The Right Honorable Mulroney (Leo) Turner Sunday June 16, 2013

Well, you may have notice from my postings on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Flickr and Facebook over the past week, but my wife and I ushered a new family member to the Turner Clan household. Yes, last week we ventured into the heart of rural Quebec to pick up our first puppy – an amazing red Lakeland Terrier we have dubbed The Right Honourable Mulroney (Leo) Turner.

And while, I’ve been chatting non-stop about this little terrier(ist) that has been melting our hearts and depriving of us of sleep for the past week, I thought I’d blog about the back story of this little guy.

So years ago, when my wife and I decided to move in together, we weren’t allowed to get our own furry litte companion due to the rental restrictions in Calgary. See my wife has grown up with a couple of adorable Airedales and her parents current dog – Merlin Arthur – stole my heart early on in our relationship. So we agreed that when the time was right and when we moved to a larger home or got settled or got real jobs, the first thing we would do was acquire our own Airedale Terrier. To be honest, both of us figured it’d be about 6 months or maybe a year max. Well, then plans changed.

Obviously, a whirlwind tour through Washington and then up to Ottawa sort of derailed that initial timeframe, but earlier this year we found ourselves finally back in Canada and in stable position to follow through on that pledge.

As mentioned, TRH Mulroney is an adorably deceiving lakeland terrier, which for those who know, is sort of like a mini-Airedale. Alright, it’s not really a mini-Airedale, but it’s a somewhat obscure breed that we stumbled upon here in Ottawa. And after much searching we ended up finding a breeder out of Boston with a huge Ottawa community of Lakelands. It also helps that the Lakeland breed matches our needs perfectly. It’s the smallest of the terrier lineage and just as smart, conniving and playful. It’s size also makes it a great companion for apartment living. So for a couple who’s lifestyle pretty much ensures we won’t be purchasing a home within the next 10 years or so, it matches our urban living choices to a T.

So What’s With The Name?

Ah yes, his name. There are two parts to the story behind his mildly ironic name.

First, because we were living in the center for American patriotism for the past 2.5 years, we were always surrounded by the proud relationship Americans have with their past Presidents. Sure there are a couple of embarrassing presidents.. cough… nixon…cough… but for the most part, in every major city across the US there is a street, school, football stadium, turn pike or kid named after every American President. It’s not uncommon to see pretty much everything painted with America’s rich Presidential history. As Canadians, where it’s rare to find anyone who can even name 10 Prime Ministers let alone explain who the people are on our funny coloured money are, we always found this fascinating. One of the things I’ve always been impressed with America is that they are loud and proud of their history. (USA! USA! USA!) In Canada we rarely see that sort of pride. So as an homage to this entertaining American trait we decided early on in the process that we would apply a Prime Ministerial naming convention to our dogs.

Now the second part. Why Brian Mulroney?

First off Diefenbaker was pretty much out of the question due to the Due South reference. Trudeau would get us disowned by our respective families and friends and nobody would get the Clark reference. And naming the dog after John Turner, would just be a little too much like naming your kid Connor O’Connor. But Brian Mulroney, now that’s a different story.

With the exception of Chretien, Mulroney is probably the last real Prime Minister with an abundance of character and big ideas for Canada. Sure there’s a couple of scandals that have tarnished his legacy, but as far as Prime Ministers go, there’s no question that the Irishmen with the sultry blue eyes is easily one of Canada’s most famous and ambitious political leaders… Plus it also helps that my wife and the real Right Honourable Mulroney met two years ago in D.C.

See a couple of years ago, my wife met Mr. Mulroney at a reception at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. As one of the few Canadians in attendance, Mulroney instantly gravitated to my wife while doing the obligatory meet and greet rounds. During their ten minute conversation, He ended up regaling my wife with his charm, wit and elegant stories of Ronald Reagan, his time as Prime Minister and the future of canadian politics. During that conversation, Mr. Mulroney also gave some advise to my wife and pretty much demanded that she take her brilliant brain back to Canada. While not the deciding factor in our choice to move back to Canada, it did plant the seeds for our eventual decision to head back to the Great White North.

Oh, and it’s also amazing to see people’s awkward reaction in conservative Ottawa when you mention you’ve named your dog Mulroney. Some people laugh and some people walk away in disgust. It’s an entertaining side benefit of the whole exercise.

So there you have it, the latest member of the Turner clan – The Right Honourable Mulroney (Leo) Turner.

Categories: The-Personnal, The-Family,

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