Aries had the heart of a lion.
When I first met the block headed dog with a whip for a tail in Nova Scotia 16 years ago, I didn’t have any idea the impact he’d have on me. I think we came into each other’s lives by chance and formed a bond quickly that was strengthened with every run or adventure we went on.
It was never really the typical dog-owner relationship. He was such a good boy that he was just a friend. He was independent yet loving.
Man was he a character. He loved licorice more than any other food. He would snore so loudly it sounded as if someone were trying to start a lawn mower in the bedroom each night. He would sometimes move across a floor following a sliver of a sun beam and soaking up the rays. Aries hated the rain and sometimes he could hold it for days just to avoid having to go out to pee. Aries loved to roll around on his back and balance on that flat pitbull head in a demonstration of joy. Vets would always listen with amazement to his heartbeat at appointments because it was so slow and powerful.
The thing Aries loved more than anything was running. The first time I ever took him he made it about a kilometer. Within months he could run for hours. I never actually really liked running but I loved running with him. To see the pure joy and vigor with which he approached each run was a constant reminder that we were lucky to be alive. Jacquie introduced him to hiking in more recent years and he loved exploring the peaks of the Canadian Rockies. He was an endurance runner and a high altitude alpinist.
I learned so much from Aries. Jacquie always joked that we were the exact same- in our stubbornness, focus, determination, confidence and love of physical fitness. Maybe we did rub off on each other a bit but I’m sure that I learned far more from him than the other way around. In the last year whenever we would run up a hill we’ve been running for over 10 years I would cry because I’d know that someday I would be running it without him.
Today I start life without my best friend. We are going to miss him terribly but are so grateful for the friendship we shared.
We will always love you Aries the lionheart.