Friday, September 19, 2008

An ode to Fergus

A good friend of mine, Rod Pedersen, radio voice of the WHL's Regina Pats and CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders, and his family, tragically lost their Yorkshire Terrier Fergus this week. The following tribute is written by Rod and posted on his blog,

Please remember Rod's family and Fergus, during this very heartbreaking time in their lives. Thank you.

That third period implosion by the Pats tonight was about par for the course for the way the past 48 hours have gone.

If you don't want to hear about my dog Fergus, who was killed tragically Friday, then stop reading now. The following words are for our friends and family, for me, and most of all him.

It sounds trivial considering what a lot of my friends are going through now, plus the mourning of the Rider Nation these days. But I spent a lot more time with that pup than I did with Ron Lancaster. I suppose it's all relative.

She found him on the internet in the fall of 1997, a few months after we were married. We made a road trip to Edmonton to get him, and as a Yorkshire Terrier pup just a couple weeks old, you could hold him in the palm of your hand.

From that moment on, he lived the life of a king. You know me, I bought all the books on Yorkies and read that their heart had a greater capacity to expand than a horse's, and that they could run eight miles at a clip. We did it time after time on rollerblades. He loved it.

I took that dog absolutely everywhere -- the rink, the stadium, the radio station and everywhere in between. One time a lady stopped Shawna in the mall and said "you must be Rod's wife. I don't know you but I know the dog."

He had many friends. Former Rider Glenn Rogers Jr. loved him and bought one just like him. Cal Murphy had me bring Fergus in to perform his tricks in front of the whole Rider team. Barret Jackman held him in the press box when he was scratched from Pats games as a rookie. I was going to make a collage with all those photos and call it "FERGUS & FRIENDS". I never did and I'm now kicking myself for it.

After the divorce I was more concerned about our three-year old daughter than I was about him. But he made trips to our new place and I saw him regularly.

Amazingly, when I was scouring the streets and back alleys of Northwest Regina today looking for him, seniors on the street said they remembered him from us on our runs FIVE YEARS AGO. We were out pounding the pavement everyday, me and Ferg.

I knew, or I thought I knew, that I'd find him this morning. I envisioned him running out from under a tree down the street after I'd called his name for a one-thousandth time.

We got a call today at CKRM that someone had found a Yorkie on the highway near Pilot Butte. We got an email too though, that someone saw remains of what could've been him at Sherwood and Sampson.

They couldn't tell if it was a cat, a dog, or some other animal because he'd been run over so many times. He eventually was identified by his light brown paws. That doesn't concern me as I know his spirit left the moment he was hit.

Can't begin to tell you how devastated I was to hear the news, but I tried to hold it together on the busride to Brandon. I'm writing this on the ride home, so no one can see the feelings.

I talked to the lady who found the Yorkie near Pilot Butte. This dog's fur was matted and dirty. I knew it wasn't our's, because he'd just had a haircut this week. The lady said "this is one lucky dog because he crossed the highway three times without being hit. He's one lucky dog!"

Fergus was lucky too, but unfortunately today his luck ran out. It's six days shy of his twelfth birthday.

I've had texts and calls from all over, from people who knew what he meant to me. Chad Mercier in Bonnyville, AB said "that dog had a great life!"

He was perfect. Never shed. Never bit a person. Hated cats like I do. Was extremely protective of Alyia and HIS house. Truly a man's best friend.

Many have asked how our daughter's doing. I called her after school. She said she's so-so, and didn't want to talk about it. Tonight she's spending the first night of her life without her "Fergie Squirrel". She named him that 'cause the five-pounder has been confused for a squirrel on occasion.

I know for a fact I'll never own a dog again.

I had the best.

Good night Fergus.

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