In the past when we have gone on vacation, we have left our dog, Lex Luthor with friends, family or at a Kennel. He has always been returned to us happy and healthy.
However, the one time he stayed at my sister’s place, he escaped within the first few hours. I received a phone call from someone who had collected Lex. My sister felt so awful about him breaking free that she would never look after him again. I wasn’t mad at her, he was quite the energetic dog when we first got him. Even in the first week of us adopting him, he jumped our fence and wandered the neighborhood (without us knowing). Lex is much older now and far less active.
An old friend of mine asked if we could look after their puppy while they were out of town. He’s a youthful nine month old puppers. Very friendly and gets along with our family and Lex which is great. Having this puppy here has made us be more energetic and mobile. We are going for more walks and playing around more. But we did the same thing my sister did. We were complacent about following the rules of a new dog.
One night, our son let both dogs out into our backyard. Our dog Lex returned. But our visitor did not. With a fenced acre and lots of trees, we searched the backyard nonchalantly thinking that he must be there. No such luck. Turns out he ran into the neighbor’s yard. So our kids went to get him.
Puppies don’t listen very well. This puppers was no exception. He kept running further and further off whenever we got close. Not only did our kids try and catch him, but three more neighborhood kids got in on the excitement. This puppy was chased through about twenty acres of open farm lands.
Only to return to our backdoor.
Now I kind of know how my sister felt. Even though I wasn’t overly scared that we’d never see him again- there was that small negative part of me that wondered how I would tell my buddy that his godson lost his dog. Luckily I didn’t have to. Maybe he will read this when he returns from his vacation. Until then, the puppy has found a happy place in our house and has made himself quite at home. I don’t think our son will let him out of his sights again.
Somewhere in all this is a good lesson to learn. I don’t quite know what it is, but my son’s guilt was punishment enough. Looking back, we also saved a dog in Odaiba, Japan and returned him to his owner. People and pets have a bond that you can’t refute.
This weekend my mother came by for a visit. It’s been a couple of years since she came into town. She also brought her friend Jodie.
Jodie is a sweet little puppy that is about four years old. My kids have nicknamed her Snowball. The kids have given her tons of attention this visit as well.
The puppy needed a home and my sister voluntold my mom she was getting a dog. It’s been a while since my mother had a pet. My mother inherited this dog from my sister’s husband’s step mother.
Even though we aren’t small dog people, we have enjoyed visiting with Jodie. She’s a sweetie.
When we used to go to conventions or go on vacation out of the country, we can’t take our beloved dog with us. In the past we’ve had friends and family look after him. But we’ve also come to rely on a local kennel.
Birch Bark Kennels is the place we have been taking Lex (and our previous dog, Chuppy) for many years. The price is great, and our dog runs in excitedly. The staff are pretty darned good at their jobs as well. We get him back healthy and clean every time.
The kennel has been recognized in our community as well over the years. That makes me really happy to know that they care for animals in such a great manner. I’m always happy to leave our furry family member in their hands.
That being said, he is also really happy to see us again after our vacations. He could barely keep still in the car ride home and wanted to lick me constantly. The first thing he did when he entered our home was run to his bed. He landed in it so fast that it slid further under our piano.
I wish we could take him on some of these trips, but it would also take away from our travels. Spending sixteen hours in Disneyland each day was already tough on us. I couldn’t imagine how it would be for him in an unfamiliar room for that length of time.
I’m really happy to see him again that’s for sure. Absence does make the heart grow stronger.
I love animals. Always have. I think I could’ve been a veterinarian if it wasn’t for my allergies. Living in the countryside means more woodland creatures all around.
Yesterday when we returned from camping, there was a squirrel hanging out on our back deck. The fact that we were able to walk outside and it didn’t move, meant something was wrong.
After about thirty minutes of us eating lunch outside next to the little dude, we decided to catch it and take it into a place called Critter Care Wildlife. A local organization that specializes in mammal rehabilitation.
We put a box over the little critter and put a towel on top. We dropped it off and the staff was really happy to take it in. They gave us a case number so I followed up today to see how Mr. Squirrel is doing. He’s been integrated into a new group of squirrels and is bouncing back. The organization is unsure as to what was the original issue, but they will be keeping an eye on the little guy.
This afternoon another woodland creature entered our home. We had left the sliding glass door open and the bird flew right in. It bumped the window and perched itself on our cds. My oldest and I grabbed a towel and tossed it over top and I gently carried the bird outside to set it free.
Mr. Birdie took a moment after I uncovered its head before taking off. (Our son names every animal and stuffed animal MR.) We have had numerous animals visit us for brief moments. My favorite moment was when we rescued a hummingbird.
I think that when I retire, I might get into bird watching.
You know, like old people do- ’cause I’ll be old. And I’ll need a reason to look up from my smartphone once in a while.
I’m not sure what the weather will do this week. But we are heading out to do some camping at Twenty Mile Bay like we did last year and the year before. My wife has enjoyed our last two trips because the weather has been perfect.
The last time I checked was on Sunday, so it looks like the end of the week will be blah.
I’m not sure if we will stay the entire time we had planned. We may cut it short in the end. That’s the unfortunate reality of camping. Whatever time we get though, I’m sure we will make the most of it with the family.
I’m okay with a bit of rain while camping. Only a bit though. Downpours and we are outta there.
Yesterday was a good day.
The sun was out. The weather was warm and inviting. And my family was getting back into its groove. Because of this, I decided to take advantage of the situation.
We started off with a walk around the block. We made it to our neighbor’s house, where we began to talk with him. After a bit, he offered to take our old toilets to the dump when he went on his dump run. Cool- and mighty neighborly of him. We left his driveway and continued on our walk with the dog.
As we walked, we waved at people passing by. Everyone was smiling and being courteous as we walked down our rural road. With every house at least an acre apart- it was strange to see so many people out. But mowers, chainsaws, and leaf blowers were in full force being used. We even met a few other dogs along the way that needed to come say “hello” to our dog.
Once back home, our old toilets went next door and the kids filled seven yard waste cans. I cleared off the roof and finally took down our Christmas lights. After all this was done, I even got to wash my car. You could see a huge difference in our home’s “curb appeal” by the end.
Life was back to a semblance of normalcy by the end of the night. Four of the five of us celebrated “Mario Day” with a few rounds of Mariokart. (Mario Day is Mar10– check out the Google Map app for this week as well to be Mario for the directions.) I may have lost repeatedly at the game, but I enjoyed the time with the kids.
I’m going to end today with a link to an old song. A couple of the lines resonate with me and how I feel. Please enjoy.
What a Diff’rence a Day Makes
I love having a dog. I really can’t think of a time in my life that a dog wasn’t in it. There’s a certain comfort having a dog in your life. Even with my environmental allergies, I need a dog in my life.
When I was born, my parents already had a wire-haired fox terrier named Whiskey. He lived until I was about five. I cried when we had to put him down. Poor old dog was deaf and blind by the end.
Then we had another fox terrier. This time a bitch named Brandy. And she was a true bitch in the most derogatory term imaginable. She bit everyone and clawed at kids. Less than two years old and she was given away. Having a puppy around small children isn’t the best idea I guess. No one was able to train her and we treated her like a living stuffed animal.
Then we had a cocker spaniel named Charlie. Unfortunately we only had him for about four years. He grew a cancerous tumor above his eye and we had to put him down. But he was cuddly and adorable.
Then we had a little white multi-poo named Alvin. He had skin issues and was rather over-weight as he grew up. He began a strict diet to try and help his heart. But he lived for a pretty long time all things considering.
When my wife and I met, she a dog named Chuppy. When we moved in together, I inherited Alvin in what my mother thought was his final year. He became active and healthy again as we looked after him. He lived on for a few more years. Then my mother took Alvin back for his final days.
My wife’s dog Chuppy was a Rhodesian ridgeback she rescued in Turkey. He was super loved by everyone who met him. I wrote about him back in September: Good Dog if you want to read more.
Lex is our most current family member. He has been great in so many ways. He was one of my first topics when I started blogging back in the start of 2016: Lex. He is still one of the greatest dogs I have ever met.
But once he is gone, we may not adopt a pet again for a long time. Our children will be older and possibly moved on in life. My wife and I are planning more traveling. And that leaves no time to take care of another family member. So while I’ve enjoyed having dogs around (I am a dog person not a cat person), it will be time to move on.
Thank you to all of the four legged family members I have had in my life. I hope that the enjoyment I received from them being around was reciprocated. It’s difficult to say.
Today is the three year mark from when we had to say goodbye to one of our best friends. Not only was he a friend, he was a family member. This is the first time I am writing about Degarip Capkin.
Most everyone knew him as Chuppy. Or Chuppy the Puppy. His name loosely translated from Turkish meant “Silly Flirt”. He was true to his name. Everyone loved him. He was a sweet & adorable dog. He embodied what I always imagined a dog should be. Medium-large animal with brown fur, long snout, big paws, always happy.
When I first met my wife, he was already a part of her life. I accepted him and he accepted me in each other’s lives. My wife had just returned home from Turkey, where she had adopted him from. From what my wife had told me, he was a very young street dog that was tormented by children when she first found him. She immediately took to him and spent a small fortune getting his health up and being able to transport him back to Canada.
He was a mix breed but mostly Rhodesian Ridgeback. He lived with us for many years. All of our children grew up with him around. He was always tolerant of them as they would hug and love him. He lived a very long life of nearly 17 years. Towards the end, he had a tough time just getting out of bed.
On his last day, we took him for a final walk. I lifted him into our SUV and the family went to the vet. Before the vet put him to sleep one last time, we each made our peace with him. Tears were shed as his last breath was taken and he went peacefully into the void.
To this very day, many of our friends fondly speak of Chuppy. He was a cherished dog that was the mascot of our home. It was nearly impossible to meet him without wanting to give him rubs and hugs. Not only was Chuppy a good boy, he was a great friend. We still miss him tremendously, but my wife misses him most of all.
Our two youngest children are attending some free summer school programs this month. Essentially it’s a summer camp Monday-Friday as they learn about science and tech. It’s as if the school board took all the fun stuff from elementary school and put it together for three weeks of fun. Our children are really enjoying it. That’s about the nicest thing that I can say about today.
This morning, I told my wife at the last minute that we were going to take our oldest daughter and the dog when we went to pick up the two youngest. I said that I wanted to go for a picnic and we could pick up some KFC and find a park or some place. That’s when the grumpiness kicked in.
Our oldest daughter didn’t want to go. She had slept in until 11am and barely wanted to get dressed. My wife didn’t want to go without a better plan in motion. She was also upset that we were behind schedule in leaving to get the children. It’s not that we would be late to pick them up, just late to find good parking. It didn’t help that on our way we got stopped by a train for an extra few minutes…
After we picked up the kids, we went to pick up KFC. I thought it would be a nice treat: some greasy overpriced chicken. It’s something we rarely eat, to a point that our 11 year old son says he’s never had it. We took our bucket of 12 pieces and a box of fries and hit the freeway. Seriously. There is no nice way of advertising a “Bucket of Chicken”.
We got off the freeway a few minutes later to go to a small place called Barnston Island. As we headed towards the tiny ferry, we got stopped by another train. Sometimes my work follows me everywhere. The touching, pushing and nagging was in full force in the back seat. We made it to the ferry (aka tugboat and small barge) and crossed over to the little island in the middle of the Fraser River. I drove us around to the other side, pulled over and we all got out and headed towards the edge where the water was.
No one wanted to carry anything. Not the food, not the drinks, the blanket, not even the leash for the dog. So my wife barked some orders out, and the grumpy noises occurred and they all took something. We headed towards the rocks and found a little spot to eat lunch.
Even though the weather was a bit grey, we sat and ate. The meal was peaceful. No fighting. Except when my wife tried to use her new selfie stick to get a family shot. No one was cooperating. Even the dog was unimpressed. Shortly after eating, a few raindrops happened, so we packed up and got back into the Pathfinder. It was a brief lunch. The bickering and touching occurred in the back seat once more where it had left off.
What I was hoping to be a nice surprise picnic lunch was less than stellar. Last minute planning isn’t our thing as a family it seems. I better plan the next “spontaneous event” at least two months in advance.
Yesterday I complained about rats in my post Screw Ratatouille. No complaints today. I want to talk about something more fowl. Birds. Stop with the dad jokes already.
Yesterday I discovered a woodpecker had made a new home in a dead tree near our house. A friend on Facebook mentioned that it is a Western Flicker. Most people would be all, “nice bird pic” but I find it cool that someone out there knew the exact breed.
Even though we have lots of trees, the birds usually find nests elsewhere. A favorite spot is on top of a wood carved sculpture we have near one of our back doors. Every year a red breasted robin makes its home there.
Even my derelict AT-ST had a nest on it. Birds just seem to be attracted to our man made art pieces. Seeing all of these birds finding shelter near our home is great. Sometimes they fly in and out of our home. But my favorite adventure with these birds was the time a hummingbird flew inside our home.
We left our doors open like we usually do in the summer. A stray hummingbird made its way into our dining room. It got trapped by our skylight. My wife devised a plan to cover the skylight with a blanket while I stood on our table and caught the bird in my hands. Its little heartbeat was going at a furious rate. I stepped outside and opened my hands to release it. The bird took a few moments, then flew off.
Birds are much more beautiful than rodents. It’s funny how the cuter an animal is, the less likely I want to kill it.