Roughly three years ago, I received a call from my father, who informed he had adopted a dog in Tehran—a white Tibetan terrier–Havanese mix named Barfi (which translates to “Snowy” in English)—and that she was the most beautiful, unique dog he’d ever encountered. And if I were interested, he could bring her to Toronto for me.
That winter, I travelled to Tehran to visit my parents for the holidays and met Barfi for the first time. I instantly fell in love with her. She was bouncy, ravenous, and bossed my dad’s two Rottweiler–Dobermans around like no one’s business, which I found amusing and impressive for a dog her size. The following March (on the Persian New Year and first day of spring), she arrived at Pearson Airport. Fast-track two and a half years and Bar has adjusted to her Canadian life and (sometimes) overbearing dog parent quite splendidly, all the while remaining ravenous, bouncy, and bossy.
The silver lining to not travelling during this time, and to working from home, has been all the quality time I’ve been afforded with Bar. She’s made several zoom cameos and kept my spirits up with her gentle soul, boundless love, and care. But beyond that, in the absence of travelling to my motherland and seeing family, she’s a reminder of my roots, and of the kindness, soul, and rich culture I hold dear. She’s also inspired me to be more present, enjoy all four seasons, and always believe that better days are ahead—after all, she did arrive in Canada on the first day of spring.
As we inch closer to the end of a year that’s been nothing short of a curveball, and into a holiday season that will be challenging for many, it’s more important than ever to take count of everyone who has been there for you through the good and the bad.
In my case, this includes Barfi, close friends, parents, and of course the incredible editorial and art teams I have the honour of working with every day, who continuously produce exceptional work—including the issue you’re about to dive into—and do it with enthusiasm and determination.