A small silver lining to the shops being closed: our non-shop dog Super now comes with us to the main shop. He trots around sniffing the plants, trying to find a sunny spot.
Many, many, many moons ago, at our shop at 906 Dundas West, we tried to bring our then 4 year old shop dog into the shop and it was a complete failure. He barked at everyone. We even hired a dog trainer for a short stint, but it was no good—Super was defective.
Super is now getting old, and his chocolate coat is turning grey, and he’s still both a bit dumb and a bit smart. He’s serious and dumb about strange noises and strange people, and a barker and a maniac. I often tell this story about his meltdown when I took him for a walk as a puppy and someone had left a large, elaborate lamp in front of a garbage bin. He was panic barking and flipping out and driving himself crazy barking at it and then hiding behind my legs and then barking at it again and overall a general embarrassment. He’s very food-motivated, so he’s also very good at tricks that involve a food reward, like balancing treats on his nose or his paws. This also means he’s extremely talented at stealing food, sneaking around quietly when he suspects there’s food, finding food, begging for food.
When we first got Chicken, the cat, I thought things were going to be fine because Super had previously been okay with my classroom hamster, but it turned out he could tell Chicken was a more sentient animal. We got Chicken when were at 250 Carlaw in Leslieville, living behind the warehouse and shop, and for a period of maybe a week or so, until Super had to sleep out in the warehouse.
Chicken survived, and they have since learned to get along. Chicken, even these days still young and energetic, tends to be a bit more into pouncing and attacking, and Super tends to be a bit more ambivalent about playing until he’s not ambivalent and then his playing tends to be more along the lines of really pouncing, and then Chicken tends to hide under the couch.
In any case, it’s lovely, amidst all of the chaos and unknown and social distancing, to have a friendly, familiar, warm and furry thing around.