We got a puppy

Well, after seeing so many puppies and doggies, it was really bound to happen. We got a doggie. He’s not with us yet; he’s too little. But he’s coming and he’ll be with us on June 10th. He’s arriving on a plane–which is pretty exciting.

This little guy is coming all the way from British Columbia to Ontario.

He’s a Newfoundlander. A breed that I’m super excited to have. and he’s going to be called George.

Now, I would have told you all sooner but my lovely hubby and his friend decided to clean up our house this weekend and they cut some cables that seemed to be useless to them…so we had no internet, cable or electricity as a result. It took a couple of days to get someone in to fix things.

Now, I’ve explained things to Ocean, who doesn’t seem very impressed with the idea of a new brother. She’s quite determined to show him who’s boss and who’s toys are hers (all of them). But, I think, once she meets him, she’ll learn to love him.

I am very picky.

So, things are very exciting here. We can’t wait for George to arrive and have him running about the house. We’re probably in for a couple of sleepless nights and all the fun things that come with puppies. But, the best part is that you can hear all about it through this blog and not have to miss a single minute of rest or clean a single accident. We’ll be doing all that over here.

I like big dogs and I cannot lie

Well, it’s Mother’s Day here and I got a lovely gift for it…I got a particularly lovely wet kiss from a very special pooch.

Don’t tell me you wanted flowers!

But most of my weekend was spent researching breeders and trying to convince my lovely hubby that we might need another dog. See, Ocean is getting on in years. Now, chihuahuas out there need not fear, I researched rather larger breeds.

I looked up both the English Mastiff and the Neapolitan Mastiff.

The English Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff

Nothing is guaranteed. We’re just going to go and see the dogs and meet the breeders. I have questions for the breeder and am quite choosy about who I want to get a puppy from…

I do love me some puppies

Still, you might get a post with some pictures coming up. Just saying.

Meanwhile, this happened.

5 Priceless Things I learned from Ocean

  1. Kisses are the best thing ever
Kisses are the best

2. Always take time for a nap.

Naps are the best

3. Trust those who love you.

He’s the best doggie daddy

4. Life is short, enjoy every moment

Toys are the best

5. Never doubt how awesome you are.

I’m the best

A leaky nightmare

We just got a brand new faucet for our kitchen sink. It is shiny, fancy and has a price tag to match. We had our old one removed, the new one installed and awaited the flow of water with happy, eager faces.

Alas, it was not to be.

When we turned on our brand new, shiny faucet, all we got a was a minuscule, hesitant drip. Our handyman of the day turned himself into a pretzel and worked on the thing for hours managing to encourage a quivering stream out of the faucet. To say the water flow was hesitant isn’t an understatement and, of course, as soon as the handyman left the house, the water stopped flowing completely.

Hoping for some help, we called the makers of the faucet. They blamed the lack of water on microscopic sediments on the water supply and reassured us the solution was easy. When we asked if we should call a plumber, they told us there was no need. It was a matter of cleaning up a filter or two. So simple, a child could do it, they claimed. They would talk us through the entire process.

Innocently unprepared for the nightmare that is working with valves, faucets and turning parts, we peered under the sink, stared at the dark tubes, pipes and knobs. My hubby and I glanced at each other uncertainly. This was like an alien landscape. Nothing looked familiar or like the friendly picture on the assembly handout.

Cheered on by the ever positive representative on the phone, we started moving knobs around. Almost immediately, water appeared. It started in one tab but quickly spread until it was coming from just a bout every pipe, knob or valve. I ran for towels while my hubby tried to close valves.

When I returned, I was faced with a scene from Fantasia. There was water everywhere and it just kept coming. The only thing in the kitchen that wasn’t leaking was our brand new faucet. That thing was as dry as a bone.

Now, many sore muscles later, we have a dry kitchen and a new faucet. Neither have water in it or the possibility of giving us any water. We have turned it off.

We also have an appointment with a plumber.

Pigeon Wars

Sometime during this summer, we put feeders out for the birds. Unbeknownst to us, the seeds we chose were delicacies for pigeons. Not too soon after, a little family of the birds made a nest on our roof.

Pigeons Nesting, Mating and Feeding Habits
Not our nest…ours was much more messy

I thought this was lovely news but my lovely hubby was concerned. Turns out, pigeon droppings have toxic chemicals in them that, if ingested, could kill dogs. Hubby didn’t want his baby hurt. When the pigeons stayed after their babies had left the nest, he realized these guys were settling in for the winter and set out to change things. The pigeons, he decided, had to go.

The only issue was that our new feathery visitors were quite happy with their new home. They had chosen a spot between two dormers that is sheltered from the rain and wind. They had constant food below and a beautiful view of lovely old trees to admire. They weren’t going anywhere.

Round 1 consisted of my hubby trying out banging pots and pans near the roof. It made our neighbours come out and stare but the pigeons didn’t even budge.

Having accomplished nothing with the banging but to look ridiculous, Hubby decided to bring out the heavy guns and bought a wind chimer. Apparently, the soothing sounds of wind chimes are incredibly irritating to pigeon ears and they fly away. Delighted with his cunning, Hubby installed the biggest wind chime he could find. Right under their nest.

ChimeOut wind chime silencer - large

The wind came and the chimes rang. And rang, and rang. And nothing happened anywhere in the neighbourhood. Day after day, Hubby peered up into the roof to find our unwanted guests snuggled together, as happy as could be.

Round 3 -Hubby decided to involve technology. He bought a machine that made a sound humans ears cannot detect but apparently scares birds. The contraption was massive, it took him an entire day to hook it up on our balcony and get it going but he did and he turned it on with delight.

Of course, we couldn’t hear anything but Ocean did. She started howling at the moon, the sun and pretty much every celestial object in the sky. I had a headache spring up every time I stepped in the house but, otherwise, nothing else seemed to change. Certainly not the pigeons, who were still snuggled together on our roof.

Round 4 – Hubby bought a plastic ball that lit up when thrown and stretched out his throwing arm. The idea was that he’d throw the ball close enough to the annoying birds that they would leave and never return. The problem with this plan was that my hubby has many talents but accuracy is not one of them. The ball landed on the neighbours’ yards, the street, our deck, our backyard but it didn’t come even close to the pigeons.

Seeing the crazed look in my husband’s eyes, even I took a turn at throwing the ball. I got pretty close. The birds did fly away…and returned as soon as the ball fell back to earth.

Pigeon Watch: Get to Know (and Love) Our Amazing City Birds | Audubon
I like my home

By this point in the war, it was winter. Every morning, on my way to work, I would look up as I left and see the two fluffy pigeons in their nook. Clearly winners of the war, they were not moving. I suggested to my hubby making them another home in our yard, one that would tempt them away from the roof, but my idea wasn’t a winner. If they stayed, so would their droppings and that would still endanger Ocean.

Hubby started asking for help. He discovered that a lot of people have had unwanted feathery guests stay with them for a while and that it is really hard to discourage such guests. Everyone had advice but it went from the shocking to the ridiculous; someone suggested getting a pet eagle, another wanted him to build an electric fence on our roof…the most consistent one was to shoot them. But my hubby is a gentle man and he didn’t want to hurt the birds.

Then, finally someone came up with the idea that he liked.

He was told that if he got an owl, a fake, plastic one, and installed it near the pigeons, it would scare away them away. Owls are natural predators of pigeons, the person explained, they’ll be terrified of the thing.

My hubby went out and found a massive, plastic owl that terrified everyone, even him. Before the day was out, the thing was hanging from the roof right next to the pigeon home. And, sure enough, the pigeons were gone.

He was ecstatic. “He was right,” Hubby grinned. “It terrifies them. They’ll never come back.”

Do Plastic Owls Scare Pigeons?

Volunteering…

I’m volunteering. It’s true. They were asking for people at work and I just couldn’t say no. It was for such a good cause…

The cause is a really good cause and we’re doing great work and making a huge difference. That’s all fantastic news and really really good. The problem is that volunteering takes about 2.5 to 3 hours after work and it is every blessed day.

Every. Day.

But it’s for a really, really good cause.

My hubby barely sees me during the week now, though he tries to be supportive of this cause. But, this is why I have been less prolific with my little blog lately.

The good news is that our goal is coming up soon and this volunteering should end.

The bad news is that my hubby tried to cook to help me…

These were once asparagus…

He was much more successful at purchasing Ocean a little gift…

Ocean is thinking about forgiving me from all the time I’ve been away. This new cushion also helped ease the tension…

Though her Fluffiness did only use it once…Apparently, it wasn’t the exact colour she liked…

Finally, to tempt me to stay home, my hubby has been sending me pictures of cute akita puppies…the idea being if we have two dogs, I’ll stay home more…

Is it a house or a home?

They say it takes a year for a house to become a home. I had never heard that before we moved to our present house but it certainly didn’t feel like home when we walked in. As time passed and I walked around the place expecting the old owners to come in and kick us out, I wondered just how true that saying was.

Our previous house was a tiny, cozy thing, just right for two people. By contrast, this house is big and poky, with doors, hallways and stairs everywhere. When I first saw it, I thought it’d be the perfect house for witches to live in–if they used a gas fireplace and needed air conditioning.

It’s been a year and things have changed. This is where Ocean got really sick and we almost lost her. It’s where the fence failed and our dogs got to run freely down the neighbourhood. It’s where my hubby built a dog castle.

We’ve made some memories here.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s starting to feel like home.

Covid races

Our neighbour told us. If we hurried, if we really hurried, we could get our vaccines. They were giving them out at the local market just over there. And we didn’t need an appointment.

We ran.

But the speed of a car, even one driven like a maniac, can’t beat that of gossip. By the time we got there, the word was out and the line up was massive.

We never even slowed down. We ran up to the last spot and breathlessly took our place in line…And then we waited…and waited…and waited some more.

Waiting isn’t exactly an absorbing occupation. Half an hour later, we had learned all we could about the vegetables on the stands and we turned to the people around us. How did you hear about this? Have you registered anywhere yet?

This was where it started to get weird. One person was certain that we could register online and get an appointment in a certain Walmart because she knew the owner. Another knew a guy who would give anyone vaccines that were off-market but still could beat the virus. Someone else claimed they could get an appointment for anyone using a fake address in Toronto. One even claimed she could make a vaccine out of some common household items and she guaranteed it worked. It seemed everyone knew someone who had gotten a vaccine in under 10 minutes using a trick or a gimmick.

I was about to try a strange website that someone was vowing was fail-proof to get us vaccinated when the market manager appeared and told us they had run out of vaccines.

On the other hand, if anyone is interested in a homemade vaccine, I know a recipe that’s guaranteed to work…

Morning kisses

We have morning kisses in our house. They don’t actually involve my husband and I. They involve…well, our doggies.

It started innocently enough, with me giving our two pooches kisses after they ate their breakfast. I was just hugging and petting them because they’re simply adorable and so loving that I couldn’t hold back the kisses.

Soon, though, it turned into something bigger. Ocean started ignoring her breakfast until she had received her ‘quota’ of kisses. And now, her bowl of food doesn’t have the attraction my smile and hands do. Her ears flatten sideways, her tail waves like crazy and she wiggles her entire body dancing her way towards me; thrilled at the prospect of those kisses.

It’s a mutual thing. I believe there is something therapeutic in seeing a little creature closing her eyes with bliss while I kiss her forehead and ask her how her night was. I whisper softly into her ears and tell her I love her and that she’s going to have a lovely day and I believe I get more out of it than she does.

My hubby, the therapist explained to me that witnessing something horrific is traumatic for those who see it. I believe the opposite is therapeutic. It certainly feels like it. When I kiss River’s flat, soft head and tell him that there is a sunny-filled day waiting for him outside and he closes his eyes and sighs, I can feel a part of me heal.

Best therapy in the world.

Shhhh

So, here’s the thing. I kiss my doggies. I hug and pet them and whisper things to them and ask them questions. I rub their tummies and tickle their bellies and kiss their ears. They love it and I love it. I do it all the time and it often involves me rolling around with them.

My lovely hubby has told me time and time again that I should keep my distance a little bit and that shoving my face into their fur is not a good idea. But, what does he know, right?

Well, this morning I woke up with one eye open and the other closed. I have an eye infection.

I’m honestly hoping he won’t notice…a lot.

In other news, I did finish my painting.