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Thora, my ultimate dog.

Having one senior dog is tough, having three?  It really is a lot to deal with…  but I wouldn’t part with even one of our oldies.  Today’s challenge was to photograph something old.  I jokingly asked my husband to pose for me after telling him what my challenge for today was, obviously he turned me down.  😉  I thought about snagging a snapshot of one of our antiques…  in the end though, Lily-Ann’s idea won out.  Sweets wanted his supper, Brandibuck wouldn’t sit still, so Thora it was.  I’ll admit, I don’t like photographing her with my iPhone.  It just doesn’t do her justice.  She really is a gorgeous, gorgeous dog.  I have a hard time believing she’s twelve.  I remember the first time I saw her in person – after her trek with the underground railroad (traveling to us relay style driven bit by bit by volunteers like ourselves) – I broke down in tears.  She really was the most beautiful puppy I’d ever seen, and to this day I’ve never met her equal…  not in brains, drive, beauty, or spirit.  She is a dog who is unmatched in every way, and I have been so blessed to have her as part of my life.

jan23b

The light seems crazily yellow here…  but that’s a camera phone for you.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

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The Dog Paradox

We all, by now, should be well aware of how awesome The Oatmeal is.  Dood’s been around the web a few times, he’s definitely not the new kid on the net.  But every so often a friend will forward me something by him that just kills me.  Tonight was one of those times.

The Dog Paradox is roughly 35 frames long.  It’s a biggie, especially for a web comic…  but it’s just too good to be missed.  And I did just fine, internal brain laughter, allowing the girl to continue to sleep next to me, until I hit the following frames.  Then the big old belly laughs erupted, shaking the bed, and testing my pelvic floor muscles as I attempted to stifle my gafaws into quiet giggles thus disturbing her only temporarily allowing her to slip back into her deep slumber.

The Oatmeal  - The dog paradoxthe oatmeal's dog paradox

So there you go…  one small taste of this doozy.  You can check out the entire 35 frame cartoon (and purchase the poster) at:  http://theoatmeal.com/comics/dog_paradox – and I highly recommend you do.  🙂

Night!

Thora, Bucky, and Sweets; our old dogs.

I started writing a post about old dogs…  got about a paragraph in, and deleted it.  The fact of the matter is that we now have three old dogs, and as much as I love old dogs (seriously, I’m a sucker for a senior dog, there’s just something about them) I worry for our hearts.

We’ve only ever had one senior dog at a time before.  And it wrenches your heart out when they leave you.  Time helps you heal, but the hole they leave in your heart never completely closes back over.  I imagine my heart looks like swiss cheese.  I’ve had far too many go on ahead to Rainbow Bridge to wait for me.  I wonder how many more holes I can handle.

Thora.  Can’t believe she’s 11.  I have no idea how it happened.  I remember the day she arrived (via the underground railroad – volunteers each driving a leg of the journey to bring her here).  I cried when I saw her for the first time.  She was everything I had ever hoped for.  Lurchers are fabled as the “ultimate” dog, and she really is.  The idea that she’s a senior is just so foreign.  She’s still my “baby girl”.  She’s still that ultimate hunter and protector – the perfect dog.

Brandibuck is 12.  Boy, she and I have weathered a lot of storms.  She was my Service Dog for a number of years.  I retired her officially at 8.  She was ready to just be a pet, she didn’t want to deal with stores and people, and traffic, and crowds any more.  Now she just has to patrol the yard…  keeping everyone in line.  She’s always been a momma dog.  Keeping the unruly puppies in check.  She’s what we call a gentle alpha, though the last year or so she’s kinda let the alpha part slip (allowing Thora to step in).  She’s always been a bit of a princess too – unless she’s rolling in the dirt and mud.  Good grief.  I wonder how I ever kept her in show coat.  Oh right!  I used to brush her long locks every day.  I enjoyed it too, she mostly just tolerated it.  I think she was relieved when I finally relented and clipped her down.  My funny little Havanese…  my little Neezer.

Sweets.  Well…  Caesar.  He hasn’t been with us that long.  But like I’ve mentioned, we’re kinda suckers for an old dog.  CZ came here for his “last hurrah” – to breed to a couple of girls.  It didn’t take long for us to realize he wasn’t going anywhere, that at 11 he’d found his forever home.  He’s very much the king of the castle here.  The girls all pander to him (except Thora, who’s top dog, and she mostly lets him do his own thing) and the people all dote on him, heck even the cat – who avoids all the other dogs – will love him up.  He’s one seriously spoiled old dood.  And he really is the sweetest little old man Chi, which is why I’ve dubbed him Sweets (and yes, it’s a nod to Bones as well).  We’re quite happy he chose us as his family.

So there we are.  Three old dogs.  One who joined our family when she was two, one at three months, and one at 11 – yet all are within a year of one another.  I can’t imagine how our hearts will fare when they begin to say goodbye.  I truly hope it’s a long, long ways away.

 

one of our wedding photos, with three of our dogs

Our wedding in 2006; with Thora, Brandibuck, and Nico (now at the Rainbow Bridge).

You can meet some of our dogs here:  http://www.dogster.com/family/373333  But it’s a few years out of date.  Guess it’s time to think about updating it (especially seeing how half our dog aren’t even there).  😉

Amazing what a difference half a decade makes!

On Friday, I received my new drivers license in the mail.  A lot has changed since I had taken my previous DL photo.  Not just in my life, but procedurally as well.

Now they require a new photo every five years.  I think it used to be every seven (but don’t quote me on that).  It used to be you could wear glasses, smile, act and be natural in your photo.  Now, even if you wear glasses full time they have to be off, and not only are you not allowed to crack a toothy grin, you aren’t allowed to smile at all.  But, as you’ll note from my new license, a wry smirk is perfect acceptable.

My Driver's License Photo - Old and New

My Driver’s License Photo – Old and New

 

I have to admit…  when I received my new license and pulled the old one from my wallet, I stopped and stared at the photos for a while.  What a difference roughly half a decade makes.  The first photo was before I was married, before Lily-Ann was even a vague idea.  It was before I’d changed focus from my work as an expert in Canine Communication to Professional Photographer.  I voted Green back then, but wasn’t a member of the party, and would never dream I would run the provincial party and run for office during a provincial election, a national election, and a provincial by-election.  It was before I returned to my roots and realized how much I missed working with youth.  I hadn’t outed myself as a former victim of sexual assault, and was ashamed of the fact that I had FMS and IBS.  It was a very different me – who was plagued by social anxiety disorder and had a specially trained Service Dog because I couldn’t leave the house alone.

Now?  Wow.  There really isn’t much of that girl left.

I chose my wording carefully, the use of “girl” wasn’t an accident.  I was a girl.  I was a nervous, scared, girl.  I hid it pretty well from most folk…  but I really did live my life scared that I’d be found out, that someone would realize I wasn’t actually good enough to be worthwhile.

I said it once already, but for emphasis, I’ll say it again:  What a difference roughly half a decade makes.

Now?  I’m probably a little too self-assured…  I’m actually downright cocky.  LOL  I know that who I am matters, and what I do makes a difference.  I’m a proud woman.  Confident and ready to tackle pretty much anything that comes my way.  I live out loud, and tend to over share.  Want to know something about me?  Ask.  I’m not afraid and will happily talk to anyone about anything.  I’m doing some pretty amazing things.

Someone asked me if I felt old now that I’ve turned 35, and you know what?  I totally don’t.  I feel like life is just beginning.  I’ve just hit my stride.

 

Cuddled up…

As the rain pours down, the thunder rolls, and the lighting flashes across the sky…  the girlie and I cuddle beneath Nana’s blanket.  Listening, and loving the sights, sounds, and smells of a Summer storm.  🙂

All cuddled up...

On an unrelated note…  I’ve finished the manuscript for my children’s story.  What possessed me to write a children’s book I’ll never know.  But it was the first time my muse hit me in such an unrelenting fashion in a long time.  I’m quite comfortable writing canine non-fiction (dog training advice, behaviour tips, and breed information most commonly).  But then, one evening, laying in bed next to my sleeping girl I just felt the NEED to write.  The only thing near by was my BlackBerry… so believe it or not I actually wrote the first 1/3 of the manuscript on that.  LMAO  Hey!  When the muse hits, the muse hits!  If I’ve learned one thing as a writer it’s to listen to my inner voice.

Now I begin taking steps on completely foreign soil.  I don’t have contacts (agents and publishers) in this world.  In non-fiction, doing what I’ve been doing for years?  Yep.  I know many folks.  But this is something completely new to me.  So it’s a new adventure… but one I think will be very worth fully delving into.  Wish me luck.

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