Curious Nanuq Dobbyn

I got Nanuq at the end of June 2006. I wasn’t even planning  to get a dog.  I was visiting  my son  and his wife  who then  lived near Strathroy.  I had just lost  the second  of two  older cats  who had been wonderful company for me especially after losing my husband two years earlier.

I didn’t realize when I went down to visit them that they had decided a dog was what I needed. They had made calls in the area and found one in London they felt we should meet. As I said before I was not looking for a dog but as we were going to London anyway, I went along with them.

What I met was a beautiful little white Bichon puppy about 9 weeks old and the last of his litter. He kept jumping up, looking at me with his big brown eyes, saying, it seemed, “take me, take me!” Well, it didn’t take very long before we did take him. That evening after much discussion I named him Nanuq - the great white bear of the north.

How lucky I was that I did get him! Together we were the perfect fit. 

We took long walks, he loved taking trips to visit the kids and slept curled up next to me in my chair or bed. He loved chasing all the squirrels and chipmunks around the yard. At that time, I lived in Pike Bay and the house was surrounded by bush. He loved to sniff around the property and fortunately, he would never wander far from me.

His curiosity got the better of him a few times. When he was two, he suddenly ran across the road and was bitten on the nose by a Massasauga rattlesnake. It was so fast - I saw the snake just before he yelped.

It was a terrible few days for Nanuq, very painful, with lots of different medications. He lost all his hair on his nose and all down his neck. Fortunately, the venom didn’t kill the hair follicles and eventually all the hair grew back.

Another time as I was letting him out before bed on a cold wet November night, he suddenly leaped off the deck and ran down the back slope. I yelled his name loudly a couple times and before any time he slunk slowly back with porcupine quills covering his nose, mouth and neck. That was a long expensive trip to Owen Sound to the doctor on call, but he did come home feeling and looking so much better. I learned a valuable lesson that day, to not let him out at night without his leash on!

Nanuq and I were so fortunate to have my best friend Judy as his second mom. She started out as his friend and groomer but came to love him as much as I did and always wanted to take him anytime I had to be away.

The years he was with me passed so quickly. We did get a rescued kitten when he was five, but he was the one who stole my heart the most.

He did develop a number health conditions as he aged and there were a couple of times that I thought I was going to lose him, but he always surprised us and would recover. We moved to Lion’s Head in August of 2019 and he adjusted well to the new surroundings.

I think I had come to believe he would be with me lot longer but that was not to be. On March 11, 2020 he suddenly started to have trouble walking, was weak and he kept falling down. Out of the blue our good friend Judy showed up at the door as if she knew we needed her. She was there to take us to the doctor and be with us through those difficult hours until he slept away in my arms.

I will always love little Nanuq and remember all the good times we had. And as hard as it was to lose him. I often think the quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson is so true. “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.

Contributed by Mom, Marilyn Dobbyn
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