Even those of us who are not sports fans know Mike Boone from his column at the Montreal Gazette.
What you didn’t know is that he is a huge dog lover and has just adopted Henry from the SPCA Annexe!
Henry is one lucky dog as Mike has retired from the Gazette and is a freelance hockey blogger…
so Henry is getting all the attention he deserves this season!
Mike was born in Saint John N.B. but has called Montreal home for most of his life.
We are so lucky to have him.
Where do you live now and who lives with you?
I live in a townhouse in Pointe Claire. My housemates are a dog and a turtle (and many spiders that I don’t have the heart to kill).
Did you have animals when you were young? Were you always a dog lover?
When I was a child in New Brunswick,we had dogs. My parents separated when I was five, and my mother and I moved to Montreal. We lived in small apartments where pets were not permitted. But I always loved
dogs. When I was a student at McGill, I moved out to live with my girlfriend in the Milton-Park area and we got a dog from the SPCA. Then there was a 10-year period of living in co-ops and apartments with no pets. In 1981, my soon-to-be wife gave me a Boston terrier puppy as a Christmas present. This began a succession of four Boston terriers, which were the breed my daughter grew up with. I had to euthanize my last Boston terrier in March.
Tell us how you found out about fostering Henry at the Annexe.
My friend and former Gazette colleague, Dave Bist volunteers at the Annexe. He knew I was dog-less and turned me on to Henry.
What was Henry’s background?
Henry will be 8 in January. He’s a very loving dog who enjoys being petted and talked to. Henry had been given up in July by a woman who was moving into a care facility and could no longer take care of him. Among the papers I received when I adopted Henry was a sweet letter from his former master (en français, so he’s actually Henri).
So it had been some time since you had experience with a rescue/shelter dog
The beagle I had as a McGill student was from the SPCA … but that was a long time ago.
When did you realize you were going to become a foster failure?
I was a foster for two weeks because the adoption councillor was away. But I would have adopted him five minutes after I saw him. Sometimes things just click.
Tell us a bit about how Henry spends his days now.
Henry sleeps on a bed beside mine … although lately he’s been bailing to the couch downstairs, probably because of my snoring. When I wake up, at around 7- 8, we do a circuit of Kinsmen Park, which is a minute from my house. Henry has his breakfast and then I have mine.
At about 11 we go for a long walk through the Beaconsfield Golf Course. After lunch, at about 2 p.m., we go back to the park where I toss a ball that Henry retrieves until he’s tired. I take him out to the park again at about 5, before his dinner. Then again between 8 and 9. I sometimes drive to other parks or visit my daughter in NDG to give Henry some variety. I also take him shopping with me if I know I’m going to be in and out of the supermarket in 20 minutes or so. I won’t leave him in the car for long periods.
For some reason, Henry refuses to come down to the basement. So he just chills while I’m on the Internet or watching TV.
Would you advise people to volunteer, foster, or adopt a shelter animal?
Absolutely. If Henry is any indication, they make wonderful pets. I like to call him a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Despite size and rottie/shepherd appearance that cuts a wide swath when my daughter and I walk him through knots of kids around schools in NDG, Henry is a gentle animal who gets along with other dogs (they don’t interest him much) and people. His nickname at the SPCA was the Big Easy, and I can see why. He’s the lowest-maintenance dog I’ve ever had.
Maybe I just got lucky, but friends of mine have had similar good experiences with rescued dogs.
I’ve only had Henry for a month, but I totally love him.
TPK “In rescuing animals, I lost my mind , but found my soul.” ~anonymous