Dog Dream

Last night I was dreaming about our dog Lex. I dreamt that he was back with us as his younger self. As the dream went on, I unfortunately began to awaken. As that occurred, I did my best to hold onto my dream. But I could not.

From the deep sleep I awoke in a slow and sad pace continuously trying to force myself back into my dream. Instead I woke up crying.

This has never happened to me before. My subconscious caused extreme emotions to overcome me. After a few tears fell on my pillow I returned to sleep only to not reenter that dream.

Just like the loss of our family dog, my dream was also gone. But the memories remain, almost hauntingly so.

Loss Of Our Family Dog

Today we had to say goodbye to our family dog, Lex. We adopted him January 2013 and he has been a great family member ever since we met him.

Lex was a great dog. He always stayed nearby us whenever we hung out as a family. He would join us in our media room to watch family movies. He would go on walks and camping with us- never required a leash.

The first day we met him, he never left our side. He chose us to be his family- we didn’t choose him. We brought him home that same day between snowstorms.

We did our best to make his final year comfortable as we could see his health deteriorating. I’d like to think we helped for the last few months, and I know the kids are glad that he got to see our new home. My wife and I knew something was up when Lex decided to go for one last walk in the old met last week. He pushed himself harder than he had in recent times. He hardly moved after that.

Lex was a good boy and made our lives fulfilled. We will miss you buddy. May you Rest In Peace.

Maki School Pick Up

Once in a while I’ll bring our dog to get the kids from school. I used to bring Lex, but he is elderly and frail that I worry about him traveling. Even if it is for a short distance.

Maki did a pretty good job hanging out in the very back on the way to the school. She popped her head up a few times, but mostly laid down. She did bark as we approached the school which shocked me. She tends to bark at other dogs.

Darwin was pleasantly surprised to see Maki in the car and quickly took her out to wander the field. Maki loved the new scents and grass, giving a good tug for Darwin to keep up.

The drive home was a little more chaotic. The kids put their stuff in the back on half the trunk space and folded one of the chairs down. Theory sat in the back and tried to keep her still, but I was getting dog breath in my face as I drove.

Maki only barked once randomly as we neared our home. It was a good little surprise for the two youngest seeing their dog greet them. I’m hoping to do it more often as the weather gets nicer.

Pretty sure Maki likes car rides.

Carpet and Pets

Our home has very little in the way of carpets. Which is both good and bad.

It’s good because the wood floor is easy to keep clean especially with dog hair running rampant. We just need to sweep or vacuum regularly to remove the hairs and dirt. A light wash every so often and the floors look amazing. This type of flooring is so much better for my allergies.

For carpet- we have our media room and the main hallway upstairs. Over the weekend we finally bought a carpet cleaner… after living here for almost 14 years… I’ve borrowed carpet cleaners from friends and rented a Rug Doctor a few times in the past. But with Covid still around- it was time to just buy one for ourselves. Thank you Amazon and next day delivery!

Our hallway looks so much better and smells a ton better as well. The carpet cleaner really pulled out the pet smell from the floors. I don’t like carpet for the fact that it collects dust and allergens. But I like the softness under my feet. Maybe I can fall in love with carpet once more.

Which do you prefer hardwood, tile or carpet?

Maki

We adopted our newest member of the family back in October: Foster the Feelings. We gave her a name change that suited our family and would give her a new beginning. She adapted to it really quickly.

Yesterday we finally got her a tag with her new name– Maki. When my son and I were choosing the font, he pointed out one style that reminded him of our favorite sushi restaurant. And since we often call her “Maki Roll” it fit quite nicely. Now when she escapes our yard (she’s done this at least three times already) people can call us and complain return her.

While we were at the pet store getting the name tag- we also picked up an ugly Christmas sweater for her. This is the first dog I have ever had in my life that we have bought clothes for. I hate to say it, but she looks super cute. Time to get some other outfits for her- like a rain jacket.

She has become a significant part of all our lives. I enjoy the fact that her entire rump shakes with excitement when you come home. Or that she knows when to cuddle up to a person who is having a bad day. Maki is practically a support dog for us. She is a great dog and we are lucky to have her join our family.

I’m On The Pot Again

I’ve fallen into a nightly routine ever since a new dog showed up in our home. Yes, we have officially adopted her. We are changing her name from Scarlet to Maki. Because she is such a goofball. Take a look:

Anyways, a new dog in the house is causing me issues. I have been suffering from allergies. So Much so, that I have resorted to using a Neti Pot once again.

I tried for the first few days to take allergy medicine in order to cope. But it wasn’t working. As well, my coworkers were thinking I was sick. During a time of Covid- it’s not good to be sniffing. The Neti Pot is my answer. It has been helping my nasal passages. I can breath better after each flush.

It’s not like those Seasonal Allergies that cause suffering because of flowers and pollen. These allergies are from a cute puppers that needs love, and I cannot help but give her rubs. So I’m back on the pot. And it’s helping.

Foster The Feelings

My coworker and his girlfriend foster dogs from time to time. I told him if they ever got a Corgi to let me know. Turns out that a dog arrived in their care within a few days of my request. So yesterday they brought over this dog for us to meet.

Her name is Scarlet. as you can see- Not a pure bred Corgi. Nor is she a puppy. She is half Corgi/half Husky and about six years old. Immediately my kids were drawn to her. So we opted to have Scarlet stay with us for a week and see how things progress.

Well it seems that day one she has no qualms with Lex- our other dog. She is also finding it rather easy to just relax in our home. Her manners are impeccable and she has enjoyed hanging out with the family.

Scarlet has even chosen the bed she wants to sleep in. Turns out that Darwin and her have made a bond already. Having a dog on the furniture has always been a big no-no for me. But Scarlet has been really cute and it’s hard to say no.

After this week ends, we shall see what happens. But judging from the first day, we may just have a new member of the family joining us. I’m not quite sold on one thing about her though. Her name. She doesn’t seem like a Scarlet to me.

But if that’s the worst thing I can truly find about her, then that’s on me.

Old Dog Lex

Our puppy is growing old. I love him tremendously since we first met. We adopted him back in January 2013 to be a friend to our old dog- Chuppy. Little did I know that he would also be such an integral part of our lives.

He was such a goofball back then even at age four. This picture is from the day we drove him home with us. He has always been a perfect match for our family from the first day we met him.

As all dogs go- he is quite content to be lazy. But he also tries to stay energized when he knows that there is a potential walk about to happen.

He’s still a lovable goofball. Even as he gets slower and has difficulty keeping up. He wants to be a young pup- but his age is catching up. So Happy Belated Adoption Day Lex!

Doggo Sitting

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.

Jodie

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.

Lex Stays at Home

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.

Walk It Off

For the past five days or so, I’ve decided to start taking walks around my neighborhood. Usually my wife walks with me, sometimes a child or two joins us, but I always take the dog along. The weather has been exceptional lately. I’ve been taking the walks in the afternoon most of the time to clear my mind.

Driving home, listening to the news radio after my shift last night I heard it was going to rain later today. This would put a damper (hahaha I made a funny) on my afternoon walk before work today. With the time change last weekend and a beautiful morning, I got home grabbed a quick coffee and took off with the dog. The clouds and sun caused a beautiful pink hue over the countryside. It reminded me of summer mornings from my childhood in Edmonton.

Lex has also enjoyed the past few days. His excitement shows every time I head to the door. He’s a wonderful dog who walks next to us without a leash. He sniffs the air and genuinely looks like he’s smiling while we are out. Even though we have an acre for him to run around in, he still loves smelling the air of the neighborhood.

Besides clearing my thoughts, there is more to the reason for my walks. My wife got me into Carrot Rewards a while back. I use the points earned for free movies. Download the app and you can enter my User Code: josefh8436 to get me some bonus points! Besides my wife getting me into walking, I’ve been inspired by a coworker who rides his bike to and from work. My step goal is low so it makes it easy to achieve. Lastly, I want to be able to walk around Tokyo without much issue, so getting some practice walks in are good for my muscles.

These walks are healthy for me both physically and mentally. The fresh air and the small bit of exercise are great. I’m hoping to keep it up for the foreseeable future. I forgot how much I missed walking.

Life Needs a Dog

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.

Good Dog

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.

January 13,2013 Lex

We adopted a new member of our family back in 2013.  He was about four years old and fit in almost immediately with our family.  I knew he was the right pet for us because he was farting constantly in the three hour car ride back to our place.  The evil that came from his butt may be the reason my son came up with the name Lex Luthor for him.

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Lex Luthor

A little over three years later and our fur-baby (oh gawd I said that) is a big part of our family.  He follows us from room to room throughout the house.  He’s there for family movie night, or dinners, and even answering the front door.  People love to see him, we even have a friend who loves taking care of him while we go away.  He’s a calm and lovable dog.  I only have one complaint.  He sheds.

Shedding

There’s a small animal being made right before my eyes.

Now, I know almost all dogs shed.  It’s just a fact of life when you have an animal in the home.  But the amount of fur that comes off our lovely dog on any given day, is enough to make a second pet.  (Imagine if you will, Gizmo from the 80’s film Gremlins after he gets wet.  I am happy that Lex doesn’t often get wet. That makes it nearly impossible to get rid of dog hair.)  I can deal with the fur gathering under the sofa and around the corners of the floor.  I have come to terms that I need to carry a lint brush for my shirts 24/7.  His hairs just float around and land everywhere.  I’m glad that we don’t have a forced air furnace heating our home: there’d be a per-pet-ual cloud of dog hair tumbleweeds.

But even after my complaining, we love our dog.  He is every part of this family as any one of us.  Adopting a rescue dog has been one of the greatest joys that we shared as a family.  He has enriched our lives, given us exercise, and has been there for each of us as we needed company.  Go out and save an older dog.  Puppies are cute as well, but the older an animal gets, the less likely they are to find a home.

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Family isn’t always blood related.

Since rescuing our dog, I have met some really neat people who also love their rescue animals.  One of the neatest people I met was Anne Wheaton.  She is always out there doing good for animal rescues in Pasadena California, check it out here: Pasadena Humane Society.  We adopted Lex Luthor from a small place in Merritt, BC called Angel’s Animal Rescue.  There are plenty of animal rescues out there, one may have your future family member there.