Merry Christmas!!

Hi All, it’s Cessna here. I wanted to take over the laptop to send you all a seasons greetings and also to tell everyone how spoiled we were by Santa Paws.

First things first…

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of our friends and blog followers! We hope Santa Paws was as good to you as he was to us, and also that you were blessed with a white Christmas (if you wanted one).

For Christmas this year, Santa Paws decided to bring us joint presents, instead of individual ones. I think this was a good idea because then Canyon doesn’t have to steal our gifts, he can just hoard them all BOL!

So the first really cool thing, in my opinion anyways, that Santa paws brought us is from Nothing Added. It’s a Christmas Box full of yummy dehydrated treats! Some of the things we got in it are: beef tripe, duck feet, beef liver, anchovies, Alaskan Pollock, chicken feet, beef trachea, and many other things that I cannot remember.

And guess what else?

Some new toys!!!

Santa Paws brought us a corduroy moose that makes a honking noise and has squeakers in each of his limbs, a squeaky donkey, a squeaky frog, a squeaky pig and a red JW Pets ball.

Oh, and before I go, Santa Paws also brought the cats each a large package of Temptations treats. Logan got beef flavour, Laya dairy and Branden (Aunty Brandi’s cat) received turkey flavour.

All of us at ruled by paws, hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season.

Kisses and Tail Wags,

Cessna

Our Oakville Trip

As I’m sure everyone has figured out from my earlier posts, we went away for a few days with the dogs.

Our first stop was in Etobicoke to visit with Phoenix’s foster family. Alice and Ray are in their mid-late eighties, so we really try to see them every trip we make south. This visit was quite good. Alice seems to be getting a bit of memory loss, but overall her health is good and Ray seems to also be well.

We had originally planned to stay in guelph with our friends Kelly and Ace, but recently they had a new addition join their family, so we ended up staying with friends in Oakville.

Della and Kelsey live with two female black labs, Hasia and Betty, and three black cats, Tess, Steel and BK. Hasia is a former breeding dog for The Lions Foundation of Canada dog Guides, and Betty was fully trained and just days from being placed with a blind person, when she decided she’d had enough and wanted to go home.

It was a lot of fun to stay with them. Our dogs got along fabulously with one another, and Hasia made herself comfortable with Huib and I at nighttime. Thankfully Della has a queen sized bed because otherwise it would have been almost impossible to sleep with Hasia, Rogue and Cessna insisting on snuggling for the night.

We didn’t really do much on Saturday and sunday after the shows, but Monday we took the labs to Hamilton to get some new McMaster University gear – a black hooded sweatshirt for me, and a black baseball cap and navy blue and grey rugby shirt for Huib. I was hoping to find some dog related gear, but it looks like this year they didn’t make any. After picking out our new clothing, we walked over to Williams Coffee Pub and I got a vanilla bean latte, while Huib got his signature black coffee.

while walking around the university campus and sitting at Williams, I really started thinking about how amazing Rogue is doing and that I had better get moving on her training, because she is definitely ready to go.

Monday evening we headed into Guelph to run a few errands, and then took Aspen for her second Chiropractic adjustment. Dr Leslie was quite impressed with how well Aspen’s first adjustment had held, and said that she only found a couple new areas and did a bit of maintenance work.

Tuesday morning we packed our bags and loaded everyone back into the Orlando. We stopped in Mississauga to grab a couple cases of chicken backs from the Maple Lodge Farms Factory, and then stopped in Barrie to get supplements and stuff at Costco.

Since it was a beautiful day, and because we had no reason to rush home, we stopped at Arrowhead Provincial Park so the dogs could swim. The dogs had a blast. Canyon, Cessna and Aspen swam for over an hour, fetching their new bright blue Jolly ball, and green neoprene turtle. Rogue wore her red life jacket and swam a bit, but mostly bounced around the shoreline, greeting everyone and their dogs that came to the water’s edge. Her favourite, by far, was a male German short Haired Pointer. they played together so well, but the owners weren’t interested in just staying by the water, they had their dogs follow them along the shoreline while Rogue watched. then When her friend returned, she was ecstatic, but it was short lived, because the owners climbed back onto their bikes and headed back to their camp site – poor Roagie!

The rest of our drive home was quiet and uneventful. The dogs were thoroughly exhausted and, I think, really happy to finally see their beds and toys.

Canyon’s Angry Bird

Today Huib and I went shopping with Rogue. Cessna wanted to stay home, so we did some public access work with the little Hurricane. She didn’t really have a great outing, but I did manage to find a really cool toy for Canyon. At the Staples Business Depot, they had a clearance section filled with various odds and ends. It sounds like a funny place to find a toy, but they had some plush Angry Birds’ toys that make the sounds as well when squeezed.

Canyon really likes balls, stuffed toys and things that make strange sounds, so a plush Angry Birds’ toy that makes noises was perfect.

Tis The Season For Shopping

Over the past week, we’ve had the opportunity to get Cessna and rogue out shopping. Cessna isn’t the most excited shopper, but Rogue is always enthusiastic about seeing new places and to meet new people.

Rogue’s shyness and odd reactions to people seems to have resolved itself – which is a relief! She was startled briefly by a man’s suit jacket – it sort of moved weird above her head – and by a tablecloth – it swished unexpectedly – but after a few minutes of Huib showing it to her, she was no longer showing any nervousness.

Here are a couple of pictures from our day in Timmins.

We haven’t really gotten too much of our Christmas shopping done yet. Every time we go somewhere, we always seem to end up buying more things for ourselves than for others. In Timmins Huib bought me two polar fleece sweaters for my birthday and I bought a really, really cute brown corduroy stuffed reindeer for Canyon and pink corduroy rabbit for Rogue. Huggle-Hound makes these really cute corduroy animals that squeak, crinkle, grunt and have dangly limbs for shaking. Aspen really likes soft stuffies so we got her a little gingerbread woman that squeaks and Cessna likes toys she can tug and shake, so we got her a rubber ball thing that has long nylon ribbons that go through it. In addition to these things, we got a few other toys that were on sale at Costco and Pet Smart to put into their stockings, but we haven’t decided who will get what yet lol! I have also put together a list to order from Pet Edge because I want to get Cessna and Rogue a Premiere Easy Walk Harness like canyon has and they are like half the price through the website, compared to what we will pay in a store here. of course there are toys on the list as well, since it just wouldn’t be right to order only two items lol!

Huib has some more time off coming up, so hopefully we’ll get a little more shopping for others done then.

National Guide Dog Month – Poor Dog…

This is harder than I thought it would be. It’s tough to think of topics to write about each day of the month. I’m only on like day four, and am already beginning to wonder if it is even worth my time. I like educating people about service dogs and dispelling some of the myths surrounding what the public thinks a service dog should be, but it’s really hard to think about what I should write that isn’t written somewhere else already.

If you have any questions for me or about service dogs in general please post them in the comments section and I’ll gladly take a moment to write about them.

So…now….what to write about today….

“Poor dog…”

The above comment is one I hear almost every day. It seems as though people think Cessna works day and night. It’s like they think she’s my slave.

In reality, Cessna works only in public places. And on average works less than 20 hours in a week.

Yes, there are weeks when I may need her to work more, but these are very rare. During those weeks, I spoil her with tasty treats and make sure to maximize the fun-factor during her “time off”.

Most days, Cessna is a couch potato.

She loves to get as much sleep as possible, even on days when she’s done nothing at all, you’ll be sure to find her curled up on our queen-sized pillow top mattress or sprawled out in the middle of the couch.

When she isn’t sleeping, Cessna loves to chase squirrels, birds, chipmunks and even Canyon when he’s retrieving a ball. I know guide dogs aren’t “supposed” to be chasing small critters, but Cessna isn’t your “typical” guide dog.

Cessna isn’t afraid to tell me when she needs a day off either. If she sees me getting ready to go somewhere, she’ll watch intently and if she isn’t in the mood, then I will usually find her pretending to nap on the bed. This is honestly a welcome change from the days I worked with Phoenix, because even if I wanted to leave him home, it just wasn’t going to happen.

Maybe there are service dogs out there who work non-stop, but this is definitely not Cessna.

Most times I will just ignore someone who makes the comment “poor dog…”, but on the rare occasion I have been known to stop and ask the commenter a few questions.

Me: “do you have a dog?”

Joe Public: “Yes.

Me: “May I ask where he or she is?”

Joe Public: “At home.”

Me: “Poor dog.”

Joe Public: “What do you mean?”

Me: “I feel bad for your dog having to sit home alone, while Cessna is out with me having a great time.”

At this point, the person usually just gives me a strange look (why do people give blind people dirty looks?) and walks away.

But, there are those, who will continue on trying to argue that their dogs are much happier than Cessna because they are not expected to “work all the time”.

At this point, I will usually ask them what they think she does, when we’re at home.

This usually makes them think a moment, and I will continue on my way because I’m not interested in listening any more.

In an earlier post, I wrote about an article I had read regarding PETA and their feelings surrounding service dogs.

There are other interesting comments I’ve heard during my public excursions with Cessna, but I’ll keep those for future posting.

Fun In the Sun

Red Labrador Retrievers reunion.

Cessna is really hard to take pictures of, so we rarely get any good ones to post.

Canyon sure does like that toy!

Canyon, Cessna and Rogue joined Huib and I in Waterloo.

Even the old guy wanted in on the summer fun.

Still a Mommy’s Boy.

This was a really neat picture Huib got.

The Birthday Girl

Today Aspen turns eight. It’s hard to believe that our golden princess is already considered a senior by some standards. She has always been really laid back and calm, but over the past couple of years, we’ve noticed her coat becoming lighter. It seems as though she has white or silver streaks throughout her coat. It looks really nice with her lighter coat colour, but it also makes us sad because the difference signifies her aging.

For her special day, we first shared our Kraft Dinner. Then she got to lick out the spaghetti sauce pan. And now, we’re baking some mini vanilla cupcakes for both her and Canyon, that are also gluten free so Phoenix can also have some. We’re making the cupcakes for both Canyon and Aspen because we didn’t get a chance to celebrate his 2nd birthday earlier in the month.

These cupcakes are actually from a gluten free mix we bought a month ago in the clearance section of the grocery store.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, we got her some new fleece material stuffies that squeak. There’s a monkey, a giraffe and a tiger, that have the fleece braided into a rope style for a body and then regular stuffie heads and limbs.

Happy 8th Birthday Aspen!!

You’ve been with us through the good times and the bad. You’ve made us smile when everyone else just causes pain. You’ve given us a reason to laugh daily. And you’ve been a loyal friend to Phoenix.

Thank you Aspen for being you.

We look forward to many more years of smiles and laughter.

Our Silverfoot Order

Today, the new collars, leashes and watch band I ordered from Silverfoot arrived.

In addition to the collars, I bought leashes to match the top and bottom collar, along with a watch band for me with the same pattern as the bottom one.

Fun With Dad

On Monday, Huib took Cessna and the goldens for a swim and hike. I had a migraine and Phoenix had already done a lot so I felt the trip would be too much for both of us.

Here’s what we missed

Canyon found a giant stick in the lake and of course, couldn’t leave it…

Aspen thinks Canyon should share.

Huib finally gets one of the dogs to pose on the rocks for a photo.

Here’s a cool action shot of Canyon shaking water off his coat.

Canyon is such a photogenic boy!

Summer’s Almost Here…

Yesterday the dogs had their first trip of the summer to the lake.

Here’s some pictures from our adventure.

Canyon didn’t seem to remember that he could jump off the dock with the girls.

Canyon takes a moment to pose for us.

Huib decided to take a picture of me.

After half an hour of swimming, the dogs pose on the dock.

After the swim, we decided to go for a bit of a hike through the bush.

Canyon found a stick…

Don’t forget Appy!

Doesn’t this one look like a picture for a puzzle?

Here’s a few other shots we took of the goldens.

Doesn’t Aspen look intelligent here?

Canyon found a better stick…