Remembering Chippy: the gem of Rutledge Jewellers
by Amy Hurlburt
Not many dogs can claim to have been on the cover of Elle magazine, the star of countless advertisements, or to have tons of adoring fans wrapped around their paws; but then, not every dog is quite like Chippy.
Best known as the semi-official mascot of Rutledge Jewelers, the much-loved West Highland terrier passed away two weeks ago this past Sunday, and his loss will continue to be keenly felt by his family and the many customers who grew to love him over his 17 years of life.
Named after the Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers, Chippy was a family dog through and through. Scott Rutledge, owner of Rutledge Jewellers and primary caregiver to, notes that Chippy had a great life: “He loved to play, loved to chase squirrels…he'd play so much at the cottage that you'd have to carry him inside because he'd be so exhausted from playing.”
When his family first got him, he was the smallest pup in the litter, which didn't stop him from developing a big personality.
“He loved to play with the bigger dogs,” says Scott. “His best friend was a Labradoodle named Rexford, and the two of them would play for hours.”
His love for the great outdoors and exuberance for life had him jumping off docks, visiting the neighbours for Sunday bacon, and a one-time-only run-in with an invisible fence. As well, in 2013, Chippy won the Instore Top Dog National Search Dog Foundation Choice Award, which he accepted with humility.
Chippy was just as comfortable with people as he was with canines: after coming into Rutledge every day to greet people since he was seven months old, he became a fixture of the store. He was featured in many of the store's advertisements, and customers loved him: “The phone would light up if we ever had an advertisement without him,” says Scott, adding that he was an especially big hit with children.
“One little boy in town was afraid of every dog-except Chippy,” says Scott. “He was the only dog who could be his friend.”
Another young customer, a five-year-old girl from Calgary, was so taken with Chippy that she wrote letters to him, which the store graciously responded to on his behalf.
“Some customers would get right down on the floor to play with him,” adds Scott.
Despite his public following, Chippy was a family dog, and when he wasn't charming the customers, he would accompany his family wherever they went, whether that was to the golf course, the cottage, or beyond.
“He was very faithful,” comments Scott. “He would go anywhere; even travelling to Florida in the back seat. He had a great sense of balance and could take a corner like you wouldn't believe!”
The store is certainly noticing his passing: “It's very empty in here without him,” comments Laura Moser, the design expert at Rutledge. “He used to sleep in his bed under my desk every day…except for at lunch time,” she laughs. “He may have been tired, but he never missed a lunchtime.”
“He was extremely sweet and friendly,” adds Marissa Kennedy, another employee of Rutledge who grew to love him as well.
While his life was certainly full, Chippy is and will be missed by many. In memory of Chippy, Rutledge will be running a fundraiser for the Scugog animal shelter to coincide with the launch of the Pandora store in the shop: For every cat or dog charm sold May 23 or 24, $10 will be donated to the new animal shelter.
“We want to give our thanks for all the condolences expressed for Chippy,” says Scott.
A quote attributed to Roger A. Caras states that “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” For all who knew him, Chippy will assuredly be fondly remembered in the many lives he touched during his life-filled years.