March 22nd, 2016
Today’s post is written by a guest blogger, my 12 year old son. Last week, he was given an essay to write about a “turning point” event that changed his life. Cameron decided to write about the impact of having Bailey. As an adult, you sometimes forget how an animal can shape a young person’s life. I remembered the pets that I grew up with and the lessons that they taught me. Some of these lessons were serious in nature like letting go when their time had come or taking care of their needs even when you do not feel up for it (like rowing ashore from the cruiser to take the dog for the first business duty of the day). I experienced unconditional acceptance from every single cat and dog that entered my life. As I watch Bailey interact with my boys, I know her presence in their lives will have far reaching effects beyond her life with us. Now, I hand over the writing to my son who demonstrates everyday that he is a wonderful dog owner. Bailey could not have a better playmate.
Keeping Up With Bailey
By Cameron Salomon de Friedberg
Like many children, I was living a life with little exercise. It was a life that centred on technology such as playing computer games and watching television. My parents really had a difficult time to get me outside to be active. My life changed when Bailey, a Newfoundland puppy, entered my life at 10 weeks of age. I suddenly found my days becoming more active as Bailey grew.
I spend every day playing outside with Bailey. I never have to look far for a playmate. Bailey is always eager and available for outdoor fun. We have different games that the two of us enjoy playing. For instance, she carries her red rubber chew toy and tries to get me to chase her. Our backyard has several snow banks that I climb up and down while trying to get Bailey’s chew toy away from her. I think that the snow banks are like a gym stair climber. My legs get a real workout. Bailey has lots of energy and never tires of this game. When I finally fall down tired on the snow, she waddles over to me and bumps me with the toy to get another game started. I do not want to disappoint her. So, we begin the game again. My stamina has increased from the start of the winter. Technology never had this effect on me.
Since her arrival, I now join my parents on nature hikes with Bailey. We have discovered new trails which Bailey has shown us. I never knew about the trail system between our house on Cabot Drive and the Wabush cemetery. Our family took one of these trails with Bailey on the Thanksgiving weekend. We climbed up a high rocky hill. At the top, we stopped to admire the wonderful view of the surrounding wilderness. I never knew that Wabush had so many lakes. I have seen beautiful sunrises while walking with Bailey and my mother around Jean Lake in the early mornings during the summer. In the past, I would have still been sleeping in bed. Hiking is pleasurable when you have an energetic furry companion.
I enjoy walking to school because Bailey comes along with me. I met new friends who came over to meet Bailey and ended up getting to know me. Some of these kids will wait for us so they can stroll to school with Bailey and me. I could take the bus. However, spending time with Bailey brightens up my day and puts me in a positive mood for school.
My life has been changed for the better because of my Newfoundland puppy. I go outdoors more often. I exercise more frequently and for longer periods. I do not get tired as easily as I did before. I have lost weight and gained muscle. I have found new places to explore with Bailey. I am more social with other people and my family. Technology still has a place in my life. But, thanks to Bailey, technology plays a much smaller role in my new active lifestyle. She is my own personal trainer. Bailey encourages me with lots of licks and friendly nudges against my legs. I am grateful that she came into my life when I needed her.