Regal Minor

Sat, Mar 02, 2002 — Mon, Apr 17, 2017

My heart is heavy as I go through the process of saying goodbye to one of the best friends I’ve ever had. We let our beloved Regal cross the Rainbow Bridge from the comfort of our home yesterday, surrounded with love. Although her health was waning after 15 years on this earth, her youthful spunk and resiliency still appeared from time to time. A little trouble-maker from the start, there was never a dull moment with Regal. From destroying numerous household items over the years (including items from households other than ours), chewing holes in the wall, getting kicked out of obedience class, running away multiple times, counter-surfing and compromising special meals, having an extremely questionable palate (goose poop, anyone?), baying incessantly to get back in the house on a beautiful summer day, and keeping the house awake with her snoring, she kept us all on our toes. Each of those moments, although frustrating at the time, will make me smile when I think of her now.
Growing up without any childhood pets, I vowed to get a dog as soon as I was on my own. I was always partial to beagles, since my Grandma & Grandpa Christie had one (Sandy). My sisters and I loved Sandy, and spoiled her rotten whenever we visited. We’d get in trouble for letting her sleep in bed with us, and for feeding her table scraps. Naturally, when it came time for me to get my own dog, I picked a beagle.
I was 24 years old, finishing up my last year at the University of Ottawa. I didn’t have any family nearby, and was ready for the company of a furry friend. But there was a twist of fate right from the start. My heart set on a male puppy, I picked my favourite one from three beagle puppies at the pet store. I put him down to sign some papers, then picked him back up and left after the transaction was complete. We headed straight for Pet Smart to purchase all the puppy things we needed, among them a blue collar and blue leash. Looking down into the cart at my new puppy, rolling around on his back, while I held the blue leash in my hand…I noticed something strange. In my ignorance and lack of experience with animals, I asked a man in the aisle beside me…”Excuse me, but is this a male or female?” to which he replied: “That’s definitely a female”. Some fleeting thoughts raced through my mind…should I take her back to the pet store and exchange her for the male puppy I wanted? What would become of her then? With a sigh, I decided that it was meant to be. I retraced my steps and exchanged all the blue stuff for red, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
I finally had my own fur baby to spoil, and it felt so good to be needed. Regal slept under the covers at my feet every night (mind you, once in a while, she’d decide to chew the comforter), followed me everywhere, and came on all kinds of adventures with me. We’ve lived in 6 different cities and 8 different homes together over the years. Her favourite places were the beach and hiking trails, and her favourite place to visit was North Bay.
Regal has been there for me through some of the loneliest and darkest moments of my life; a constant source of comfort that I could always rely on. At some points, she was my reason to live; she’d get me out of bed for the day. She was equally there for me for all the good times too; my entire relationship with my husband, the adoption of our second beloved fur baby, Bosco, and the first few years of our daughters’ lives. Some people say that pets come into our lives for a reason and to teach us a lesson of some kind. I believe Regal came into my life when I really needed someone, and stuck with me until I found true happiness. She was ready to let me go, too, confident that the beautiful family and life that we found together will continue to bring me happiness in her absence.
Regal, I like to think we’ll be together again one day. Wherever you are, I hope you’re reunited with some of the other beings we’ve loved, doing all the things you enjoy. A huge piece of me left with you, and my heart aches immensely, but the memories of your spirited soul, velvety soft ears, happy grunts, and corn chip feet will warm my heart forever. I love you so much. RIP, my baby.