Frank Touby —
On Oct. 4 Tank spent his first night with us since our adoption of him earlier in the week. It was the day after Paulette’s birthday and it was as if Tank had lived here all along. Such an easy guy to get along with. Daisy and he are polite, if not warm.
The Tank Report
We keep their food bowls separate and only fill them when it’s time to eat. That’s a good habit anyhow and it keeps dogs trimmer than if they’re noshing at will. Tank has about 9 pounds to shed over time, so he’s getting measured portions that we’re filling partially with veggie bulk (mainly cooked green beans) that lets him feel full but doesn’t add to his weight.
We learned from the Sherbourne St. vet that has handled Tank for Danny when he was alive that Tank is a lot younger than we were told. He’s only four or so. But he’s overweight. Likely due to treats his many fans offered him when he and Danny were out in public.
We thought Tank about that age because he has all black fur with no greying anywhere. Danny only had Tank for two years before his untimely departure from planet Earth.
Day One of his first night at our house (across the street from Kevin Scrimshaw whom Tank loves as much as he did Danny) started with a walk with Kevin and his two dogs, plus another he’s minding for an ill neighbour. The walk took us to St. Paul’s Basilica on Power Street for the annual Blessing of the Animals in celebration of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi who was renowned for his love of animals.
St. Paul’s was the first Catholic church in Toronto and is the subject of Bruce Bell’s local history column in the October edition of The Bulletin. You can read it here. It was on the now-grassy grounds of the former House of Providence Bruce writes about where Tank and Daisy joined a motley crew of canines sipping from the holy water and being blessed by Fr. Frank.
A number of kids in the parish had volunteered to look after the various critters (actually all were dogs) so Daisy and Tank were initiated into being walked and fed bone-shaped dog biscuits in quantities they must have prayed for. (Daisy and now Tank get only one and that’s after the late-night walk.)
After all that blessing and biscuit-sampling and bathing, we took Tank and Daisy to the Sherbourne St. vet clinic where we learned how overweight he is—where he took an unexpected dump on the floor—and collected a few more biscuits.
Kevin and his pack took their leave at that point and it was us, Daisy and Tank, who was looking as if he’d been jilted by his pack. We headed to the Market.
On the way we passed by Pet Cuisine on the south side of Front because they have a dog-wash facility and Tank had the residue from 10 days in Animal Services dog pound surrounding him like a halo for nostrils.
We were met at the door by Chris and Philip who saw us looking at their window. They recognized us and Tank. Naturally they’re animal lovers and were heartened that Tank has found a good home.
They said their plan is for Pet Cuisine to give Tank baths and nail-clippings on the house, to contribute to his well-being and to participate in Tank’s new life.
Well, we leapt at that and asked if we could do it ourselves right now since the dog-wash specialist wasn’t on duty.
They agreed and escorted us to their extremely well-equipped facility for washing anyone smaller than a pony. I was heartened to realize that I’m still fit enough to lift Tank by myself and deposit him into the elevated tub.
Then it was over to the Market where “is that Tank?” was frequently heard as we showed some of his fans that he is in good hands.
Then over to Wine Rack on King for a bottle of Niagara red and where, unlike the LCBO, they invite dogs to join in the shopping and—yes—where they also provide biscuits.
(The Wine Shop on Queens Quay does likewise. Everywhere but LCBO, it seems, does likewise).
Now we’re taking Tank on his first trip to our Lake Erie cottage. On our morning walk in the park at Sherbourne and The Esplanade I noticed that Tank was trying to run after a ball being thrown to his dog by a fellow pet owner.
So later today, on the beach at the lake, Tank is going to show us what a black Lab specializes in. Retrieving. (I hope Daisy picks up some pointers. She has no more interest in a ball than Paulette does.)