The red-haired tornado

The red-haired tornado

Isabelle and Sébastien got their first dog in their early forties. It was a huge life change but one with tremendous rewards.

June 8, 2019 By Josée Larivée

Clovis arrived at Isabelle and Sébastien's home when he was still very young. He had looks to die for. However, Sébastien, wasn't sold on the idea of ​​getting a dog. Says Isabelle: "I was the one who really wanted a dog. We looked at Airedales, but Hungarian Pointers seemed better adapted to our lifestyle. They're more active, and I thought a Pointer would be less sensitive to our mistakes, which was important because we had no experience as dog-owners."

Things didn't go all that well. From the moment of the dog's first mischievous act, Isabelle lived in fear that Sébastien would want to return Clovis. After only a week Sébastien was at his wits' end. "I had to convince him to wait," recalls Isabelle. “Clovis was just a baby. The idea of one day being separated from him was impossible to imagine. We needed to be patient.” And they were. Today, Isabelle speaks softly as she caresses her dog: “We don't have children and we now love Clovis with all our hearts. We've become completely attached to him."

For the fun of it, Isabelle decided to register Clovis for canine agility competitions. "It was mainly to create a stronger connection between us," she explains. She invites us to see a practice. However, as luck would have it, Clovis, partly distracted by his audience, is behaving like a clown. Isabelle stands in the middle of the course, between the fences over which Clovis refuses to jump. She's patient and cheerful. Eventually, Clovis walks back to her and gets his reward.

“It's weird, but before this, I would probably have gotten carried away and caught up in all the rigour and precision,” says Isabelle. “But then Clovis came into our lives with his crazy behaviour and contagious enthusiasm. He taught me to laugh! Every day he reminds me to have fun and see each situation as a game, which is something I now apply to all aspects of my life. Clovis is the best dog in the world!”

Clovis—as if understanding what Isabelle's just said—ambles over, gently closes his eyes and presses his head against his owner. Then, in an outburst of silliness, he stretches up and nibbles Isabelle's cheek. Clovis, without a doubt, also has the best human in the world. Who loves who the most? It's anybody's guess.

Cover photo: Catherin Arsenault
Photo credit : personal collection

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