Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 05.20.2024 | Filed under: Latest, Profiles and Tributes

Tinkie (Tinkerbell, 2011-2024) was a sweet, gentle girl. She was our family’s Golden Retriever and although I can’t say she intended to play much role in McDougall Minerals (she found everything about minerals immensely boring), she was my shadow around here these last years, following me everywhere, so she became the Executive Supervisor here at world headquarters. She’d spend as long in the mineral work room as I would be there doing cleaning and prep work, packing and shipping, and she’d be wherever I was with my computer. Most of all though, she was a wonderful member of our little pack.

Diagnosed in 2021 (at age 10) with congestive heart failure and given a prognosis of “perhaps 3 months”, she went on to havean almost-miraculous additional 3 great years in her life, full of joy and fun.

Tinkie was a breeding dog, at a rural Ontario breeder, for almost half of her life. In 2017, our family adopted her and she lived in Toronto with my mom. She was a great companion to Mom, and most loved being out in the grass when Mom would garden.

They would come and visit us up here as well of course, and Tinkie was particularly happy out on forest walks with Rudy.

When the pandemic settled in during 2020, Mom and Tinkie moved in with us, in the woods near Bancroft. It was then that we discovered just how much Tinkie _really_ loved the forest and the trails. It didn’t take her long to learn all sorts of mischief and silliness from Rudy.

Tasty mud! Thanks for the tip Rudy!

Wow, bark tastes awesome! Thanks Rudy!

And really,  a lot of this is a story about the fun Rudy and Tinkie had together. Sorry this next photo is low res, but it gives a good glimpse into the spirit of their woods chases.

Tinkie and Rudy knew each other from the time they each joined the family – Tinkie arrived with Mom in Toronto at the same time Rudy arrived with us in the woods, as an 8-week old puppy. Tinkie quickly taught Rudy about respect (she was used to having to puppies in their place) and Rudy respected her from that first day they met. As they became closer, over time it was Rudy who taught Tinkie about life in our family. She would watch his cues (particularly in all things related to potentially obtaining more food or treats!) and she learned how to play all sorts of games and have fun as a family dog (many such games were not part of her life as a breeding dog).

Rudy taught Tinkie about sticks…

Rudy taught Tinkie how fun stuffed squeaky toys are…

And she really embraced the happiness of playing with stuffies, such that she often had them by her bed…

… and carried them around purely because they’re fun.

But the most fun of all were their running and wrestling games – they were spirited, and often very funny.  Outdoor games…

and indoors…

In this next one, note that Rudy’s paw is in fact on top of Tinkie’s shoulder. (One of my favourite photos of the two of them, shot under my desk when they thought I was working…)

He kept her young at heart.

Sharing an interest in the various goings-on in the woods…

Conversation with a purple finch

Watching intently as the loon emerges from a dive

…and the best of companions.

I could go on and on about Tinkie… I’ll just end with some happy photos and a couple of videos!