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image of Teddy

Teddy Misses School

When Teddy and I finished presenting kindness classes to a school in Ottawa on a beautiful afternoon about one week before March break of this year, we looked at each other and knew we would not be coming back to school for another two weeks; little did we know then, we would still be home two months later. We enjoyed that school so much because we visit there every year and have come to know the staff and students very well.

Now, two months later, Teddy and I have the conversation quite often about the possibility of once again spreading the kindness, respect, empathy message in Ottawa schools. Teddy is much more optimistic about this than I, perhaps this is because animals do not understand things in the same way people do, after all, animals are different from humans. Teddy will sometimes follow me to the door and look at me as if to say, “don’t forget me!” This is when I have to snuggle up to him and gently try to explain the COVID situation. Fruitless as this is, Teddy does respond to a tender pet and an empathetic voice. Ah, it’s when Teddy tilts his head and with those darling brown eyes expresses his lack of understanding using his best ‘dog stature’ that I wrap my arms around him and we have the best cuddle.

image of Teddy and Jersey

This is a little bit about Teddy:

My family adopted Teddy from a shelter and this is where we learnt about his story. It turns out that Teddy was found wandering around a neighbourhood as a stray dog and was picked up by a dog catcher who brought him to a shelter. At this shelter there were many dogs but not enough space to keep them all for more than a few days. Fortunately, Teddy was rescued from this shelter by another shelter and although the second shelter was a great place for the many dogs who were living there, Teddy looked quite sad when we first met him. That all changed once we brought him home and he realized we were going to care for him in a loving and responsible way. There were many things we needed to provide for Teddy such as a collar, an identification tag and dog licence, a leash, food, treats, dishes, toys, and his own bed. On the day of Teddy’s adoption, we spent quite a bit of money, firstly on the actual adoption from the shelter (so they could continue to rescue other dogs and care for them) and then all the things I mentioned. Looking back, it’s good that our family (by making personal sacrifices) saved all this money throughout the previous year, all with the intention of adopting a dog who needed a home.

Teddy and our family have lots of fun times together. We are fortunate to live in the country so going for frequent walks on our property is a given. In these nature walks we frequently encounter wildlife such as squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, birds, frogs, toads, garden snakes and we have even seen a family of beavers. After dark we can hear coyotes off in the distance calling between packs. Teddy is very interested in the howling but since we understand they have a right to be in their habitat we avoid any interaction with them, staying in our yard and not responding is how we respect these wild animals. Animals who live in the wild are not pets. These wild animals enjoy living in their natural environment or habitat. Animals, although different from humans have feelings and we need to respect their feelings just as we respect the feelings of people. Sometimes I bring my camera and have the opportunity to capture a few pictures of the wildlife we meet on our walks. Teddy is not capable of understanding this rule but it is sometimes possible when we do encounter wild animals to look at them (if it is safe), to learn about them and then we must leave such creatures alone.

Not only do we go for several long walks on the property but we are also blessed to have a fenced in back yard where playing frizby and other fetch games is possible. Having this ample fenced-in yard is very helpful as we can leave Teddy outside without having to worry about him leaving home without permission. We always follow the rule of never letting our dog run loose. Even so, Teddy always wears his collar with a licence and identification attached, just in case.

image of Miss Jennifer and Teddy

Now that the weather is becoming warmer Teddy is receiving topical medication that is used to repel mosquitos and ticks. Even though the veterinary office is closed due to the COVID pandemic, we were advised that Teddys’ vaccinations are all up to date but that he needed the drops for summer protection. Teddy got to go for a car ride to the Vet office that day. It was a good thing that we had the pick up bags with us because as soon as we let Teddy out of the car, well, he had ‘to go’. It was very convenient that the office provides a special garbage can so dog owners can ‘stoop and scoop’ and then throw the bag of ‘you know what’ into that garbage can. As we know, stooping and scooping the ‘you know what’ is not fun, but – it is the right thing to do in order to respect our neighbours and the environment.

I have to say, Teddy is looking very dapper these days. This is because I have more time to brush his thick fur coat, I like to explain to Teddy that I have already put my winter clothing away and my brushing his winter coat serves the same purpose for him. For our bedtime routine, Teddy follows me into the bathroom and sits while I prepare his tooth brush. Grooming our pets and keeping their teeth clean and their gums healthy is one of the responsibilities of owing a pet such as a cat or dog and it comes with the added bonus of enjoying one – one time together.

Speaking of cats, our boy Jersey is quite the character! He and Teddy have such fun when they play together. Their favourite game is when Teddy decides to chase Jersey around the house. It is clear that Teddy only chases Jersey fast enough to stay on the trail but never coming close enough to catch Jersey. It always makes us break out in laughter when Jersey decides enough is enough and jumps onto a bed where he knows Teddy won’t join him. Teddy learnt from day one that he is not allowed on any furniture and he abides by this rule, keeping us very happy, and yes Jersey too!

I hope everyone reading this story about how Teddy is spending his COVID time and a little about Jersey, our cat, is keeping healthy and enjoying learning from home.

Kind regards from Miss Jennifer, Teddy and Jersey (our cat)

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