Monday, August 31, 2015

Mischief Monday - Silly Boy!

Zaphod has 2 mischief stories today.

Too cute for mischief!
The first, he was a little bad. He left the yard again when outside with the Man. A van was driving down the road with a person sitting on the trailer (they are carting wood from one lot on our private road to another). Phod wanted to visit and ran. The Man yelled at him a lot and put him in the house.
Because of these increased running away incidents, a tie out has been purchased for Phod. He will still get some off leash time to play ball and frisbee, but when there are extra people around he will not have that freedom.

The second occurred at bath time. Phod has been really smelly this summer, so he had to have another bath. Lady tried to lift his 75 lbs into the tub, but she couldn't do it. Man came in and said "Phody in the tub" and he hopped right in. Lady was not impressed.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lady's Birthday Adventure - Part 10

Today is the final chapter in my Icelandic Adventure. I hope you have all enjoyed it. I have really enjoyed sharing it.

Today we are going back to the beginning, not the beginning of the trip but the beginning of Iceland and the Vikings. The Vikings were the first settlers to Iceland. There is some evidence to suggest some Irish monks spent some time in the country before the Vikings arrived, but they never stayed. The Vikings began arriving around 870 and for 60 years they settled Iceland.  The Vikings remained the 'rulers' of Iceland until around 1200 when other Scandinavian countries kings began to rule. Iceland only became an independent republic in 1944.

Interesting aside: When the Vikings came to Iceland they brought their Celtic slaves. Of all the Scandinavian countries today's Icelanders are the least genetically Scandinavian. They are a good mix of Scandinavian and Celtic.

Icelanders began to record the history of the early settlement period in the 10th and/or 11th century in what is called the Sagas. When listening to them at museums and reading about them, I could see  these stories are a mix  historical fact and "embellishments." I for one, have trouble believe a character in the Sagas grandfather was really a werewolf. It is my plan download the Sagas to my kindle and read them because they are so interesting!

One of our first stops was the Hotel Viking, home to the biggest Viking festival in the world. What is a Viking festival you ask? To us it seemed to be a place where people from all over the world dressed up as Vikings and had a market to sell Viking inspired arts and crafts.

Odin, the Norse God
As overly safety focused Canadians we were amused that at the festival children were given shields and swords and fought each other like Vikings. The kids loved it. The adults loved it and no one got hurt!

While we didn't dress up at the Viking festival, we did have fun at the national museum.

On my birthday, we took a pit stop to the Viking Cafe.

Here we indulged in $8 hot chocolate (the best I have ever had to be honest).

And we got to visit a movie set that was a replica Viking village.

The Norse mythology lives on, not only with 60% of Icelanders believing in fairies but in other ways, like your friendly street trolls!

The Vikings were the first Europeans to visit North America. Around 1004 Snorri Thorfinnsson became the first "white" person born in North America. His mother Gudrid was a great explore and gave birth in 'Vinland' (either Newfoundland or New England). Gudrid was an amazing woman who outlived several husbands, is credited with completing 22 voyages and apparently met the Pope. When Columbus was preparing for his trip to the new world, the legend says he went to Iceland to learn about the Vikings. He was shocked to find out that women had been exploring!

Snorri's grave

The Viking/Norse influence is everywhere in Iceland. This is just a sample of it. Thanks again for sharing my adventure! Please feel free to leave questions, I will answer them! 

Friday, August 28, 2015

FFHT - A Conversation About Our Problem

Thanks to our pals Murphy and Stanley for organizing this.

Hailey: Lady we have a problem.

Lady: What is it Lee?

Phod: It isn't me, is it? I am trying so hard to be good. I just want you to love me and keep me forever.

Hailey: Phod, they have put up with my shenanigans for nearly 5 years, you are safe bud. No, the problem is it is FFHT and we haven't got a post.

Lady: You said you wanted to do it this time, so what is the problem?

Hailey: I have to write about something embarrassing and I don't get embarrassed.

Phod: Me neither, I get ashamed and not embarrassed.

Hailey: Besides, anything that might have been embarrassing you have told. Yes everyone, I like to lick my butt. I like to eat poop. I fart when I stretch. These are just part of who I am.   Hmmmm, maybe there is something embarrassing about Lady.

Phod: Lady is great and perfect and we don't want to upset her because we want to live with her forever.

Lady: I think Phod has some great points there Hail.

Hailey: Let's see lately . . . . well you didn't get organized enough to get us in the demolition derby, but that is more annoying than embarrassing. Hmmmmm, I can't think of anything. Phod are you sure you can't think of anything?

Phod: No. I have nothing.

Hailey: Well I don't know what we are going to do, our post has to have the phrase "It would be really embarrassing if everyone knew"  and we have nothing.  Our post won't count!

Lady: Ummm, LeeLee, you just used the phrase. I think it is ok.

Hailey: How embarrassing, I didn't notice.

Phod: Can we play ball now?

Hey everyone, we have an announcement. September 4 is Hailey's 5th Gotcha Day and September 8th is our 5 year Blogiversary. Be sure to come by to celebrate with us!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hailey and her Meds Update

Today is the 27th day Hailey has been on her meds.

Side effects:
-The second week we saw a serious decrease in her appetite, which is exactly the opposite of what should happen. I emailed our vet and he said to ride it out if we could. I went out and bought some "junk food" to put a tiny bit into her normal food to see if that would encourage her to eat. It did and she is now eating slightly less, but closer to normal. She is eating probably 2 cups instead of 2.5 cups. (compared to less than a cup during the non-eating week).
-No others

This is the most important. What we have noticed is that while she still gets upset by the same things, she is able to cope better. She just takes a baby and hides. We don't get the frantic behaviour. No obsessive barking. No destruction.

Because of this we will do another month.

Thank you for your suggestions/support from our last update. Blogville rocks!

Murphy and Stanley suggested to save money, getting her prescription filled at Costco. That is a great idea, however, Costco is a bit of a pain to get to from our house and we tend to go only every 4-6 weeks. If we aren't organized it could be an issue. Our local drugstore is on the way to the grocery store which we go to almost every week. We will stick with it there for now. Sometimes convenience trumps saving a few dollars!

Lily and Edward suggested working with a behaviourist. Several years ago we did explore that. She wasn't a good fit for us. Her main idea was to medicate Hailey first. She gave a few suggestions, which we worked on. Overall, we didn't find it helpful and she cost a lot of money. It was $500 for the initial visit. There isn't really another option in our area, so we will do our best without professional help.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Saturday Outdoor Fun by Zaphod

Friends, as we are sure you all have already heard, Easy's Dad had a horrible accident and his family could use some POTP. You can leave comments/check for updates at Easy's Blog Here.
Dear pals,

I write this from prison as I am in the doghouse again for taking myself for a walk. Technically, while I ran down the road, I was on our property when the Lady spied me. I was just 2 acres from the house chasing something she couldn't see.  The benefit to this is it has given me time to reflect on the perfect Saturday we had.

The real fun started after a big nap. Lady likes to nap on Saturday, so I was treated to 3 hours of her sleeping. She is much easier to guard when she is sleeping. Then we went and sat on the front porch for an hour. The best part of this hour was that Lady brushed me for about 30 minutes of it. I love, love, love to be brushed!
A little bit of the hair that was brushed out

After dinner (which I will forgive was 25 minutes late as breakfast was 1.5 hours late - as we slept in), the Man and Lady took us for a walk to our favourite street. Remember the Man with the stick from last week? It is a walking stick and we saw him again. The first time we saw him, I was friendly and nice. Later when we passed them again Lady and I were further behind the Man and Hailey. I felt the need to protect the Lady and became a bit fierce with my barking. The Man and Lady explained to stick Man that it was because of the stick. If that wasn't enough excitement our neighbourhood horses were itching themselves on the fence by the road and I really wanted to play with them. I was much better behaved then Hailey was about them and got to walk ahead.

After our walk, the people started to build a fire. Hailey, was a scaredy cat and had to go in, but I stayed outside with my people and kept them safe. When it was time to go in, I came over and told Lady by nudging her. I knew to wait until she was done her marshmallow.

Enjoying the fire from a safe distance

Overall, I think Saturday was the best day. I got to do a lot of my favourite things and spend a lot of time with my people.

Hope you had a special Saturday too!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Mischief Monday - A Tiny Scare

First, the dogs think I should win the mischief of the week award in our house because I didn't pull out the camera and take a million new pictures of them for the blog this week. The temperature (which is much cooler now) and the stress of work (it is a work in progress, we are moving forward) left me with little energy and spirit. This week will hopefully be much better.

However, I say the mischief of the week goes to Ms. Hailey Bug. I got up Saturday morning at 6:45 to take the pups out. While Hailey did a poop, she did not pee. This is highly unusual for our girl. I wondered if she had peed in the house as I had heard her up before I got up. Couldn't find anything. She ate and drank. We kept taking her out, hoping she would pee. We decided if she hadn't peed by Sunday morning we would take her to the vet because she didn't seem to be in any distress. Finally, about 12 hours after her last pee, she had a big pee and we celebrated. She got 6 cookies for being such a good girl!

My best guess is that since it has been so hot, she just got a little dehydrated. She has been back to her normal peeing self.

I always find it a little stressful when one of my pets changes his/her habits. It always causes that moment of panic.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lady's Birthday Adventure Part 9

Today is the second last post in our Icelandic adventure. I hope you have enjoyed it.

Last week Madi asked, "How many pictures did you take?"  The answer is not 87 million, it is 1998. For me that is not too many in 10 days. I love photography, but I am working on not just seeing the world through the lens of my camera.

Easy asked if the tiny blue dot by the cave was the Man. Yep, it was. It was one heck of a cave. Easy also asked if we could say the names of the places we visited. No we couldn't. We sort of made up our own names or waited for the GPS to say them.

Today we are leaving nature and going into where we started our trip, in and around Reykjavik. About 200,000 of the 325, 000 island residents live in this area. For the island, it is a big city. It was a clean city, but I didn't fall in love with it. I fell in love with the country away from the city.

Here are a few of the highlights from this area:

A sign we could read

The cemetery. I love visiting cemeteries, especially in other countries. It shows how death is viewed

At the harbour

One of the statues in a statue garden

Because the name Loki always makes me smile

Outside Hallgrimskirkja Church

The organist in the church

The organ

The city from above

More looking down

In the botanical gardens

A dance with a handsome stranger! 

This little museum that every book etc. said should be open but wasn't! It made us laugh a lot
As you can see, I didn't take nearly as many pictures in the city. In part, many museums didn't allow any pictures and in part because I didn't pick Iceland for the Reykjavik. I picked it for all the nature.

Next week will be my last post on this trip. We will go back to maybe where we should have started, with the Vikings. Because without them, there would be no Iceland.

Friday, August 21, 2015


First the Man thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. He got a birthday adventure last year when we went on a Mediterranean cruise. This year he got to go to a museum, Costco and out for lunch and dinner.

Secondly, it has been a rough week here in rural Quebec. Our friends from very hot places are going to laugh at us because we are going to complain that it is too hot. We have been having a heat wave and temperatures have in the 30s C/90s F, but with the 100% humidity so it has felt like the 40sC/100sF. We know for many of you this isn't a big deal, but a couple things to remember. 1) We don't have a/c so our house feels like 26C/80F with a heavy air. 2) We live in a place with extreme temperatures. We just survived the coldest winter on record with 2 months in the -30sC/-22F. Swinging from -30 to + 30 is a hard change. 

We have had some rain, but while it is enough to keep us from the lake, it hasn't cooled anything down. We are hoping as you read this the cold front will have come through and things will be cooler here. 

We haven't been up to much. We still walk, we still eat, and we try hard to sleep. But none of us are getting enough of that. On top of all of this Lady has had a really crappy work week and is now re-evaluating her entire life (except us, she says we are perfect). 

Here is a blast from the past to help us think of cooler times. We will be complaining about this soon enough!

Hope everyone is surviving their weather, whatever it is! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Old Habits Die Hard

Our house has been cat free for 7 weeks now.  The biggest change is we get to sleep in on the weekend. The dogs aren't up as early without our Nin alarm. I admit I don't really miss it many mornings.

We were cat "owners" for 20 years and 11 days. In that time I clearly developed some strong habits/routines about the cats. In the past few weeks I have found myself almost writing cat litter on the grocery list when I noticed it was on sale at the grocery store (it was a really good sale). Over the weekend, when as I was walking to the laundry room with a huge load of laundry I thought to myself "I must remember to scoop the litter while I am down here."  I had to laugh out loud both times because I neither need to buy litter nor scope it.

I miss my cats and I miss having cats.  I do occasionally get the urge to bring a new one home, but I know it is not the time. We want to travel more (and that is hard enough with the pups). The idea of a kitten is not appealing and the stress over trying to introduce a new cat to Hailey and Zaphod is intense. So for the time being, we will be cat free and maybe, just maybe, I will get over my litter obsession.

Angels Bagheera and Cinder

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mischief Monday - Doing My Job - By Zaphod

Dear friends,

As you know I am a very friendly guy. I love people and I want my people to be happy. However, sometimes I have to do my job and protect them.

It is summer here and people walk on our private road a lot more than the rest of the year. I break the rules and run onto the road to say hi. I startle the people, but I am usually quiet and good and come right back after my hello.

But on Friday, I had to be a little more serious. I heard people and I ran off to say hi. Then, I had to do something unusual, I barked. I barked at these people. I still came back when Lady called me, but I had to bark a lot. You see my friends, a Lady and a Man who were walking down my road were not people I know. He was a Man walking with a stick. I learned as a young lad, that sticks can be a threat and I just needed to protect my Lady and Hailey who were in the yard. I did come back but when the people passed the drive way, I had to run down and bark again. I stopped right at the edge of the driveway (ok one step over) but told them to stay way.

Lady said the people were nice. They stopped and smiled and waved. When I came back I had to go into the house. I wasn't allowed to get my precious ball I had dropped during the protecting (I found it later). There has been "training" since this incident. I maintain I did my job. The Man with the stick didn't come near my Lady. I kept her safe.

What do you think?

Guarding Lady on her lawn chair

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Lady's Birthday Adventure Part 8

Today is all about rocks. I wish I had paid more attention in my geology elective in university to know more about them. Because I didn't know too much, and I didn't learn a lot about the specific rock formations in Iceland, this is mostly a picture post.

The one thing that struck me about Iceland was not only the number of rocks (my joke is, if you don't like sheep, waterfalls or rocks, don't go to Iceland), but the different rock formations.  However it all works, it is really neat to see so many different rock formations in a small area.

Here are some of my favourites:
Black Beach - clearly beach weather

If you look closely you can see the Man - That is how big this was! 

People often mistake this for a pipe organ, but it is naturally occurring! 

Puffin Rock - home to thousands of puffins

We have spent a lot of time on the nature in our trip. As we come close to the end of my adventures, we are going to look at sights in the big city next week!