Friday, September 16, 2011


Most of my posts are food or music related but the name of the blog is and unfortunately this post is falls into the life category.

In many ways dogs are a lot like humans. They are born, they live and they die. In many ways they are not like humans. After they are born, they are taken from their family and given to a new one to bring endless amounts of joy and happiness.

Today our family dog died. Unlike humans, dogs don't get funerals, or obituaries. It might not be in a newspaper, but here is his story. This is the story of how a dog was born, lived, died, and became very much a part of a family.

My mother hated dogs. She was afraid of them and over her "Dead body," would there ever be a dog in our house. My brother, myself and oldest sister never bothered pursuing to get one because we knew it would never happen. So we thought.

A young Ashley and Ceilidh
One day our youngest sister got it in her head that she wanted a dog as a Grading Day present. Grading day is what we call the last day of school on the East Coast. She started a countdown on the desktop of our computer from somewhere around 75 days until the day she was going to get a dog. As the countdown reached single digits, the rest of us wondered if it really was going to happen. Sure enough, Grading Day came and Dad took Ashley to get a dog. We couldn't believe it. Maybe it was because she was the baby in the family, maybe it was because she had been working on Mom for months. Whatever the reason, Mom finally cracked.

Dad took Ashley to the SPCA to rescue a dog. At the time I didn't realize how cool this was. She came across a blond cocker spaniel and that was it. One hour later he was in our living room. Months before she adopted him, she named him "Ceilidh" pronounced "Kaylee." Ceilidh is a Gaelic word that is commonly used in Cape Breton which means "Party." He was a little shy and nervous at his new home, but they became fast friends.

Ceilidh was a rock star

Several days later, Dad was driving and heard on the radio a report of a lost dog from the Mira area. It was a blond cocker spaniel who perfectly fit his description. Dad also knew from the SPCA that he was found in the Mira area. He knew Ashley would be devastated having to give the dog back after a few days, but he also knew he had to call the people and tell them that we had their dog. He called the number and told the people that we had adopted the dog from the SPCA and that he was safe. He asked how should he go about giving the dog back. It turns out that the family who had originally owned him were going through a tough time. A family member was battling cancer and while they were sad to see him leave, they were happy to give to a "Good home." Just before Dad hung up he asked, "What is the dog's name?" The voice on the other end told him "Brandy."
Ashley & Ceilidh, 2010

"Brandy" didn't work. As I said, Ashley had decided months ago that his name would be Ceilidh, and Ceilidh it was. I never thought this would work, but sure enough, before too long he responded to Ceilidh.

While it was Ashley's dog, make no mistake about it, it quickly became Mom's dog. It didn't take long for him to break her fear of dogs and fall in love with him. He followed mom around the house, and slept in her bedroom every night.

Ceilidh and Dad watching TV

He was there for every event on Elkin street at the Chiasson household. He was there for all 5 Elkin St. Highland Games. He was there when my sister brought Mom and Dad's first grandchild into the house. More importantly though, he was there for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. He was there when you got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. He was there when you came home for a weekend when you were going to university and would freak out when you walked through the front door. He was there when mom and dad put some new flooring in the house. He was there for every birthday party. He was there everyday when Mom cooked supper. He would snuggle up with you on the couch when you were watching TV.

Mom and Dad putting in new floor while Ceilidh supervised
 He was always there and as dogs have a way of doing, quickly became a member of the family.

We were not quite sure how old he was because we didn't have him since day 1, but we had him for 12 years. Most likely he was 13, maybe 14. Like humans, as dogs age, they develop health problems. He had arthritis for the the last few years of his life and in his last weeks, his back legs gave out. His quality of life was not very good.

Mom's Birthday

Ceilidh lived a great life. He was rescued from what most likely would have been an early death and spent 12 years with a family whose lives were enriched with his presence. Everyone who walked through the door was touched by Ceilidh.

Ceilidh not only enriched our lives. He changed our lives. He changed the way we looked at pets. Before Ceilidh, none of realized how a pet could be come such a part of the family. He was the only member of our family who never got upset. He never argued. He seemed to know when you were having a bad day and would cuddle up to as if to say "It's OK."

A member of our family is gone. While I'm sad that he's no longer with us, I'll be forever thankful for the 12 years that we had him.


"If your dog doesn't like someone you probably shouldn't either."
- Unknown

"My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am."
- Unknown

"The more people I meet the more I like my dog."
- Unknown

"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." 
- Unknown


  1. OMG Adam, that was a beautiful story you wrote about Ceilidh. It brought tears to my eyes. Even though he's gone, he will remain forever in your hearts.

  2. awhhh adam ,what a beautiful tribute to ''SIR CEILIDH'',he was such an important part of the Chiasson family and as well to everyone who visited your home.Ceilidh will always be in your hearts and memories.reast in peace ''SIR CEILIDH ''


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