Remembering Peter Pruschowsky (1956-2017)

Peter Photosby Archie Campbell

Peter Pruschowsky was homeless for most of the last 17 years of his life.

For nearly 13 years, until his death at the end of August, Pruschowsky and his companion Scruffy could be found at the corner of Kent and Albert every weekday morning.

To honour Peter’s memory, a small ceremony was held on September 27 outside the Starbucks across the street from his corner.

Some 20 individuals showed up to share memories of Peter and make a donation of dog food or cash for Scruffy’s care.

Most of us had come to know Peter on our morning commutes and were moved by his friendliness and cheerfulness no matter how nasty the weather or difficult his circumstances.

Scruffy Same DayA highlight of the ceremony was the appearance of the guest of honour looking anything but “scruffy” after a shampoo and trim, thanks to Tony, who along with his partner Dan has now adopted her.

Passers-by at Peter’s corner a few days earlier would have seen pictures posted of Scruffy comfortably settled in her new home.

In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted that Peter was charged with animal cruelty two years ago. You can read an account in the Humane Society’s December 2015 online newsletter.

What the article doesn’t say is that the charges were later dismissed, though it does note that at the time of Peter’s arrest, “amazingly,” no injury to the animal was detected.

I’ve heard Peter’s version of this event and naturally I’m sympathetic to his side of the story. Over many years of frequent encounters I saw nothing but devotion to his pet and the loyalty of a dog to her master.

Both of them were eager to engage with anyone who stopped to chat, happy despite their circumstances, and able to break through the barriers that separate most of us from those on the street asking us for money.

Signing Condolence Card