Am I Weird?

Today, Phoenix is officially fourteen and a half!

Am I weird to celebrate such a milestone???

A friend of mine thinks I am, but then he always seems to think I do strange things with my dogs. He thinks it’s strange that I host birthday parties for them and that I even fill their stockings at Christmas.

What do you think??

In my opinion…

I think having Phoenix reach fourteen and a half is a real milestone to celebrate!

He had such a rough time at Christmas, but rose “from the ashes”, a really fun way of describing it – seeing as his name is Phoenix, right?

I feel that every day he’s still with us is a day worth celebrating, but that would get a little expensive so why not just celebrate every six months, right??

Well, Huib doesn’t think I’m crazy (I sure do love that guy!), so we’re going to order Phoenix a new collar from Silverfoot and make him some gluten free cupcakes again to share with his canine buddies. Since he’s working all weekend though, I think we’ll do it on Monday, so maybe Dawsen can come join in on the fun as well.

Happy fourteen And A Half Birthday Phoenix!!

You’ve changed my life in ways you’ll never know and I will cherish every day you choose to stay and walk along beside me.

Another Fundraiser

Hi Everyone!
It’s Cessna and Phoenix here. Mom is a little busy so, we offered to take over and let you all know about a fundraising project our friends over at Dog’s Eye view are undertaking.

Jack is from Guide Dogs of America, so L^2 has decided to begin their fundraising project for their upcoming 6 month anniversary. If you’d like some more information about the project you can also visit this post. Both Phoenix and I are not from Guide Dogs of America, but think it is important to help out friends when possible. If you’d like to help L^2 and Jack with their project, please visit the links we’ve provided for instructions on how to donate.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Phoenix thinks we should tell you all about the wonderful toys Mommy and Daddy bought us and all about the treats they made.

On Tuesday Daddy came home from work with a big box – I don’t remember there being toys at his work…guess they were hiding them on me! When Mommy opened the box, there were some really fun things: a Galileo Bone, a Nylabone Double Action Revolving Chew, a liver flavor Nylabone, a lime green Tough By Nature Good Cuz, a lot of squeaky Air Kong Tennis Balls,a yellow stuffed duck and white stuffed lamb that honk, an orange and black JW Arachnoid Ball and two new Kong Wobblers that Mommy says is for Aiden and Reece. Canyon really likes the JW Arachnoid Ball and Air Kong Tennis Balls, Aspen likes the yellow duck and Phoenix says he is a little too old to be playing with all that, but finds it fun to grab one and tease canyon – I actually like doing the same thing!!

Then this weekend we got even more surprises! Mommy and Daddy made us new cookies to share. They made some shrimp ones for me by grinding the leftover tails and shells into a paste to mix with some spelt flour and then made some banana/cinnamon ones for the goldens . Then for Phoenix, Daddy made some more dehydrated veggies – turnip, sweet potato and a really weird purple one.

Well that’s all for now, but Phoenix and I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you will try and help our friends sponsor a puppy.

Lots of Labrador kisses and tail wags,

Cessna and Phoenix

2011 Winter Fun!!

We finally found our camera and got a chance to load the pictures onto my laptop so here they are!

My friend’s 12 year old son came to visit for a couple weeks at Christmas and enjoyed using Aspen as his pillow for sleeping.

Caleb thought Canyon might want to share his crate, but he was wrong lol!

Here’s a couple pictures from my two night stay at the timmins & District Hospital. I was lucky to have my sister and Huib stay with me, so Cessna didn’t have to leave. she was such a good girl, sleeping on my bed in the Emergency Department the whole time.

Here’s a couple of pictures from our walks down the road near our house that only has someone living at the very end. The trail where these pictures were taken is a snowmobile trail just past the house.

the rest of the pictures are ones taken behind our house as we walk towards the lake which is about a 3-5 minute walk from our back door.

We were beginning to wonder where all the trees were going that had been cut down by beavers. the chunks of wood they leave behind are absolutely huge!

I wonder if they realize it’s the lake they’re standing on…

We Were Spoiled!

Hi there everyone…it’s Cessna here. Mommy said I could use her laptop for a bit to tell you all about what her and Santa brought us. We had a very good Christmas this year and in my opinion were quite spoiled!

I got –
• a purple bowling pin shaped Kong Genius
• a red Kong wubba
• a large orange Zanie’s Ripstop training dummy (for retrieving while swimming)
• an eggplant from the Zanies Giggling Veggies group of toys
• a purple Jolly ball (which Daddy is going to attach a rope to, so I can swing it around)
• a package of rollover training treats
• a Skinneez bear that holds a plastic water bottle
• a package of Bison treats and
• a little tennis ball on a red rope

Picture of Cessna’s presents in a pile.

Phoenix got –
• a red tube shaped Kong Genius (the vet told Mommy he can eat hard treats now)
• a red Kong dental stick (so Mommy can put peanut butter or Kong stuffing on it)
• 2 pig skin rolls
• A package of Northern Biscuit treats (wild trout flavor)
• A package of Performatin treats (salmon and rice flavor)
• A fuzzy fleece blanket that has a horse on it and
• A medium roll of chicken and veggie flavor deli Fresh

Canyon got –
• A blue bee hive shape toy with holes in either end for filling with peanut butter or cookies
• An Air Kong spinner
• An Air Kong dumbbell
• A green Tough By Nature Chompion (looks like a rubber dumbbell that you can put kibble sized treats into the ends and has knubs for massaging the gums)
• A Nylabone wishbone
• A Nylabone Durachews Plus
• A green pepper from the Zanies Giggling Veggies group of toys
• A stuffed bone that has different coloured rings to remove
• a red stuffed soccer ball that squeaks
• two tennis balls on a blue rope
• a bull’s winky and
• a package of Rollover training treats

Picture of Canyon’s presents in a pile.

Aspen got –
• a brown stuffed bear that makes a honking sound
• a stuffed turtle that squeaks
• a blue stuffed rhinoceros that squeaks
• a purple stuffed elephant that squeaks
• a tomato from the Zanies Giggling Veggies group of toys
• a brown stuffed lion that squeaks
• a red rubber ball that squeaks
• an Air Kong football and
• a bull’s winky

Picture of Zanies Giggling Veggies – a red tomato, a green pepper and a purple eggplant all with smiling faces & limbs.

As you can see we were pretty lucky dogs! Our cousin Dawsen is visiting for the weekend so we haven’t gotten a chance to play with too many of our toys, but he leaves tomorrow morning and that’s when the fun will begin. By the way, he was also pretty spoiled by Mommy, santa and Auntie.

Phoenix’s Birthday

Cupcakes are ready!

Doesn’t she have a cute little nose?

Cessna sure wants one of those cupcakes…

Happy 14th Birthday Phoenix!!

Watch you don’t burn your nose on the candles…

Good thing we have Auntie Brandi to blow those candles out for you…

Look at those poor dogs behind bars.

Sadly we forgot to take a picture of the pepperoni pizza he shared with his buddies – it was gone before we thought about it. But, we’ll try and remember to post pictures after Cessna’s birthday.

A Milestone

I decided to look up the name Phoenix and see what Google came up with. It is amazing to see how many different meanings there are for Phoenix. Here are a few I’d like to share.

Phoenix is the state capital and largest city in south central Arizona. It was formerly a desert, but with the help of irrigation has become a thriving agricultural area.

A mythical sacred firebird that was thought to burn itself to death and rise from the ashes as a new Phoenix. According to many legends there was only one Phoenix living at one time and it was reborn about every 500 years.

A minor constellation in the southern hemosphere. It is named after the mythical bird and is very faint with only two stars within the constellation that are brighter than magnitude 5.0.

There are several other not so interesting meanings of Phoenix, but seeing the above definitions has made me even more aware of how special my floppy-faced yellow Labrador retriever is.

Now it’s my turn to give my definition of “Phoenix”. Phoenix is an intelligent, independent-minded, devious yellow lab who is full of love and will forever be a part of me. Our 12 years together have created many memories that will be forever etched in my mind. From the second week of being together Phoenix showed me a friendship and loyalty that I could only dream of finding in a human. He has always made sure to let me know when I am being unreasonable or selfish and to this day continues to give me his unconditional love.

In a week Phoenix will turn 14 years old!! This is a milestone I want to celebrate as best I can. To start off the day we will give him a little extra food with some roast beef drippings. Then we’ll make pumpkin spice cookies for him to share with his friends – Cessna, Aspen & Canyon. I’m sure he would rather eat them all on his own, but I will explain to him that he has to share, since they give him some on their birthdays. Huib has to work nights so we’ll have an early dinner with my sister and step-dad coming to help celebrate Phoenix’s birthday. We’re going to make pizza, Phoenix’s absolute favourite. One will be gluten-free with various veggies, apple and pepperoni – this one of course is for the dogs  The second will be for us, so won’t include the apple and will probably have more toppings. We’ll finish our early dinner with some cupcakes, the dog ones being gluten-free with peanut butter icing. I think Phoenix will thoroughly enjoy his birthday and I know for sure the others will too.

Thank you Phoenix for allowing me to share the last 12 years with you. You have taught me the true meaning of friendship and how important it is to live life to the fullest. I hope we get to spend at least another great year together, but just in case you need to leave me sooner, I’ll make sure to cherish every minute we have left.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

An Eventful Visit

Off to Kirkland Lake again…

Stopped on the way for a forest fire…

Moose just minutes from town…

Swimming & playing at the Quarry with our friends Jess & Glacier.

An end to a wonderful week (Guelph Penitentiary grounds).

Santa Paws Has Come & Gone


Our house was full of excitement on Christmas morning, not with the excited screaming of children, but with the happy curiosity of five dogs waiting patiently to see what was in their stockings. Over the past month Huib and I have done a lot of shopping for them all, filling their stockings with toys, treats and other things we knew they would enjoy. With this being our first and only Christmas with Aiden we made sure to spoil him and to make it a memorable day for us all.

We got each dog to lie on a red blanket with their full stocking in front of them for a picture and then emptied it in front of them for another. Each dog was very interested in what their stocking contained and each dog found at least one thing inside that they wanted to check out immediately.

Aiden’s stocking contained: 2 stuffed toys that squeak (a person wearing a santa hat that said naughty on one side & nice on the other; an organge monkey with a santa hat), 3 ginger snap cookies, a bone filled with beef rollover, and a new Frisbee for the summer. He was of course interested in the treats, but after having one he took the orange moneky and ran down the hall squeaking it as he went.

Cessna’s stocking contained: a naughty or nice person (same as Aiden), a small orca whale that she can play with in the water, a treat dispenser called a chill pill, a small football, 2 cinnamon bun cookies, a package of snausages, and a stuffed frog that squeaks and has rope arms and legs. She was most interested in the cinnamon bun cookie and ran off to the bedroom to eat one when she was done.

Phoenix’s stocking wasn’t as full as the others, but he was given a new bed for Christmas and absolutely loves stealing the toys from the other dogs so we weren’t as concerned. This year his stocking contained a new treat ball (he now has 4 different ones) and a stuffed turtle that squeaks and wears a santa hat. Of course being his usual food motivated self he was eager to have us fill his ball and was off pushing it up and down the hallway with the others not far behind.

Libertie’s stocking contained: a stuffed bear wearing a santa hat, 3 ginger snap cookies, a brown leather collar, a rope toy, a squeaky tennis ball, and a bone filled with turkey rollover. She quickly ate a ginger snap cookie and then took her teddy to show her brother. Sadly teddy lost his nose within only five minutes, but she still loves to play with him just as much.

Aspen’s stocking contained: a brown leather collar, a knuckle bone, a rubber toy called a Little Devil that you can put treats into, a blue stuffed penguin that squeaks and wears a santa hat, a stuffed duck that also squeaks, and 3 ginger snap cookies. She swallowed 2 of the ginger snaps whole and then went off with her Little Devil.

All in all our dogs were spoiled. Some were given a little more than others, but in the end it all seems to even itself out as they all share and all get a variety of things throughout the year. Just looking at the money I spend each year on my dogs for Christmas makes me wonder what I will be like when I have children to spoil as well.

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Last weekend Huib and I took Cessna, Aspen and Aiden camping with my sister Brandi, my friend Karen, my cousin Dakota, and his friend Blair. Overall it was a beautiful weekend, it sprinkled a bit when we first arrived in Huntsville and then sprinkled a bit on Sunday before we left. The weather was warm, but not too hot…great weather for just hanging outdoors and wonderful sleeping weather at night.
Brandi, Huib, the dogs and I all left Guelph around noon and had a nice leisurely four hour drive up to Huntsville. The traffic was pretty light for a Friday afternoon, except of course on the 401 between Mississauga and the 400 cutoff. With our air conditioning not working that great it was nice to be driving on a somewhat cool day for the summer (21 or so). Brandi and the girls sat in the back while Aiden sat at my feet in the front. We drive a Cavalier so it was sort of squishy and at times we weren’t so sure the car was going to make the trip…who would have thought 3 people, 3 dogs and a car full of camping stuff would be too much for a car. Once in Huntsville we met up with Karen and headed to the camp site to drop off stuff before heading into town for some groceries.

Dakota and Blair arrived about an hour or so after us and we helped one another put up the tents. Once the site was all set up we piled into the cars and headed to Walmart, yes, Huntsville does have a Walmart. Since it was sort of moist and we weren’t sure how long it would take to build a proper fire we picked up pizza before heading back to our camp site. The pizza was great and the fire didn’t take overly long to start. After eating we all sat around the fire and chatted, meanwhile Cessna began pawing at the tent to be let in…it was only 9:30pm and we had only been there for a total of 2 hours by that point. Huib let her in and she fell asleep only coming out to pee before the rest of us headed in for the night.

Saturday was beautiful, lots of sun and not too much humidity. After eating eggs and bacon on english muffins we got ready for a trip to the water falls. Brandi, Karen, and I all thought Dakota and Huib knew where we were going so we followed along, but after about 15 minutes of walking we quickly began to realize that they had absolutely no clue. Dakota finally suggested that we take a different direction and we finally arrived at the water falls, after only walking 20 minutes or more…it should have only taken 5! It was rough terrain walking to the falls, quite rocky and lots of tree roots sticking through the ground. Karen did a great job guiding me, but I was happy to take Huib’s arm once we got closer to the falls and the terrain became not only rocky, but sort of clif-like. We had thought the dogs could play in the falls, but we were quite mistaken, the waler was moving quickly and the dogs would have surely been washed away or pulled under. After sitting for a bit we decided to head back to the camp site and have some lunch.

In the afternoon we took the dogs to the pet exercise area and they finally got in their swim. Cessna and Aspen had a great time fetching the hockey ball while Aiden jumped around on the shore. He swam a bit more than the last time he went swimming, but was still more comfortable when he had four paws on solid ground. The black flies were awful near the wate, but we still had a fun couple of hours playing with the dogs. Aspen even met another golden named Meghan. Meghan is 11 years old, but like Phoenix (at 11 ½) still has tons of energy to swim and enjoy herself outdoors.

In the evening we made some hamburgers and sat around the fire chatting and eating marshmallows and spider weenies. By 5:30pm or so Cessna was back in the tent and only came out twice the whole night; once to check out the hot dogs we were eating and another time to go pee before bed. She is really not a camping dog, she loves to be outdoors for hours, but also likes the comforts of home and her bed. She was pretty happy Sunday morning when we began packing the cars up because she knew that home was coming soon. I guess the biggest event of that day was at night when Aiden peed on me! He had been lying by my chair the entire night and hadn’t moved to relieve himself, so when he jumped up to let me know he had to go, he landed on his bladder and it began to flow.

On Monday we picked Phoenix up from his foster family. He stayed with them for four days while we were camping. He has a lot of environmental allergies and doesn’t understand that he is no longer a puppy…therefore, instead of fighting with him to relax or to stay out of the water and dirt we decided it would be best for him to visit his grandma and grandpa. Ray and Alice are in their early 80s and not too active these days so we know Phoenix will be treated well and given tons of opportunity to relax and be himself. When we arrived he was so excited to see me, he wiggled from his nose to the end of his tail. He had had a wonderful time with them and had been spoiled! He has a way of convincing them to give him treats whenever they sit down or even look at him. He loves his grandma and grandpa, but he also loves to be wherever the action is, so with all the walking from here to there around the house he had begun to limp. We had forgotten to send some Aspirin with him, but gave him some when we arrived Monday afternoon so he had a comfortable drive home. He has had a relaxing week at home now and is back to himself with no more limping.

What Weather!

The past two weeks have been mixed with days of beautiful sun and days of nasty humidity and stormy weather. On the less pleasurable days we have spent time working on indoor skills with Aiden like leash manners and not sniffing the floor as we walk through the mall. During these days Cessna usually sits by my side patiently waiting for Aiden to figure out what is being asked of him, but some days she sees that we are taking him and decides that she wants to stay home. I guess she gets frustrated with all the repetitiveness and standing around.
On the more sunny and sometimes humidy days we have gotten into the habit of packing up a picnic and heading off to a local conservation area with the dogs. They love to swim and romp around together like lunatics. I guess they too need their time to just let it all loose. On Monday of this week we ordered some Swiss Chalet and headed off to Shade’s Mills Conservation Area in Cambridge. The dogs had a blast running in and out of the water and at times running off to greet another dog and their owner. Cessna and Aspen spent most of their time chasing a ball in the water, while Aiden and Phoenix spent their time sniffing here and there, trying to find something interesting to get into. We were lucky to catch Aiden each time he found something, but weren’t so lucky with Phoenix who decided it was a good idea to eat a dehydrated dead bird’s head. Lucky for him the bird hadn’t died of something awful because it seemed to have no ill effects on his stomach or health. Aiden seemed to enjoy the water a bit more this time, I’m not sure if it was the fact that I’d put Cessna’s life jacket on him or if he has begun to understand the fun of swimming. He still spent a lot of time on the shore though, attacking the girls for the ball as they approached. He is such a boy, more into the wrestling than into the game itself.
We spent Wednesday in Toronto visiting my friend Lynette and her GDB dog DeeDee. DeeDee is such a cutie, so small and mismatched in looks. She is not only allergic to cats, but also has an under bite and her eyes are two different shades of brown. She seems to be settling well into her new life with Lynette, but there are still some issues they need to work through, but who doesn’t have those when they first come home. We spent a lot of our time at doctor’s appointments, but also got a chance to walk around the Eaton’s Centre and walk to Mountain Equipment Co-op, a cool hiking and camping store. While there we tried out some self-inflating mats and Aiden made sure to get in some kisses while we were at his level. I am really looking forward to our camping trip next weekend. Phoenix will be going to stay with his foster family, while Aiden, Aspen, Cessna, Huib and I head up to Huntsville to go camping at Arrowhead Provincial Park with my cousin, sister and a good friend. Even though it will be a small group, I am sure we will still have loads of fun.

I guess the most eventful thing which has happened this week is that my sister’s cat, Branden, has decided that he likes to play fetch with Cessna. He will bring his spongy ball to Brandi (sister) and run after it with Cessna. It is funny to see Cessna running down the hall with a small spongy cat ball in her mouth and Branden sitting at the end of the hall wondering when it will be his turn to catch the ball. I think by the time Brandi and him move back to Huntsville he will be best friends with the dogs.

“Dogs are miracles with paws.”