So we all headed to Hamilton, Ontario on Saturday night to stay at the Imperial Hotel in Hamilton the night before the big Grey Cup game on Sunday at Tim Horton’s Field. After being in so many European cities on promotional tours for the Disney film “Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog” I would say Hamilton is a bleak city. But the citizens are amazing. Warm. Affectionate and joyful Hamiltonians greet me like one of their own. And to be fair arriving in the twilight on a gloomy and cold night tells me Hamilton deserves a closer look. Perhaps if we visit Niagara-on-the Lake we can stop in there or even make a week-end of it in the summer and watch the Hamilton Tiger Cats play a game. I bet you they want another shot at the Grey Cup next year!
We arrive at the Imperial Hotel and there are cameras popping flash bulbs. What…am I Nicole Kidman? Actually Nicole has asked Bob if I could co-star with her in her next movie “How a Dog Saved My Life”.
So we check in and there is a huge assortment of gifts and fruit baskets in our suite. The mayor of Hamilton has sent a couple of Gamay wines from Malivoire Winery in Beamsville which is very close to Hamilton and a couple of cases of assorted micro-brew. And the mayor of Winnipeg has sent us some perogies and two beds with a big Winnipeg “W” on them! Dylan the Westie jokes and says W is for Westie. We settle in and chow down. Dylan the Westie and I have our chicken kibble and two perogies each. Bob and Fay watch some movie while we dogs snooze. At 11 p.m. Bob takes us out for a walk. While we are ready to sleep the city of Hamilton is on fire! Groups of fans from all over Canada are crowding the bars and streets and the air is chock full of beer fumes and happy vibes.
While Bob walks us he talks to us and says Canadian football is one of the few facts that separates us from our American neighbours. As I know really nothing about football I can’t understand what he is talking about. Bob says Canadian football is more fast paced as there are only 3 downs? As I have not watched a BBC documentary on Canadian football I am ignorant about this! We go for our pee and poop and head up to our room for a sleep.
We are up at 9 a.m. and the mayor of Hamilton has sent us a special breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, blueberry waffles and a keg of local Hamiltonian brew! And all of us get a Hamilton Tiger Cats jersey even us two dogs!
Dylan the Westie and I go out for a long walk after breakfast and many Hamiltonians stop us and say how much they love Reggie and his best friend Dylan the Westie!
There is a little stink from the steel mills in Hamilton but then again we dogs have a sensitive nose!
At 2 p.m. we join the Trudeau’s for High Tea. This Prime Minister is as smooth as silk, like an actor. We have some great jasmine tea and cucumber sandwiches with lots of little cakes. We dogs get a bite or two of these English sandwiches. I feel like I am back in London! And Dylan the Westie and I get a half a cup of jasmine tea.
At 4 p.m. we are picked up by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police escort to go to the game.
We are taken to our seats by the Trudeau’s and their family. The crowd is wild and the smell of beer envelopes us. The fans are crazy with bizarre outfits. Quite frankly I have never seen such a good-hearted frenzy!
I know almost nothing about Canadian football but the game goes into overtime and dramatically is won by Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
As I told you after the national anthem Dylan the Westie and I do a round across the field with team flags in our mouth then jets from the Canadian Airforce zip over our heads.
The crowd chants “REGGGGGEEEEE” and then “DYLAN”. Almost a billion people have watched “Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog” but the chanting chills my bones and makes me shiver. Canadians have their problems and issues particularly with those nasty residential schools for its aboriginal children but tonight many Canadians are ready just to have some simple fun.
We are in a security bubble. We dogs don’t really understand football but feed off the vibes of you humans.
What is real is that after having chunks of burgers, fries, perogies and pizza with all the excitement from the field I am becoming a bit dizzy and my stomach wants to expel the human food I have ingested. I gotta puke and the limo driver pulls aside as I empty my stomach on the streets. Dylan the Westie comforts me and says “You pups can be so silly sometimes. You shouldn’t have eaten a whole piece of pizza one of the Trudeau children fed you when no one was looking.”
Back in our suite Dylan is in his fancy Blue Bomber bed and happily snoring as 14-year-old dogs do. Bob pours some ginger ale in my water bowl and asks me to drink some. It is sweet and tickles my throat and excuse me I let out a very loud belch but my stomach feels much better. I hit the sack and fall asleep in a flash. I remember Bob giving my jowls a rub and he says ,”We are so proud of you Reggie. You have come a long way!”