These days, it seems, it’s all about making memories, treasuring the little things, and finding joy in simple pleasures.
Though I had always thought that it was meant-to-be for Beauford to be a therapy dog, I was truly inspired to make it happen when I heard about Smiley who does great work for St. John Ambulance.
Smiley is a 14 year old, completely blind, Golden Retriever, that has a remarkable history. He has overcome so much, and has found the best forever family that love him beyond words. A single glance at his pictures and you fall instantly in love.
When I heard that Smiley was going to make an appearance at the Canadian Pet Expo over Easter weekend I reached out to his owner, Joanne George, on Instagram. I really hoped we’d be able to get these two golden guys, each with special needs, together for a photograph sitting side-by-side in all their golden glory. A plan was made and Beauford and Smiley were going to meet. This is a picture I knew I’d treasure, and meeting Smiley was on Beauford’s bucket list.
I have never taken Beauford to such an event before. I was a bit nervous because he is very submissive and isn’t the bravest of souls. I didn’t want him to feel overwhelmed or frightened of any dogs that might be there. It’s a large event, with dogs, cats, reptiles and birds, and I worried, especially now, that it might be too much for him. I knew I needed to go with the perfect person, someone who we both love and trust, who’d keep us calm and exudes excellent energy…and that was Beauford’s dad.
I told Beauford where were spending the night Thursday, and my goodness did he ever whine while he waited for his dad to arrive to pick us up. His belongings were packed by the door, and as we sat and waited he groaned and moaned until I gave in and headed downstairs to wait for his chariot to arrive. Of course, he went running to him and was pleased as punch to be in the back of his dad’s Jeep. He was so excited to be at his downtown abode, and checked it out for new sniffs. Of course on Friday morning he snuck into the bed (again) for a quick snuggle. It’s not allowed, but when your dad folds like a cheap suit…
That morning we mapped out where Smiley’s booth was, and headed out to the Expo. As we pulled into the parking lot I was still a bit uncertain…what was I doing? There were excited dogs hopping out of cars all around us. Their energy abound, tails wagging and it was like a tongue out Tuesday on a Friday! I looked at Beauford in the backseat and thought, let’s do this. We got the tickets for free — thank you to Hanna at Pet Valu for that — and drove all the way out to Mississauga, there was no turning back now!
Beauford’s enthusiasm was instant. Though he had no clue where he was going, he led the way to the event hall where it was being held. Once we finally got in, Beauford was a bit overwhelmed at first, but having his dad there gave him a confidence boost, one that I know for certain he wouldn’t have had if it was just me!
We headed to Smiley’s booth, and the two golden guys met. They definitely liked each other. Tails were certainly wagging! Pictures were taken, and Beauford decided it was the perfect place to lay down and have a rest.
As Beauford laid there, relishing in all the attention he was getting, someone asked if he was Smiley. I had to laugh, I said, nope, he’s just lazy! Once he got a bunch of belly rubs from strangers that were there to meet Smiley, we got him up and headed to check out the rest of the event. Beauford picked a bag of treats (beef lungs) and we took in a dog agility show. After about an hour, Beauford was tired and ready to hit the road. He spent the afternoon napping, and then we headed home.
Saturday we enjoyed a visit to the store, his Auntie Katie stopped by to say hello and for a little walk in the sunshine, and we capped off the day with a visit from his buddy, Theo. Theo is a dog that stole my heart the instant I met him. I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a special, special, soul, and I adore him as though he’s my own. Theo is remarkable with Beauford; he lets Beau be the alpha male he’s always dreamed of being.
Beauford was SO excited to have Theo and his Auntie Kat visit. He was play barking, and growling as they played tug. He was doing his circle spins and smiling from ear-to-ear (dogs DO smile!). There was some toy carnage, and the carpet was covered in fluff. Beauford was so excited to have company, and definitely showed his Auntie Kat how much he loved having them here! They played, and played, and played. Then his tank ran out of gas, and the sound of Beauford conking out on the floor was pretty comical.
Though these events lasted only hours, they made memories that I will never forget. Memories that I will cherish and that I will forever be grateful for. Thursday evening, and Friday were GREAT. Beauford so enjoys being in his dad’s company. He really loved spending that much time with him, doing something so fun! I am so glad I set my fears aside, and took him to the show. Saturday was the cap to a perfect long weekend. Seeing Beauford play so happily, and enthusiastically, with Theo brought me so much joy.
I am so thankful to everyone that made this weekend so special…