Dog Dilemma Two

As readers will recall, after my mother died last year, I turned her home into a kennel for her beloved pup, Nike. He enjoyed my efforts but I worried he would get away and perish in cold weather or traffic. And Nike was lonesome. I could not take the adorable pup to Los Angeles with me because we cannot

As readers will recall, after my mother died last year, I turned her home into a kennel for her beloved pup, Nike. He enjoyed my efforts but I worried he would get away and perish in cold weather or traffic. And Nike was lonesome.

I could not take the adorable pup to Los Angeles with me because we cannot have dogs in our condo.

With great reluctance, I decided to find Nike a new home in Edmonton. Many people wanted him and I had to decide who the lucky person would be, for he is a truly affectionate and loving dog. I had a dilemma on my hands. I didn’t know who to give Nike to.

After much thought, I chose a lady who suffered chronic pain. She was also a chain smoker and felt that Nike would help her stop. In addition, the lady said she wanted a “companion.” This was the magic word that persuaded me she deserved to get the dog, since my 95-year-old mother thought of all of her dogs as companions.

Alas, something went amiss. The lady decided that Nike was too rambunctious. She thought she needed an older and quieter companion.

I agreed and told her that I would take her to the pound when she was ready and find her a suitable companion.

I decided to give the pup to the next person in line. Actually, “persons,” since they were a couple. In my previous column, I referred to the couple as Mr. and Mrs. X. Of course, the couple were up front with their names:  Clarence and Donna.

Their 30-year-old son had been killed in an accident in Northern Canada and Donna felt the dog would be a comfort to her. I knew Mother would approve of Nike’s new masters.

I took Nike to Donna and Clarence’s home and the little pup inspected their place, sniffed their carpets, checked out their spacious lawn and decided that he had found the perfect world.

Since Nike is my last link to my mother, I wanted to be able to visit him while I’m in Edmonton. I drew up the following contract:

Dog Agreement

This is an agreement between Donna, Clarence and Jaron concerning his dog, Nike.

Jaron gives Nike to Donna and Clarence, providing they agree to look after Nike in their home and when Jaron returns to Edmonton from time to time, they agree to let Jaron keep Nike.

Donna and Clarence agree that if they do not want Nike, they will return him to Jaron. They promise not to sell him or give him away. Should they give the dog away or sell him, they will pay Jaron $5,000.

$5,000 might seem like a severe penalty to pay for the loss of Nike; however, I spent more than that over the last year if you factor in loss of rent, two people to walk the pup, dog food, vet bills and so on.

When you consider that mother loved Nike with all her heart (in some ways more than she loved me), pound for pound that dog is priceless. You might think I would begrudge spending most of my inheritance on the pup. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love that dog.

After Donna and Clarence had Nike in their home for less than 24 hours they were anxious to sign the agreement.

Over the next few days, I returned several times to see how Nike was doing.

The first time Nike was happy to see me. The second time he was much more interested in bonding with Donna. The third time, the little psychopath growled at me.

If there is anyone who reads this column who wants to make some money, I have a proposition.

How about I give you the home address of Donna and Clarence? Then I will pretend to be out of town permanently. Offer to buy Nike for $1,000. If the new owners fall for selling the ungrateful mutt, I can force them to pay me $5,000.

We will split the money.

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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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