Huntsville to Chatham And Everywhere In Between

Last week Huib and I took the dogs to southwestern Ontario. I had my final examination for my Business and Consumer Law course, and Canyon had his third conformation event. My sister is still in a bit of a “my life sucks and everyone should feel sorry for me” mood, so instead of staying at her place Wednesday night, Huib and I decided to leave early Thursday and just quickly stop in to check on Dad.

After eating lunch with Dad and letting the dogs drink some water and stretch their legs, we got back into the Expedition and made our way to Guelph. On the way, my aunt called to see what our plans were for Friday night and informed me of the true facts surrounding my sister’s new mood and odd behaviour. I was under the impression that she was just going through her usual “poor me” phase because of not being able to find regular paid employment, but it looks as though it is more emotional and disceittful. My sister had been dating a guy around February who was not a good person. According to my Dad, he’s lazy, immature and has an explosive temper. My sister can be lazy and also has quite the temper, but we were all happy when she said that the relationship was over and asked us to have Dad come stay with us for a bit. Well, it looks as though this was not the case, or at least not the case for more than a few days because now I’ve learned that she has been lying to us and that she is still dating this guy. I have no issue with the fact that she chooses to date a guy who is not good for her, I don’t support the relationship, but I won’t tell her who she can or cannot date, but I do have an issue with her treating us like crap and lying to us, while continuing to request assistance financially. I’m not sure what will end up happening there, but I do know that we won’t be helping her out and that she will be finding new living arrangements.

In guelph, we stayed with our friends kelly, Ace and Archie. Kelly made a wonderful dinner for us and was an amazing hostess as usual. I love visiting her and her boys (Ace is a 3 year old male black lab & Archie is a 9 year old male orange and white tabby). Ace makes me laugh because he loves wrestling with Rogue and thinks all of the girls (Cessna, Aspen & Rogue) appreciate him mounting them, even though they tell him otherwise.

On Friday morning we woke up early to get Canyon ready for his show, and me ready for my exam. Huib dropped Cessna and I off at the University of Guelph and then took Rogue and Canyon to Chatham. Cessna and I spent most of the morning in the University Centre because I didn’t feel overly comfortable with walking around the campus with her. Even though I attended the University of Guelph with Phoenix for five years, I find my sight to be less since my troubles in January of 2011 so find it difficult to navigate even familiar places. So, Cessna slept while I drank a Starbucks latte, surfed the internet and did a bit of studying. Around lunchtime I decided to take Cessna out for a bit of fresh air and thought we’d see if we could find the hot dog vendor who has been a fixture on the campus since Phoenix and I were students there. I had Cessna walk along a path and then asked her to go along another one that I knew led to the hot dog guy. We never ended up finding him, but she did point out another service dog or puppy in training and got a chance to relieve herself before we returned to the University Centre. After eating a sub, I packed up Cessna and my stuff so we could head to the library where I was scheduled to do my examination. We found the building without too much trouble – Cessna needs to learn to walk in straight lines – and almost made it to the room where I had to sign in, but got a little turned around. Thankfully a nice woman saw us and offered to help me find the room. My exam went okay. I left the exam feeling as though it could have been good or bad, which is often a good sign since I tend to do horribly if I think it went amazingly well or amazingly horrible. After the exam my proctor (the woman who read my exam and filled out the answer sheet) offered to walk with me to Second Cup where I was meeting my aunt’s guy friend. Along the way, we let Cessna run a bit and had a good chat about her own pet dog, a 3 year old female australian shepherd. At Second Cup, she helped me get a drink and then offered to stay and wait for my aunt’s friend but I didn’t know for sure when he’d arrive so told her I’d be okay and got my computer out for company. My aunt’s friend arrived an hour and a bit later and we headed to London where I met up with Huib, Canyon and Rogue.

On Saturday we woke up somewhat early to head back to Chatham for the final day of showing. I was so glad to be able to attend with them because I got to see my friend Amy and her one year old female dalmatian who was also showing. Unfortunately Waverley did about as well as Canyon did, so it was sort of a crappy weekend for everyone. After both Canyon and Waverley had shown, Huib and I started the drive back to Guelph where Aspen was staying with kelly. On our way we stopped at a grocery store and bought some turkey, duck and pork for the dogs (we feed raw) since it was an awesome price, and then stopped at Ren’s Pet Depot in Kitchener to pick up Kelly’s house keyes. of course, we also picked up a few new toys for the dogs – a long pink monkey with brown hands, feet, tail and face that squeaks and is somewhat stretchy, as well as, a squeaky penguin and squirrel – and a new winter coat for Rogue since the RC Pets brand jackets were on for 40% off. We ended up getting her a coat that is grey with teal and white clover leaf like designs on it. She can wear Phoenix’s red one still, but I also wanted one that matched her teal training vest and one that she could wear outside while Cessna wore Phoenix’s red one when it was really chilly. When we got back to kelly’s house, Aspen and Ace were really excited to see us all. Huib took both Ace and Aspen for a quick walk and then we got ready to go for dinner with Kelly (who was going to be home from work soon).

On Sunday, Huib and I left Guelph just before noon to head back home. The Expedition’s bearings were making some odd sounds, so we wanted to start out early enough and take it slow so we got home safely. We stopped in Huntsville to see Dad and let the dogs stretch their legs and then continued our drive. About twenty minutes north of North Bay the Expedition started making a really loud clunking sound and Huib started to panic. he knew it wasn’t going to be good and he wasn’t looking forward to the cost to fix things. We pulled over and called CAA to come tow the truck to New Liskeard. When the tow truck driver arrived, he told us that he could only allow the labs into his truck because he felt there wasn’t enough room for the four dogs and because they were service dogs (Rogue is in training) he wasn’t going to refuse them. I was so angry! I couldn’t imagine leaving my goldens alone in the truck while we were safe in the tow truck. The driver wouldn’t change his mind though so I refused to talk to both him and Huib the entire ride, worrying about how the goldens would be affected. The driver was nice though, he made sure the Expedition was totally secured and stopped a couple of times during the drive to make sure the dogs were okay – of course, both Aspen and Canyon were true to their breed description and could have cared less about the arrangements. Rogue slept in my lap the entire drive in the tow truck and Cessna fell asleep at my feet after the first hour of driving. Cessna is a bit of a stress ball when it comes to loud noises and bumps while driving, which are both problems with trucks so it took her quite a while to settle. In new Liskeard our landlord met us at the Ford dealership and drove us all home.

It looks as though the Expedition has seen it’s last drive south with us. The mechanic at the dealership says something with the drive shaft is detached so it will cost over $2000 to fix and that doesn’t even repair the bearings or replace the muffler, so Huib and I have decided to get something new. We did some research and shopped around a bit on Monday and tuesday.

As long as all goes well, we should be picking up our brand new 2012 Chevy Orlando early next week 🙂

Pawty Time!

Today is Hurricane Rogue’s 1st birthday!

It is so hard to believe that our little caramel monster is already a year old. Even though we haven’t had her an entire year, it seems as though she’s been a part of our lives forever. She is definitely maturing, but she’s also a little party animal 😉

Since we were heading to Southwestern Ontario for the weekend, Huib and I decided to give Rogue her birthday toy early – a pink bunny that you can put a plastic water bottle into. As soon as I handed her the toy, she ran around the house like a fool, shaking and tossing the bunny around. Unfortunately though, Canyon also felt the bunny should be his, so as soon as she stopped running around, he went over and stole it from her mouth. In addition to the pink bunny, we got Rogue a new collar and leash that is a light grass green and different blue colours in a sort of hawaiian pattern (I think) and a big pillow bed for her kennel – both of which she has had for about a month. Then, because our little caramel monster is a coffee lover, we got some chicory root and made some coffee flavoured treats for her to enjoy. We weren’t sure how the cookies would turn out, but during and after baking, they smelled quite deliciously coffeeish.

Today I have a final examination for my Business & Consumer Law course, so Rogue is gone to Chatham with Canyon and Huib. I’m sure she’ll have a good time with them and I know she’ll be spoiled.

Happy 1st Birthday my little Hurricane, may you have a day to remember. You have brought so much love and laughter into our lives, that I don’t know if I could ever imagine life without you.

Before I sign off, I’d also like to wish Ruby, Snickers, Josie, Cody, “Flower” and “cole” a very, very Happy 1st Birthday!

Whirlwind Travelers

Last week, as you all may have guessed, we packed up the dogs and headed to Southwestern Ontario.

Our first stop was Huntsville where we stayed Thursday night and spent some time with my step-dad. My sister had to work, so Huib and I took her a coffee and visited for a few minutes with her, but otherwise we didn’t really get a chance to see her much.

Friday morning we packed up the Expedition once more, and headed towards Windsor, making stops in Etobicoke to see Phoenix’s foster family and Guelph to drop off Aspen with Kelly and pick up Canyon’s new show leash. Phoenix’s foster family are doing well. Ray is still getting the occasional chemo treatment for the bladder cancer the doctors found over a year ago, but otherwise they are healthy and happy. In Guelph we did a little shopping at Ren’s because we had forgotten to get some smelly treats for Huib to use with Canyon in the ring and the dogs always need a new toy, right? The treats we chose this time were wild rabbit flavor ones by Zuke’s. Canyon absolutely loved them and we were able to get a larger bag, so have enough leftover for the Chatham show. After picking up the treats and a little stuffed bunny that squeaks, we drove to Kelly’s house and had some pizza and garlic bread.

Canyon’s show leash is beautiful! It has black, tan and reddish colour kangaroo leather braided together with beads in three different spots. Huib ordered it from a woman in Victoria British Columbia (Hitide Creations) who makes only show leashes.

After dinner, and once we knew Aspen was settled, we piled the other three dogs into the truck and headed to Windsor. It was a long day of driving, so we were relieved to finally reach our hotel room and crash.

Saturday morning we woke up around 5:30am and began our pre-show routine. First Huib took Canyon and Rogue for a walk. Then he put Canyon into the tub and began scrubbing and rinsing with lavender scented baby shampoo. On the first day, we usually always use baby shampoo since it’s cheap and does an awesome job at getting rid of all the dirt and odours from Canyon’s coat while still keeping it shiny and silky smooth. After the bath, Huib began to blow dry Canyon, which was totally not a happy time for the golden boy. First he tried jumping onto the bed beside me and hoped that I wouldn’t make him get off and return to Huib – but of course I did lol! Then he tried moving around, so that Huib would run out of cord length and stop, but that also did not work. We have to blow dry him so that we can comb his fur flat while it dries, or it tends to be a little wavy. Once his fur was three quarters of the way dry and his ears, tail and feet were trimmed, Huib gave him some banana bread the hotel had provided with their continental breakfast and took some time to get dressed himself. About an hour before the show began we piled everyone back into the Expedition and headed to St. Clair College’s gymnasium where the event took place.

Saturday afternoon we did some shopping at the Columbia outlet store and then met up with my friend Kris, his wife Tania and their daughter Olivia. I have not seen Kris in over six years so it was really nice to see him again. We used to go to the University of Guelph together and had regular movie dates until he moved to Windsor about ten years ago. We had left Cessna and Canyon at the hotel and just taken Rogue out shopping and for dinner, so it was a good opportunity for her to work around a young child. Olivia wasn’t totally sure about Rogue, but after a bit started to play with her and Rogue really enjoyed the attention.

Sunday morning we woke up a little later because Canyon’s ears, feet and tail had already been trimmed so he only needed the bath and blow dry. This time we bathed him with NuHemp’s moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, so that his coat didn’t get too dried out from the frequent bathing. We also decided to show up at the college half an hour before the start of the show since it was pretty busy and there really wasn’t a lot of room for us to move around. After his dismal showing, we began making our way back to Guelph – making stops in Cambridge to pick up some stuff at the Pet Smart and Kitchener to look for a black tie for Huib.

Kelly had dinner plans, so Huib and I got pizza and then treated ourselves to ice cream at Marble Slab Creamery. I had never been to this particular ice cream shop so had a tough time picking out which ice cream and topping I really wanted. Huib got white chocolate ice cream with bits of coffee crisp mixed into it, while I got cheesecake ice cream with Reese peanut butter pieces mixed in – it was delicious!

On Monday I had my appointment in London with the pain clinic. I was really hoping that they would be able to suggest something to resolve my constant migraine issues, but it ended up being a total waste of my time. First they had us fill out a 20 or more page questionnaire that asked questions about the types of headaches I was having, what sorts of symptoms each had, how long they lasted, how often they occurred, whether I lived my life around the ability to take pain medications, what medications I had or are taking, and a bunch of other questions I cannot remember. I’m thinking the questionnaire was meant to weed out people who are addicted to pain medications and that could be dealing with withdrawal symptoms. After the clinic nurse had taken my blood pressure and oxygen level, we were escorted into an examination room, where I was instructed to remove all of my clothing and put on a hospital gown. A medical student then came in to do a neurological exam.

He had me:
• Follow his finger with my eyes;
• Look straight ahead while he looked into the back of my eyes with a light;
• Touch his finger and then my nose;
• Raise my shoulders and not allow him to push them downwards;
• Tell him if I felt the same sensation on both sides of my feet, face and hands when he touched them with a semi-sharp object;
• Move my chin to my chest and then towards each shoulder; and
• Tell him if it hurt when he put pressure on various parts of my head.

I’m sure I missed some of the things he asked me to do, but I’m sure you get the point. After the neurological examination, he left the room to get the doctor while I got dressed. The doctor came in and pretty much just said he would send my family doctor a list of three different preventative medications he thinks I should try and that he doesn’t see any other reason for my headaches. He also eluded to the fact that some of my headaches could be withdrawal symptoms, so I decided to go a week without any medications at all and see where I got pain wise. I am now on day five and nothing really seems to have changed, except that I am tired and the pain is still the same as usual.

After the appointment, we left the building and walked over to the CNIB, which just happened to be across the road. I got my CNIB card renewed and then toured the gift shop, but found nothing that really interested me.

When we got back to Guelph we were so happy to see Rogue again. I had decided to give her to my friend Kelly for the day so that she could experience university life, and work a bit with someone else. Kelly said that her leash manners were horrible, which we already knew, and that she settled well in her classes, but that she seemed nervous of random people (no barking though) and of different spots in her classroom building. We weren’t completely surprised about her nervousness around random people, but we didn’t really understand her reactions to different spots in kelly’s classroom building. She said she had trouble walking through doorways and this shocked us because it was not something she had ever shown nervousness around before.

Since Kelly had to do some school work, Huib and I decided to take Rogue out to dinner with some friends at Eastside Marios. She was awesome. She fell asleep beside my chair without an issue, and when we first arrived she thought my friend’s boyfriend’s feet needed to be cleaned. After dinner we asked my friend’s boyfriend to greet Rogue and she showed absolutely no fear of him – good girl! We then all decided to walk over to the mall across the road to do a bit of shopping and grab a tea from a specialty tea shop. At the mall Huib got Rogue to approach a manikin and she showed no fear, but checked its hand to see if there might be a treat – silly girl! My friend also approached a couple of guys and asked if they would come and greet Rogue, which they did and Rogue thought this was great! Before leaving the mall we each picked out a tea and then drank them as we walked back to our vehicles – I got a chocolate mint one.

On Tuesday we packed up our Expedition and then left the goldens at Kelly’s house while Huib, Rogue, Cessna and I went to meet up with Carin, Steve and Trixie for lunch. It was great to see them because it had been such a long time. We talked about old times, we updated one another on people we both knew, and we laughed every time Rogue decided to lick Steve’s feet. After lunch Huib and I went back to Kelly’s house to pick up the goldens and then made the three hour drive back to Huntsville. We decided to stop in Huntsville again to stay overnight because it seemed to break up the long drive nicely. The only issue was that my sister was in a horrible mood so it was a bit tense and unpleasant, but my step-dad tried his best to be a good host.

On Wednesday morning we (with the addition of my step-dad) started our long journey back to the north and have been relaxing ever since.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought I’d share our journey with you all.

P.S. While we were driving to Huntsville the first day, I got a really unexpected call… An adoption worker from Child and Family Services called to set up a meeting to get to know us! I am really excited about this development and will keep you all posted.

Eleven Months Old

Hi There!
It’s Banana! or for those who do not yet know my new nickname, it’s Roagie!

Today I am 11 months old!

Mommy says my first birthday is really soon.

I’m not sure what all the excitement is about…but Cessie says I’m going to get presents and special treats, so I’m thinking that means party time!

I can’t wait!

I look forward to any opportunity to go bananas!

Happy 11 Month Birthday to Ruby and all of my other siblings! Soon we will all get an excuse to go bananas!

A Snowy Walk

Today I had a migraine so Huib decided to take the dogs for a four kilometre walk in the snow.

Plan B

Rogue wonders if being a race car driver might be a good option, if her guide dog career doesn’t pan out.

Ten Months Old

Today I’m 10 months old!

I really do love coffee!!

To commemorate my 10 month birthday, Mommy has helped me to post ten pictures which illustrate why I’m the Rogue Puppy.

Mommy and Daddy should have known naming me rogue was going to be a bad idea…

What else did you expect me to do? I was tiny and scared…

Phoenix was such a patient friend…

There’s no way Mommy and Daddy are going to leave me behind!

Did you know that these things are useful for more than just reading?

We all need a little fun in our lives…

Nothing Mommy and Daddy ask me to do is too hard or scary for the Rogue Puppy!

See? I told you there isn’t anything Mommy and daddy ask me to do that scares me!

Oh…it’s tough being a Rogue Puppy.

Is this some kind of joke?

Mommy says she is sorry she doesn’t have too many newer pictures, but that she hopes to be better about keeping up with my antics from now on.

I’m not sure if many of my siblings read our blog, but I know Ruby does, so…

Happy 10 Month Birthday Ruby, and to the rest of my sisters and brothers!

The Hand-Me-Down Coat

Rogue is now long enough to fit Phoenix’s winter coat. She is still swimming in it girth and chest wise, but she fits it a little nicer than Cessna does, who is about an inch not as long as Rogue.

It makes me sad to see the coat on someone else, but I know Phoenix wouldn’t mind.

A Sleepy Puppy

…Is A Good Puppy.

Coffee Lover