Smokey McNeil

Tue, Jul 20, 2010 — Mon, Feb 11, 2019

Smokey's Story:
Smokey was truly a loved and special dog. He was a German Shepherd-Boxer, but looked more like a Shepherd, other than his Boxer floppy ears, and brown and white speckled coIours. The first thing that attracted me to Smokey was his beautiful speckled colours; just like he had a countless number of freckles. And the first thing I remember about him was that he was a jealous dog. So cute. I could never forget that about him. I had Smokey since he was twelve weeks old. We did everything together. Everyday we were at a park, a conservation park, and in his puppy year, we practically lived at the dog park. I can't tell you how much he meant to me. And life now without him around, is truly sad and empty. My home is just so empty without Smokey. He was just loved that much. More love for him than anything or anyone else.

We only learned last month that Smokey was not well, and may have cancer. He was treated at Oncology, at the Mississauga-Oakville emerg. We gave him chemo and steriods, but he was diagnosed with acute leukemia. It was aggressive, and the worst kind of cancer he could have. Just so unfair, as he was only eight and a half. We thought the treatment would have extended his life at least into the spring. I really didn't want him passing in such a cold and brutal winter. But only a week after chemo, we were told his red blood cells continued to drop, and the treatment wasn't working. I never cried so much, hearing that awful news.

Early in life, I always said that Smokey was truly a gift from God. He really was just that. Smokey was my best friend and son. He was loved by me and mum, Helen. I think he really thought that mum was his real mum. I never seen him more affectionate than with her. And mum really loved Smokey. Smokey too had many friends, as he touched many others in our community. Jake, an African Ridgeback, was his first real dog friend. Jake passed away last winter, almost at 12, also of cancer. And when Smokey left, he left behind his dog friend, Blaze, also a shepherd mix, and his girlfriend Lexi, a beautiful Golden Retiever. Blaze's owner John really cared for Smokey, and has been there for me. Aaron and his two dogs, Greywind and Tuk Tuk, will also miss Smokey. Aaron was there for Smokey when he was sick, setting up a go-fund-me page for Smokey's treatment. You see, Smokey was not only special to me, but he was to all others in his community who knew about him. And they knew that Smokey brought out the best in me. They knew that Smokey was the reason I advocated for new animal-welfare laws, in setting up the Animal Standards committee, with three Mississauga councillors. And in 2014, we did change the laws to better protect outdoor dogs, and put in place a four-hour max no-tethering law; a first of its kind in all of Canada.

In reading this, I know that others don't know Smokey. But I hope everyone can find a special place in their hearts, for the dog who helped make a true change. Because Smokey lived, laws were changed to better protect all other dogs. We should all celebrate this on Smokey's upcoming birthday, this July 20th, and all other future birthdays, as I will. He will never be forgotten.

Smokey, I can't believe you are gone. Mum looks at your pictures and videos every day. We could never forget you. I hope your spirit stays with us, and I hope you are still in your back seat of the car, waiting to go the the Big Park, as we called the Adamson estate, or the Small Park, as we called Port Credit. I loved you and will always continue to love you. You were so special to me and mum, and to everyone you met. Anyone meeting Smokey knew how special he was; always so affectionate for meeting new and old friends. He never forgot anyone. And we will never forget Smokey. Rest in Peace Smokey. Shane loves you so much! Mum loves you so much! I'm sure there is a special place for you in Heaven, and me and mum will find you there. Wait for Shane, Smoke! Shane loves you! Gimme a kiss.. big kisses for Smokey.

The first two pictures are of Smokey, Easter 2018, at the Adamson estate, when he was still healthy and enjoying his day at the park. The third picture is more recent, and was taken in the car, when we knew he wasn't that well. But he was still well enough that he wanted to be out and about, in his car. And the forth to sixth, with his harness on, was going for his treatments.

Smokey's song, " Dad," I wrote and played on guitar for Smoke. This came about as when Smokey was a pup, mum always said he would always watch me and look up to me. Of course he did this because I think Smokey thought he was going to grow-up and be just like his dad:
"Ever since I can remember when, cowboys and indians, way back then; Garth playing on the radio and dad, dad singin' right along. Those were the days I remember most; those days now gone and lost. In my dad's ol' pickup, he wore his stetson just like Garth.... I wanna be a cowboy, dad just like you. I wanna be a cowboy too. I wanna be a cowboy, proud red white and blue.. I wanna be a cowboy dad just like you!"

Smokey, Shane could never have been more proud of you! You grew to be a real cowboy, you did. Love you so much! A real gift from God, you were and always will be, to me and mum. Come 'ere... Big Hugs and Kisses.