Thursday, March 28, 2013


Today, I'm feeling pretty good about myself. I took two minor disappointments and turned it into something really cute.
Last week when I was making my easter eggs, one of my blown eggs broke on me. Now, if you've ever blown out eggs you know what a load of work it is to empty the little buggers, so this was very disappointing. I dyed it anyways. Also, in the warmth of our kitchen cupboard our garlic has decided to start growing. Now, this isn't the end of the world, I certainly use garlic even when it starts to grow, and even chop the green parts into things, but it's still frustrating when we only bought it a week ago.
However, since it's spring even if it doesn't feel like it, I was craving a little green and growth around here. I wrapped a clove of garlic in wet paper towel and nested it inside my little pink broken egg shell.
Now as it waves it's jaunty little green flag, it's a good reminder that good things, things that make you smile, can come from disappointments. It was a reminder that I really needed this week. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Whole Week.

That's how long my landlord waited to tell us we couldn't keep the puppy. When I picked Scout up last Saturday I emailed him promptly explaining that we had this pup in the unit, and that if his owners weren't found we'd like to discuss keeping him. As I learned more about the local proceedings regarding lost dogs I called the fire chief Monday and reported that I was fostering a lost dog. We'd been sharing the word every way we knew how. Through the local rescue group and Facebook and word of mouth. He told us that if by Wednesday the owners hadn't come forward, he was considered abandoned, and we could then choose to keep him or find him a new home. I sent another email to the landlord explaining the timeline and saying I'd really like to have an answer by Thursday morning at the latest, so that we could start treating him like ours, or work on finding him a new home. He told me that he understood, and that he'd discuss it with his "partner"(brother), but never gave me an answer. Saturday night. That's when he finally gave me an answer. Not only a week after I'd first asked, but after 2 and a half hours of working in my apartment. He couldn't have led with that? It's not even like he mentioned it as he was leaving. I had to sit through another two awkward hours of hating on this man puttering around in my home. I was furious. I was devastated. I was depressed. I felt raw and wrung out. I was sobbing big wet tears while the stupid doodlebop was trying to lay tiles in our laundry room.
For those unfamiliar, let me explain all that happens in a whole wide week with a young puppy. It's such a crucial time in their development. And it happens so fast. It's kind of like being with a baby from their first to third birthdays. When we brought him home he was small and scared with a rough dirty coat, shivering and ravenous with a belly empty but swollen full of worms. I made up a batch of home made dog food, thinking he wouldn't be here long, and that it wouldn't be worth buying dog food. He was SO hungry and used to having to fight for his food that he gulped down the whole bowl in about 2 frenzied seconds, biting at the side of the bowl and pushing it clear across the room in his haste. He was insufferable in the kitchen. Any time you went and stood at the counter he'd start crying and leaping up at you, begging for food. He had never done stairs. He had never been introduced to the concept of potty training. He probably lived outdoors. We got him used to the idea of going outside on a leash to potty. That pressure on his collar isn't something to yelp about. We're still not fully potty trained, but I think we're making some real progress in that area. When we ran out of the home made food he'd been here so long that I had myself convinced we'd be keeping him. I bought a big bag of puppy chow. He was already getting better at meal times. He actually pauses to both breathe and chew while eating. I taught him "sit" and I taught him "down" and ask for one behaviour or the other before feedings to help him settle and calm down a bit before he begins eating. He doesn't beg in the kitchen anymore either, and he's pretty good if we eat at the dining room table, but he still makes a nuisance of himself when we eat on the couch.
Since about Wednesday we've taken him for a daily walk. He enjoys exploring his neighbourhood and is very good with all the dogs we meet, including the ones off leash who rush up to him in pairs barking and growling. We've had puppy play dates with the dogs of friends of ours, and he's gotten quite close to Meika. He's had a full course of wormers, and now his belly only looks swollen right after a big meal. He's grown so much that we've had to loosen his collar twice. When we first brought him home he could escape through the slats in the deck railing, but now he can just get his head through comfortably. There is no way he could get those shoulders throught.
I bought a second hand crate for him and taught him to sleep in it at night, and we didn't have one single night of crying and fussing over it. He's also ok with napping in the crate in the daytime with the door shut, but we haven't tried leaving him alone yet and I have a feeling he would squawk about it. Baby steps. The crate looked big at first, but it's just about the right size for him now, and will probably be too small in another few days.
Between proper nutrition and his own grooming and our petting, his coat has gotten much smoother and softer. He gets a bit of oil and the occasional bit of raw egg to help with this. He's a handsome looking dog for sure.
He likes to wrestle with Andrew and snuggle with me. He still bites a little hard sometimes, but we're learning to tell the difference between playing and being mean.
In short... It may only have been a week, but we've lived with this puppy, helped him grow, and fallen head over paws in love with him. Having him leave is going to be so heartbreaking. I miss him already, but he's right here beside me with his head on my lap. If the answer to the question "can we keep this puppy" was always going to be no, I really wish he had told us last Sunday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter Eggs

Up here, one thing I've noticed is that you really do need to find your own reasons to celebrate. You've gotta find a reason to make things special. Otherwise the monotony would drive you batty. So, to celebrate the first day of spring, I decided to dye some easter eggs. This is the first time I've made my own dye rather than using the little pellets that come in the kits with paper egg stands to dry them on. It's stupid easy, I don't know why people bother to buy dye, besides not knowing they can do the same themselves. It's just water, with drops of food colouring, and a table spoon of vinegar to help the colours set. Easy!

This is how they turned out. Not bad for an afternoon of playing with colours.

Monday, March 18, 2013


This is Scout, cuddling with Meika, our friend Kate's dog during our girls night. You can tell that huskies have a strong influence on almost all of the local mutts. It's interesting how, when left unchecked, wild populations of dogs quickly take on the characteristics that let them survive best in the local climate. The mutts I met in mexico are smaller, or leggy and thin with short fur or big ears to let them thrive in the heat. In greece every town has a different "standard" mutt look, with of course some exceptions. It's always something that's fascinated me. Anyways, here's to the northern mutts!

Puppy Mayhem

This is the little bugger we've been calling Scout. On Saturday, as I was leaving the grocery store I opened the door to my truck and this little fella hopped up. He had a brown leather collar on, so I took him around to the people who were hanging out near the entrance to the store. None of them knew who he was, but they said he'd been running around downtown all day, back and forth across the bridge and playing chicken with the traffic. The last thing I wanted was for this little angel to get smushed, so I scooped him up, and brought him home. I've had notices up on facebook and through the local rescue group, and nothing has come of it. Following the local procedures, we told the fire chief today that we've got him, and now we're considered to be "fostering" him for the next three days. If nobody contacts us within that time frame, we get to decide if we'd like to keep him, or find him a new home.
Needless to say, this is exactly what I've wanted since we first started contemplating this move: to take in a local mutt puppy, some sort of husky cross and make it ours. We've sent an email to our landlord explaining the little bugger's circumstances and promising to be really really good puppy parents. The ball's in his court now, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope. So close to getting my puppy!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Still Stalking the Lights

Last night the northern lights were out, but only barely. Apparently the medics in the trailers on the moose factory side could see them well, but said they were dull and kinda sluggish, not really a big deal. From here, all I could see was that the sky was a little lighter over the tree line and our neighbour's garage roof. The lights were below my horizon right here, it was too bloody cold to go for a walk to look for a better vantage point (-30!! It's supposed to be March!), and Andrew had the truck at work. However, the forecasting website I frequent said that last night was merely "active" while tonight is an out and out auroral storm. I'm still clinging to the idea of a date night of the two of us and a thermos of hot chocolate parked out in the open somewhere, taking in the show... and it'll happen, but not tonight. He's working again. I'm gonna have to drive him to work so I can have the truck tonight. I've waited so long to see the lights, I'll have to settle for taking in the show solo this time.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hot Dog!

This place looks good with a dog in it. Unfortunately, we had to give this little darling back at the end of the day. We were just puppy sitting. But it was really nice to have a little canine presence in this place, if only for the day!
With the river starting to think about breaking up, crossing is more of an ordeal, so when the medics are working on the other side, it's hard to nip over to let your dog out during your shift, and 12 hours is a heck of a long day for a dog in a crate! So when we were asked to let her out once or twice yesterday, I instead kidnapped her and we spent the day going for long walks, and snuggling on the couch. Much better than a day in a cage.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Dress

It was pointed out to me that I promised you folks a picture of my wedding dress, and then never really delivered. My apologies. Here it is in all it's simplistic splendour. My mom, mother-in-law and I made it together. I was so proud to get to wear our handiwork on my special day.