Photo contributed by Harley Hay Harold the imaginary dog enjoys all sorts of snacks, including popcorn, cheese and ice cream.

Hay’s Daze: I wanted a dog, so I created an imaginary one called Harold

Last week, I was on about dogs and how some people are dog people, and some people are cat people, and some people are just people.

I’m definitely all in when it comes to the first category, mostly in when it comes to the second category, and some would say “questionable” when it comes to the last category.

Be that as it may, I mentioned we here at the Hayhold have been sadly dogless for several summers now, after a literal lifetime of having beloved canine companions.

And then, just when we were starting to get used to the freedom that pet-free living brings, we accidentally acquired a cat.

The Better Half innocently accompanied her sister to the pet store when fate reared its large head. Or should I say, a kitten raised its tiny paw.

The Better Half came bouncing home with photos on her phone of a calico cat in a cage with a big sign from something called Alley Cat Rescue, saying “I need a forever home,” and I knew it was over before she even got through the door.

I have mentioned our four-year-old chubby furball Chicket here before, and I must admit she, being a cat of the feline persuasion, is not nearly as labour intensive as a dog of the canine persuasion.

Also, I must admit, I have grown quite fond of her, even though she often attempts to scratch the furniture to prove she’s queen of the universe. And she can be as snotty as a cat sometimes.

Still, she acts like a dog and rolls over for a tummy rub (which is one of my favourite things about her), however, the fact remains no matter how hard she tries, she is not really a dog.

So we’ve been talking about getting a dog for quite a while now. And every time the conversation gets dangerously close to a decision, we begin to remember getting up at all hours to let the dog out, shovelling prolific backyard potty piles, trying to quell the four-legged doorbell, and attempting the challenging quest of finding dog sitters, etc., and etc., and then we decide to think about it some more.

But I personally still had a burning need to have a dog in my life. So I made one up.

His name is Harold, and accompanying this week’s ramblings is a photo of what I imagine him to be: An awesome, large white dude with weird white eyes and wild Yoda ears. A cross between an Irish wolfhound, a husky and an alien from Planet Dog.

Harold is a very special dog. He not only loves playing Frisbee, walkies and napping, he also likes to check out Woofipedia on his iPad and enjoys driving automobiles. Oh, and did I mention that he talks and tells the craziest stories?

Harold loves popcorn. It’s his Kryptonite. And so is cheese. And ice cream. He adores snacks when he’s working on his masters of sociology degree by correspondence.

He lives in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, about 30 or 40 years from now, and his favourite adventures include a tourist trip to the moon and time travelling back to 1964 to meet The Beatles.

And oh, did I mention that Harold lives in a book? It’s called Harold Is A Dog, and it’s a novel I’ve been working on for a couple of years and which is done now, and which some of you dear readers might enjoy.

So would it be a shameless plug to mention that you can get the book through Harold’s very own Facebook page?

He can’t wait to meet you.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. He can be reached at harleyhay1@hotmail.com.

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