Let The Countdown Begin!

On thursday, we met with the Assistant Director of Nursing at Riverside Glen in Guelph, where Huib will be working. We wanted to clarify some details and get an idea of what their expectations were of Huib before giving them the “Okay”.

After that, we went to Stone Road Mall to work with Rogue a bit before lunch at Swiss Chalet. Rogue was pretty good at keeping a somewhat loose leash while we walked around the mall. She found every door without an issue, located most snow covered curbs on the second attempt and got on and off escalators without a problem. I think she’ll be wearing boots for the first little while on escalators. I want to avoid paw injuries, if possible.

After lunch, we went to see the first of two houses available for rent in guelph. The house was okay. the neighbourhood was a little rough and the house was a bit small, but we felt it would work if needed.

We then returned to the mall for some more training and to purchase some new winter boots for me. My old boots had developed holes, so I bought an Ivory and light grey pair of Columbia brand boots.

We finished at the mall a bit early, so we drove to an old quarry near our former condo building and let Rogue run around for an hour while we walked along behind her. This is probably the first time she’s ever had the chance to run free without one of our other dogs. she was perfect. She played with a border collie mix and checked in with us frequently.

At 4:30 we went to Cambridge to see a house for purchase. The house was okay, but it was too small for our needs. I also didn’t like the fact that you could smell cat urine when you walked into the back portion of the house. It’s possible the people forgot to clean their litter, but it still bothered me. The real estate agent then checked the listings that had just come up and suggested we go into another part of Cambridge to see a different place. We liked the next one. It was a corner lot (which Huib doesn’t like), but it was a good size and it didn’t really require any work. We seriously thought about putting in an offer, but decided to go see the second rental first.

I’m really glad we did, it was amazing! The house is huge. It has four bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. the master bedroom is the same size as the living room, so in addition to Canyon and Rogue’s crates, we’ll be able to have an armchair and futon for Aspen and Cessna to use. They don’t need the furniture, but we’ve got the room, so why not? In addition to the large bedrooms, the backyard is fenced and quite big. It’s about a five minute walk from a grocery store, convenience store and coffee shop, as well as, a half hour to forty-five minute walk to stone road Mall.

We decided to take it, and will move in May 1st.

We would really rather not be paying rent, but the bank wants Huib to be done the probationary period of his new job before they’ll approve us for a mortgage. So, we’ll rent for a year, and then revisit buying a house.

I can’t wait, just 66 more days of living in Northern Ontario!

Please Vacate!

we have a mouse problem.

It seems as though Mickey and his friends have decided to move in.

Laya, our maine coon cross, has been hard at work trying to move them out, but she needed backup.

Logan, our calico, and Branden, my sister’s tuxedo cat, have not been any help. Logan would rather chase spongy balls and sit on our laps. Meanwhile, Branden likes to chase Laya and take over her sleeping spots.

so, we bought some traps.

So far in the past four days, Laya has caught about seven mice and the traps have caught another eight to ten.

I really hope Mickey and his friends start getting the message that they are not welcome.

I have nothing against mice, I’d just rather they lived outside of my home.

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.

Fall In Muskoka

Canyon sits in an over-sized Muskoka chair.  He's looking over to his left.

Cessna sits in the grass with leaves.  You can see the slightly moss covered bedrock rise up behind her.

Rogue stands in a very large Muskoka chair.  The chair is painted white.  She's looking towards the camera and licking her nose.

Aspen stands on a lawn covered in leaves.  You can see a forest in the background.  The trees have mostly yellow and red leaves on them.

Wildlife Candids: Raccoon Edition

Two young raccoons hug an evergreen. The raccoons are one above the other, hanging out most of the way up the tree.

A closer picture of the two raccoons. They are now at the very top of the evergreen.

Since we get an opportunity to see tons of wildlife in action, I thought I would begin sharing our candid shots.

A Rogue Fall

Rogue walks among fallen trees wearing her new, black with teal and white sort of flowers, RC Pets coat.

Rogue stands on a tree stump looking over her right shoulder into the camera.

It’s getting a little chillier these days, so Rogue finds it nicer to explore the outdoors wearing her new winter coat.

Fall Has Begun

Thankfully no one was bear food during this photo shoot.

As Huib was finishing up with Canyon, he happened to look over and saw a young black bear about ten meters away eating berries, so calmly grabbed Canyon’s scruff and stood still until it left.

Just a quick note before I hit publish. I’d love to know who is reading the blog, so could you please leave me a comment to let me know you’re here?

General News

Again, sorry for the lack of blogging everyone. Hopefully this phase will pass soon.

Tomorrow, I will be starting another online course through the University of Guelph.

This will be the third course I have taken with them since moving to Northeastern Ontario.

This semester I have chosen to take Economics of Food Usage, through the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

I’ve never taken a course through this department, but from the course description and list of assignments, I think it should be a good one.

Next…

In just over a week, Rogue will be 17 months old.

Over the past couple of months, we have been trying to proof Rogue’s obedience outside the house, but have run into some difficulties. After some discussion, we’ve decided to try working on basic obedience in the house wearing a leash and her vest. We are beginning to wonder if maybe Rogue is having trouble associating the various obedience commands she knows so well at home with also being able to be done while wearing a leash and her vest. It sounds silly, but from what I’ve learned, dogs are really horrible at generalizing.

Another area which we have been having some troubles, is with Rogue putting on her collar, Easy Walk Harness and vest. Rogue seems to have a big issue with things going over her head, so we have decided to start making everyone wear their collars all the time. I used to have collars on my dogs at all times, but started leaving them off when Canyon was little and would use the collars to drag the other dogs around the house. Then, Rogue almost snapped her neck from falling off the bed when she was around six months of age. It didn’t happen, obviously, but if Huib had not been there when her collar looped itself around our bed post and she lost her balance, I really don’t know what would have become of our little Hurricane.

Now that she is older, and to try and combat the problems with having things go over her head, we have started leaving the collars on everyone. It has been about a month now, and I think it may be helping, but we’ll wait a bit longer to see if she’s really gotten over the problem.

Lately, we have been noticing our little Hurricane maturing. People are starting to see her less as a cute little puppy, and more as a service dog who should not be bothered. We are still encouraging people to approach her and pet, but we have also started truly teaching rogue to stop and wait at curbs, steps and any other sort of surface change I may need to be warned of. Huib and I seem to be on different pages with consistency in this portion of her training, but I am hoping that maybe I can start taking a little more of a role in her public access training – which will in turn, increase consistency.

In addition to learning to stop at surface changes, Rogue is starting to hear some of the directional commands she will need to know for guiding and in time, I hope to start teaching her their meanings in harness.

It’s honestly hard to believe that Cessna was almost fully trained at this age, and would begin working with me in just a month’s time.

I hope to sit down, and start really putting together a solid training plan for Rogue, so that Cessna can retire from service in the spring/summer. I’m just so nervous and worried about doing things wrong, that I guess I’ve really delayed things I probably didn’t have to.

Hmmm, what else have we been up to…

Just over six weeks ago, we went down to Guelph for a few days and took Aspen to see a doggie chiropractor. I honestly never thought I’d ever be taking my dog to a chiropractor, but after seeing how much of a difference the adjustments have made for Aspen, I am definitely a fan.

On Monday, Aspen will go for another treatment and we’ll get to see if the adjustments are sticking long-term or if we will need to continue going on a semi-regular basis (which, if they are helping, then I will do for her lifetime if needed).

I think I’ll stop here, but please come back tomorrow for some Canyon news 🙂

Rogue Swims!

Today was a beautiful day, so we packed the gang into the orlando and headed off to Clear Lake.

Rogue hasn’t been much of a swimmer, choosing to bounce around on the shore while the others retrieved a toy or stick we threw for them.

Two weekends ago, we went to Woofstock in Toronto and bought three life jackets. Today we put one of the life jackets onto Rogue and hoped it might give her a little more confidence – it worked!

She didn’t swim as much as the others, but she swam nonetheless.

Forest Fire

Yesterday, around noon, a fire broke out just north of Kirkland Lake. Within a short period of time, the fire grew, and the Ministry of Natural Resources called in their water bombers.

Northeastern Ontario has seen very little rain over the past few weeks, so the forests are quite dry. As a result, there are currently around two dozen active forest fires.

Huib was working when the Kirkland Lake fire began, so had an opportunity to take some pictures from the windows of the ICU.

**I apologize for the lack of description with these pictures, but I wasn’t sure how to describe them. If anyone can do this, please leave a comment and I’ll transfer your descriptions into the image captions.**

As of the last update I heard two hours ago, the fire has consumed about 3000 hectares of the forest and is still not under control. Three areas on the northern borders of Kirkland lake are still under an evacuation order, and as long as the winds continue to cooperate the town itself is safe. The fire is about 3km outside of town boundaries, but residents have been told to pack and be ready for an evacuation order if the winds do change direction. The water bombers had to stop working on the fire early this afternoon because of a big storm, but will return in the morning to continue dropping water on the area.

We live about 30 minutes drive from Kirkland Lake so unless another fire starts near us, we’re all safe, but I still worry about the fire because Huib works literally beside it – as you can see from the pictures above.