Friday, September 25, 2009


On either side the river lie
Long fields and of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the fields the road runs by
√√To many-towered Camelot.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "The Lady of Shalott"

Autumn has surely arrived. The barley is ripening; the trees' leaves are turning. The sky is clear and cloudless. The sun is bright and warm, but not too hot. A gentle breeze freshens the air. A glorious time of the year.

(This picture was taken at a spot about five minutes drive from our home.
The river, in the background, curves north from here,
and cuts through the middle of our many-towered city.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009


This is the latest in the series.

1. Take your 25 pound dog . . . for a walk. Start with short walks if necessary -- then go for longer jaunts when you and dog are up for the exercise.

This is enthusiastically recommended by the dynamic duo of Nuala and Sadie.

It really doesn't matter if you have done the earlier exercises (i.e., Health and Fitness Tips). Just don't overdo it the first few times. A walk to the end of the block is an excellent start. A walk all the way around the block is better. But remember - work at your own pace.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


While the puppies, Nuala and Sadie, are wonderful creatures of God, they sometimes place themselves in dangerous situations. Which is why we need to keep a sharp eye out for them.

1. They
're puppies, sisters, and they love to tussle and chase each other -- particularly outside. Which is good. They burn off lots of energy, and have healthy exercise.

Notice condition of garden pp (as in "post-puppy")

That becomes a problem when the temperature hits 32°C (or 89°F), which it is today. With their nice fur coats, they get very hot, very quickly, And could very quickly get sick.

The solution? Set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes, and make sure they come in every 15 minutes. First, they head to the basement -- the coolest part of the house. Then, they each have a big drink

After that, flop down on the basement floor (cement covered with vinyl).

But that bring us to the second problem.

2. While the pups like to lie on the cold basement floor and snooze, they do so right in the main passage through the basement. Which substantially increases their chances of being stepped on or tripped over. And if that happens, they tend to complain fairly loudly. Even though they are, in part, "the authors of their own misfortune" (or something like that -- the lawyers among us will have the correct expression). But try explaining that concept to three-month-old puppies.

3. Then there's the garden (as seen above). We did our fall cleanup early this year. Truth be told, there wasn't much to clean up, as the puppies had flattened almost everything. Fortunately, most of it should come back this year.

That however could be a problem. Momma bear was checking on some things, and found that many of the plants we love are poisonous to our puppies! So, what to do? Should we go to container gardening (as friend "Pondside" has shown in her blog
)? Should we put everything into grass? At least we have the winter to think about it.

In the meantime, I'm sure we'll find other ways in which we have to protect the puppies from themselves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The puppies were in to see their doctor today. They were weighed, checked, given injections to keep them healthy, and sent home with a bone-shaped dog biscuit each. In about 10 days they should have a fairly high level of immunity to most diseases (except rabies -- they get their rabies shots next month). So we'll keep them on a fairly short lead for the time being. (More about that, later.)

For the record, Sadie weighs 9.35 kg. (20.6 pounds) while Nuala weighs 9.15 kilograms (20.1 pounds). That's about twice what they weighed when they came home roughly a month ago.

Vet is very happy with their condition at 3 months.

We attribute their overall health to their lifestyle.

They play in the yard . . .

. . . or snooze in the sun . . .

. . . unless there is a work project to supervise.

After that, it's inside for a healthy meal, . . .

. . . and a long sleep in the sunroom at the back of the house (or wherever they decide).

I wouldn't want you to get the idea that they're pampered, or living in the lap of luxury. (Even if they are.)

Tomorrow, they start walking outside. We had time to practice that with them inside the mall where their doctor's office is located; I think they'll do fairly well outside.

P.S.: From the size of their paws, Vet. thinks they will be BIG DOGS when they grow up.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I got this delightful picture via Renee (in Winnipeg) from an unknown source.

I thought it said something about this old Bear and my grandson. (Yes, I have wonderfully colourful dreams).

May you also have much fun with your children. grandchildren, extended family and small friends.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


The seasons are beginning to change on the Canadian Prairies. The greens of summer are slowly shifting to the golds of autumn, as you can see in our neighbour's tree.

The garden in changing, too, thanks to the help from the puppies.

(Just about everything has been flattened.)

In the meantime, Nuala and Sadie are still trying to sort out who's toys are whose.

Nuala usually "starts" things; Sadie usually "finishes" them. Nonetheless, Nuala walks around as pleased as Punch with herself.

The puppies get their first full checkup from their doctor (our long-time vet) next week, including their second shots. After that, they should (I hope) have sufficient immunity that we can take them out for short walks. We got Sadie so she could take me for walks. And it is she who will probably take me. (As I understand it, her mom weighs about 50 pounds and her dad about 80, so these will not likely be small dogs.) We'll wait and see.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This is the latest in the series.

1. Lie with your back flat on the floor (knees bent if you wish).

2. Set your 20 pound dog across your chest -- nose to one side of your body, tail to the other.

3. Bend your arms at the elbows, so the back of your hands rest on your shoulders (or at least close to the shoulders).

4. Cradle your dog's hips in the palm of one hand, and your dog's shoulders in the other hand.

5. Lift your dog by extending your arms straight up.

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

Warning: Don't try this if you haven't done the earlier exercises (i.e., Health and Fitness Tips).