Saturday, August 22, 2009


Last week, I gave you my first "Health and Fitness Tip." Summer is drawing to close, what better time to focus on being healthy and shapely? So the Bear is sharing the second lesson in the program.

1. Cradle your 15 pound dog in your arms, in front of you. (Dogs are now too big to hold in a single arm).

2. With feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider), and back straight, slowly bend your knees until you're in a kind of squatting position. (Don't go down too far -- you may not be able to get back up.)

3. Raise yourself to a full standing position. Do this several times a day.

Excellent cardio workout; ideal for flattening the tummy.

Recommended by the dynamic duo of Nuala and Sadie (who get to alternate).

Danger: do not attempt this until you have successfully completed lesson one, and survived. If you've waited too long to start lesson one, forget this program. Lesson one is only for people who have gone to the
small dogs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I am thinking tonight about a whole group of blogging friends. I know that we all face challenges. Some are much larger than others. It's yours that I'm thinking about.

• Serious health problems -- yours and/or your family's.
• Unemployment.
• Having to move.
• Uncertain future.
• Lack of health insurance.
• Etc., etc., etc.

You know who you are. You tell us about yourselves, and the challenges in your lives.

So, a little something for people going through particularly tough times right now.

No, it's not a "blog award." Awards you usually get for doing something. This is just for being -- being who you are, especially in the face of the "stuff" in your lives. (There's another "s" word that you can mentally use in place of "stuff," if you'd like.)

Anyhow, you know who you are. So this is for you. Help yourself. Put it on your blog, store it on your desktop; whatever. Pass it on to someone else, if you think it would be appreciated.

I don't know where this came from, so I cannot give credit (though I wish I could, and would if I could).

Blessings and courage in a difficult time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It's been about a week and a half since Nuala and Sadie arrived at our place. And it has been a busy time. The biggest challenge has been to work out with them their eat-sleep-play-potty cycle. They've been pretty good at teaching us; we still have a few "accidents," but not many.

They still don't know how to relax in each other's company. The minute they are together, they're "roughing around." As in "play fighting." Which is why we can't all be together as often as we want. I trust they'll get over that stage.

Our next door neighbour saw Sadie again yesterday, the first time since their introduction. C. was saying how much Sadie had grown. We don't notice the growth that much, because we see them all the time. (But I remember our daughter-in-law's dog, and how much it grew from week to week.) In that regard, Sadie is certainly heavier than Nuala, and I'm sure she has gained weight. At this point, Nuala is slightly taller than Sadie.

They both like to sleep (often on our beds). They like to play with their toys -- both inside and outside. We have a natural amphitheatre at the far end of the back of the year (where our lot slopes down towards the river). While they like to run up and down the hills, they often roll down -- simply because they're still not all that steady on their little legs.

One other thing. They really like to help in the garden.

But perhaps "help" isn't exactly the word I'm seeking.

I'll have more in due course.

Oh, you're wondering how we are doing? Exhausted!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I know it is summer, but what better time to stay healthy and shapely? So the Bear has developed a new fitness program. Here's the first lesson.

1. Cradle a 10 pound dog in your left arm (between elbow and hand).

2. Cradle a 10 pound dog in your right arm (between elbow and hand).

3. Walk up and down a flight of stairs (say a dozen stairs) multiple times a day.

Excellent cardio workout; ideal for flattening the tummy.

Recommended by the dynamic duo of Nuala and Sadie.

Lesson two next week (if you've done lesson one, and survived).

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Our time of "expecting" is over. The twins have arrived.

This is Nuala (pronounced NEW-lah)

This is Sadie (SAY-dee)

Because of municipal ordinances, we've had to disguise our Bear babies as Standard Poodles. (Our civic administration is very particular about what sorts of animals can be kept within the bounds of our community. One neighbour had a goat -- yup, a goat -- just across the back lane from us. Said neighbour was told, in no uncertain terms, "that goat's got to go!" No sense of humour whatsoever in our city's bureaucracy.)

The twins were born June 11th, two of a litter of seven, thought they arrived at our house just the day before yesterday (Thursday). They both weigh about five kilos (roughly ten pounds); Sadie is slightly larger than Nuala, though you can't tell through all that fluff. Nuala tends to stick with G3 (aka Momma-bear), while Sadie hangs out with me. Sadie can climb the stairs already, after about a day of occasional training. We anticipate Nuala will catch up quite soon. They have been good about teaching us their needs, and we're having fewer "accidents" all the time.

We'll keep you posted (from time to time) on what's happening.