Archives for November 2012

Another Year Older

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 33 years old. I don’t mind getting older, but it still feels odd saying I am in my thirties.

This year Dad took Huib and I for lunch. I had some delicious buffalo style chicken fingers and some fries with gravy. We then walked around the little mall in New Liskeard with Rogue and did a bit of shopping.

For my birthday, Dad got me a ceramic travel mug that is black and has wolves on it, along with the new Serena Ryder album. Then Huib got me: a new Dog Guides hoodie and a blue Dog Guides bandana for Cessna, peach scented body butter, hemp scented hand cream and basil/apricot scented body wash from The Body Shop, some new Christmas patterned socks, a french press from Starbucks (it’s a fancy coffee thing that you can use for making a quick cup of fresh coffee instead of using instant stuff), in addition to two new martingales for Rogue from Silverfoot that have a plastic buckle like a regular nylon collar and a soft style martingale for Canyon that has eagles on it. I know it sounds strange that I included presents for the dogs in my birthday gift wish list, but collars and bandanas are not something the dogs really need, so I have to sort of beg for them lol!

My sister and her boyfriend are coming for the weekend, so I think we’ll probably have another birthday meal and if I’m lucky, maybe she’ll have a gift for me lol!

Books #13 & #14 Of 2012

Boy, I could really get used to reading eBooks with Huib’s iPad.

I’m not sure why, but I really don’t mind listening to Voice Over (the screen reading program on Apple products) read books. By reading this way, I don’t have to wait years to get an opportunity to read newly released books, like I had to with braille.

Since the last time I wrote, I’ve finished two more books and am currently working on another.

“Water For Elephants” by Sara Gruen, was an absolutely amazing book! If you liked “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks, then you’ll love this one. I honestly can’t think of how to write a review on this book that will actually serve it well, so I’ll just direct you to this link.

“A Is For Alibi” by Sue Grafton was another really good book. I actually read this one in one night. “A Is For Alibi” is the first book in Grafton’s Detective Kinsey Millhone series. Kinsey is a private security detective who has been asked to reopen a murder case and discover the identity of the murderer of Nicki Fife’s husband, whom Nicki was accused and convicted of killing.

If I keep reading books this way, I’m going to be able to finish more than a book per month.

12 Years

On Sunday, Huib and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. Twelve years ago, Huib and I began dating.

I remember the day.

Huib had gone to Toronto to see The Barenaked Ladies in concert with his roommate and said he’d come over to watch a movie when they had returned. Around 10pm he arrived and we began watching the movie Far And Away. It stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. We were watching the movie on my little 13 inch television, in my residence room at the University of Guelph. As the movie was ending, Huib leaned over and kissed me. He quickly backed up and just looked at me, worried I might smack him. Well, the only response I could muster, was “Wow” lol!

Since that day, we’ve been inseparable. We hang out with friends together. We shop together. We go hiking and on long walks together. We don’t really do too much without one another really.

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On Sunday, we took the labs to a buffet that has about five different stations to pick food from. When we arrived, there was a live band playing, something new for Rogue. We settled at a table near the back of the restaurant so the dogs weren’t right up close, and Huib began bringing small portions of different items from the buffet for me to try. There was creamy caesar salad, a greek style pasta salad, pork snitzel, roast beef, chicken drumsticks, potatoes done in various ways, gravies of different varieties, a stewy thing, muscles, a cabbage casserole, and tons of desserts and other items we didn’t try. I loved the caesar salad, mashed potatoes with beef gravy, roast beef and white chocolate cheesecake. By the time we had finished eating, I was so stuffed it hurt to breathe! I have never eaten so much in my life and can honestly say it will never happen again.

Rogue wasn’t too sure of the music at first. She kept getting up and trying to get from under the table. Since she loves food, we started giving her treats, along with a bit of cheese from the buffet for extra motivation to stay down. I wouldn’t say she was totally comfortable with the music by the end, but she was at least tolerating it and I think with more practice, she’ll be able to fully tolerate it like Cessna does. I don’t often take my dogs to loud music venues, but sometimes I do and they need to learn to at least tolerate the experience.

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It’s hard to believe 12 years have already passed since the day you asked me out Huib, but they have been the happiest twelve years of my life and I cannot wait to see what the next twelve have in store for us.

Orangeville Show: Not The Judge’s Type

On the final day of showing, Canyon did well. He was a little hyper before entering the ring and Huib was a bit worried, but once they were in, Canyon seemed to settle right into doing his job. He stacked well, he walked nicely and he never once tried to sit, but he still ended up getting last place out of three, when competing for Winner’s Dog.

The dog who won, had a bit of a longer coat and was fuller in the chest, tail and hocks areas. Huib felt that the dog really did deserve to win, but that if it were any other judge, he probably would have ended up last. He was being shown by a professional handler, but he just wasn’t showing as nicely as the rest in the group. Even the other professional handler was shocked to learn that the dog would be getting first.

As a side note. Before they entered the ring, we were sitting on a bench beside the other dogs lining up to go in. Canyon was quite interested in the other dogs and took a particular liking in one of the female pointers. We learned she was in season lol! Well, about three minutes before Huib and Canyon were to enter the ring, the show leash snapped! Huib grabbed his wallet and ran to one of the vendors at the show who sold show collars and leashes and got back with a minute to spare. He said he had been thinking the day before that we should probably have a back up leash lol!

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Huib took a picture of the leash, and e-mailed it to the woman who made it. She has asked us to send the leash to her and she’ll fix it right away 🙂

Orangeville Show: Canyon…Don’t Sit…

Today was day two of three at the Caledon Kennel Association’s conformation dog show.

My friend Amy showed Canyon today, and we’re not sure why, but Canyon decided it was a good idea to keep sitting whenever they stopped moving. For those who do not know, sitting in the show ring is frowned upon. It is not a disqualification, but if the other dog is similar to your dog, then your dog will almost definitely end up last because of their sitting.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll have better luck…

On another note, both Canyon and Rogue passed their Canine Good Neighbour tests. The CGN is the Canadian Kennel Club’s equivalent to the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test.

We were a little shocked at hearing they both passed, but in their defence, they were both really well-behaved, so I’m not really surprised lol!

the tester had me walk around with each of them (one at a time). We did figure eights, left turns, right turns, full circles, etc. She had us stop and talk to her while she casually pet our dog, then she had us touch different areas (in their mouth, their paws, their back ends) and run a comb along their back a few times. Then she had several people come into the area and pretend they were a crowd so we could maneuver through the people. Then we had to have them in either a sit or down stay while we went to the end of their leash and then called them to us. We had to also put them into a down or sit stay and walk away and then call them to us. She had a random dog owner come in and walk their dog around while we just stood in the middle with ours and then she had a child come and bounce around us to see what the dogs would do. Then she had us show her that we could keep our dogs under control going through a door, having them sit and wait until we called them through. Finally, she had someone hold our dog’s leash and we had to leave the area and hide for a set amount of time and then return. Huib was my guide and I first did the test with Rogue and then with Canyon. Other then going to the end of their leash once in a while, at which point I’d stop and wait for them to return to my side, they really didn’t do anything unusual.

Now we work towards doing their novice rally-obedience or novice obedience title.

Orangeville Show: All Stacked

Canyon and Amy wait for the judge to come do his examination. Canyon stands with his hind legs straight, his front legs are straight underneath him and his head slightly out in front of him to show off his neck and top line. Amy kneels beside him trying to position his tail so it shows off his feathering better.

Orangeville Show: Still Not White Enough

In a previous post, I mentioned that we had entered Canyon into the Caledon Kennel Association’s conformation dog show in Orangeville.

Today was the first of three days.

There were ten males and about nine females entered today. Canyon was the only male entered into the Canadian Bred category, so he was immediately awarded first place lol! He then went on to compete for Winner’s Dog. He competed with two other males and we don’t truly know what he ended up with because of a mix-up in communication between the judge and Huib, but we do know he didn’t get first place, so he wouldn’t have gone on to compete anymore today.

Like our last three shows, Canyon was the darkest male of them all. I don’t truly understand why the white/cream coloured golden retrievers keep winning, when that is not a golden, but they do and it’s kind of frustrating.

Tomorrow we have a different judge, and my friend Amy is taking a turn at showing Canyon, so we’ll see how he does.

13 Reasons I’m Jealous Of Our Dogs

Some days, I sure do wish I could be my dogs…

If they want something, they just have to go over to someone, without feeling guilty, and the person immediately gets up to help them out.

They don’t have to worry about getting the mail and paying the bills.

They can walk around outside barefoot, even when it’s cold and snowy.

They can decide to take a nap at any time and in any place, without someone worrying that something is wrong.

They don’t have to worry about what they are going to wear to a dinner party.

They find an empty water bottle amusing and can entertain themselves for hours with the simplest of objects.

If they need to go to the bathroom, they don’t have to worry about where the closest toilet is located, and whether they will contract a horrible disease using it.

People smile and make comments about how cute they are while we’re walking down the street – Am I not cute?

If one of them is impolite, I am the one who gets blamed.

Dropping a dirty, slobbery sock into someone’s lap is considered not only acceptable, but cute!

They can bark, and tell people how they truly feel about them, but I must smile and keep quiet.

They never have to get bad news.

No one tries to tell them they should act differently or make changes in their life.

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Huib says: They get to spend more time with Brooke than I do.

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Our dogs sure do live a stress-free life!

Can we trade for just one day Guys?

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This entry was inspired by this post.

Books 9, 10, 11 & 12 Of 2012

I have now finished four more books.

For my class, I was assigned to read “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser. “Fast Food Nation”, as I’m sure you can guess from the title, is a book about the fast food culture. I won’t say too much, but if you love fast food and/or just want to read a well-documented account of the industry, then I completely recommend you read this book.

Upon finishing, I felt both grossed out and intrigued by the rise of fast food and the success of the various key players.

The next three books I read go together: “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. Let me start by saying, I loved these books! I understand that some people find them hard to read and others can’t even stomach the content, but I personally loved the books and wish Larsson had lived longer in order to write more books. His writing style is different, but for some reason, I find such styles attractive. I started the trilogy just over a week ago and whenever I had the chance, I got out Huib’s iPad and read for as long as possible.

Lisbeth Salander is an anti-social, introvert who likes nothing more than to spend hours skimming mathematical textbooks and learning as much as she possibly can about others in order to keep herself safe. As a young girl, she was locked up for two years in a psychiatric institution and then released under guardianship. No one understood this quiet young woman and assumed that she was mentally unstable. Throughout the trilogy you learn more about Lisbeth and her abilities and you watch people try to break through her personal walls of stone. In between all of the drama Lisbeth experiences, she helps a journalist, Michael Blomkvist, with an assignment to investigate the disappearance of a young girl, decades earlier. Then, in the second and third books, it is Blomkvist’s turn to help Salander.

If you’re looking for something different to read, I recommend all four of these books.

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Before I hit publish, I wanted to ask everyone to please take a moment and vote for Canyon in the Modern Dog Holiday Hounds Photo Contest. You just need to click here, and “like” his picture. Then, if you feel up to it, ask your friends and followers on your blog, Facebook and/or Twitter to do the same. Canyon thanks everyone for their help. The contest ends on December 17th, so I’ll be posting reminders here as I post new entries.

Wildlife Candids: Beaver Edition

A beaver swims towards the shore to get a tree that is waiting.  You can see it's head, back and part of it's tail slightly above the water.

Huib took this picture on his way to work. This lake is directly behind the hospital and provides the town of Kirkland Lake with water.