The Old Dog and the New Dog

The big news this month is that we’re getting a dog. I’ve never been much of an animal person. They are, oddly, drawn to me, although it’s unclear if it’s because of my sense of humour. I had fish as a kid, but everyone knows that doesn’t count. My official excuse is allergies, which is 100% true, but also a truth without meaning. If I didn’t get itchy within five minutes of being around a cat, I still wouldn’t have wanted one as a pet (I await your outraged emails cat-people).


My wife had dogs growing up, so she’s always been open to the idea, when our kids have campaigned for us to get one. Sarah, our oldest child, isn’t much of an animal person either. She’s terrified of squirrels (nuff said). Bram, our middle child, really likes dogs. But he has asthma, and we were concerned about bringing a pet into the house. Jack, our youngest, has always liked animals and is a persistent and effective advocate.


But the turning point in getting a dog has always hinged on me. Because for all my family’s talk, I’ve always known,  as the guy who works from home,  that I’ll be the primary caregiver. So when I finally agreed that we should get a dog a few months ago, the surprise ranged from cynical disbelief to “who has replaced Dad with this alien-cyborg?”.


What’s changed? The short answer is ‘hopefully me’. This decision is a manifestation of my desire to overcome my resistance to change in and of itself. Although I acknowledge that on the surface it just looks like I’m suffering from ⅔ empty nester syndrome. This dog, Elle Driver (“Ellie”) Bussin (Google Elle Driver if you’re not a Tarantino fan), will also be a therapy dog of sorts. I mostly work alone. She’ll keep me company and make sure I get out from in front of the computer every now and then. Dog walkers tend to be healthier folk, and I’m learning all the squats, curls, thrusters and burpees I’m doing still doesn’t cancel out nine hours of sitting.


And she’s pretty damn cute. Yes, yes, she’s a puppy. All puppies are cute. But Ellie’s also got a little charisma and pizzazz. Although Aussiedoodles are active dogs, she immediately demonstrated her willingness to also lie around. I’m both nominating and confirming Ellie’s appointment as official Tonic Mascot.


So change. You’ll notice that in the December issue we’ve got some different editorial. There’s been a lot of talk about marijuana: legalization, distribution throughout the city, etc. I think it’s incumbent on us to discuss the health and wellness issues surrounding marijuana, so starting with this issue that’s what we’re going to do. Ljubika Kostovic’s article on the myths and truths about the drug is a great jumping off point (p.27). Stay tuned for more. For those who seek the comfort of our usual columns I suggest you read Joel Thuna’s article on stress prevention (p. 23) and Carlyle Jansen’s piece on the ever elusive orgasms. (p.33) As always, if there’s anything you want to discuss about this note or anything else in this issue of Tonic please feel free to contact me (keep it civil cat people).

Categories: Publisher’s Note