Monday, February 28, 2011

Sorry Ottawa!

After my complaint about needing snow, we got it. Today we had 8 cm of snow (3 inches) mixed with freezing rain. I was lucky and didn't have to drive in it, but I did have to shovel it and it was really, really heavy!

Lee and Gemi had a great time playing in it!

Sunbeam divides or unites?

On a beautiful sunny day, both Lee and Baggy wanted the sunbeam. There was a peaceful standoff in the living room as the 2 general enemies stared at each other for 10 minutes trying to decide who should have the sunbeam. In the end, they just sat beside the beam!
Baggy trying to decide if he wants to lay in the beam or if it is too close to Lee.

Gemi sleeping with her head in the sun during the Baggy and Lee stand off.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

We need more snow!

I never thought I would live to see the day when I would say we need more snow. My general reasons for not wanting lots of snow are: I hate driving in it, I don’t do winter sports, and I usually do most of the shovelling. (And as a true Canadian I need to complain about the weather!).

However, I now have a winter sport – I walk the dog. Last week we had the beautiful record setting high of +11 C. It was almost the perfect day. The perfect day made the snow melt. It made the trail at the dog park muddy for a day, then this froze into a crazy, bumpy, uneven, difficult surface to walk on. Originally, this was better than a frozen even surface (aka ice rink). But as the week has gone by without snow and hundreds of feet and paws are slowly eroding the bumpy tracks and polishing them, it is becoming more difficult to walk at the park. The dogs don’t want to run on either the uneven or the polished surface. I am sure I am going to fall most of the time we are walking. If we could just get a couple inches of snow to cover this mess, the park would be more fun. (I realize I sound like a skier, which supports my claim that dog walking is a winter sport!).

Let it snow! (Mother Nature the 1 cm that you brought last night is not enough, we need about 4!)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Princess vs Diva

The Princess

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."
The Diva
"I think this scarf is all wrong. I don't want to be photographed in it!"

"These sunglasses aren't right. Who is incharge of wardrobe here? How can I work in these conditions?"

"My agent stepped in. For extra treats I am finally ready for my close up."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Boys don't learn!

These are the remains of Drew’s old shoes. After all the previous shoe destruction, he decided to leave his old shoes at the front door. This is what I came home to. Note: She had been out for a walk in the morning.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nin's turn!

Drew explaining the rules to Nin

Taking the first step

Almost there!

Nin did it! He was slower than Gemi!

Nin coming out of the tunnel (he was faster than the dogs at it!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Sunday Fun

Drew explaining how the tunnel works

Encouraging Gemi to try it

Encouraging LeeLee to try it

LeeLee made it out (Gemi tries to steal her treat)

Gemi made it out (Lee trying to steal her treat)

Nin checking it out, while LeeLee cheats and goes over the tunnel (we said go threw it not over it!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday Fun

This is when you know you need a life – you spend part of your Sunday afternoon making and playing agility with the dogs!
Drew explaining the game to the dogs

LeeLee jumping
Gemi jumping

Monday, February 21, 2011

Types of Dog Owners

The more time I spend with other dog owners I realize most of us fall into one of 3 categories.

1)      Dog as family member.  These are the crazy bunch who try to get to the dog park come rain, sun or snow. These dogs can often be described as spoiled by non-dog owners, however, for the most part they are well behaved. The dogs get ample exercise and attention. They have had at least basic obedience and have pretty good doggie manners (dogs like children don’t always behave, even with the best parenting). These are the owners and dogs you want to see at the park. This is the type of owner I aspire to be. Let the non-dog owners consider me crazy, I have great dogs because I do the time!

2)      Spoiled rotten dogs. These are dogs that get to the dog park, but don’t have any doggie manners. They can be aggressive or misbehave (like peeing on other people), and their owners really don’t care. The owners take the dogs out to show them off, but don’t put the time into having a great dog. They often leave the dog poo right in the middle of the field. The owners put in a half-asses effort and you get poorly behaved dogs.

3)      Neglected dogs. These are dogs that people get and I often wonder why. These are not dogs that you see at the park because their owners are too busy to take them out. However, occasionally you run into them at the vet clinic or when visiting others. They have not been socialized; they do not get enough exercise; they are left alone most of the day. They are never properly trained and never get to reach their full doggie potential. These ones make me the saddest. (The worst cases of this can equal true abuse, but that is too sad to talk about).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Gemi Agility Highlights

Thinking about going in the tunnel

Stuck in the ring - Gemi you were suppose to jump through it!

Waiting perfectly on the rest table

Patiently waiting her turn

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jump Gemi!

Gemi you are suppose to jump over it and not just stand there!

That's more like it!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Nin is getting love - that is not allowed

I have to get him - he can't get the love

Nin - Stop getting love

That is it Nin, no more love!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


On the weekend, Miss Hailey Bug had the run of the house as Miss Cricket was at the beauty parlour and the Lady and the Man were doing the errands.

Here is what happened:

She knocked the gates off the upstairs. She got the shoes. She put one of my boots in the front hall and one on the couch (and she chewed the laces on both). She put one of Drew’s shoes on the couch, one upstairs.

The biggest mystery is how Bagheera ended up locked inside the bathroom. The door was open when we left and closed when we got home. We can’t imagine that she pulled it closed. Our best guess is that Gheera had enough and somehow closed the door behind him.

We will never know. I guess we need to think about put in surveillance cameras so we know what happens when we are not in the house!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Becoming Canadian

I think it is fair to say that my American puppy has earned the right to be called Canadian - she is adjusting to an Ottawa winter! No longer do cold days prevent us from going out. (lucky me!)

Adjusting to an Ottawa winter is extra challenging because Ottawa winters while can be bitterly cold, the temperature often go up and down like a yoyo. Take this week for example.  Monday morning was +3 C (37 F) and the evening it was -4 C (25 F). This isn’t a huge, jump but Tuesday, a beautiful sunny morning was very, very cold -21 C (-6 F) and with the wind -30 C (-22 F). That is a huge swing (in the wrong direction if you ask me). As a true Canadian winter, by Friday it is suppose to be raining with a temperature of +11 C (52 F).

Despite the bitter temperature that makes your nose hairs freeze, we head to the park. We saw about a half dozen other dogs there yesterday morning (I am not the only crazy one). On these very cold days, our walk is shorter, Lee doesn’t run as much, she does a lot of 3 legged dog, but it calms her down enough to not eat anything while I am out!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gemi Agility – the Bridge Barrier

Gemini Cricket completed her last introduction to agility class on the weekend. She will need to practice (aka repeat the class) before moving forward. She needs to work on her confidence and building speed.

The biggest barrier for Miss Cricket has been bridge. She has been very nervous about this. She started the class unable to go up and down alone. Using shaping procedures, Drew was able to get her to go up and down with a lure of a treat. Everyone in the room (especially the Gemi cheering section that had the Lady, Aunty K and Aunty C) were ecstatic when Miss Crick did the bridge by herself.
Don't make me do it!

Needing a little help to go forward
Doing it on her own!

Happy Valentine's Day

May the day be filled with puppy snuggles and kisses!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snowy Sunday Snuggle

Last weekend it was a 3 pet afternoon (taken from the Australian Aborigines idea of 3 dog night, the number of dogs needed to keep you warm).  It was very challenging to get anything productive done when you are part of a fuzzy snugly pile!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The protector

Miss Hailey Bug may be the younger sister, but she has taken the role of Gemi’s body guard at the park. If another dog is bothering Miss Cricket, Lee comes up and will herd the dog away. What is ironic is that Miss Lee is the first to bark at, nip, and tackle Miss Cricket. I guess she just wants to keep Gemi all to herself.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My spot!

Lee likes to sit on a afghan so much that she is willing to sit like this just to be on it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Higher Education

The family of Miss Hailey Bug is pleased to announce, that despite their trepidation at the beginning, Miss Bug has completed Intermediate Obedience. Significant gains have been made in Miss Bug’s off leash behaviour while her people are in sight. She continues to become stressed when her people leave her sight. Miss Bug also more readily comes when called (as often demonstrated at the dog park), and drastic improvements in her stay have been observed.

Miss Bug plans on taking a short hideous from her formal education. She will use this time to relax and reflect on the significant gains she has made in her behaviour in the five short months she has been with her new pack. She plans to continue to work on her confidence when her people leave her and to generalize her skills to novel handlers (aka dog sitters).

Congratulations Miss Bug and thank you to the excellent (and patient) trainers at Ottawa Canine School.

There is no good reading material in this house!

One day last week when I came home to this.
Miss Bug had pulled the basket out from under the table and taken out the materials out from the bottom of the basket (leaving the books on top of the papers untouched). Apparently the Kincardine Independent
and the city program book is offensive to Lee!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Freakin' Dog

I will not kill her although I want to. For 5 months my shoes have been sitting on a shelf in an open closet. Miss Bad Bug has never ever gone near them. Today, she took 3 pairs from there and I have no idea how she got my boots and put them in the living room. My puppy ate a big piece of my hush puppies (I am too freakin' mad to even take a picture of it). I guess I should be grateful she only ate 1 shoe of the bunch.

I will spend the rest of my evening locking up my shoes . . . I just don't know where I am going to keep them (and I don't even have that many).

Gluttony bowl aka Superbowl

 LeeLee cuddling up with Aunty K and C after eating their weight in treats!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Cost

About 2 months ago I compared the cost having a dying dog and a new puppy. In the first 3 months we hadn’t saved any money per month having a new dog. Things have changed.

Currently Lee is costing us about $50 a month in food.
Puppy school is about $100 a month (and we are almost done with this as our girl is an angel).
 We currently don’t have any major destruction or bad behaviour (I know, it makes the blog boring, but makes my life far more pleasant).

Now, all the pets together don’t cost what it did to keep our beloved Loki alive for a month (just to be clear we would totally pay that $ again if we had to).

Now to determine if having kids would have been a cheaper option.
It is estimated that it will cost about $250 000 to raise one kid to 18.

Our estimates in pets so far (15 years):

Cats food and supplies for 15 years: $18 000
Cat vet costs in 15 years: $4000
Dog food for 15 years: $9 600
Loki vet costs: $25 000
Other vet costs: $2 500
Replacement of stuff destroyed by dogs: $3 000
Misc costs (including city registration, training): $1 500

Total estimated costs for 15 years of pet ownership and 5 different pets: $47 400.

For a savings of: $202 600.
Assuming I am a pet owner for another 20 years - my estimated costs would be around $100 000 - meaning I still would have saved $150 000 (assuming I had one child - $400 000 if I had two)- and I think my quality of life is much better with pets than with children!  Pets can be left alone, are less likely to outlive you, are never ungrateful and never say they hate you, and when all is said and done, you can euthanatize them and not go to jail!

I will stick to pets!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Whatever you do, don't groom me

Loki and Gemi both didn’t (don’t) mind being brushed. We could never cut Lo’s nails, but the groomer could. Both will/would tolerate a bath if they needed it. Both were not shedders.

It is a different world with Miss Bug. First, she is a shedder. (This would be her most tragic flaw, but we are learning to embrace being covered with dog hair. It is black and matches the cat hair). Currently with the cold weather, she is also very dry and has dandruff. This really means she needs to be brushed more often. She loves to be petted and rubbed and you can touch her feet and take things from her mouth without a problem. So imagine our surprise when we discovered Miss Bug was terrified of a brush. We had a standard pet brush with wire bristles. The first time I tried it, she freaked out and jumped off the couch crying like I had just beaten her. We tried pairing this brush with treats, but it didn’t get better.

So being a semi-reasonable person, I thought, maybe it is the bristles that hurt her. Last weekend while at the pet store spending all my hard earned money on pet supplies, I found a Kong brush. This one has rubber bristles. There is no way this would hurt.  We bought it. We brought it home and about the same thing happened, the freaking out, running away, crying.

I looked at where she had been laying on the couch and realized we desperately needed to brush her. The couch was black (and I vacuumed it yesterday).  Desperate times call for desperate measures. I grabbed a handful of Lee’s fav treats and held them in my hand. She came over to me. I gave her one. While she was trying to get the rest of the cookies out of my hand (which I was slowly releasing) I was able to brush her. She didn’t seem to mind. I am hoping if we do this every day it will get easier!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Groundhog Day

I believe the groundhog came out today, saw all the snow and said "What the heck am I doing up so early? It is clearly winter! I am going back to sleep, wake me when it is nicer out!"

Lee chest deep in snow

Lee frolicing in the snow

Lee is it for tag!

Gemi: "I hate winter!"
The girls and I had a fun day on our snow day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oh my!

I wish knew how to post video to this blog.

Imagine the scene. I am chilling on the couch. Gemi is curled up next to me. Nin is laying on the arm of the couch and Lee is beside him. Lee suddenly stands up, stands over Lee and starts humping the air. I think she was trying to hump Nin. LMAO! We have only seen Lee hump a little before – her alligator baby.  

Poor Nin! He has been the victim of much humping. First there was Loki, who humped him like once a day, in a playful manner. After Loki died, Gemi started occasionally humping him. She is far more violent in her humping. Now Lee, with the air humping. Nin at least seems oblivious to all of this. He is a very simple cat!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

If you are not going to take me out

Lee: “If you are not going to take me out and are going to leave me alone all day, I am going to eat the laces from your boots. I am not going to damage the boots, I am just going to chew those laces. That will teach you.”

The Lady: “Well, now that I don’t have laces, I can’t wear my boots and we can’t go to the park.”

Lee: “Oh, I see the flaw with my plan. Damn-it – I thought I was a criminal mastermind. I guess I will have to try and take over the world again tomorrow. Sigh!”