“The Closest Being To Me During My Childhood” – Leonard Cohen Talks About His Dog, Tinky

Tinkie (Scottish Terrier), Esther Cohen (Leonard’s Sister), & Leonard Cohen

Tinky (Scottish Terrier), Esther Cohen (Leonard’s Sister), & Leonard Cohen

SL: Did you have a dog when you were little?

LC: Yes, I had a Scottie, Scottish terrier. His name was, my mother named him, Tovarich, “comrad”. We called him Tinky. And yes, a very – I guess the closest being to me during my childhood. The dog would sleep under my bed and follow me to school, and wait for me. So that was a great sense of companionship.

SL: Because you sometimes write about the dog.

LC: Well I have his picture on my dresser in Los Angeles. We loved that dog. My sister gave me his picture framed as a present.

SL: And what happened when he died?

LC: He died when he was about 13 years old, which is quite old for a dog. And he just asked to go out one night – you know how a dog will just go and stand beside the door? – so we opened the door, it was a winter night, and he walked out, and we never saw him again. And it was very distressing. I put ads in the newspaper, and people would say, “Yes, we have found a Scottie,” and you’d drive 50 miles and it wouldn’t be your Scottie. And we only found him in the springtime when the snow melted, and the smell came from under the neighbour’s porch. He’d just gone outside, and gone under the neighbour’s porch to die. It was some kind of charity to his owners.

Excerpt from Leonard Cohen’s 2001 interview with Stina Lundberg

Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post was contributed by Maarten Massa

Note: Text originally posted September 26, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric with photo added later

Four Photos: A Very Young Leonard Cohen With His Mother Masha & Sister Esther

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Credit Due Department: First two photos are from Leonard Cohen – Bird On A Wire, Tony Palmer’s documentary of the 1972 Leonard Cohen Tour. The second two photos are courtesy of Maarten Massa.

Note: These were originally posted in 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric