Welcome!


Join me as we have fun with our dogs, and then paddle along with the Dog Paddlers—a dragon boat team in Victoria, Canada. You'll meet my Silky Terriers—Abby, Zack, Sami and Gemma—and their feline sister, Bridget. Share with us the joys and challenges of strengthening the human-canine bond as we participate with our dogs in canine agility, trailwalks and canine freestyle.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

POSING PUPS

A couple of weeks ago, our dog-walking group was asked to bring all our dogs to the bandshell in Sidney as one of the local choirs wanted to promote an upcoming concert with dogs posing with their soloist. The day before the photo shoot: bright sunshine and relatively warm. The day after the photo shoot: ditto. The day OF the photo-shoot: freezing cold, windy and raining. But...the show must go on, so they we all were, with dogs that were feeling a bit miserably cold and not really in the mood to pose. I'm not sure that the photographer got exactly what it was he wanted, but attached is a cropped version of the photo they intend to use. Abby and Gemma got to be held by the Heather, the soloist. It will be interesting to see the final poster.

The weather today was quite brisk as well. Bright sunshine, but quite nippy. So where were we? In a cold barn, running agility courses. We took frequent treks outside to stand around in the sunshine, so I guess we can't complain too much. It was a "fun trial" put on by the Scallywaggs gang, so a very relaxed day with everyone just having fun with their dogs and enjoying the opportunity to be able to do some on-course training without having to worry about whether a run would qualify or not. All three of the Silkies did well, with each of them improving on something in their repertoire. I've decided to move Abby and Zack up to the "Open" level at the next Scallywaggs official trial. They've pretty much proven their proficiency in most of the different classes at the Novice level, with lots of titles earned at that level. So now it's time to take the big leap forward and see how they do with a few more challenges.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ABBY GETS AGILE

Abby and I spent the weekend in the barn at AVID, taking a seminar with Stacy Goudy. The last time she was here giving a seminar, I audited the sessions. This time, we had a working spot. By the end of our two sessions with her, Abby had really picked up speed, and I was starting to get better at figuring out where it was best to be to give her the tightest lines on her runs. Lots to remember, but it was a great seminar, with just 6 dogs in the group—so if we had to run and re-run and re-run a section (until Stacy broke us of whatever bad habit we were employing at the time), there was plenty of time to do so. Loved her sense of humour, irony and excellent insights. Highly recommend taking part in her seminars the next time she's in town.

Stacy's the one in the Green Bay Packers parka; we kept giving her updated Super Bowl scores off of our IPhones all afternoon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

RETIREMENT, REDUX

Just when I thought that I had successfully eased into retirement with as little fuss as possible, I got surprised at our regular "Dinner and a Movie" potluck with the movie gang at Peni and Jim's on Saturday night. Once we were all happily stuffed with the main courses of the meal, dessert brought an unexpected offering: an enormous chocolate cake! And I DO mean enormous. I'm still working my way through the half of the cake (see below) that was not consumed that night! It was brightly decorated, with a park theme, and with lots of wonderful little do-dads that made it a true delight. There was one decoration that baffled me; I finally decided that it represented my "bucket list"! Thanks to everyone for making Saturday's get-together extra-special, and also particular thanks to Peni and the Horels for starting me down the road to a new obsession.


EASING INTO RETIREMENT

Well, I've now officially completed two weeks of retirement, but I don't think things have appreciably slowed down. It's true what they say. Once you've retired, you wonder how you ever got anything done while you were still in the ranks of those trotting off to work five days a week. Me, I have a few little side jobs that I'm in the process of finishing off, so those are keeping me busy at the computer at least part of each day. The rest of each day is spent doing something with dogs—be it walks, swims, classes, trials, whatever. And then there's just the on-going task of really starting to get to all those home-and-yard jobs that have been piling up over the years since I moved into this house. Yep...I'm gonna be busy!

On the first Saturday after I retired, my co-workers threw a very nice retirement party for me. It was hosted by my old friends Ron and Christine Hamilton, at their house up on Bear Mountain. Thank goodness the weather gods were on our side: no snow or other nasty bits of weather to hamper everyone's journeys up and down the mountain. My friends Frank, Gaileen and Carolyn did a wonderful job of organizing the event, and I think everyone had a pretty good time. Martha and Joe came along to help me celebrate. Below are some pix from the evening's festivities.

Frank presents me with a wonderful framed panel of pictures of all the parks I worked at.

Frank spills the beans about what it was like working with me.

Steve does the "official" stuff, presenting me with my public service certificate.

I cut into a huge retirement cake, at least half of which ended up making a trip to the office the following Monday to feed the huddled masses still slogging away working for the government.

Monday, January 24, 2011

BAD BLOGGER

OK, OK. I've been a BAD BLOGGER. Haven't posted since early November.

Well, now that I'm retired, maybe things will pick up some. To hold the fort until I get something more scintillating to post (unless you want to know that today I made granola, went to Costco, and took Abby to an obedience class), I'm posting a little video, with apologies to those readers from down east who are shivering in the deep freeze. I thought you might like to see what a winter walk with the dogs looks like in January in greater Victoria. ;-)

My apologies also, for the small size of the video -- it was taken on my Iphone.

video