Monday, May 2, 2011

It's Been a While

It's been a while since I updated my blog. But life was pretty routine up until a month ago. Work, dogs, husband, friends, family, and rescue not necessarily in that order. Then everything changed! This is Kinley Elizabeth who now occupies 95% of my day! Good thing she's so cute.

The dogs have been adjusting well, and I'm very proud of them for being so patient and gentle. Although Sadie is the only one who can handle the up and down at night. At least we have more room in bed!

Duke is pretty oblivious.

Sadie is a bit sad she's not the only baby anymore.

Of course it's more work with 3 dogs and a baby, but as long as the dogs still get their walks, food, cookies and attention they are content with the new addition. I can't wait until she's old enough to interact with them and hopefully have the same passion about animals as her parents.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Girls Road Trip!

Wendy and I went to Waterton for a hike today. I have to admit, when she first asked I wasn't sure I wanted to exert that much energy on my day off, but she said I could sleep in until 10 so I was game. I even woke up early this morning and was ready by 9am! I'm so glad I got my lazy ass out of bed. I think we had a great hike!

The girls both loved the snow, Wendy said she wanted to rub her face in it too.
I think Mira is scarier then the wildlife.

Everyone who passed us kept cooing over Lacey and her little backpack. I lost count how many times Wendy itemized what she was carrying.
I couldn't believe the amount of snow at the top of our hike.

We had a little snack at the top
Beautiful Waterton

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Foster Dog

Anyone want the Devil Spawn Pug?............ok, I kid, I kid......... kind of.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Sometimes it's tiring having a dog on top of you every time you sit down, but after talking to a friend last night who's dogs aren't extremely snugly I decided that I wouldn't trade what I have for much.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Any Takers!

Seriously how cute is she? Lola needs a home, anyone?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Survival of the Fittest

When we first moved to our house there was an open field out back. We frequently fell asleep to coyotes howling. Recently they have begun to develop the area back there. This evening we went out to the new school and ran the dogs. As is with most city expansion we have obviously disrupted the natural habitat.
This was in the school field. It was about the size of my lab. Maybe a coyote, maybe a deer, either way very disgusting and Mira tried to gnaw at it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


After much debate I decided to make a complaint to the animal shelter about the cats that attacked Sadie and myself. It wasn't really for me, but more for preventation. What if it had been a small child? The owner admitted his cats were mean, and continues to leave them out at large. My breaking point came when I asked the owners to give me proof of vacination and 6 days later, no paperwork.

I have frustrations with our shelter, but nothing compared to their lack of compassion or uselessness after speaking with them today. Lethbridge has no cat bylaws, so these cats are free to roam the streets and attack the public. I encourage all of you to write to our city council. I was directed to make it attetion the mayor and council. I will be writing my own letter, if you wish to have your name added please let me know.
You can contact via email

or snail mail

2nd floor City Hall
910-4th Ave South
Leth, Ab

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Sadie and I were attacked today. Not by a dog, or even a human, but by two savage cats. These were not your run of the mill house cats. These were demons from hell. They stalked, circled and plotted against us. At one point the one cat ran up my leg for my face. We retreated bloodied and defeated. I wish I had Duke with me, little bastards.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Duke

I'm not a doctor, or a vet, but I do see enough mental disabilities in my occupation to wager a decent hypothesis of the mental heath status of my lab. The verdict? I believe he has a touch of Obsessive Compulsiveness, or what we would call Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies in human psychology. Patients with OCD have rituals and routines, or compulsions that they feel they must do or their anxiety climbs, which is only relieved by performing said compulsion or intensive therapy and usually an extensive medication regime.

Duke, like his human equivalencies, has certain routines and objects of obsession. As I lay snuggled next to him this morning I realized that he only does this with me in the morning, and only after he has eaten breakfast. Furthermore he will only jump on the bed if I pull back the comforter, and at no point does it touch him. This got me thinking about his other compulsions . He must lay by the bathtub, but only if someone is either bathing or showering. He has an oral obsession, he must have something in his mouth when people come to the door. By default this was usually a shoe, but after several late mornings searching for a matching set I make it a point to clear the doorway. If there is nothing present he will grab an arm, leg, or other accessible body part, which obviously doesn't feel good and has led me to create a "go get a toy" command. Now he frantically surveys the house for something to grab, which has known to be a pot or dinner plate from the mornings naughtiness.

In addition to the routines, Duke has obsessions. Light reflections come to mind, but at a more intense obsession is water. He actually does what I've come to discover via google as "water freaking"

A common problem is "water-freaking," that is, once some find they can swim, they will get in any water they can find and swim around and around, often splashing, snapping at the splash, and yipping with excitement. Until they have a strong training foundation, they will not leave the water merely because you call them. If you have a water-freak, avoid water until obedience is well-established, and preferably force-breaking, too. The idea is to avoid reinforcing their enjoyment of playing in the water (so they don't develop a lifelong preference for water-freaking over retrieving).

I guess I have to be thankful that Duke is OCD and not ADHD which seems to be a common disability of labrador retrievers in this area. Duke is actually the easiest dog I have to train formal obedience. Which isn't actually an amazing feat, considering the level of obedience my other two have. And it's probably due, in part, to his OCD, but if I have to deal with it's negative aspects, I'm going to use its positive ones. I was once told by a respected psychologist friend of mine that most successful people have Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies and it's how you use them that equates failure versus success. Too bad Duke couldn't have sessions on the couch.

As a side note, as I sit on at the island in my kitchen typing this, the is sun shining through the window I can see little foot prints on the ceramic stovetop. But the terrier's diagnosis is another post entirely.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Sadie!

Sadie turned 5 on February 3rd. Her Dad made her breakfast. Happy Birthday you crazy lady!

Windows® phone-your Windows stuff, on the go. See more.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What's the Animal in You?

This is a fun test at - Those of you that know me can judge how true it is =)


Genus and species:
Sorex araneu
Collective Term:
A lament of shrew
Careers and Hobbies
Thrift store shopping

Sharing does not come naturally to shrews, and they are typically the last to pay their portion at a group dinner. It's not that shrews are greedy, rather they're responding to a compulsive need to save for the future. In this respect they are much like their cousin the mouse, who takes planning for the future to extremes.

With the conviction that it knows what's best for everyone, shrews are always ready with free advice. They seem to delight in butting into other people's private affairs. Sometimes the shrew turns this hobby into a career as a gossip columnist, movie critic, or TV evangelist. But more often than not, it retains its amateur status and practices on its long-suffering friends.

Because shrews are constantly on the move, careers that require concentration and sober thinking are unsuitable. They perform best in chaotic jobs and thrive on the unpredictability of disorder, making them natural production assistants, circus performers, wedding organizers or emergency room technicians.

Their predilection for collecting and organizing things would also make them good librarians or or bookkeepers, while the desire to keep moving makes them suitable for any job requiring travel and creativity.

Shrews' sharp eyes have a knack for spotting the hole in the fence, and with their ability to make instant decisions they impetuously seize the moment and scuttle on through. Their smart mouths and high energy are put good use in the workplace, and they excel as salespeople and journalists. But sometimes their reputation precedes them and they encounter built-in resistance to their pitch even before they've opened their mouths.

Friday, January 1, 2010


As Amanda always says - I freakin' love this dog!

Naughty List

Sadie made the naughty list this year, but that didn't stop her grama from buying her the biggest and heaviest present under the tree. Too bad it wasn't a fun present for her. At least it came in handy after the honey incident!

I think she's a little embarrassed about her potty issues.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Money Honey

There's always perks and downfalls of any job. My new(ish) job has many perks, a downfall is being on call. Last night I had to go back to the hospital at 12:30 am. After starting the car and realizing I was still in my pajama's I quickly ran back in to change and off I went. Upon returning I noticed the dogs were covered in something greasy looking, you can imagine my horror when I realized that I left the leaky honey container in the sink. Now it was spread from one end of the house to the next. Carpets, laminate, tile, bedding, dog hair all sticky with honey. Have you ever seen a terrier hopped up on straight sugar with post bath zoomies? Not pleasant at 1 am! Poor husband got the worst of it after his night shift! He asked what to do with one of the dog beds and I told him to throw it out along with Duke! He replied that Duke was wet, cold and outside afraid to come back in and was that good enough!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Mira Claw

My dogs know very few tricks so the handful we have are a very big deal in our house. My husband taught all the dogs how to "pound". He offers them his fist and they slap it with their paw, it's really just a modified shake a paw. Mira has her own version of how this is done. Instead of just slapping your fist she curls her toes into you and creates a claw with her nails whilst dragging them across the top of your fist, it's very cute although slightly uncomfortable. For whatever reason this amuses my husband and me greatly and somehow made it's way into our pounding technique with one another. Whenever one of us offers a fist to pound the other would do the "Mira Claw". It's really quite silly, but it's all in good fun and I never guessed I would have had to share this ritual with anyone.

About a year ago I started a new job, it's the same position, but in quite a different context and the learning curve was extremely steep. There are several different roles to play and some of them are extremely challenging and take months to master. I was in such role one afternoon, sitting in an important chair and I see the director of our department emerge from his office hole, quite a rare occurrence. He glanced over and saw me conducting this whole crazy operation and I guess it struck him to come over and congratulate me. I'm already busy and flustered from work so to see this elusive man coming over only increased my nervousness and flustered me further, so when he offered his fist in appreciation without thinking my fingers fanned out and curled in a claw formation...............

Yes I "Mira Clawed" my boss. And he's not only my boss, but my bosses boss. At some point while my fingernails were dragging across the top of his fist, I realized what was happening and my whole world stopped. As I stared into his frozen expression of, well confusion, I came to the conclusion that I had two options. I could explain the whole ritual that my husband and I had which was feeling more creepy and insane then silly fun at this point, or I could stop mid claw look away and never think of the incident again. I decided I did enough damage, and in my state I don't think I could have gotten out why I had clawed him without getting admitted down the hall to psych anyway, so I carefully relaxed my fingers and looked back to my computer pretending to look busy.

I don't have my camera, or I'd show you Mira doing the claw. But if you ever want to see the now famous "Mira Claw" when Mira and I are around, don't hesitate to ask! Just specify if you want her or me to demonstrate!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Potty Training 101 By Sadie

Now that I am potty trained my first attempt to relieve myself will be outside. Rule number one -you have exactly 10 seconds from the time I have decided I need to go until the time of my release to grant me access outside. If this allotted time expires I will find an alternate location of my choosing. This location will be discrete and can never be on an easily cleaned surface or you will never learn rule number one. This means that if my dog door is in anyway impeded, closed from the wind, or other elements and you don't notice me surveying the situation I will resort to option 2. Rule number two, if you actually manage to abide by rule number one and I relieve myself outside, when I come back inside I not only expect to be praised with enthusiasm and sincerity, but I will receive a treat of my liking. And not a crappy carrot treat, a real cookie. I will dock you 1 second for each breachment of this policy on the time limit you have in rule number one. If and when you have failed to abide by rule number 2 and have used up all 10 seconds given to you, I will resort back to being un-potty trained. This means that if you expect me to bathroom outside you will need to physically take me out and do the encouragement dance of shame for all the neighborhood to see. Obviously treats will follow. This will continue until I have decided that I am no longer un-potty trained and we can start back with rules one and two.

And I should mention that if there is too much snow on the ground, the wind is blowing too hard, the sun is shining too much, or I just feel like it, I will go where ever I want.

Thank-you for your attention to this sensitive manner,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Strange But True

We were in Waterton this weekend and I observed the oddest couple. The first encounter was in town, where they were walking a little dog and carrying their baby in one of those backpacks that you wear in the front (frontpack?). The next time I saw them the baby had on a pink jacket and the wife was holding her. Then the dad came around and put her in a jogging stroller. As I walked by with my 3 beasts she cooed at the baby "aww look at the big puppies!!"

Now this might not seem weird at all except their baby was a dog. Seriously. The dog was dangling in the baby pack as they walked the town. And the dog was pushed in what appeared to be a very expensive stroller, while it's owner pointed out what they seemed to classify as another species when my dogs walked by. I have to add here that I'm positive the dog can walk because when they put it in the stroller it was standing and turned a few circles before laying down.

These people really disturbed me. I think they may actually think their dog is a human baby. Especially because they have two dogs, and one walks around on a leash as it should. People are weird.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Sometimes Sadie likes to sit on the other dogs heads.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summer Stuff and Bad Vets

We've been doing lots of camping this summer. First in our very old boler, which we have since sold and upgraded to a 2004 aerolite. It is about the same length as the boler (16ft) but it has a little slide out, it's very cute. The dogs have been loving all the weekend get aways, some too much.

A few weekends ago we stayed at Lumbrick Falls and our campsite was right on the river. Duke could reach it on his tie out so he was swimming pretty much the entire weekend. The last day he started limping quite bad and by Monday I had him into the vets office. This was not our normal vet, not sure if we even have one at this point, but we were told he blew his ACL and needed surgery, like yesterday. The quote was over $2000. Now if I hadn't known that this vet had a history I most likely wouldn't have questioned it further. As it turns out, this is his very favorite diagnosis, without X-rays I might add. So we went off for a second and then third opinion with X-rays and both disagreed that it was a cruciate injury. Low and behold the very next day Duke was walking fine. Still concerned that it might actually be a cruciate we kept him on bed rest for 2 weeks. The follow up visit with the second opinion told us he may resume normal activity and he has, and he is fine. Now I'm imagining a very different scenario that could have occurred and it makes me furious.

No one wants to put anyone through unnecessary surgery. Its hard on the dog physically and emotionally, its hard on the owner, and its definitely hard on the budget, not that it would have stopped us, but still. I would just like to stress the importance of at least a second opinion here. Before you do anything drastic, please consider this. Not all vets, or doctors for that matter are perfect, there is always more then one solution to a problem, and usually there is more then one diagnosis. Be informed, do your research and ask questions. Do be afraid to be rude! I learned that from a wise friend, and it has saved me more then once!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Boler for Sale!!

We have a updated/upgraded Boler for sale. If you or anyone you know wants this gem, let me know! Everything is new and ready to go.

Maybe Sarah wants to upgrade to a bathroom?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scared Poopless!

It's 8:30am on my day off and I am up. Why? Because I have a highly trained guard dog who has alerted me to an intruder in the basement.

Yesterday morning my neighbors were having a pow-wow in the cult-d-sac after a rash of break-ins the previous evening. Thankfully we were missed. Then this morning while I'm compromised in the bathroom I hear Duke barking, downstairs! And it's not a playful bark, it's a disturbing, low, alert bark. I panic, uncompromise myself and head downstairs but not before I arm myself with a kitchen knife. He's in the office barking at the closet. Fabulous. There's a burgler/murderer/possible rapist in my closet. But before I call 911 I figure if Duke has scared him to stay in his hiding place this long he isn't going anywhere and I can make sure there is something actually to call the police about.

Of course as soon as Duke sees me he runs up to me allowing the maniac to escape, but nothing. Duke now wants to run away, his job is over, he has alerted me to danger, now mom can hack him up with my paring knife. I told Duke to get his ass back in there and protect me. So he begrudgingly faced the enemy, but you could tell he was really scared, he would bark and smell and back up. I peeked into the open closet and saw......a helmet.

This was obviously the source of his contempt. He would get really low and inch over to the helmet and then do his low alert bark and back up. So I grabbed the stupid helmet and made him look at it.

I'm not sure if I'm reading into this too much, but he really hates motorbikes, he will jump and lunge at them. Maybe he had a bad experience with someone on a bike wearing a helmet? I'd like to think that, because the alternative is well, depressing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

We are going on a camping trip in the next few weeks and in attendance are most of my regular dog sitters. I heard through the local dog grapevine that I should check with Bobby and her sister as they have boarded dogs before. So I emailed Bobby and asked her to take Duke who I assured her is my very mellow and laid back guy. Then the correspondence began.

I remembered she had a bunny, and cats.

"Dear Bobby, Duke is very bad with cats he will chase and probably bite them, and don't let him eat your bunny!" No worries Bobby told me the cats can stay in a separate area with Bunny. Crisis diverted.

She then asked if he would be ok left alone in the house for a few hours. Perfect, I can redeem myself here.

"Dear Bobby, Duke is great in the house, he has never had an accident and never chews anything". That night I came home to the contents of my kitchen sink scattered across the floor and remembered that I forgot to tell her he is a counter surfer.

"Dear Bobby, Duke is a bit of a counter surfer, don't leave anything out or in the sink. Especially garbage, I would lock that up for sure"

Bobby has dealt with counter surfers and since Logan got into the garbage, she is used to labs and their nose. Crisis diverted. Then Bobby tells me she has a pond on her property. Perfect! Duke would love to swim.

"Dear Bobby, Duke would love to swim in your pond. Except if you have plans within 2 or 3 hours prior to letting him in I would reconsider. He won't come out. Actually maybe you could keep him on a long leash" Crap, the leash! I forgot Duke has some minor leash aggression, and when I say minor I mean major.

"Dear Bobby, Duke has some leash aggression, maybe we should keep him off leash with the other dogs, then he won't bug them" Crap, the other dogs! I forgot Duke likes to mount other dogs off leash.

"Dear Bobby, Duke likes to mount other dogs, feel free to beat him at will..... Hell, I'm going to call Amanda and make sure he's available for back up!"

So after Duke eats the cats, and the bunny, destroys the house, eats the garbage, mounts all the dogs, and eventually swims away, feel free to call Amanda - she will know what to do!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Good Giggle

I love this picture of Mira. I mean really could it be anymore hideous? When I was working at the dog daycare I cut out her head in this picture and put it on the computer just for laughs. When I worked at London Drugs I put the cut out head over top of my managers head in the framed "Hi I'm the Manager" picture hanging in our department. I wanted to see how long it would take for him to notice but I kept laughing and glancing up at it and gave myself away. In good spirit he did leave it up there for a while.

So I present to you what I have come to title "Old Man Mira"

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Little Test

How to know if your Dog is at risk for Snakebite?

Do you live in a Rattlesnake area?

Do you hike, run or play in snake areas?

Do you have a dog?
If so, you are at risk.

BREEDS THAT ARE HIGH RISK* Jack Russell* Siberian Husky* Terriers* Rottweiler* German Shepherd* Blue Heeler* Labrador* Golden Retriever* Australian Shepherd* Border Collie

Sadie flushed out a rattlesnake at the local off leash park yesterday. Now as I slip my feet under the covers my heart flutters to think that the snake is in there seeking its revenge.

I have never heard a rattlesnake before, but have been told that you will just know it when you do. And that sums it up pretty well. I think the snake Sadie found had to be the grand daddy, but really I have nothing to compare it to.

I was searching for tips to avoid rattlesnakes, I mean hindsight is 20/20 right? This is the quote that popped out at me.

"Letting them run off into the tall weeds is just asking for your faithful friends to stumble upon a rattlesnake lair"

So after the ducks, a bird and the rattlesnake I have retired Sadie from off leash. What is that about fool me once shame on me fool me twice......there isn't even a fool me three times, because their not really fooling you anymore are they?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July Blues

July has been a really busy, hectic, and stressful month for us. But as I type this, I sit in a human deserted house. We have one extra dog, but I'd take that over extra people any day!

This is one of our amazing family pictures we had done on Sunday taken by a friend. As much as I could kill them sometimes, I wouldn't trade them for any other family!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Belated Canada Day!

Hope everyone enjoyed themselves last night!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Better Late then Never

So a few weekends ago we got to babysit Vito. This is a rare occurrence because a certain someone (ahem, cough, Wendy) likes to hog this duty.

Babysitting Vito pretty much entails snuggling....


and more snuggling.

A perfect weekend for me!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We Won

A while back Amanda at manymuddypaws had a caption contest and I won! Duke won actually as he got this very cool and totally appropriate collar.

You can't really see from the picture but it has a black labs with flippers on it swimming in the sea! It's so perfect and Duke loves it. Thanks Amanda!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I wrote this a while back and shared it with a few people. I received a decent response and I quite like how it turned out so I thought I might share it here.

I'm Off to See the Wizard
I'm a rescue dog. As soon as I can escape this cold dark cage I’m off to see the wizard.
You must think being a rescue dog that I need to ask the wizard for a brain.
I must be untrainable, have no manners, I must be unmanageable for someone to dump me here.
But I am very smart.
I use to memorize and perform every trick my master taught me, just to make him proud for his company.
No matter where he went I heeled at his side, he had my undivided attention at all times. So it must be courage right? Being a rescue, I must be scared and weak.
You may be worried about me around your children, or I may bite the neighbours.
But no. I am very strong. I would have defended my people to the death.
My family slept many nights peacefully knowing I was there to protect them.
And I have only gained more courage during this time; I had to, to survive this.
Well that only leaves a heart. I must be off to get a heart from the wizard then.
Even though my heart is broken it is still beating and it waits for someone else to fill it. But thats just it. My time is up in this cage.
They say that I am old, tired and no one wants me.
So I am not going to ask the wizard for anything.
I want him to take away my brain, so I don’t know what is happening when they take me into the back room to my death.
I want him to take away my courage so I do not fight the inevitable.
I want him to take away my heart so I can no longer feel the pain of abandonment and unwant.
I am a rescue dog and I’m off to see the Wizard.
All I want is for this all to go away.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Duke not sure if he can dive.

Mira trying desperately to get out of the water. She's like her momma, we bask in the sun.

Notice the tether Duke has. We take no chances anymore!