Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No ordinary dog – Bruce Grierson

Rating: *****

No Ordinary Dog is written by Bruce Grierson, a close friend of Norm Winter, a mountain guide. He tells a remarkable tale of the inspiring connection between a man and his dog. Vince, a four-year old mutt that Norm had adopted had obviously been thrown from a truck when he was a puppy since he wouldn’t go near vehicles. Eventually Vince learned to trust that his new master would never harm him like his terrible first owner and began to venture with Norm on his climbing trips. At first Bruce was curious what the dog would do when Norm brought him on one of their climbs but he soon learned of the extraordinary talents Vince had. This article tells many stories of climbing adventures that Norm and Vince went on together and displays the very strong bond between Norm and his dog.

The things that amazed me the most from this article are the explanations of how Vince was able to keep up with Norm while climbing and how trusting both dog and owner were of each other. Bruce explains that when it got to the point where you had to use your hands, Vince would back up and run at the wall, using his back paws to push him further. He also tells a story of how Vince was once stuck hanging from his paws over an edge with a drop beneath him and how Norm reached him just in time. No matter where Norm and Vince were separated, they always found their way back to each other, even after three days.

Finally the article finishes with Vince and Norm’s trip to the vet, Vince had acquired cancer throughout his body and it was time to let him go. On their way Norm talked to Vince the whole time, and when they arrived, Norm turned around to find Vince had passed on in the back of his truck.

This story was not only adorable and fascinating but I wanted to know more the whole time I was reading it. Norm was an amazing man to give this dog the better life he deserved and in return he received a best friend and many wonderful experiences.

Grierson, Bruce. “No Ordinary Dog”. Explore Magazine Online. Winter 2009. May 19th 2010. < >


  1. Rating ****

    This story was fascinating as it told of the true bond that was formed between these two friends, which is what they had become. They surpassed the relationship of a dog and it's owner and were able to accomplish so much with each other at their side.

    The fact that Norm was able to first provide a home and eventually a life for this dog, then transform him from a timid abused dog that was afraid of vehicles to an outgoing fearless companion who scaled mountains with ease.

    The ending is sad as it shows the ending of a great friendship but it proves that even in the face of sadness Norm stood by his dog right to the end, and end that was much brighter than the one which Vince would have had if Norm had not adopted him. For Norm, Vince truly was man's bestfriend.

  2. Rating: *****

    This was a heartwarming article that displayed the fact that love and friendship are not reliant on even being of the same species.

    Norm was a good man who took Vince, a poor, abused dog, under his wing. He provided Vince with a home and loving kindness and eventually transformed him into a fearless and confident animal. Although Vince's first owner was a heartless person, the courageous pet learned that Norm was gentle and caring owner and the bond between man and beast that was created between them was beautiful.
    What is truly incredible is how Vince discovered a love for climbing just like Norm, and he could even keep up with him during their adventures.
    Their story, however, comes to a heartbreaking end when it is discovered that Norm's beloved dog has cancer. Even though Vince did not survive, the bonds of friendship established between the both of them were everlasting.