The Circle Of Life

As with any spring around the Boweryville, the flowers are blooming,

the sun rises and sets,

and my dog is murdering wildlife.

This is Cane. He’s truly loveable, unless you are a rodent or other small mammal. Yes, that is a dead groundhog between his legs.

Every spring, it’s the same thing; the temperatures rise, the animals start moving, and before you know it, Cane has a carcass on the lawn. Think I’m kidding?

This was April 30 2016. This is a spinal column of a cow. He found this treasure in the field behind our house thanks to the local farm who spread it on the field. Yes, it’s caked in manure, and yes, he’s eating it. Because for him, this is a like a double stuff Oreo with a layer of chocolate fudge.

THIS is the jawbone of a cow. It goes with the spinal column above. We think. There was also a leg bone, but I think you are getting the point by now.

Cane really likes bring his hunts home. It’s like a form of bragging.

This is a raccoon. This lil’ darlin’ was dropped LITERALLY at our front door last year, the night before Mother’s Day. I’m going to assume it was his idea of a gift. The Batman logos on the patio add a certain je ne sais pas.

This is Cane and his brother Roman looking for the next victim. A little thing like a wood pile isn’t going to stand in his way.

He just starts pulling out pieces of wood.

Now, you might think this is no biggie. He’s a big dog with a keen hunting instinct, which is to be expected from a working breed like German Shepherd. However there is a small issue. Literally, tiny.

WHAT. A. FACE!

This is Eco. He’s Little Sister’s dog. He’s adorable, and while he’s a little bigger than this now, it’s certainly no groundhog. We did arrange for a cousin meet and greet a couple of weeks ago, with all humans on deck, ready to extract Eco from Cane’s grasp. It did go well, with no blood shed, but Cane made it very clear near the end of the playdate, that he’d had enough, and this little nipper needed to be packed up before he became a Timbit.

So now that it is spring, we’ve come to expect that the days to get longer, the temperature to rise, and the bodies to stack up.

 

 

Puggly

I believe I’ve found the way to create world peace. Get a puppy.

But not just any old puppy. You need a Pug puppy.

WHAT. A. FACE!

WHAT. A. FACE!

Little Sister recently lost her beloved poodle (RIP Lance!) and the ache just wouldn’t go away. She saw a Facebook post that one of her friends had a litter of pups and couldn’t resist the puppy pull.

Now, you have to understand; we were raised with German Shepherds. BIG dogs! I am guilty of making comments about little dogs just being cats with dog tags. But that was before I met Eco.

Eco – as in Echo, spelled incorrectly, not as in Ecological. Little Sister does things like that.

We recently enjoyed a day at the beach with wee Eco. It was a slow start for his first day at the shore.

Pugs have breathing issues. Not aided in this instance by the fact that he's crammed his head into layers of blankets...

Pugs have breathing issues. Not aided in this instance by the fact that he’s crammed his head into layers of blankets…

Eco wasn’t really “into” much of the whole water, sand thing. But he really shone later on in the day. We like to go walk about after soaking all the sun we can handle. It’s nice to move around, see the local shops, maybe get some deals. It usually takes about an hour and we grab a snack before heading back to the parking lot and hit the road for home.

Unless you are with Eco.

Then it takes A LOT longer.

Hotter than Bieber, I tell ya!

Hotter than Bieber, I tell ya!

Little Sister bought a sarong and used it as a pup carrier, since it was too hot to let him walk on the sidewalk, and let’s face it, someone would step on him, then they would have pug all over their sandals. It would be a disaster.

Okay, let's walk!!

Okay, let’s walk!!

Finally we shake off the spectators when this happens!

#$&@!

#$&@!

We’ve moved about 20 feet – just to give you some perspective. Again, we move along, after answer what will be the same three questions; 1. What kind of dog is it? (He’s a Pug) 2. Is he full grown? (No he’s only 8 weeks old) 3. What’s his name? (Eco)

Then we decide to pop in to a store, having found something that catches our eye!

ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?!?

ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?!?

Now we’ve got store clerks fawning over him. Let’s completely forget the fact that dogs aren’t likely welcome in the shop. It’s a puppy! It’s a Pug! It’s Eco! Even while sleeping, completely adorable!

Ok back on the street. Let’s move!

What happens when you stop for 5 minutes to order Dairy Queen!

What happens when you stop for 5 minutes to order Dairy Queen!

Second Born Son wanted to experiment. Was the attraction the puppy, or the owner?

Pug pups = people magnets!

Pug pups = people magnets!

Needless to say, he slept all the way home!

Give Peace Pugs A Chance!

 

Puppy Tale

Like all great stories, this one starts off with “Once Upon A Time”.

I’m going to prepare you now – this is a bum nummer and you may require Kleenex. I’ll wait for you.

Ready? ONCE UPON A TIME a friend of mine at work, who is a fellow dog lover, told me about a litter of pups that was in the custody of the local animal control. Then she sent me a photo….

facebook_1098954594

…and that wasn’t a good thing.

The Big Guy and I had been discussing the possibility of adding to our family in the four-legged fashion. You see Roman had been demonstrating a lot of clinginess.

2013-02-02 14.43.33

He was really missing us while we were at work and school, and I remembered our German Shepherds while I was growing up. They did really well with a buddy.

At first The Big Guy came to a logical conclusion; dog x2 = food $ x2 and poop x100. I mentioned his math was a little off and suggested we go have a look at the pups. Between my friend at work and the Animal Control, they gave us the story on the litter.

2013-04-27 13.51.01

The original family lost their home in a fire. They were made aware of the fire by adult dogs, Angel and Max. They had a young litter of pups, but were able to make their humans aware of the danger they were in and everyone escaped safely. Their bravery was rewarded by being locked up in the shell of a house, left to starve to death. Fortunately neighbors contacted Animal Control and the family was quickly relocated and cared for.

Animal Control contacted the local “Humane Society” to assume responsibility of the canine family.

<PAUSE> I have to employ the use of quotations here for no other reason than my lack of respect for this organization. Now I know, many of you will protest that “Humane Societies” do great work and have provided support for countless animals. Unfortunately, I have not had this experience. Without broaching Slander, we’ll leave it at that, okay? <PLAY>

“HS” advised animal control that they would take the father and the mother, but was not interested in the pups, to the extent that they stated they would euthanize them. Yup – you read that right; KILL THEM THERE PUPPIES. The rep at Animal Control couldn’t abide by that. She offered to care for the pups and raise them until they were weaned, if “HS” would take them on at that age. It was agreed that “HS” would provide the necessary shots for the pups and would get the four, three males and a female, when they were of age to adopt. “HS” came for the male, as there was no need for him to stay on with Animal Control, and he left his little family.

A week or so later, when the time came for the first shots, the Animal Control rep contacted “HS” and booked a date, asking how the father had fared in the adoption process.

“Oh, we had to euthanize him.” she was told. YUP KILLED HIM!!! The rationale? He was “nippy”.

<PAUSE> Let’s take a moment here and review the facts. 1. The dog had been in a house fire. 2. The human family he loved and in fact, SAVED, had abandoned him. 3. He was left to starve with his brand new litter and mate. 4. He was taken from his home to Animal Control and then to “HS”. I think it’s fair to say he had a couple of reasons to be “nippy”. <PLAY>

The Animal Control rep was devastated. She said she had the male for more than a week, and he did have an aggressive personality, but she was able to work with him and felt he would be a wonderful pet for someone who was interested in giving him love and stability; understanding the trauma he had been through. He had calmed considerably in the time she had him.

With heavy hearts, we decided to see the pups in person, as the story was indeed intriguing.

2013-04-27 13.40.38Within minutes, we knew, we had to put our name in for one of the pups. Second Born Son joined me and The Big Guy as we met with Animal Control and got up close and personal with the pups. We asked if we could adopt from Animal Control, and they referred us to “HS”, who indicated, no, we would have to get our application in like anyone else. I asked if we could get on top of the list, as we were very  interested, were the first ones to contact them, and would even have agreed to help support the pup while it was with Animal Control. Would it not be easier on the puppy if we just moved him from Animal Control to our home? Was it not in the best interest of the animal??

“HS” wasn’t interested.

I didn’t have a good feeling about “HS”.

In spite of this, The Big Guy agreed that we should move ahead. We told First Born Son that we were going to look into adopting another pup. He questioned this, stating he was happy with one dog, until we showed him a photo…

2013-05-23 11.49.36

And that, my friends, was THAT. Hook, line and sinker.

So we waited to hear that the pups were at “HS”. SBS and I headed to “HS” the first day applications were accepted. We planned on buying the puppy gear we would need on the same trip, so we would be ready to be new parents – again.

We asked to see the puppies and I was advised I’d have to turn over my driver’s license. When I asked why, I was advised by the “HS” rep, “So you don’t walk out of here with my puppy.”

Kinda like using a sledge to kill a fly, dontcha think??

2013-05-23 11.51.22

I surrendered my driver’s license and we saw that the pup we wanted was growing before our eyes. His mandatory neuter was the next day, and the micro chipping would take place at the same time.

Later we would find out that within two days, 30 applications were filled out for FOUR PUPS. At this point, they cut off applications. The paperwork was one step away from a Revenue Canada Audit. Four pages of detailed questions. “What other pets are in the home?”  “Who is your vet?” “Names and ages of everyone living in the home.” “What kind of collar would you use for your dog?” “What kind of property do you have?” “Where will you sign up for obedience class?” “Does anyone have allergies?” “How much do you expect to spend on your dog in a year?”

Admittedly, some of these were valid queries and sadly some of them are necessary to weed out the twisted individuals who think the “HS: is the place to pick up animals for medical testing. HOWEVER, it would be nice to not be treated like a criminal before I’ve even signed my application. It took more than 15 minutes to answer all of the questions and when I turned in the form, I was told that we would have to bring Roman down for a meeting with the pup, IF we were successful in moving on to that stage in selection.

What

the

holy

hell??????

As we walked back to our vehicle, I turned to SBS and said, “You know I believe in being truthful, but I think this is a case where honesty may not have been the best policy!” He was so sad that I told him he would shop for the pup anyway. When we got to the cashier, I told her, “We’re dealing with the “HS”; I need to be able to return everything.” She gave me a knowing look and said we could, other than the custom name tag we were getting engraved. We promised we would not tell anyone what name we had picked out.

A week later, we were advised that we could come down with Roman to meet the pup. I pointed out that it was an hour drive, and I wasn’t sure it was in my dog’s best interest to have to travel that distance, as he was only used to traveling 10-15 minutes maximum. There was no budging on this point. We had to take him down or we’d forfeit the pup. Oh, and could EVERYONE in the family come along as well, please? Getting the five of us in my vehicle took a great deal of timing, co-ordination and begging.

Roman traveled well, met the new pup and was a complete and utter gentleman. The pup loved Roman. I thought things were looking good!! Then TBG and I were called into the office for a meeting. With the boys tending to Roman, TBG and I sat through a 20 minute grilling on what I had put on the form. What was perceived as “right” and “wrong”. I was told that I would have to register for obedience class. I pointed out we had three dogs at this point, two of which had gone to class, and we felt we had learned enough to train them ourselves.

Wrong.

answer.

Bub!

We were advised we would need to enrol if we wanted a pup. I pointed out that living in the “sticks” means we have puppy classes spring and fall. Too late for one, too early for the other.

Wrong.

answer.

AGAIN.

I promised to look into classes.

As we left, we were advised that we would be given an answer by the end of the week. Excited, but nervous, we returned home and waited for a call.

And waited.

Longer still.

Need a bathroom break yet???

Theories ran rampant. Maybe we wouldn’t be picked because we already had a dog? Maybe they didn’t like that we saw the pups before they belonged to the “HS”? Maybe the applicant (me) was too much of a bitch herself to be considered as the successful candidate!!!??? (Admittedly, the kids never actually SAID this in my presence….)

Friends offered to be references for us. Friends offered to “influence” the “HS”, but agreed with us, that it might not be well received!! We all agreed that there was a reason why puppy mills and kijiji do so well when it comes to selling puppies. One assumes they are helping an animal when they go through a “HS”, but it is more like undue hardship!

I called the following Monday and was told there was another couple coming in for an interview on Wednesday. Folks, this has been a month since we completed our application. At this point, the entire family is frustrated, along with my friend who was wishing she hadn’t mentioned the litter to us in the first place, for all the hassle it was turning into!

I waited until Thursday to call the next time. Left a message. Hours later, “HS” calls back.

We got the puppy! The other couple attended the night before with their dog for a meet and greet, which did not go as well as Roman’s did.

In short, Roman is the reason we got the puppy!!!

TBG and I brought him home and surprised the boys. No one was more surprised than Roman!! We introduced them right away. Roman, meet CANE! Cane, meet Roman!

2013-05-23 19.34.59

He bounced like a gazelle for 15 minutes, “OMG YOU GOT ME A PUPPY!!!!!!” It was truly one of the sweetest things you will ever see!

Well, other than this…

2013-05-25 13.02.25

…or, perhaps, this…..

2013-05-28 21.13.26

So for now, the house smells like wet dog. But they are happy, wet dogs!

Silver Balls…er Bells

So Roman weighs a little less now than he did last week.

Being the responsible pet owners we are, we had him neutered on Monday. We figured it’s a lousy day of the week anyway, so why spoil a perfectly good Wednesday…or Friday.

The food went away Sunday night and the water was dumped early Monday morning. The fur baby was not impressed. He enjoys a good meal to start the day, just like the rest of the men in this house.

I got a call after the “deed” was done. He did well and had no issues to speak of. I was to pick him up the following day.

When I arrived for check out, I was presented with enough reading material to intimidate a Rhodes scholar. This was all deemed “required” reading, although the Veterinary Assistant made a point of giving me a rapid-fire overview. All the while, Roman is out of sight, but not ear shot – he’s going nuts hearing me say “Uh-huh” repeatedly.

It takes myself, a veterinarian and the assistant to get the cone on his head. Not. Happy. Roman knows cones are SOOO last season. The assistant helps me get him in the back of my truck. “Roman should only have short walks on leas for the next seven days. Running, jumping and access to stairs should be avoided.”

Too bad Roman didn’t read the material.

As soon as we got home, he leapt out of the truck. He couldn’t fit his head through the back hall – instead sticking to the wall like Velcro whenever he touched something with the cone. If I didn’t take it off, I’m certain he would still be standing in the hallway.

“Sometimes the initial excitement of returning home after surgery causes patients to eat and drink excessively which may result in vomiting. To avoid this, we recommend allowing about one hour for your pet to settle down before giving food and water.”

As soon as I got the cone off, he beelined to his dish which had half a serving of food in it. Inhaled would be an accurate description of what happened next.

He then bounded up the stairs to the kitchen, looking for more food.

The boys came home and he LOST. HIS. MIND. Then the Big Guy came home and he LOST. IT. AGAIN. Trying to keep him calm and reserved was futile. The licking would not stop, and I mentioned I would need some help to get his cone back on.

“Don’t worry about it Mom, I’ll do it.” said Second Born Son.

“Oh hon,” I chuckled. “It would take more than one person to do it. He really doesn’t like it.” I replied.

But the little man was determined, so I thought, “Knock yourself out.”

In two minutes he came back….

A Boy and his Dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blown away, I was.

How's the reception in there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the happiest he looked all evening. It quickly wore off.

So this morning, the boys go back to school, the hubby goes to work and Roman is stuck with me…. The licking hit an all-time high around 10 a.m. I figured if SBS could do it……

I don't think we are speaking right now...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What I Did This Summer” by Sarah

Ok, so we’re not going to talk about how long it has been since my last entry. Mostly because I really can’t handle the guilt. But in my defence, there has been a lot of stuff going on these past few weeks. It’s almost like God is sitting up there looking down and saying “Hey, let’s see what she can do with THIS!” That God, such a sense of humour he has…. So, in no particular order, let’s get you caught up.

THE JOB HUNT

I am officially employed – cue the choir, trumpets and kazoos. Ironically, I can’t talk too much about my new job, but I can give you some parameters.

1. It is in law enforcement (hence the “can’t talk too much”) but I don’t, sadly, have access to firepower, or for that matter, handcuffs.

2. Taking this job required computer training. While I’ve participated in training in the past, I would have to say, hands down, that this instructor was THE WORST teacher I’ve ever had. That includes you, Mr. Walduck. I’m sure you are glad to pass the torch from Gr. 10 Accounting.

3. Shift work is involved, but since it is part time, it’s not too bad. I have had to rewire myself to understand that napping in the day is not a sign of sloth, but an essential key to survival. You will have to ask my family how well that’s working out, but I’ll hedge my bet to say it’s a “thumbs down” kinda result.

4. The Boys’ reaction to my employment status was mixed. On one hand, they knew the steady flow of baking they had been enjoin would slow diminish, but on the other, they were going to get the “Kid channels” as promised to them “When Mom gets a job”  since Dad’s job offers us an attractive discount on our fibre bill.

5. I have worked two nights, and now, two days. In this length of time, I have come to realize that no matter how bad things may be in my life, someone out there is suffering through something 100% WORSE. I can promise you this – and it is heartbreaking. It makes me appreciative for a good man and two amazing children, two terrific parents and an extended family I am proud of. There are so many worse scenarios out there right now.

THE BOYS (and yes, that includes Roman)

1. Well, we are back to school. With this coinciding with the start of my new job, it’s been an interesting experience. Add to the fact that First Born Son started High School, and it is fair to say the anxiety level was at an all time high here at Boweryville.

2. The dog HATES school.

I am serious considering renting him out for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.

This is Roman on Day 2 of Back to School. He is sitting in the kitchen – howling. This is after he watched the boys walked down the driveway and spent five minutes doing this….

Forgive the poor quality - it was edit photos or write the blog. I guess by now you've figured out which I chose.

He’s sitting at the front door trying to see if they are outside. You can’t actually “see” through this glass, but you get an idea of shapes, and this pup is looking for a big blob and slightly smaller blob. On Day 1 – he spent the day running from door to door, whining to be let out. It’s like he thought he lost track of the boys and was convinced that “they must be out back, no? Oh, well, let’s go check again out front! No?!? I must have just missed them.” I think you get the idea.

Now he spends most of his time looking at me with a look on his face that speaks volumes. “YOU are a lousy mother for losing track of your CHILDREN!” Join the club pup.

3. Ironically, The Boys do NOT hate school. FBS is loving high school and Second Born Son has a teacher who taught his brother. We all loved her and are looking forward to a great year ahead!

4. No hockey for SBS this year. He’s decided to “take a year off” and once it became evident that he was not headed to the NHL, The Big Guy and I think it is a misappropriation of parenting to force him to play. We realize we are the only two Canadian parents to take this position. He would like to try skiing and I’m thinkin’ that’s a GREAT idea!

5. FBS is playing, and actually trying out for Rep this year. Anyone who has followed this blog knows the hardship this kid has gone through in the name of love for hockey. The fact that he’s grown almost a foot in 18 months has certainly helped his odds. We should know which team he’s on in a couple of days. I’m just thanking the stars above that we didn’t have to replace his pads, catcher and blocker, but I just didn’t managed to find that $2,000 lying around this summer.

PARTY CENTRAL

1. We’ve been “Party Central” lately!

Two birthdays at one party - hey, we like a big BANG for the buck!

We had First Born Son’s birthday at the same time as my Mom’s. But we actually held it on my father-in-law’s birthday.

We do having a living room, but everyone wants to sit in the kitchen....

But it’s all good, because we had his birthday the weekend before…with his sister’s….

This could take a while....

And then just yesterday, we celebrated FBS’ birthday!

That broad in the back looks familiar, but I never see her in any of the other pictures...

So suffice it to say, the five pounds I gained with all the birthday cake I seem to have worn off with the back and forth with the dog to each of the four doors of this house.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE CLASS?

1. Farm update I guess. We finally said good-bye to The Farm. The household items were sold at the end of August and while it didn’t impact me as much as the first auction did, it was still a tough day. Once again, SBS directed traffic, and FBS helped his father on the wagons. It was interesting to see some of the artifacts that were unearthed.

Butter Churn

This butter churn now resides south of the border.

What almost $300 looks like!

It was amazing what people were willing to pay for items. Here is a bovine horn with gunpowder in it. Sold for just under $300. Give me a moment while I look for a saw and some horned Herfords…..

I managed to pick up some items myself, but we’ll leave that for another day.

2. Worked our a$$es off outside! I was so sick of looking at the Red and White shed – in case you can’t remember….

The job necessitated the dog run, which began the thought about how to paint once it was done...

and once we realized the pup needed a proper run for when I’m a the mine and the boys are at school, we realized if were ever going to get rid of that colour, the time was now.

I'm supposed to be up on the ladder, but no one would hold the camera for me.

So I started painting. No one could get where I was going with “mud” for a colour, but patience people!!

TA-DAH!

The idea was to make it disappear. I don’t want to see it any more and I think it is Mission Accomplished! The Big Guy gets credit for the finishing touches, such as some of the trim and the kennel. Roman has the best dog run this side of the Saugeen!

IN CONCLUSION

Therefore, I defend my failure to submit on a regular basis on the grounds that I haven’t exactly been watching soaps and eating bon bons.

That being said, I will make a concerted effort in the future! 😉

Puppy Love

The first dog I ever had was a puppy named Heidi. I must admit, I was only a puppy myself at the time.

She was a German Shepherd puppy and she was beautiful.

Don't judge the bangs, or the turtleneck for that matter. At least I'm co-ordinated!

German Shepherds are vicious dogs; you should watch your children around them! (I think someone needs to save the dog!)

Because we lived on a farm, it seemed natural to have a second dog, since Heidi was starting to run with a neighbor’s dog and we worried about her getting too farm from home.
So we got Rene. Rescued him, would be a better way of putting it. He was owned by a large German man who not only intimidated his wife and son, but the dog too. Rene finally had enough of being treated badly and dared to stand up for himself. This did not go over well with the owner. He wanted him gone. I am ever so glad, because Rene was lovely.

Gingham was TOTALLY what all the cool kids were wearing - and Rene didn't mind my bowl bangs....

Ironically, Rene was Little Sister’s dog.  Not that he was given to “her”, since she was only an infant, but Rene, sensing that Heidi was responsible for me, took LS as his very own. This big “aggressive” male became bound to her in a way that could only be described as “darling”.
When nap time came for my wee sister, Mom would put her on the front porch in her buggy. The breeze was cooling in the warm summer afternoons and it was out of the strong sun. Rene would watch my mother putter around with her regular tasks and park himself beside the buggy. When LS awoke and cried out, Rene would howl to let Mom know that the baby was up. Like the very first baby monitor.
Rene would follow LS while Heidi followed me. We had our own personal body guards. The only time we ever had an issue was when Rene suffered from arthritis in his back hips. He slept fitfully one afternoon and I strolled past him with a bat resting over my shoulder.  The bat was far bigger than the shoulder and within a second the bat fell on the dog’s back end, waking him suddenly and causing him intense pain. Remember, his history told him that when he was being hurt, he needed to defend himself, and he did.
A small row of stitches were needed to heal the damage done, but I never blamed Rene for the bite. He blamed himself though. Upon my return from the hospital, Rene’s head hung as low as his tail. I was bathed in slobber as he licked me from ear to ear once I returned from the hospital. He felt bad for days after.
Rene more than made up for it a couple of years later, when a boy older than me tried to push me around. He raised his voice and gave me a shove that sent me to the ground. Within seconds Rene had the boy pinned to the ground beside me. He never bit the older boy, but he scared him enough to leave me alone.
By this time, my beautiful Heidi was gone. Rene pined for her as much as I did, so my parents found Britta. She was a female deemed unsuitable for breeding, as she had an overbite. While she wasn’t pretty like Heidi was, she was loyal and had a sweet personality.
After these two dogs, our family had a string of others, usually adopted as full grown dogs and all loved for their own special traits. So when the time came to start a family of my own, I knew it had to include a dog. The Big Guy and I fell in love with a Dutch Chow pup and after we named him Cole, we started house training. Eleven years later he developed Cancer and we lost our first “Fur Baby”.
That brought us to Samson. A purebred mutt, Sam was perfect for our young family. The boys loved him, and he was the best parts of Lab, Rottweiler and German Shepherd. The day we put him down was easily one of the worst in my life. We struggled with the decision to put him out of his pain, and in the end, I know it was the right thing to do. That didn’t make it any easier. Samson is the first dog we buried at our new home, and I look out on him every day.

My Beautiful Boy

I could talk about how his bark could stop you cold, if you didn’t know him well enough. Or how grown men thought twice about just walking up to him. But then I’d have to talk about how he was actually as sweet as his caramel eyes, and how much he loved running at The Farm – which we also lost this year. And I can’t do any of this without choking up…so enough about that.

The Big Guy got tired of my moping by the second day. He knows it’s not my way, but as I said, the last couple of days with Samson were really tough.

“Why don’t you look at some puppies?” he asked.

“I don’t think I’m ready for that yet,” I replied. He tried again the next day – pointing out I might feel better looking at puppies.

A quick scan of kijiji found hundreds of puppies – all of which were cute. He was right – it was something “happy” but I still wasn’t sure that I could imagine our house with another dog. The Big Guy contact the people we got Samson from, and they wouldn’t have another litter until the new year. A quick consensus of the household determined we didn’t want one of Samson’s brothers – it would be too hard to look at him and not see Sam.

Then it happened – a crazy combination of circumstances that gave me all the signs I needed. Before I knew it – there was laughter in the house – and smiles.

And chew toys….for a new pup. A German Shepherd named Roman.

The ears almost give the ability to fly!

 

When doing the Right Thing seems so Wrong

What do you do when someone you love is in pain?

How do you say goodbye to someone who has been a part of your heart, your home, your history?

When do you stop being selfish by keeping them with you, when you know how hard it is for them to hang on?

How do you know when it is time to change your family, as painful and inconceivable as that may seem?

I don’t know either. But last week, we said Good-bye to our beloved Samson. Devastated is simply not a big enough word to define how we feel. His loyalty, brilliance and courage have left an enormous void in our family. We love you and know you are finally out of your pain.

Until we swim with you again……

Woman’s Best Friend

This is Samson.

When he’s cheeky, he’s “Sparky The Wonder Dog”. He’s a purebred Mutt, but if you see shades of Lab, Shepherd and Rottweiler, you wouldn’t be wrong.

Sam and I are spending a great deal of quality time together, and while I wouldn’t call myself a fraidy-cat, I must say, there is something very reassuring about having a dog around. But Sam is an odd combination of brave boy and wuss.

Exhibit A – I don’t know what the driver of the oil truck has done to him, but he’s got a 110 lb dog pissed at him. That truck can be come up the hill – a street away from ours and Sam will go nuts. I have a hard time wrestling him away from the door when he’s hurling himself at it. Imagine a mohawk down his back – the hair is completely on end.

Exhibit B – Anyone who comes to our house has a “greeting”. Usually it’s four or five loud, sharp barks. These barks are so intense that you will still have the echo reverberating in your cranium when you crawl in bed at night.

Exhibit C – A friend of ours, who also happens to be a police officer, nearly soiled himself when he popped in unannounced. While Samson wasn’t going to let this “visitor” just mozy onto the homestead, he was more than glad to see the kids, whom he licked and bounced around like a pup. Sam LUVS the kids. Wanna break into our house? Bring an infant over – Sam goes ga-ga over the babies and wee-ones and he’s as gentle as a lamb with them.

Exhibit D – The lady who dropped of Sears catalogues at our previous residence would not get out of her van to drop off the magazines. Instead, she would fly up our little driveway at highway speeds and pull thisclose to our house to place the item in our mail box. We half expected to have her Dodge grill break through into our living room. This was after we had a tete-a-tete over Samson.

Irrational Lady: “THAT DOG needs to be tied up!”

Me: “Why? He’s on his own property?”

IL: “Well he’s a nasty dog – he should be tied up.”

Me: “He hasn’t bitten anyone.”

IL: “Well he’s a very aggressive dog!” (Let’s note here that she, herself, is becoming aggressive – I refrain from suggesting she should be tied up.)

Me: “He’s doing his job. He hasn’t bitten you, and he lives here.”

IL: “Well, I was attacked by a dog as a child!”

Me: “Well I’ve been bitten by four dogs, what is your point?”

She spins around gets back in her mini van and backs out of the driveway so fast that she shoots gravel in every direction. I ponder the reaction I would get if I’d sustained an injury from her behavior.

So Sam has a reputation. I’m sure it makes him very cool with the other Mutts he hangs with. I must admit, we don’t help with his bad street cred, since we’ve been known to reply in this fashion…..

Q: “Wow, big dog. Does he bite?”

A: “Not yet.”

This is a selfish response – but an honest one. He’s an animal – and any animal, when provoked, is going to react. However, I like to think that if the crazy oil truck driver were to force his way into the house, Sam would rip him limb from limb.

That being said, this weekend we were cutting trees.

And Sam, who has been enjoying the weekend outside with the boys, does this……

I can’t zoom back any more in this shot – because my leg is attached to my foot, which is immobilized by his BUTT!

Vicious dog. I wonder what the Sears lady would have to say now……