July 11, 2009

I have a photograph of a two year old child sitting on the back of a small pony. Standing beside them is a collie named Laddie. The photo was taken of me in the home of my birth, Inverness, Cape Breton. It is perhaps the only souvenir I have of my first two furred friends.
The little pony carried me on his back every day for two and an half years, come rain or come shine. Ambrose, my eighteen year old brother, returning home from work in the mines, every day harnessed the pony and put me on its back. The ride would be short or long depending on the weather.
Laddie, the beautiful collie was my friend and guardian. From what I’ve been told he seldom left my side. Mom always knew where to find me. All she had to do was find which gate Laddie was guarding and there I would be.
The day we moved from Inverness to Halifax was for many reasons a very sad day. Laddie apparently upset because of all the commotion found a hiding place. The unsuccessful search went on for over an hour. Finally, unable to wait any longer we were forced to follow the truck carrying all our belongings to Halifax leaving Laddie behind.
Across the street from our home in the Red Rows lived my Aunt Annabel. She loved our wonderful dog and promised to adopt him. Later that day Laddie returned to find the door locked and everyone gone. The heartbroken pet refused to leave the doorstep; refused to eat. Laddie died of a broken heart. All these decades later when I think of him the pain of loss returns; proving that even a three year old can remember being loved


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