Road Trip


Aiden arrived home last Friday around 1:30pm and immediately settled back into his normal routine. We never really realized how much we actually missed having him around until we spent a few hours alone. He is such a wonderful little guy, so full of personality and love. He follows me everywhere and has such focus when we are out. The first evening was spent on a puppy outing to Conestoga Mall where him and Reece met up with Amber and Honey. All of the puppies were well behaved and Aiden showed off his maturity and improved heeling abilities. The following day we hosted a puppy social. We had about ten dogs in attendance and all got along except this little black lab (Jasper) who decided it was a good idea to mount everyone!! He had a huge crush on my friend Jess’s guide dog Glacier, poor guy took it well though.

Sunday morning we got everyone packed into the rental and set off for Lindsay where we picked up my uncle. Cessna and Aiden slept in the back of the SUV while we chatted about the scenery and how excited we were to be looking at houses soon. Our first stop was in Bracebridge for some snacks and coffee. While at the Walmart my sister and Aiden got a picture done with Sponge Bob who had stopped there on his across Canada tour. Aiden did well, just sat beside him and allowed us to get a good picture. Our next stop was in North Bay for a pee break and some more coffee. I never realized North Bay was as big as it is. Aiden and Cessna loved the treats and pepperoni sticks they got throughout the drive, but weren’t overly happy being stuck in the back while we sat up front. Whenever we stopped somewhere Cessna would jump into the seats or Aiden would bat my sister in the head because he was bored. When we finally arrived in Kirkland Lake the dogs were excited to finally get out and be able to release some energy in the hotel room. Aiden had fun jumping from bed to bed while Cessna rolled around on the floor excited to be able to move around and get some belly rubs.

The house we looked at in town was nice. It needs a little more work than the sellers tried to say, but overall it was exactly what we wanted. The dogs did not come in with us as the woman who was still there at the time had a little dog so we didn’t feel it was right to bring ours into its territory. After the viewing we went to dinner at a restaurant not far from the house. The dogs had some water and then settled under the table for a bit of a nap. It was so nice having the two of them with us. Our other three are also great dogs, but often need more care or require special attention. I think they will like their new home though – it has lots of space and a fully fenced back and front yard. After dinner we returned to the hotel and played a bit of fetch with the dogs before getting ready to watch a movie. Both Cessna and Aiden curled up on the bed with my sister and I while Huib and my uncle had the entire bed to themselves. The following day my uncle and I packed up the room while Huib and my sister went to their perspective appointments. We had some lunch at the same restaurant and then set off to look at a house in the country about 30 minutes drive from town. The house was a 5-bedroom log home on 40 acres of land. The property was absolutely gorgeous, but the house needs tons more work than we can afford at the moment. In order to even live in it a great deal of work would need to be done so we just asked the real estate woman to keep us informed about any changes in price. It would be a great place to buy for the land and as a pet project for Huib to fix up over an extended amount of time. We let Aiden and Cessna run around a bit on the property before we put them back into the vehicle to begin the long journey to Deerhurst Resort.

The drive was beautiful, except for a bit of rain. The scenery along the roads are so nice to look at and the traffic was pretty light the entire drive. We saw a spot in the road where there had been a rock slide, another spot where a truck had lost its load of logs, and then about 10 deer in two different fields. When we were about 30 minutes or so from Huntsville there was a large truck which decided it was a good idea to hug the bumper of our car. Huib tried to speed up a bit and get the truck away, but the driver was persistent until my sister and Huib began taking pictures. We arrived at the resort around 8:00pm and immediately upon arrival the dogs began to run and play together in our suite. We had reserved a 2-bedrom suite for the night so the dogs had tons of room to play with one another. It was funny to see that Aiden still had his love for the tub because as soon as I entered the bathroom he followed and jumped right into the Jacuzzi tub to check it out. We got some good pictures of him in it and even got one of my sister sitting with both Aiden and Cessna.

The following morning Huib and I took the dogs for a bit of a walk around the resort and got some good pictures. Around 1:00pm we packed everything back into the car and headed off to Lindsay to drop off my uncle. The drive was quiet and we only stopped once to get some coffee and have a pee break. After dropping my uncle off we started the drive back home. We stopped at my aunt’s place to see if she was home, but no one was there so we continued on to Toronto. In the city we picked up Reece from another foster family and then went home. It was so great to finally get home and see Phoenix. He had stayed with our neighbour and was absolutely beside himself with excitement when we arrived.

We picked Aspen up at her breeder’s place Wednesday evening and were happy to see her again. It had been almost a week since we had dropped her off, but we knew she was happy there so weren’t too worried about the length of time. She was not overly happy at first when we arrived, but then after a few minutes began jumping up and making her whining noises. We let the other dogs out of the car to greet her and then everyone (Aspen being the second) jumped back into the car to head home. I think Aspen was really excited to see them all, her breeder has two dogs (Aspen’s dad & another retired stud) but they are older so not as into playing with her. She did get a chance though to play with her half sister Moose, who came to visit for a bit while her family was at work.

Aiden will be staying with us until Tuesday. We got an e-mail from his trainer when we arrived home to see if we wanted to keep him longer – of course we said yes!

Training Session In London


Last Saturday Reece (10 weeks – 16lbs) and I went to London with another foster mom and her puppy for a puppy training session. We arrived at White Oaks Mall around 10:00am (who decides on these insane times?) and met several new foster families, as well as, some I hadn’t seen in a while. Reece was good overall, especially considering his age and considering there were over 10 puppies he didn’t know. He walked well on the leash, still bounces like a bunny, but is no longer refusing to walk. He did his “sit” well and settled for a nap under the table after the session while we ate lunch.

My aunt and cousin came to the mall to see us, they just live 5 minutes or so away. It was nice to see them, but the best part of the whole trip was that I got to see Aiden!! He is maturing so much and listened amazingly well. He has always been a good boy, but I just saw the maturity shining through which made me smile. I passed Reece on to another foster mom and spent the entire 3 hours with Aiden. He was so excited to see me, I was squatting to teach Reece to lie down when he arrived and I was completely knocked on my ass. He gave me tons of kisses and I was just as excited, giving him all the hugs I could possibly give him before asking for a“down”. He was so focused on me the entire session and so willing to do whatever I asked of him. When our visit was over though he was happy to get back into his trainer’s van. This made me sad at first, but later it made me smile because I knew I had done well and that he was enjoying his time in training. I think what made it easiest though was knowing that he would be coming home in less than a week and that we would get to spend a few days together again.

Aiden will arrive tomorrow around noon and we will get to keep him until our return from Kirkland Lake on Tuesday. We have tons of exciting things planned while he is here. On Saturday we are hosting a puppy social for raisers and families of service dogs, then on Sunday morning we are heading to Kirkland Lake for a day to look at houses and get a tour of their hospital. Then we will head to Deerhurst Resort on Monday afternoon and spend the night there, as well as, part of the following day. I think it will be nice to just have Aiden and Cessna with us, it will be such a break not having to worry about the other three. Aspen left for her breeder’s house this morning and Reece will be going to stay with a fellow puppy raiser on Saturday after the social. Phoenix will stay with our neighbour and our cats will stay home as they aren’t the traveling types.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings –

Reece Update


This Saturday Reece turned 9 weeks. He is settling in well and becoming quite confident with himself and his surroundings. He no longer walks around the house whining and will bark at the other dogs if they do not want to play with him. We have taken him to a couple of restaurants, grocery stores and the farmers market in St. Jacob’s. He did pretty well, but was a little nervous of the crowds at the market and of a little girl who was running down the aisle at the grocery store screaming. When he is nervous, he will just sit and look at us so we pick him up and move on.

This week we have focused mostly on building his confidence, teaching him his name, and on learning to walk on the leash. He has begun to understand the concept of following his leash and has even begun to learn the command “sit”. I am not sure he knows exactly what “sit” means, but when I ask him he will often sit and then he gets a treat. By the end of this week I think he will have a good understanding of “sit” and hopefully will have begun to learn “down”.

Reece is nothing like Aiden was. He has quite the little personality and determination to do what he wants. When we tell him “no” he will stop and look at us and then return to what he was doing. He makes sure to let us know that he isn’t happy with something and will make a huge fuss when one of the other dogs tell him off. I think Reece is going to be a bit of a challenge, but also be a lot of fun to raise. Aiden was the perfect puppy for us to raise as our first, but Reece will make sure to keep us on our toes.

No real updates as of today on how Aidy is doing, but then sometimes no news is good news. Hopefully we will get to see him in just under two weeks and if we are lucky, we might even get to have him for a few days.

Reece Has Arrived!


Our new foster puppy has arrived. Reece is an 8 week old male chocolate lab who was born on December 20th. He is a dark chocolate with a white spot on his chest and white flecks on his chin and paws. He has grayish blue eyes and weighs almost 12lbs. We picked him up on Saturday from his breeder and he has been settling in well. We had a rough first couple of days with his constant whining and screaming in the crate, but today he seems to be much less anxious. He now walks around the place with confidence and has decided that our golden, Aspen, is his surrogate mother. He climbs all over her and pulls at her fur, but she doesn’t care unless he uses his little puppy teeth too much. I think she likes having him around because he is small and plays a lot more gently than Phoenix and Cessna. Phoenix tolerates him unless he is in his face too much, but Cessna stays away, letting out little growls when he comes near. I think she worries about hurting him so keeps him away, but once he gets bigger I know she will become his primary playmate as Aspen will back off.

Aiden has now been gone for just over a week and his trainer says he is settling in well. We had hoped to see him this coming weekend, but will have to wait another week or so because his trainer is out of town and won’t be at the training session this weekend.