Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

I had a good dog growing up. Mischief was a Sheltie who didn’t follow any of the rules for his breed. Most Shelties are small and shy. Mischief was nearly the size of a collie and never met a stranger.

When he was about a year old we had an appointment with the vet and Mom said we had thought we were buying a Sheltie. The doctor noted Mischief’s size and replied that we had gotten our money’s worth — we got two.

I’ve never understood why some people don’t like dogs. Of course, there are folks who don’t understand why I’m not a cat person.

This year there’s a new “holiday” that took place on Friday: Wolfenoot. It started with a mom’s post in New Zealand about her son’s proclamation that there should be a holiday for people who were nice to dogs.

Here’s the original post about it:

“My son has invented a holiday called Wolfenoot.

“It is when the Spirit of the Wolf brings and hides small gifts around the house for everyone. People who have, have had, or are kind to dogs get better gifts than anyone else.

“You eat roast meat (because wolves eat meat) and cake decorated like a full moon.

“A holiday to the spirit of wolves that celebrates people who are kind to dogs? I can 100% get behind this. So we will be celebrating Wolfenoot. It’s on the 23rd November if anyone else is moved to celebrate it.”

The result has been an international reaction. Wolfenoot gear has raised money for the SPCA and a wolf sanctuary in New Zealand. It’s apparently always on Nov. 23. It was set by the boy who created it “because that is the anniversary of The Great Wolf’s death.” There’s a back story, according to his mom, and I hope the kid gets around to writing it sometime.

We got Mischief when I was in third grade. We essentially grew up together. While he reacted enthusiastically to anyone in the family, we had a particularly strong bond. My parents said more than once that he would perk up right about the time I left school for the day, and it was rare that I could make it more than a couple feet into the house before I had 50 pounds of fur coming at me.

I have a picture of him at home from one of the last times I saw Mischief. You can tell he’s an older dog, with a fair amount of gray in the muzzle. I’m guiding my nephew over to say hello. A few years earlier Mischief would have been on his feet, sniffing away and quite possibly having to be restrained from knocking over the toddler. But he’s laying calmly in the photo, enjoying the attention.

Mischief died as I finished college. It was actually the day after my last final, as I was cleaning out the dorm room I had spent the past three years in and was moving into the first apartment I would occupy.

It sounds like a cliché: a boy and his dog. But sometimes the cliché is real.

Happy Wolfenoot, Mischief.