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September 12, 2022 eblast:


For an all too brief while, Little Tony Soprano had a big brother named Seven.

Maybe he was more like a grandpa.

Seven was very old, actual age unknown. But ancient in Tony's opinion.

He coughed a lot these last few weeks. And he startled easily whenever Tony accidently bumped into him.

Although, I suspect they weren't accidents. Tony doesn't do anything by accident.

What self-respecting wiseguy-in-training doesn't like to test their boundaries?

But Tony also likes the nearness of those he loves.

He lives in a fascinating world filled with sounds, smells, and touch. That's how he sees. Perhaps even better than we can.


I guess this is why I've taken on the role of Narrator to Tony's unfolding story.

And I began that narration on our way home for the first time from the shelter this summer.

But that first chapter was really no different than what I've narrated for every dog I've had the privilege to take home to the repair shop.

I introduce myself, explain why this is the start of something special for both of us, and so forth and so on.

They may fall asleep but I carry on anyway and I always tell the new guy or gal a little bit about the beagles awaiting us at home.


So with my best Mary Poppins voice, I told Tony about Seven and how he came to us at the end of February.

I told him how he revived my aching heart after losing Cy and Lionel the month before.

And how he miraculously survived obvious neglect and eventual abandonment. And sadly, I told him how his little partner, a senior female beagle, did not survive after they were both rescued while wandering astray in a rural area on a cold winter's day.


I went on to say how Seven had been in such poor condition and terrible health but slowly grew stronger and brighter at the shelter thanks to the love and absolute adoration of his caregivers. So adored was he that I actually felt guilty for whisking him away from his devoted entourage, each one present to say goodbye on his Gotcha Day, wishing him well as though he was royalty.


I told Tony that I named him Seven for every day of his mandatory claim period that he remained unclaimed until he could be released to our waiting arms.


It occurs to me now that it turned out his name also stood for every month we spent adoring him as much as his caregivers at the shelter did, until heaven whisked him away from us this past Saturday.


I went on to tell Tony that Seven was much more than an old man with a bad cough and too many health issues to mention.


I smiled at the memory when sharing with Tony how he would run wonky like Forrest Gump, determined to prove to his new family that ain't nothin' gonna slow him down now that he had discovered the joy of walks, taking the lead, beaming blissfully, tail in the air, ears flying.


Those joyful jaunts were always followed by equally beloved beauty sleeps and loud snores, all the while with that smile on his face as though he was having the best dream ever.


Maybe he was dreaming about meatloaf.

Had I known how much he would grow to love his meatloaf on account of his need for soft food due to his horrid teeth that Cushings and a heart condition prevented us from fixing, I might have named him that.


But the name Seven stuck just as his memory always will deep within my constantly broken rescuer's heart.


As Queen Elizabeth once said, "Grief is the price we pay for Love."


On Saturday, Tony (being a puppy in need of constant supervision) accompanied us to the vets with our beautiful Seven who had lost his ability to run like Forrest Gump, now cradled in my arms. That's when the new-guy-in did something just as beautiful. Reaching out to find his wise old grandpa whom he so loved to bump into intentionally, Tony ever so gently, careful not to startle, kissed Seven goodbye.


As beautiful as that kiss was, I felt such sadness that Tony had to experience a loss like this at such a tender age when everything should be sunshine, rainbows and squeaky toys. But perhaps he learned something important. Perhaps he now sees, in the very special way Tony sees things, that our love for him will last a lifetime. Just as it has for every beagle we've paid the price to love that came before him and for every beagle yet to come.


Please light a candle for our Seven tonight. It seems Heaven must be lit up so brightly this year.

All that missed beauty lighting up a beautiful place just beyond our reach. 

March 1, 2022:

The Claim Period.

Usually, it's a week.

And it's usually more than enough time for frantic owners to be joyfully reunited with lost pets that were fortunate enough to have been found and rescued from the cold by the good folks at the local animal shelter.


Just ask an animal care worker. There are few things more uplifting than watching a dog suddenly come back to life at the mere sight of their beloved family. Hugs, tears and endless words of love and gratitude brighten up the shelter's lobby as they all walk out the door TOGETHER, dog smack dab in the middle wagging his tail to beat the band.


But that's not always how things go for a stray dog in an animal shelter.


That's certainly not how it went for the little old fellow pictured here who was rescued from the cold the day before Valentine's…along with his companion, a frail little female beagle with the most soulful eyes.


Two senior dogs in frightfully poor condition. They were rushed to the emergency hospital for assessment. Sadly, the female with the soulful eyes was in such dire circumstances she was humanely euthanized.


Suddenly, the little old fellow with such a lost look in his eyes was completely on his own for that Claim Period.




It's a long time for an old dog to wait in a shelter for an owner that would never come.


But we can tell you, his caregivers did their very best to lift his spirits.

During the day, he spent time with the gals at the front desk curled up in a cozy dog bed while the daily buzz of a busy animal shelter whirled above his sweet head. He didn't mind any of it. He was warm. He was fed. And his caregivers could always spare a moment to pat his head and reassure him that everything would be okay.


Still, they knew nobody would come for him.

Call it ESP or just plain gut feeling derived from years of experience.


That's why they contacted us in the hopes we could gather up their dear little office temp the moment that week was up.


And we did.


And we named him "Seven", for every day he waited for us to arrive.


Just ask an animal care worker.

There's at least one thing more uplifting than seeing a family reunited with their lost pet.

It's seeing an abandoned animal given the chance to know what it is to be truly loved.


We want to take this opportunity to thank the ones who saved Seven first.

The dedicated staff at the Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Control who not only gave him a temp position at their front desk, but dipped into their funds to provide him with vital initial medical care…not to mention an invigorating bubble bath the day before we picked him up!


Seven is currently undergoing diagnostics through our vet clinic to determine his health issues. The discovery by the shelter of an outdated microchip 12 years old tells us that Seven is quite senior and his persistent cough may be an indicator of heart trouble. Please keep him in your hearts and prayers as we work through these concerns.


Last but not least, as it turns out, Seven has an adorable tendancy to SMILE (as well as SNORE) in his sleep! Please visit our FB page to check out his latest pics!