my mind at this news.

And then came the kicker. “Our dog has its own Instagram account and (wait for it) gets paid. I am vaguely familiar with “influencers” on social media who get paid a lot of money by sponsors to promote their products. It just never dawned on me that a four-legged creature could influence other four- legged creatures but that shows you how shallow and desperate my existence has become.

I slept uneasily that night knowing that a Samoyed husky was earning more than I was on my modest website. Talk about a lesson in humility. When I arose from bed in the morning, I decided that a walk was necessary after spending 5 days trying to make it home from the north. A friend and I went to the Dewolf Park Boardwalk on the Bedford Basin. It was a beautiful morning and dozens, and dozens of people had the same idea. Many of these folks were walking their dogs and my eagle eye quickly determined that none of these animals were scouring for bits of pan-fried liver under their kitchen table. Their owners were dressed in smart winter wear but upon closer examination, I noticed that many of the dogs were wearing fashionable clothing as well. Truth be told, they were much better dressed than I was but that’s not something, even a dog, would want to brag about. I was embarrassed to even pat them.

If someone tells me that dogs have therapists and psychiatrists, I will conclude that civilization, as I know it, has reached the end of the line… or should I say, at the end of a leash.

Speaking of dogs, I ate one that was twelve inches long. No, silly, it wasn’t a dachshund (I’m vegan!) but an actual hotdog. It has been eons since I ate a wiener loaded up with mustard and relish but when one goes to the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax to watch Sweden play Germany in a World Junior Hockey Championship game, a beer and a dog somehow seem to go hand in hand. I had been given a free ticket to the event which I attended with my daughter and her partner. After all of the recent traumatic events in my life (including the issue with a dog having an Instagram account), a hockey game was just the therapy I needed. I was tickled pink thinking about watching some of the finest junior hockey players in the world. We found our section and started to descend some stairs. The further down we went, the closer we came to the ice. I was practically giddy with excitement thinking we had scored three of the best seats in the house directly behind Germany’s bench.

I relished (bring out the groans) the thought of consuming the massive hotdog and washing it down with a cold Keith’s. I took some selfies and watched the two teams warm up.

The game started. It took me about 20 seconds to realize that we had not scored the best seats in the house. Quite possibly, they were the worst. Rather than watching some of the finest talent on skates, I spent most of the afternoon looking at the necks of the coaching staff. Back when I played junior hockey, we only had one coach behind the bench. Now, it is standing room only behind the players’ bench. Thank goodness for the Jumbotron which allowed us to see the entirety of the ice surface and not just the neatly tailored shirts of the coaching staff. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful to the lovely person who bequeathed us the tickets. It was still a great experience.

I have documented in this space my recent battle of the bulge that I can say, with humility, that I won having dropped 23 pounds since the end of the summer. Some victories are short lived. It’s a good thing that I only attended one of the World Junior games in person. A steady diet of foot long hotdogs and beer would pack on the calories pretty quickly.

I have the greatest dieting tip ever. Would you like to drop 5 pounds in 24 hours without cutting off an arm and a leg? It’s very simple. Book a colonoscopy. If you have had the pleasure of going through this rather unflattering procedure, I can see you nodding in agreement. I promise I won’t spoil your breakfast by giving you the details about the process leading up to the actual procedure. You can look it up on the internet but here’s a hint. If you’re full of shit, literally or figuratively, the prelude to a colonoscopy will expose you. When I came through the operation with a clean bill of health, my children took some well-placed pot shots. I often wonder where they get their strange sense of humour. “It’s good to have that behind you, dad,” one of my daughters quipped.

If you happen to be kicking around the ‘Nish this Saturday the 14th, why not stop by the Antigonish Heritage Museum at 1:00. I will be officially launching my latest book about my adventures in the north. You may or may not be interested in my book, but you might be interested in hearing my thoughts about what’s going on in Canada’s north from someone who has seen firsthand, the havoc wreaked by residential schools, forced relocations, and the killing of the sled dogs.

Have a great week.

P.S. You can order a copy of my book on my website or simply drop me an e-mail at and I will arrange to send you a copy.

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Tri Mac Toyota!

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