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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Still, you might get a post with some pictures coming up. Just saying.
I had no idea what that was. None. It turns out that Conformation is the shape or structure of an animal, in this case, a dog. Judges run their hands along the sides and legs of the dog to assess their shape and structure and see if they meet the breeds’ ideal.
There are several types of different dog shows, some are for agility, some for hunting and some, are conformation. In those, the dogs compete for the Best in Show and earn points towards their championship papers.
The cool thing, for someone like me who’s just a little dog-obsessed, is that you can go to these events and see virtually every breed of dog ever imagined, polished, prepped and looking their absolute best. Imagine! Every kind of dog. Ever!
So, of course, that’s on my to-do list. But…how do I find those dog shows? Well, here’s one nifty little webpage: www.canuckdogs.com. There, you can find shows under any province and type of dog or type of show. If you live in the US, here’s a different but just as useful site for you: www.akc.org/sports/conformation.com. It has the same shows but just in the States.
So, what is my trusty hound doing while I am researching all this online? She’s super busy protecting us from nasty intruders, of course.
I have Covid. Now, my lovely, gentle reader, do not fret. I am healing and doing alright mostly because my genes are like those in weeds and will not die no matter what, also because I have every vaccine available to humankind in my body and finally, because I have a lovely nurse called Ocean by my side.
My nurse is quite vigilant and takes excellent care of me. She is always by my side, ready to poke her little wet nose at me or entrance me with her doggie breath. She even insists on my coming outside with her from time to time to get some fresh air.
She does have other duties that keep her busy but she always has time for me.
I work with the public, that’s where I got Covid, but I am home. I cannot return to work because the public, having once gotten rid of their Covid virus, do not want it back. So, I am home under the excellent care of my hairy, fluffy nurse who insists on sleeping with me at night.
We have a lovely, slightly-spoiled doggie named Ocean. She’s an akita, a breed we didn’t know really well before getting her, and pretty independent. We used to have two akitas but, as life would have it, we lost River and now we only have Ocean.
Life as an only dog suits Ocean just fine. She gets twice the kisses, treats and tons of toys. She also gets to participate in a lot of conversations with me. I however, wonder if she wants a brother or sister.
I talked to her about it, but she didn’t seem very open to the idea.
Me: What kind of breed do you think you’d like for a brother?
Me: What about a bulldog? They’re super cute.
Me: What about a Neapolitan Mastiff?
Me: Hm…what about a bullmastiff?
Me: What about an Irish Wolfhound? They’re beautiful.
Me: A bloodhound? A Newfoundlander?… You know, if you don’t help me, I’ll end up at the pound and get a rescue.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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…
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…
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…