Monday, December 21, 2009

And then there was two...

Well, I am back down to two dogs. Miss Molly left yesterday for what will hopefully be her forever home. The people are amazing and she will be loved there. Not too bad for former stray and nameless beauty!
So, now it's just Spike and Sophie and I until Dec 27th or 28th when I will be bringing home the next puppies. :) Yeah for puppies!  And, in the meantime, Spike and Sophie are taking a trip to their favourite home away from home (aside from Grandma's house!), Rebecca's of The Poop Guys.  Me, I am heading off to Alberta to enjoy some time with the fam before returning here to collect my new puppies.

So, on that note, Merry Christmas all and stay tuned for puppy pics!
I'll leave you with a fav shot from the summer....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ramblings on a quiet Sunday morning

I have been thinking on this lovely quiet Sunday Morning. Molly has put herself in her crate to chew rawhide. Spike is lying at my feet, Sophie is napping at the back door. And, life is good, so I take a few minutes for a coffee, remember how blessed I am and work on tidying up my office before I head out the door for a coffee with a friend, to stock up on some dog food (patties are easiest) before the dogs go to the kennel next week and to hit Walmart (this WILL be a mistake, just days before Christmas!).

Anyway, as I laze around the house and think about life, I realize I feel pretty darn good to be involved with New Hope Dog Rescue. It's an all breed rescue, out of Saskatoon and we do good work- or at least we try to do good work. It's not always easy and I struggle with many of the dogs who we are asked to take; where do we put them all? And, in the midst of thinking about all of this, I have realized quite recently there seems to be a huge number of retriever like dogs coming up for rescue. Retrievers are not necessarily easy breeds. People love labs because they love people so much. And, they are good with kids- well, they are supposed to be! But, what people don't realize is the amount of work labs need; they are high energy dogs requiring very specific training work to keep them in line (just ask me about that one! How many mistakes have I made with Sophie?!?) And they are goofy and brainless for a LONG time (just ask me, I live  with Sophie!). So, people get them and quickly get overwhelmed by their strength and sheer exuberance for living; which in a poorly exercised lab is often too much for people. New Hope can't keep up with all the dogs coming through our doors, so I am quickly getting to the point where I wonder if it's time for a Retriever rescue in this province? How do I go about setting one up? How do I network to get help? Where do I start?

All I know is I see the need and I want to do something, but this project could be overwhelming. I feel compelled to try at least. Ah, life... it's complicated, isn't it??

Friday, December 18, 2009

These might just be the last shots of Molly, as my Miss Molly

Well it's true. Miss Molly is meeting a family tomorrow.  I can tell you this much; they better be exceptional or I won't be letting her go. I have already shed a few tears (this is a first!) over her leaving my house. In the week Molly has been here, she has fit in seamlessly and quietly, with no fuss. And, I have fallen completely for her charming, happy self. I am questioning myself as to why I am letting her go. She is part hound which isn't a problem except her nose is on the ground all the time. Great for search and rescue and tracking, not so great for flyball and agility. And that scares me a little; she doesn't fit into my training goals. And, if I give her up, I can open my home to more fosters. If she stays, it makes it much, much harder as that becomes four dogs when I have a foster here. But, I love her so much, this is really a tough one!  You better believe, I'll cry a little when she goes because I will miss my Molly girl lots.

My rawhide queen, chomping down, as I tackle some much needed housework.

"Ah, leave me alone" she mumbles after I take her rawhide to make her look at the camera.

Pure bliss on those poor sore gums. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The demise of the Christmas Tree, 2009, Part 1

Every year it happens. I set the 5 foot tree up, in the living room, step back to look at my handiwork and sigh, knowing it just won't last. And, every year a rampaging gaggle of dogs come rough housing through my living room and the tree goes flying. This year is no exception. Well, a tiny one. This year all it took was the sweet little Molly, walking underneath the tree, wagging her tail, and over it went. Sigh. So, redecorating, I did do.

Miss Molly is a great puppy, not one to roughhouse in the living room like certain other fosters I have had. She is a bit more respectful that way. And, she is totally innocent, she would like you to believe!

See, there is no look of evil plotting there... well, maybe her so very concerned, wrinkly face look of, "Ah, c'mon, I am trying to nap here!"

Anyway, with no further ado, let me present my tree.

Yes, it's true. It's a mess. I sighed, then laughed, because, honestly this happens. EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Molly, checking it out... "I didn't do that, did I?"

Ornaments, strewn about. Sad, isn't it?

See, only about half the branches are down. Not bad, not bad. Didn't take that long to redecorate, although I have to admit, it never looks as good the second or third time of the season.

Molly, back to resuming her normal play duties.  All in a day's work! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two Peas in a Pod... AKA, introducing Miss Molly!

There's a new girl in town, and she looks just like Sophie did, at that age. She's a four month old, Lab mix of some sort. Being that neither parent is known as she was cruelly dumped at the tender age of three months at some nice lady's acreage, it's really hard to say what Molly is. Maybe part hound?

In any case, bringing new dogs into the house is a little risky with my clan. Spike generally ignores all new dogs at  this point, prefering instead to cuddle up as if to say, "please don't forget me Mom, with this new head to pat!"  But, Sophie, well Sophie.... all puppies must get through the chaos called Sophie. She insists on investigating each puppy, top to bottom. With this one, she took one sniff, was down on her belly, gave a big kiss, then walked away.  Since, Sophie has been intent on reminding said puppy who's boss, by sniffing her whenever she wants and well, humping. It's a little embarrassing, and I am truly embarrassed for my girl, but what can you do?

Anyway, new puppy really DOES fit here (well except her massive 4 month old, 33 pound body!).... check out this...

She does look a little concerned, doesn't she? I would be too, if I was forced to be sniffed by Sophie. Sophie, is a tad enthusiastic in her duties, which for a weaker pup might just scare them out of this house. Not Molly, she is merely interested in chewing and plotting ways to overthrow Sophie.

I must chew, I must CHEW!  I guess if my baby teeth were popping out, I would want to chew too!

Yum, Yum, I love this rawhidey goodness!

Two peas in a pod... images of Molly to come (except I am sure she will be twice the size of Sophie at full grown. Or maybe three times. She is one solid, 33 pound puppy!)

Synchronized chewing.

And where's Spike in all this, you ask? Nestled as close to me as possible, hoping to not get left out of the cuddles!

Poor Spike, this morning, I swear he looked at me and said "You promised me the next would be a boy. And, my kind, not HER kind. C'mon mom, where's the Border Collies?  Another lab, really??"  LOL, poor baby!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spike's horrible flyball pratice but great box turn!

Last week at Flyball, Spike was horrible. I have no idea why, but we were practice passing and my boy panicked when he couldn't see me, as the next dog to run was in the way. The building we practice in is not meant for flyball in the least, and the "lane" we were in is next to a flight of stairs, leading off to the loft. There is an approximately 3 foot gate blocking said stairs. Spike, in his panic, flew over the three foot gate, without even touching a paw on it, and landed on the stairs heading up. Not shabby! However, he pulled up lame in the next run or two. Shocking I know, considering he probably jarred the heck out of this shoulders. He was fine in time for agility that afternoon, but certainly he scared himself and me. In any case, in the midst of a lousy practice where Spike walked over jumps and refused others, we still managed to video his box turn. I am quite proud of my boy!!

Spike's box turn, on youtube

Spike's box turn, #2

I wish I knew how to do that lovely Youtube clip, right in the blog (if you know how, please tell me! :) ).  And, I'll save you the clip of Spike barking like a maniac before running... he LOVES his flyball and loves to tell everyone that!!  Anyway, yup, the things I do on a weekend, it's all good!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How do you say no?

I rescue. It's just part of what makes me uniquely me when it comes to the dog front. I volunteer with a rescue organization called New Hope Dog Rescue, that works out of Saskatoon and within the last month or so, I have found myself in the unlikely position of intake coordinator. And, I am usually quite fine with it except on days like today.  How do you say no to a face like this??

This dog is named Rex and I am completely smitten with him. He is exactly the kind of border collie I want... black and white and oh so pretty.

Or this little cutie...

She is currently nameless and she is a stray the family just can't keep. And she looks JUST LIKE SOPHIE DID at that age. How do I say no?

How you ask?  I have 2, possibly 3 black bundles of joy coming to me in about 2 weeks as it is, for me to foster. How could I possibly rescue every single one of these dogs?  It's heartbreaking to look at those faces and know that they have no home. C'mon someone, help us out! Give Rex and Sophie look a like a home before I crack under the pressure. These have been the hardest for me to just say "Sorry, we have no room, they are going onto the waiting list" dogs for me.  I think it's because little one looks just like my girl and Rex, well Rex is all border collie and is so pretty. Sigh. One person can only do so much!

Sigh. I love rescue and I hate it.

Do I just have spoiled slugs??

So, you may wonder, where are the dog when I blog (or write papers for University, for that matter?)  Well, they are never far and it usually involves some sort of position like this:

Yup, there they, Spike cudded around the office door frame and Sophie right next to him. Of course, until the camera came out, her head was lying on his, so sweetly but I distracted her from the nap at hand.

Anyway, last night was cold. The dogs wore their new coats out just to protect Sophie's bad hips (and sometime I will have to tell you all about her PennHip results and what it means) and because Spike is wussy. So, yup, when they came in, and we were all cuddled up before bed, I realized the house was decidedly cold. Of course, I turn the heat way down at night, just so I sleep better. But, the dogs seemed even cold. So, spoiled slugs they are, sleeping happily away on my bed!

Spike looks so cozy, he didn't move from that position for a good hour (which is very unlike him. He rarely starts and ends the night on the bed. Usually he comes in about 4AM for cuddles, while Sophie is there all night).

And, Sophie getting over the "camera is out, I must wake up moment"

Nice life they lead, spoiled dogs. Of couse they were tired, post flyball accident (that's a post for next time too) and agility classes. But, they are spoiled, nontheless.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

See, it's not all yucky dog food, meat posts!

Alright, I do eat meat, like chicken. And, good meat at that. None of that yucky MSM stuff for me; I think I have forever been turned off processed chicken burger patties. In any case, while this is not dog related (although they both were in a lovely stay through the cooking of this meal!) here is what I prepared myself for lunch.  It's Chicken with Cauliflower and Parsley. Yum. It's hands down, one of the best things I have cooked in a very long time. (And, I LOVE to cook and do so regularily, when not working or in grad school. Which, just for the record means I don't get to cook nearly enough lately, but when I found this Martha Stewart, Everyday Foods recipe I HAD to try it. So worth the effort!).

Anyway, may I present my lunch.

And, my lunch nicely plated, ready to eat. Yum, yum.

Needless to say, this is one meal the dogs won't be getting to try! Sorry guys!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Announcing Spike, SJATD!

Yes it's true. I have FINALLY put a title on a dog! :)  And, yes it's true. It's St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog. I am sooo proud of Spike, I can't even begin to tell you. Someday soon I will share the story of Spike because there was a time when I could never see this happening. But, my boy has done me proud, rocking that test and charming people all over the place!

But of course, with a face this cute, how could he not charm everyone?!?

And, once more for good measure (and in front of the tree that so far remains untouched by dogs! It WILL be knocked over eventually, I am sure!!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Adventures in Dog Food

I bought approximately 120 pounds of MSM chicken this weekend. What's MSM you ask? Well, that was my question and this is what I learned....

This is MSM, in all it's grossness.

Yes, it stands for Mechanically Separated Meat, or some such name and it's used to create chicken burgers for humans. Somehow, I don't think I'll be eating that any time soon!

Anyway, this was an adventure because it comes in 33 pound boxes and I tried to defrost two in the shower last night. One is now safely back in the freezer, let me tell you since I DID NOT want to work with that much meat this morning.

It was not nearly defrosted enough to parcel up into 3 pound bags (about 2 days of meat for my two dogs) and so there is now a huge gross block in my sink....

Yes, it's covered in green garbage bags in an attempt to keep Sophie away.... she keeps telling me she is innocent, and she was innocent in the kitchen fiasco I discovered this morning after I showered the bits of chicken off myself. YUCK! It's very messy.

The leftover box. I foolishly left it out, in a garbage bag where roving bands of labs and lab mixes could fnd their breakfast treat.  You guessed it... dogs in bag. But not the usual dog, let me tell you, it was Spike. Now I know you all think Spike is an angel, but he couldn't contol himself. I called him away from the bag, and turned my back to get coffee and he was right back into it.  I have proof that Spike has some bad dog in him too.... yucky bits of chicken stuck on his head.

Yes, that really IS chicken bits. GRR. And it's now all over my kitchen.

Something tells me the bleach and I will be having a little party later on!

So, where was Sophie in all of this?  Being shockingly innocent. I put her in a stay and she STAYED. Can you believe that?? My girl is learning!!

Yup, I'm innocent, she mubbles under her breathe.  In all honest, Sophie isn't moving so good this morning, post long walk and run yesterday. She had hours she couldn't put weight on her back paw and today she isn't in any rush to go anywhere. So, it seems that my poor girl was happy to stay mostly because it hurt to move.  Don't worry, she's off to the vet today for an acupuncture treatment and some advice about activity levels. There may not be any agility for Sophie for now.
But, until then, she is content to lie and watch me get her breakfast ready!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bring on the cold weather!

I took the dogs shopping today. We bought winter coats, mostly because I am worried about Sophie getting too cold in the winter, with that bad hip of hers. And, well Spike needed a coat too, just because. :)

Sophie was miffed by this new coat experience; she stood frozen in the hallway and wouldn't move at all. I finally had to grab her collar and help her along, to get her to go into the living room. I have no idea what that's about and she better get used to it; we'll be walking LOTS this winter!

It was a super long day, with flyball this morning, a trip to the SPCA in the afternoon plus shopping then agility after. He wouldn't move either. Poor, exhausted Spikey!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things I do while under the weather...

I have been home the last couple days recovering from a fairly serious bout of asthma. In the midst of all of this not feeling well business, I managed to drag myself to Petsmart on the way to class at the University the other night. You know, console myself with some routine retail therapy and in the process soundly embarrass my dogs! Good times!

Yup, I did it... I bought Halloween costumes, on a very good sale. I swore at one point in my doggy mamahood that I would NEVER dress my dogs, but I crumbled this year. LOL, poor Sophie Ballerina!!

Perhaps even worse is LadyBug Spike. Yup, it's true. He really DOES want to bite me.

Here's to feeling better and not taking out my need to spend money in useless ways on my poor babies!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall is in the Air

For any of you who know me, you know I have had a hard fall so far. For whatever reason, I caught a cold three and a half weeks ago, and couldn't shake it. Now, it's moved into a lovely sinus infection and my asthma that I like to ignore has gone completely haywire. So, in the midst of shortness of breathe and mind numbing pain, what do I do? Yard clean up.

Yes, it's true. I raked leaves. And, with the dogs in the yard. Because that all makes SO much sense!

So, my day of raking leaves began with Spike bringing me his soccer ball. He LOVES that ball. Too much. He spent much of the time dropping that ball at my feet, begging to play.  So, how could I not?

C'mon Spike, bringing it here, buddy!

Hurry up and kick it already!

Even in the midst of working, it was punctuated by Spike returning with that silly, flat soccer ball!

When I finally did get down to work, there was Sophie, quick to pounce into the leaves. Her way of helping is to make sure her favourite ball, the little bouncy one didn't get swept away into one of the many garbage bags.

See, I DID accomplish something! 13 bags later, and I have lots left to go. Ah well, it will have to wait for another nice day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lazy Sunday Morning

I woke up at 5AM, which really isn't that unusual for me. So, what I tend to do is grab a cup of coffee and settle in with a book or the TV until it seems a more appropriate hour to be up and about. Not this morning; for some reason, long about 6, I decided it was a great time to start cleaning the house and doing laundry. The dogs, of course, are happy to oblige by getting out of the way.

 Sophie attempting to lounge on a pillow, brought to this house by one of the fosters that moved in here for a short time. His new parents didn't need the pillow, so I am hanging onto it for the next crew moving in... I think I am getting a couple of little Spike's as soon as they are old enough to leave the nest and venture out into the world. They are three weeks old or so right now, but with 11 puppies, and all black with bits of white, it's a foregone conclusion they won't all be adopted by 8 weeks old. Sigh. Nothing like puppy breathe! ANYWAY....

Spike, hiding from the vacuum, in his crate. He won't even look at me when the vacuum comes out! Anyway, whatever. The house needs to be cleaned.

The other night, I took the dogs over to Rebecca's place for a run and attempted to get some photos. What resulted was a bunch of blurry pics as they sped back and forth, through the field, running for the joy of it. Here they are anyway; it gives an idea of the speed and fun they had!

Spike, sniffing something. 

Run, Sophie, run! Look at her ears fly!

Speed demon, Spike. Look out flyball world, here we come!! 

I think this is where Spike started to notice the horses, up at the top of the field, along the fence. It was all downhill from there, as he decided he must attempt to herd the horses, from this side of the fence. The horses of course, were less than concerned and all came running to see who was soooo upset they were there! 

It's always nice to have tired dogs after a good, hard run. It was a cold night out there, but somehow having two tired dogs, ready to cuddle made it worth the chill I got.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Alright, anyone who lives with labs or lab mixes knows how important food is. So, just to demonstrate the principle, here's an average morning in my house... dogs, waiting for breakfast, and of course me not able to move fast enough for them!

That above is Elk. I have never fed elk before, and now I know why. I didn't think to ask the price until I got to the counter, and was mid pay before it dawned on me.... tres expensive! 8 pounds, which is roughly 3.5- 4 days of food for my critters cost me a mere $35.98. Yup, the most expensive meat I coulda bought. Oh well, it's because of these faces....

Please Mom! Please, maybe if I look more longingly and adoringly at you, you'll move faster!

Oh come on, seriously!

If I don't look at mom, maybe she'll feed me. Please?!?

Alright, if a do a trick like lie down and lick my lips, maybe that'll help!

FINALLY!  Veggies, yogurt AND elk! Yeah mom!

Really?  That was it! Cheap!

Yup, typical morning getting the dogs their food. It's a very important job, clearly to be the one who provides food. :)