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

Just Posted

Thousands fill City Hall Park for Red Deer Lights the Night

With the flip of a switch, downtown Red Deer was filled with… Continue reading

Central Alberta skiers, snowboarders thrilled for start of season

Central Alberta skiers and snowboarders are finally able to hit the slopes,… Continue reading

CN conductors’ union gives 72-hour strike notice as talks continue

TORONTO — Canadian National Railways conductors, trainpersons and yardpersons have given strike… Continue reading

Auto insurance to climb for central Alberta motorists

It’s going to be tough on many businesses, says local courier company owner

Canada’s Salvation Army testing out quicker tap-and-go option at kettle stations

TORONTO — Canada’s Salvation Army is testing out a new and faster… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Nov. 19 The Mountview Sunnybrook Community Association will hold its AGM at… Continue reading

Man, 66 struck and killed by vehicle in Regina intersection

REGINA — Police in Regina say a 66-year-old man is dead after… Continue reading

Homicide unit investigating after body found in burned SUV in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Homicide detectives have been handed the case after police… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned for re-election on a promise… Continue reading

Impeachment testimony comes from White House budget official

WASHINGTON — House impeachment investigators met in private Saturday with a White… Continue reading

Football brings some peace to Sioux family after suicide

VERMILLION, S.D. — Teenagers Jashawn and Jayton Pease embraced in the end… Continue reading

St. Mark’s Square reopens in Venice, but water remains high

VENICE, Italy — Tourists and residents were allowed back into St. Mark’s… Continue reading

Most Read