Happy anniversary! Sorry!

Today is my wedding anniversary — my 31st wedding anniversary — and all I can say to my wife, Jackie, is, whoops, my bad.

Several months ago, I wrote about a painful decision my son and daughter-in-law made to put down their delightful pitbull, Oonagh.

Oonagh was a treasure. I spent a lot of time with from the beginning when they first rescued her as she settled in to a new life, and then after they finished university and started their business, Muninn’s Post, leaving me at home with three dogs — mine and two of theirs.

Oonagh was like a little child, mischievous, timid, shy until she got to know you, and then she became the most amazing friend you could want.

It was a tough day for all of us when she succumbed to cancer.

As time went on, I was naturally drawn to this curious breed of dog that has such a bad reputation: 

  • a breed that is banned from many towns
  • a breed that is being exterminated in Ontario
  • a breed that is loyal, loving, fun and energetic
  • a breed that is unrecognizable, and is confused with a lot of other breeds and cross breeds.

Yet, unless you have ever been able to get to know a friendly pitbull, you will never understand how amazing they can be.

So naturally when I saw a puppy that needed rescuing, I went and fetched it from Penticton SPCA — after my wife had said she would like a break from dogs. 

My rationale was simple. Our dog, Bella, is extremely old. More a zombie than a dog these days.

Rather than chase bears now, she likely terrifies them with her bony frame, intensely slow movements and a bark that says she could still chase them if she wanted to.

She is not going to be around for much longer, so it was kind of a replacement. 

Well, I nearly didn’t get to my 31st wedding anniversary because of that decision. Was it foolish? Yes, or at least foolhardy. 

So Mr. Winston Churchill is “my dog.” Not Jackie’s, mine. He is not a pitbull (we think), but likely a cross between a Staffordshire bull terrier and a dalmatian. 

The problem is, people assume he is a pitbull. He will be judged instantly as a dangerous and unsafe dog. 

We have had him for a few months, and thankfully I made it to my 31st wedding anniversary intact (as did Winston!) although our furniture is not as intact as it used to be.

Some of my shoes are a little more worn than they should be.

The puppy training is not quite over yet. But in time, it will be.

Winston has already become a loyal, fun companion. He loves mixing it up with dogs and people. He has a ton of energy and loves to come running or mountain biking with me.

There is also the occasional video of him helping me do push ups on Facebook, for which he has gained a little notoriety.

So as foolish as it may have been, thankfully Jackie has decided to let Winston stay and tolerate me for a few more years.

I never did promise that life would be dull when we first married, but I should have paid more attention to Jackie’s desire to have a little more quiet time around the house. 

Happy Anniversary. Sorry!


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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