Paddington was an iconic figure for the Maehill neighborhood and indeed the whole city of Lenoir. Very unfortunately his time has come, and we had had to put him out of his intolerable discomfort after a massive tumor was discovered on Monday December 11th.

Paddington was a loving puppy for a woman who unwittingly was caught up in a divorce and could not keep him. She finally had to go and rescue him from her ex-husbands’ porch where Paddington had been tied up and neglected. He weighed a scant 44 lbs when he should have weighed around 65 lbs. She insisted on transferring him to the Tarheel Old English Sheepdog Rescue. We adopted him in November of 2007 at about 7 months old.  Paddington was a very gentle, loving dog and was a great ambassador for rescues as well as large dogs. He loved everyone especially children, other dogs, and even cats! We laughingly referred to him as “The Best-Known Dog in Lenoir” as everyone seemed to know him. He weighed around 100 lbs. He always welcomed our many foster dogs and foster cats.

In 2009 he won as a Rescue Dog in the first open competition to appear on a Raffaldini Vineyard wine label for rescue dogs, and he was shown on Charlotte’s WBTV.  The same year he took the Lenoir Police Canine Academy classes and passed. The Canine unit and many other police officers came to know him.

He would hang over the front wall and greet everyone who would come by. Parents and grandparents would bring their children to see him. A neighbor would stop on his daily walk and pet him, and Paddington loved it. Mail carriers would use the phrase “The house where the Big Dog lives” as a marker. The UPS and FedEx drivers all knew him. The sanitation workers would all look for him when they drove by. All the vendors at the Farmers market knew and talked to him. He was also well-traveled: Chicago, Florida, Virginia etc., in many hotels and B&B’s!

We would go to gatherings and people would ask us if we still have the “Big Dog Paddington”. At least one of our neighbors who moved into our Maehill neighborhood said that Paddington was a factor in their decision to move here.

He was a loving and much-loved member of our family, sweet, kind, generous, smart, intuitive with almost human eyes and truly had a soul!

Rest in Peace, Paddington.