Media Coverage

Saturday, 25 October 2008

The Life and Times of Lupis

The Life and Times of Lupis.

January 04 – 1995 to October 24 – 2008

It was a fateful day in summer 2004, I was married to a wonderful lady by the name of Charlene, living on York Street in St. Catharines. I took a trip to the local SPCA, and decided to view the dogs which were available for adoption.

Amongst all the dogs, a young dog, about 6 or 7 months old with a beautiful upturned tail, and wolf-life appearance stood out amongst the crowd. He barked and barked his head off. I decided to take a look at him and requested that he be brought to a private room where both my wife and I could have a closer look. With a glint in his brown eyes, he did not stop barking. The agents there advised us that he will be a "barker" if we decide to take him. Already having one brown shephard mix at home, we decided to adopt him, and call him Lupis as he looked like a wolf.

Lupis was very well behaved, although very loud and barkey. Upon examination by a vet, we were informed he was indeed part Wolf. He spent several years with us in our home on York street until 1997 when Charlene and I split up, and I moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Sadly due to some medical complications, Max had to be put down in late 1997.

Lupis enjoyed the farm and spent many hours outside, as well as travelling around with me in my 1986 Jeep CJ-7 camping, hiking, and canoeing in places like Algonquin Park, and Frontenac park.

Once Lupis managed to escape his leather harness when my Jeep was parked outside a store, and got loose in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was a hot summer day in 1997 and through his exploits managed to burn his feet badly and had to be treated by the vets, wearing socks with ointment for several weeks after the incident.

Being outdoors, even in the cold, harsh winters in Northern Ontario where temperatures routinely reached -40C, was where Lupis was happiest. He had is own backpack fitted just for him as well as special boots called "muttlucks" which kept his feet from freezing and icing. Instead of a collar, Lupis had a "halti" which was similar to a horse halter to protect his neck.

Whether it was in deep winters, or climbing the peaks of Killarney Park Lupis was happiest outside as a trail dog. He spent many, many nights under the stars in his natural environment with me camping in remote wilderness areas in Ontario.

In the year 2000 my wife Tori and I decided to get our transport truck drivers license and start driving long distance for a living. As a love of travel, Lupis was in his prime. He got to do the things he enjoyed the most. Sit in the passenger seat and watch the world go by. He has travelled from east to west, and North to south. Lupis set foot in the Gulf of Mexico, and the deserts of Texas, travelling to almost every state and province in North America. He spent many nights sitting in the front seats of our truck watching the other trucks and dogs at truckstops all around North America.

His last big trip was through Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia in summer 2007 where we managed to go and climb some of the mountains in the Bridgetown Nova Scotia area where we own some land.

As time went on, he was plagued by the ravages of time and had several operations for various things, including removal of large lumps, etc. In early 2008 his hips started troubling him and he started to have difficulty walking. He still participated in gentle hikes and lots of canoe trips around Ontario as it was easy, low-impact work.

On Thursday, October 23rd Lupis was going for a hike in WoodEnd conservation area and had difficulty breathing, and started throwing up, and could not walk. We aborted the hike and he had difficulty breathing throughout the night.

On Friday, October 24th, 2008 we took him to the Martindale Animal Clinic at 08:30hrs where they weighed him in and again he vomited on the scale. They rushed him into the back room to find that part of his throat muscles had spasmed and collapsed. He was unable to survive without a breathing tube, and had fluid on his lungs.

The university of Guelph could have performed an operation on him which would have repaired the muscles in his throat, however he would have to have a tracheotomy and be transported from St. Catharines to Guelph unconscious. The doctors at the university felt that with his age, he may not have survived the operation, and it would simply "buy some time" before other complications caused the inevitable. No amount of money or operations could save him at this point.

On Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 13:40est it was with a heavy heart we decided to have the throat tube removed, and Lupis passed from this life peacefully while being held by myself and Tori.

It happened so fast. One day our happy-go-lucky and long-time companion was as healthy as ever, and within 24hrs he had succumbed to his affliction and passed away in our arms.

Lupis was my friend, loyal companion and confidant for almost 15 years. His memories will be treasured and he will be deeply missed by everyone whose life he touched. He will be cremated and his ashes returned in an urn, to stay with us for the years to come.