Dear Animal Lovers, Advocates, Rescuers & Activists:
Presented my first talk on animal advocacy to LUSH Cosmetics employees this week... It was so bittersweet to throw up a slide-show that opened/closed with photos of my best-ever-goon, Cyril.
He was born July '91 at my younger sister's farmhouse.
We lived together 14 years, 2 months and 10 days.
My greatest concern in adopting my first dog at 31 yrs of age, was that I might not be a good-enuf mother. One of my older sisters, at the time, made a comment that Cyril would be "under the wheels of streetcar in no time, in downtown Toronto". Hardly charitable, but that comment galvanized me into ensuring he'd be the best-trained dog ever.
Cyril did not disappoint. In fact, he excelled. He rivalled Skidboot -- the only dog I have ever known who was more
What was the magic? First, we were oh-so-bonded. Second, I simply talked to Cyril all of the time. He had an extensive vocabulary. In fact, when he went largely deaf as a senior, he'd been so habituated to hand signals, that he took easily to American Sign Language - not the singular A-B-C alphabet, mind, but all the hand signals, for car, house, walk, treat, "come find me" -- all of it. Used a book called "Signing for Toddlers"...
Cyril died in my arms in September, 2005, while Hurricane Katrina ravaged Toronto news services. A simple email at the time to 50 friends put out a call to support Katrina animals. The response was astounding. In the ensuing weeks, I organized 3 trips/teams to the deep south, to bring home as many dogs as we could to Canada.
Long-time C4P advocates will remember that email updates from those road trips, became today's C4P Animal Rescue Newsletter.
11-12 years later, we have a monster mailing list, with each newsletter ensuring that dozens, hundreds, and ultimately thousands of animals have received support through our network, year over year.
All in Cyril's name. He was the catalyst for the C4P Animal Rescue Network; the network is his legacy, and it's my labour of love.
I am so grateful for all the life-lessons my darling Goon gave me, and so intensely grateful to this network for responding to our story.
All the animals, read: thousands upon thousands, have Cyril, as well as and our supporters, to thank.
Cyrilito. My Goon. Kindest, sweetest, smartest, darling-est doggie-do. Awesome job. Thanks to Wendy Watts for this beautiful, cherished drawing.