Jenn and Luna

Jenn and Luna

Good. Better. BEST.

4.29.2010 | 1 Comment

Better than caramel and chocolate.

Better than peanut butter and bananas.

Better than french fries and milkshakes.

The greatest combination in MY world is THIS.  This video is so moving… just you wait until you get to the part about Rose…

Welcome to S.A.I.N.T.S. – a HOSPICE for DOGS. Greatest. Combo. EVER.

I have written about S.A.I.N.T.S. before, but thought that I’d bring them back to the blog due to some recent coolness. The Vancouver Foundation has created a short video about S.A.I.N.T.S., and I wanted to share it with you all. Aside from it being a really great video about a really great non-profit rescue organization, there’s something a little MORE special about this particular video.

The majority of the photos in the video were taken by my incredibly talented friend, Sheena (AKA – The Food Lady), who not only photographs rescued dogs, she actually rescues dogs herself!

Sheena has the most amazing knack for snapping a photo of an animal the most perfect moment. She has taken many photos of Luna and Jenn (mostly of Jenncheck out “Captain Icebeard”– because she’s mega jealous that *I* adopted her), and they always seem to portray EXACTLY who Jenn and Luna are.

Wanna’ know the REALLY cool thing about all this?

…Sheena has donated a pet photoshoot to the Kili Gala raffle!!  This is a seriously awesome prize, my friends. It usually costs about $250 to have Sheena “shoot your dogs”, and you may be able to get this photo shoot for a mere $22 at the Kili Gala. Something to think about if you’d love to have some professional photos of your bestest friend(s).

There are a lot of good people in this world, and I love that I am friends with one of the goodest (IT’S A WORD!). Sheena rocks. She gets all freaky when you try and compliment her, but she can suck it up today. She deserves some serious praise.

And to the rest of you, I say… HAPPY THURSDAY! May you be fortunate enough to meet some good people today.



Long Walkies to Freedom

4.14.2010 | 0 Comments

Last night, I was subjected to the mind powers of the most convincing eyes in the world:

Looooook into my eyyyyyyyyyyyyyyes… You will take us on a loooooong walkies tomorrow morning… a looooong walkies, just like you used to before you and the couch became one…

It’s true. I used to take Jenn and Luna on long walks in the morning before I went to work. But I lost some motivation, then I got pneumonia, so they’ve been having short 10-15 minute jaunts for about 3 weeks now. I feel pretty guilty. Perhaps I *should* take them for a long walk…

*The next morning*


*pokepokepoke*  *nosenosenose*


I’m up! I’m up! Ok, ok… Let’s go for that long walkies…

It was a beautiful morning. It has finally become One-Jacket Weather in good ‘ol Ladner. The morning was bright, the birds were singing, my mocha was perfect, and Jenn and Luna were running around like idiots (my friend Sheena calls this “The Zoomies” – which if you’re a dog owner, you will completely understand), happy to be out and about in the fresh Spring air of the morning. I love these 6am walks, I really do. So why have I denied the girls AND myself this most wonderful of rituals?

It felt great to get out and exercise, too. I’ve been so stagnant, and so lazy that I forgot how lovely it is to just walk around my community. The seals bark at me from the river, the swans gracefully ignore me, the ducks nervously mumble-quack as I stroll by, my fellow early-walkers greet me with a smile and a nod. What a perfect start to the day.

From here on in, we’re rockin’ the long walkies in the morning.

It’s good to be back.


Yesterday… All my Pneumonia Seemed So Far Away…

4.11.2010 | 0 Comments

Yesterday I went around town approaching business owners for donations to the Kili Gala Raffle. I had a GREAT response! Everyone I approached was keen to help, and I was able to get some really neat things. THANK YOU!

I am going to get more posters copied and head into Tsawwassen today to try the same thing. Here’s hoping that business owners there as just as open to the idea!

I walked around Ladner for about 45 minutes yesterday, and by the time I got home, I was completely exhausted. It’s not until I try and actually *do* something that I realize how sick I actually am. I’m getting better, but I’m not necessarily getting smarter about taking it easy.

This morning I woke up and was feeling ok. A whole lot less coughing, and the rattle in my chest seems to have gone away. I decided to treat the dogs and go for our regular Weekend Morning Walk. I feel so bad that they’ve had to be kept to short walkies, so I was happy to oblige them today. We went out for 45 minutes, and it went really well for all of us (well, except for Luna who decided to go selectively deaf when she got near any garbage cans).

I’m going to relax, then take the girls to McDonald Beach at noon, so they can play with their Auntie Sheena and their cousins Tweed, Piper, Mr. Woo, Dexter and TWooie. It’ll be nice because all I have to do is sit on a log and throw sticks in the water. Nice job if you can get it, really.

Happy Jenn!

Happy Luna!

Happy Robyn!

*Ok, ok – so it’s not the same beach. Heck, it isn’t even the same continent! But you get the idea…



3.28.2010 | 4 Comments

I’ll admit it: I’m a law-breaker. I walk my two dogs without leash.

Call me in! Tell the cops! Have me tossed in the hoosegow!

I walk my two border collies each morning, happily sipping away at my mocha, as they gallivant through town, happy as waggy-tailed larks. They are well-trained beasts, and they listen to me. They can walk about 10 feet in front of me, but if I say “not so far, please”, they’ll come back a bit and walk closer.

To a dog, there is an entire world to sniff out there. Every day is a new day to them, and even though they’ve run their schnoz across the same ground 16 times in the past 4 days, it doesn’t matter – what is old is new again, thanks to the setting and the rising of the sun. My dogs are busy when they walk with with me; sniff here, run there, eat that thing, get yelled at for eating that thing, run over there, bring this thing here… it’s a never-ending Walk of Adventure.

So really, on walks, my dogs honestly don’t care much about anyone else but me. Unless you happen to be made of dog-cookie dough, Luna will ignore you. If you have a stick, Jenn would love to make your acquaintance. Otherwise, she’s got stuff to do, man. Border collies are known for being aloof and snobby. Even if Luna actually does stoop to approach a human, if you go to pet her, she’ll veer off to the left and leave you standing there looking like a fool.

Dude. You just got snubbed by a dog. Not cool. I feel really bad for people when Lu’ does this to them, and it’s so embarrassing to see them walk away nonchalantly as if they didn’t really want to pat that dumb dog anyway.

Generally when I come across people while walking my dogs, we exchange cordial greetings and carry on. Occasionally, I will get the impression that people are not keen on my having my dogs off-leash, and so I call Jenn and Lu’ to me and have them sit and wait until the passers-by have gone on. This usually invokes a ‘what well-trained dogs!’ or a ‘thank you’. But every once in a while, I get someone who is quite angry with me for walking my dogs off leash. Fair enough.

This morning, a lady who was walking her coat-bedecked cute fuzzball, quite angrily asked me where my leashes were. Then she lit into me, admonishing me for having my dogs off leash.

At least, I *think* that’s what she said. I couldn’t quite hear her over her precious little fuzzy angel’s incessant barking. The lady was having a difficult time yelling at me, as she needed to concentrate on holding her dog back as it was pulling and straining on its leash trying to sink its angel teeth into my leg. My dogs had long since passed this woman and her dog without even a sideways glance. There was grass to eat. There were things to pee on. That rock wasn’t there yesterday! OMG I THINK A SQUIRREL WAS HERE 14 HOURS AGO!

I listened to the lady for a short few seconds, but then as I was getting more annoyed at her dog’s YAPYAPYAP-ing, I realized that I needed to walk away before I said something I was going to regret. I wished her a happy day and walked on, leaving her words to bounce off my back as I carried on.

Here’s the deal: go ahead and get mad at me when you see me walking my dogs off leash. But if you can’t control your own dog while doing so, perhaps you should reconsider your rant.

This whole off-leash dog park business that’s been the hot topic of late is so simple to solve. It’s mind-blowing why it’s such a huge problem. Give dog owners a space. Just a small park where dogs can get the exercise they need, which ensures that non-dog people are comfortable in their own community.

I’m a law breaker. An evil, terrible, relentless criminal. I’m ok with that.

At least I know that I have the love of two very happy, well-trained, well-fed, much-exercised, dearly-loved dogs. To me, that’s all that matters. I offer no apologies.


Dog Heaven’s Eagles.

2.20.2010 | 0 Comments

This morning I was hoping to walk the dogs at the Delta Watershed, but unfortunately my hip had other plans. “Level ground, please!” it said. I listened.

I went instead to the Super Secret Special Awesome park, known as the aptly named “Dog Heaven” to the astute of us. I won’t tell you where it is, so don’t even ask! Well… I’ll tell you if you make a donation, how about that?

And what did Dog Heaven reward me with this time? Well, by the time I got out of the car and let the dogs out of their crates (safety first, people!) I had counted nine bald eagles. After walking into the park, I counted ten more. It was incredible. Not only were they sitting in the trees scoping out the buffet fields below, they were flying in the crisp air, chasing each other through the tangles of branches, dipping down and soaring up in a game that I can only ever dream of playing.

They flew so close overhead that I could see their eyes scanning us, disappointed perhaps that Jenn and Lu’ were not shivering teacup poodles but heavy, lithe Border Collies.

At one point I saw an eagle bring a piece of… something gross… to a branch high in a tree, and before he could even start breakfast, two more eagles landed on the same branch and made wholehearted attempts to steal the treasure. There was a loud *crack*, as the weight of the three incredibly beautiful birds of prey snapped the branch from the tree, sending all three spiraling off for a millisecond before catching themselves and soaring gracefully to another tree.

And after my walk through the sunshine of the cold morning, as I headed back to the car, in the distance I could make out another tree across the street from Dog Heaven that was all but laden down with the black forms of nearly two dozen eagles, like some surreal Christmas Tree, decorated by Edgar Allen Poe.

And so, with the dogs safely tucked in their crates, I drove us home to continue the day that started so uniquely. We live in a beautiful place, and mornings like this serve to remind me not to take it for granted. Home is where my heart is, that’s for sure.


The Girls Break my Heart

1.16.2010 | 2 Comments

I am having a dilemma of the heart. It is as follows…

I have two dogs; Jenn, a two-and-a-half year old purebred Border Collie who I fostered (and then ultimately adopted from) the AWESOME That’ll Do Border Collie Rescue in Vancouver, and Luna my nine year old dog who was rescued from a trailer after her first owners moved away and left her locked in there to starve to death (nice, huh?).

This is Jenn:

She is goofy, energetic, playful, crazy, energetic, loving, happy, energetic, eternally puppy-esque, adorable and energetic. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to completely tire her out – she just goes and goes and goes…

And this is Luna:

Luna is my Old Soul Dog. She is a Border Collie cross (I have no idea what she’s crossed with – maybe something smart, like an astrophysicist, or a seal…), and she is the Greatest Dog Who Ever Lived. She is calm, stoic, grateful, loving, at times goofy, and always perfect.

I take these two everywhere I can (you may have seen them outside the grocery store, in the bank, or wandering around Ladner with me), but when I have to go to work or other places that dogs simply cannot be, then they get to go to “Grandma’s” (my awesome mom) for ‘daycare’. I walk Jenn and Lu’ at least 2x a day, and my mom walks them 2x a day, as well. They get a lot of exercise, and they are very happy.

My dilemma, though, is this: Luna was born and raised in the East Kootenays. She is an Outdoorsy Dog, and the forest is her favourite place to be. However, she is now quite old, and even a 40-minute walk around town is getting to be too much for her. She has a wacky liver, an arthritic spine and a bum leg. But she’s still a happy, mobile and life-enjoying dog.

Jenn, on the other hand, is somewhat more energetic (have I mentioned that?) than Lu’, and can run like a maniac for hours on end, stopping only to lap up water, dig holes, or bring a stick/tennis ball/piece of garbage to drop at my feet.

I can hike with Jenn, but not with Lu’.

Lu’ simply does not have the physical capacity anymore. Sure, she’ll push herself and love every minute, but the moment she stops, she is going to be in a lot of pain, and will be so very unhappy for a few days after the hike. Luna, the one who lives for the forest and the trees… has to stay home.

So, if I bring them both hiking, Luna will ultimately suffer. If I just bring Jenn, Luna will know that we’ve gone somewhere wonderful (oh, that canine nose!), and that she wasn’t invited. It’ll break her heart. If I go without either of them, I feel like a guilty, horrible schmuck, knowing that they would both love to be there, and that they should be there, instead of sitting at home waiting for my return.


So far, this has been the hardest part of my training. My poor heart.


I need Help

1.09.2010 | 1 Comment

When discussing the idea of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with people, I am met with many different reactions. I know that people are supportive, but sometimes it’s funny how that “support” is portrayed. For example, a friend of mine recently decided to point out:

Six kilometres straight up! It’s like doing The Chief 8½ times without a break!

Thanks. I really needed to hear that.

I’m trying to avoid the reality of this situation for as long as possible. Right now I’m thinking that I’ll be needing some good shoes, a few granola bars, some water and a good porter to get myself up this rather large hill. I like it when people keep me somewhat ignorant. It keeps the fear at bay for a little while longer.

Recently I was taking the bus into Vancouver (you know, I’m not even going to comment on the changes to the 601, mkay?), and I was going to walk to the bus loop on the other side of town. My mother asked me if I’d like a drive to the loop, and I thanked her but replied that I would rather walk. “Walk?!”, she says, “All the way there?!”

Considering I am climbing “six kilometers straight up”, a little stroll across town doesn’t seem too daunting.

I like walking. I have two dogs (Jenn and Luna) that I walk quite frequently, so I really don’t mind a few extra steps here and there. That being said, hiking is different. So from here on in, every weekend until I leave I will either hike or *shudder* camp with a variety of friends and training partners. Tomorrow my friend Ali and I head to Lynn Canyon, rain or shine.

I’ll let you know how it goes. However, as for today…. I need to go buy hiking boots.