As I sit here reminiscing about my childhood, my mind drifts back to a time filled with boundless laughter, countless adventures, and a furry companion who was always by my side. Growing up with a dog was a truly magical experience that left an indelible mark on my heart. I’ll never forget coming home from dance lessons one evening to the best gift I could ever ask for, a wriggling, fluffy bundle of joy in the form of a basset hound/beagle mix, Kirby. With my new pup, every day was an adventure waiting to happen. Together, along with my brother and friends, we’d explore the vast backyard, rollerblade with him at the nearby park, and play his favourite game of hide and seek (his incredible nose meant he always found me). It wasn’t all fun and games though, as having Kirby taught me important lessons from an early age. I was quick to learn the true meaning of responsibility as I took part in his care- feeding him, ensuring he had fresh water, cleaning up after him, and giving him the love and attention he deserved. These tasks may seem simple now, but as a child, they helped instil a sense of responsibility and empathy that I carry with me to this day. He relied on me, and I realized that his well-being was in my hands, teaching me the value of trust and dependability. As the years flew by, Kirby grew older, and I, too, matured into a young adult. At this point in my life, my family blended with another, and I was blessed to spend my teenage years with not only Kirby but a very sweet Doberman, named Griffin.
My adventures with my dogs became more infrequent, but the love and joy that we shared remained as strong as ever. Their presence in my life was a constant reminder of the beauty of companionship, the joy of living in the present moment, and the profound impact a dog can have on a person’s life. Both Kirby and Griffin have long passed, but their memory lives on. Having the brewery on the corner of Griffin Road is a beautiful reminder of our Dobie, and fond memories of Kirby stealing our gloves are laughed about every winter. Both of our childhood dogs have made their way into our brewery as well, their renditions of the original Papa Bear artwork still make me smile.
Growing up with a dog was a remarkable journey that shaped my childhood in ways I could have never imagined. And now, as a parent, witnessing my children create their own beautiful memories with their beloved dog, Douglas, has been a heartwarming experience. Dogs have an incredible way of bringing joy, love, and life lessons into our lives, transcending generations and leaving a lasting legacy of unconditional love and cherished memories. I am grateful for the gift of sharing my life with dogs, and I know that the bond my children have formed with Doug will be a treasured part of their lives for years to come.