Clarence Estavan the Third

Enjoy your show through Podcast here in Liberal land Canada. You and Rush are my sanity. Your story of Sprite touched me.

I would be described by most as a strong Conservative, tough guy, gruff in nature, loyal to a fault, a no nonsense man. At the age of thirteen, I had the worst day of my life. Some friends and I were playing boot hockey on a freshly frozen pond. A half hour into the game, a friend approached me, frantic, and said that he had seen my long time companion and best friend, Clarence Estavan the Third, my basset hound, fall through a hole in the ice. We as a collective ran to the area. With the ice being as thin as it was, we witnessed the horror of my friend’s struggle for his life. We could see him swimming, tapping his nose to the ice in his desperate search for air.

My response was to dive in after Clarence. He had a long leash dangling behind him and I was able to take it in my hand. The sudden and severe cold however, had stopped my ability to hold the leash with enough strength to rein him in. It was a torture to my soul to watch that leash slide through my paralyzed fingers as I watched my buddy swim away from the hole and his chance for survival. My friends pulled me out. I was frozen and devastated. Mark, I balled like a baby. It was uncontrollable. Unfortunately for me, the next day I faced ridiculed in school by classmates and a girl I had a long standing crush, for my open grieving that day. The embarrassment of that, for my apparent un-macho behavior, made a 13 year old boy promise himself, never to cry again. A promise I kept for some 27 years. Later as an adult family man, I bought a pup named Duke, a rottweiller, who was my hiking companion, my guard, a protector of our family and best friend.

He came with me everywhere I went. He lived 12 years. In the last three months of his life he had deteriorated from kidney disease, melting away from an impressive 112 pounds, to sixty-five. As I sat one day watching TV, Duke came into the living room panting, in a gasping fashion for air and then collapsed. I swear I had him in my arms and out the door before he could hit the floor. I drove like a wild man to the vet’s. I held him in my arms when they gave me the news that he was having a cardiac arrest and advised that we should put him down and out of his misery while his heart was still able to pump. Watching the light go out of my buddy’s eyes was the second hardest day of my life. I who had not cried for 27 years, once again found myself in an uncontrollable wailing.
Thank you for your book and your show, Mark.
I feel your pain my friend.

Brad from Canada