As I walked down the hill to the water I heard the name Macy being called repeatedly, in the good natured, patient tone of a man who’s well-used to his aging dog going at her own pace, saying hi to the two 20-something girls on the beach, sniffing every fourth piece of driftwood. Brian was off to my right, Macy to my left. She smiled up at me as she trotted by, with a look so similar to that of the dog I lost a few months ago that it was a little haunting. It was the perfect contentment of a rescue dog who’d found a second chance at life, with a family by the sea. The contentment that tells you immediately that the dog’s companion can only be a good person. Her person has lived in the neighbourhood for15 years, and while Macy was his reason to be by the sea this afternoon, he doesn’t need her, at least not for that reason.
“Both my parents came from Ireland; they were city people who wanted to discover the great outdoors. My dad became quite a fisherman and outdoorsman and that sort of thing, which was a complete dichotomy from what his real life was like as a business professional. So that got myself and my brothers interested in the ocean and…it’s in your blood. I spend probably three days of the week on the water, either fishing, or I do whale watching tours…I used to have a marine salvage company…it’s a hard way to make a living, but it keeps you on the water. There’s very few people that can make a living on the water here, you have to supplement it with all sorts of other things that you may not like doing, but that’s what you have to do to have a water life.”