Saying goodbye to Bejrut – a Wikimedia dog from Poland

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We all know that there is a human community behind Wikimedia, consisting of the dedicated people who create it. But alongside these humans are often their beloved pets, some of whom are so involved in Wikimedia events that they become part of the local Wikimedia culture. This was the case of Bejrut, the Wikimedia dog from Poland, who participated in many Polish Wikimedia conferences. Bejrut’s happy and filled with love dog life came to an end this June, and we are telling this dog’s story as a way to say goodbye to this pawsome member of the Polish Wikimedia world.

Bejrut during Wikimedia Poland Conference in Wrocłąw in 2019 (Julo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A Wikimedia dog

Bejrut was well known in the Polish community. His human caregiver (or, more accurately, his human family member), Wikimedian Julo, a longtime Polish Wikipedia editor and Commons administrator, had been taking Bejrut with him to many different Polish Wikimedia events. It is hard to say how much Bejrut understood from conference sessions and discussions, but there is no doubt that the dog’s presence brought joy to all the human participants. A common view was Bejrut welcoming conference participants in the hotel lobby, sleeping calmly in the conference room, or posing proudly on conference group pictures. In some cases he even had his own conference nametag! 

I can’t really recall how many Wikimedia conferences and events Bejrut had participated in. – says Julo – In any case, he always supported my activities on Wikipedia, even in the simplest way possible for a faithful dog: by lying under my feet (or even on my feet) under my desk while I sat at the computer and edited Wikipedia, Julo recalls. 

Bejrut also accompanied Julo when he worked on organizing Polish Wikimedia events. In the presence of a cute labrador all venue and service negotiations went much smoother and agreements were reached faster.

Bejrut getting ready to pose to the group picture at Polish Wikimedia Summer Conference in 2022 (Robert Drózd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A life full of love

This beautiful dog was born on 21 February 2013 under the proud name of JUKON Hot Belly. In April, a small puppy, brought in a little basket, joined Julo’s family, the family, which was to become his. He became an instant companion to Julo, his son, and seamlessly integrated into the lives of Julo’s grandchildren when they arrived.

A very little Bejrut (Fot. Julo)

Surrounded by love all his life, Bejrut became a great practitioner of kindness and conflict avoidance. According to Julo

He was an extremely calm and gentle dog, even for a Labrador. In his entire eleven years of life, he has never been in a single fight with another dog. Literally, not at all, not once. He was such a keen observer that he managed to simply avoid confrontations with aggressive individuals, which he avoided at large.

It’s hard to imagine Polish Wikimedia events without Bejrut. No more will a beautiful labrador grace the front of conference group photos. Bejrut, a dog cherished by his human family and embraced by the Polish Wikimedia community, will be deeply missed. You were a real Good Boy, Bejrut.

Bejrut, his caregiver Julo, and a surrounding crowd of charmed Polish Wikimedians (Robert Drózd, CC BY-SA 4.0)

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