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{photo of Honey in Munich, Englischer Garten}

Honey Bar in Munich, Englischer Garten

honey and i joined forces on labour day sunday 1981

i was at McGill, last undergrad year, and **really** missed having a dog. having just moved out of the dorm to an apartment, i finally had a chance to have one of my own. i knew Dad would object:
"it's just not practical!" [ and so!? what's your point? ]
"a dog will tie you down!" [ NOT ! ! check Munich section below ]
i grew up with dogs, so wasn't it really his fault :-) that i felt in such desperate need of one!

in any case, i resolved not to tell Dad until the deed was done. we had always had golden retrievers, but to soften the blow for him i decided to look for a female yellow labrador, like the one he [& his parents] had while in university. also, i thought the shorter hair (lab vs. golden) would be preferable. i perused the newspapers for puppy ads. i finally found one with yellow females. i phoned, they were in Mansonville, PQ, in the eastern townships. the woman said they were genetically yellow but in fact were a dark golden tone of yellow (she was indeed the most glorious golden colour). on the sunday of the labour day weekend i set out from montreal to mansonville, in my mother's old station wagon, and in the company of friends Karen Skene Tracy (now Karen Nailor!) and Sandy Beamish. we only got a little lost (we went the northern route to the eastern townships :-) on our way to Jim and Eve Lawrence's JEL kennels, on The Pheasant Farm in Mansonville.

there were 10 females and 4 males in the litter - i had the pick of 10 lovely little seven and a half week old female puppies! how does one choose !? !? i was lucky: as a pheasant strutted across the yard the 10 lovely pups prepared to launch themselves toward it. i said ``hey wait!'' and just one of them turned to me and did just that. and that was Honey Bar. her name? it wasn't pre-selected. as i cuddled her on the way to the house for registering and paying and tattooing (ouch!), i was calling her `honey', so Eve suggested that as a fine name. it fit as her mother was Sweet April and from her father, Bar le Duc, came the `bar'. her full name was

JEL Honey Bar

by the way: my dad didn't meet her until mid-october! but he became a very big fan.

we lived in montreal through to the end of fall 1992

she made many many friends, attended many parties.

i gotta remember to tell you about the night she glowed for Tony and Dan and myself (admittedly, more was involved).
and about Doug Sharp saving her life by running in front of a cani-cidal taxi in the middle of University St. one afternoon, when she wouldn't listen to Siobhan.

because of her extraordinary good looks, and her customary bandana, many people came to recognise her. we were [she was] always greeted frequently as we walked around campus or the student ghetto. i would have to say that more people knew me as "honey's mom" than by my name - and i knew a lot of people! see waterloo section, below, for a story about THAT.

we ``got to the other page'' fall 1982

this was a cross country driving tour that started from my hometown of Queensbury, New York and had its first stop in Erie Pennsylvania where my sister was living. she called it ``Dreary Erie: the Mistake on the Lake'' (i can't say one way or the other, myself - it seemed fine to me). when she asked me where i was going, what was my plan, i showed her my lovely new Rand McNally Atlas, the page with the whole mainland US and much of Canada on it, and i said,
to get to the other page.
she rolled her eyes.
oh well. but you know, that's exactly what we did.

honey and i loved the whole trip, she made friends everywhere - including a pit boss in Las Vegas. after we had wandered around a bit in Las Vegas, with Honey looking so fabulous and friendly that of course everyone stopped to talk to her, i wanted to try out a casino. i found one with slot machines near the door and tied honey to a bench just outside, so i could keep an eye on her while i tried a few machines. a fellow in a Uniform came and asked me if that was my dog, i said yes, he said the pit boss wants to talk to you, i'm thinking uh-oh they don't want the dog by the front door. instead, the pit boss said, i like dogs, that's a beautiful dog, i'd like to buy your dog a hamburger. he wrote out a chit for a free burger in the caf, he offered me anything i wanted too but i just accepted a cheeseburger on honey's behalf. when the burger was ready i invited him to come out and see her "tricks" - he was very impressed by her sit, stay, hit-the-dirt, beggar, nose-flip, etc, and of course her ever-amazing piece-de-resistance, show-me-your-tits.

sadly, i had to hike the grand canyon without honey, since dogs weren't allowed. i found a decent kennel and i hiked down and up again with an english guy i'd given a lift to some miles from the canyon.

i was caught speeding four times on the trip but only got one ticket. i really think that honey's charms were at least partly responsible.

in la jolla near san diego we swam quite a ways out into the ocean from some beach/park, and tons of people on shore were watching us... when we got back we learned they thought some woman was out swimming with a seal!

there are many stories of this trip, but we especially loved the Klamath River area.

honey made friends in waterloo, 1983-86

during my master's work (MMath'86). she especially loved my various roommates: Michael Monagan, Thomas Strothotte, Jill something, Rick Tiedemann (and his dogs Brandy (beagle) and Sally (Saint Bernard)) and the other Rick, and eventually, Ken. she almost caused Tim Brecht, my office mate, complete coronary failure when he entered our darkened office late one evening before he had met her, and heard scrabbling claws approaching and a warm furry body hurling itself at him.... but doesn't it just make you laugh to think about it now, Tim? .. uh .. Tim?

one afternoon she and i and a friend were outside the UW student union [i think we were waiting in line to buy delectable homemade extra-full-fat ice cream] when a woman came up and started speaking excitedly to her friend, and sort of to us, "wow! this is honey bar, isn't it? i knew this dog in montreal, she's the greatest, this IS her isn't it? how are you sweetie? . . . ." she never actually greeted me, and i certainly didn't recognise her.

honey was a STAR in Munich 1987-88

honey flew intercontinentally 6 times, i guess, back and forth to Munich, sometimes via Amsterdam. we took the train from Amsterdam once because i couldn't handle the stress of changing planes with her. we practically had to carry her around because we, without thinking, had given her the tranquiliser dose for all-the-way-to-Munich, so she was still very dopey in Amsterdam.

she came to work with me at InterFace Computer GmbH every day - we walked, mostly, because we lived only 4 blocks over/4 blocks up. we both remember fondly the lovely people we worked with there - and honey's favourite had to be Susie Neubrander. Susie and her parents took care of honey when i was travelling and couldn't take her along (mainly scandinavia). they called her "Hoenig Baer" (honey-bear) and i was always certain that she was dearly loved and cared for there.

Munich was a great city for us. the incredibly good transit system is also civilised enough to take dogs! dogs cost a child's fare, which i was more than happy to pay. she loved the englischer garten and the Isar River. she also loved the little pub ken and i liked to go to for dinner sometimes - the best kaesespaetzle (like macaroni and cheese but WAY better) you could imagine washed down with weissbier - aaaahhhh. once she sneaked under the bench of our booth (she *was* on a leash but there was enough slack for this escapade) and wriggled her front half into the kitchen door behind me. i think a slight tug on the leash alerted me and i finally twisted around and looked over the back of the booth and there she was, being fed mounds of sausage by the doting kitchen staff.

she has been to: Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Greece; not to mention: Canada, USA.

she wandered Alpine meadows with us.
she hiked a long dusty dry canyon on Crete.
she swam in fountains in Rome on boiling summer days.
she `whitewater-canoed' on the ardeche river in france.

BC? no problem! 1988-1993

we moved back to Canada in 1988, mostly so Ken could use the NSERC he had been awarded to do his PhD, and had already put off for two years. he chose SFU - simon fraser university. we flew back, and drove across the country, with stops with my family in upstate NY and friends in waterloo and Ken's family in winnipeg and friends in calgary (hi Ruby!).

so honey moved to the Vancouver area of BC with us and settled in happily. we found a house to rent that allowed a dog (more easily than we expected) in Burnaby, a Vancouver suburb.

we found lots of neat places to go with hiking and camping and so on, like lynn canyon over in north vancouver, and harrison lake, and tofino (bella pacifica near tofino is a terrific campground - they allowed dogs some years ago, i hope they still do!).

for a year or so i worked on a research project in the faculty of education at SFU, and she came to work with me there daily. she was held in great affection by the staff along our hallway. we were in a cave of an office, at the far end of a long hallway of offices and she would often lie just inside our doorway, and greet passers-by, and watch life happen.

when i moved to another research project in the school of computing science, she was still coming to work with me but folks are a little sticker there. for some years the school's powers-that-be put up with honey coming to the research labs daily. however i eventually got a "real" job working for the school of CS and that was it, now i was a university employee (not a professor's employee) and they could jerk the chain. so honey was forbidden to come to work with me any more and spent her days sleeping at home. as you can tell i thought this was a rather pedantic attitude, but there it is.

in 1991 we had our first baby and honey wasn't impressed with the noise level sometimes but was happy to curl up with the baby when she was alseep and give her sniffs and kisses when she was awake and quiet. i always wonder what dogs think of kids not being housebroken... :-)

Mica joined us early in 1993

honey did play with baby mica -- but preferred her curled up asleep & cuddly!
i wish they'd had more time together...

{photo of Honey with baby-Mica}

Honey Bar with Mica, shortly before she died

honey died on march 3rd 1993

   From sumo@cs.sfu.ca Thu Mar  4 08:22:35 1993
   To: many many friends
   Subject: goodbye, Honey Bar

   sad news - Honey Bar has just died, eleven and one half years old.
   she was at home with us, and it was very gentle and peaceful.

   we discovered early in january that she had cancer, an untreatable melanoma
   in the roof of her mouth. exceptional to the end, she hung in there for
   eight weeks, twice as long as the vet had initially predicted. this
   has broken my heart, as some of you can imagine, but we're coping.

   well, i just wanted our friends, and hers, to know.

   if you should happen to have a special memory or thought about Honey,
   and i know a few of you do,
   please, don't be afraid to share it with me.
   sure, it will make me cry some more,
   but i like to hear from other people
   that she was as special as i've always thought she was.


i saw this poem (the words may not be quite right) in an Ann Landers column in the early 1990's, i believe.

I explained to St. Peter,
I'd rather stay here, outside the Pearly Gate.
I won't be a nuisance, I won't even bark,
I will be patient and wait.

I'll lie here, chewing on a celestial bone,
no matter how long you may be.
I'd miss you so much if I went in alone -
it wouldn't be Heaven for me.