Friday, December 19, 2008

Life is the Hot Chocolate

This random thought is timely. With my ongoing search for a home to call my own; I am obsessing over wall colours, flooring and counter tops."the cup" so to speak - I now realize that I must choose with my head, a little of my heart (ideally my wallet) in the end it is up to me to make this house my home. "the hot chocolate"
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired.

During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups -porcelain, glass, crystal,some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: 'Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in somecases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups...And then you began eyeing each others cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the qualityof life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate that has been provided us. The hot chocolate is there for the taking, man chooses the cups The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rename this blog?

I'm thinking i need to journal my life with Jake... he is such a character and he seems to get into everything as a regular part of his day. I'm embarassed really, because I have taken such care in basically puppy proofing the house, and i never take my eyes off him... I blame Jake's last three incidents on someone else.. and rightly so...everything happened while in someone elses care... not really blaming... but shifting the focus off me!
I feel like I'm living Grogan's life with Marley... Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog! I am looking forward to the movie coming out at Christmas time...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Love is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention towards other things it will come and softly sit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

But I love you too Jake...

Jake graduates from Puppy Kindergarten - November 12, 2008.

Well... he did fine... I need to go back for more training!

I spoil him way too much - but how can I not? Look at that face :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Buddy - I loved you best...

So this is where we part, My Friend,
And you'll run on, around the bend,
Gone from sight, but not from mind,
New pleasures there you'll surely find.
I will go on, I'll find the strength,
Life measures quality, not its length.
One long embrace before you leave,
Share one last look, before I grieve.
There are others, that much is true,
But they be they, and they aren't you.
And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
Will remember well all you've taught.
Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,
The fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
And as you journey to your final rest,
Take with you this...I loved you best
Author, Jim Willis

Note: in no way does this diminish my love for my little Jake! It was just a fitting sentiment to my old friend "Buddy" that I wanted to share. This is also dedicated to our dear little Jack, my friend's four year old Shitzu that succumbed to his fate in their pool last week.

"So long Jack"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If it weren't for bad luck.....

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Police say a woman has died on the way to a cemetery when a traffic accident hurled her husband's coffin against the back of her neck.

Police say 67-year old Marciana Barcelos was in the front passenger seat of the hearse when the accident occurred Monday in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Barcelos died instantly.

Her 76-year-old husband Josi Coimbra died Sunday of a heart attack while dancing at a party.

The driver of hearse and Barcelos' son suffered minor injuries.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Canine 10 Commandments

My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that when you buy me.

Give me time to understand what you want of me.

Place your trust in me - it's crucial for my wellbeing.

Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment and your friends. I have only you.

Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it's speaking to me.

Be aware, however you treat me, I'll never forget.

Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but that I choose not to bite you.

Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, or I've been out in the sun or in the cold too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.

Take care of me when I get old. You too, will grow old someday.

Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: "I can't bear to watch it", "Let it happen in my absence" or "I am tired of you". Everything is easier for me if you are there.

Remember I Love You.

Monday, September 29, 2008

How do you live your dash?

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on his tombstone; from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came his date of birth, and spoke the following date with tears. But, he said, what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time that he spent alive on earth…And now only those who loved him know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own; the cars…the house…the cash. What matters most is how we live and how we love - and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard… Are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left - that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough, to consider what’s true and real - and always try to understand the way other people feel. And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more - to love the people in our lives, like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect - and more often wear a smile…Remembering that this special dash, might only last a while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash… Would you be proud of the things they say - about how you lived your dash?

Linda Ellis

Friday, September 26, 2008

I can see her in the cookie jar!

" I think I see her in the cookie jar Dawson - keep sitting like a "good boy" and I know she'll get us one!"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Growing up so fast!

Little Jake is growing up so fast - first trip to the vet saw a significant increase in poundage - at 5 weeks - 12.6 lbs - at 12 weeks 28 lbs! Yikes - i think i'm looking at an 80 lb adult dog (perhaps more)

Although I knew that when I saw the size of his puppy paws!

Puppy Kindergarten starts the week of September 22nd and we've had several "play dates" with neighbourhood pups and friends pups...

Poor Timber, a 9 year old 109 lbs Lab just couldn't escape the bouncing puppy! He had the patience of Jobe!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Have Bowl, Will Travel

Such a funny puppy - Jake has this unusual but hilarious habit - takes a drink from the water bowl then plops both paws in and starts "digging" in the bowl.
I'm not quite sure if he is expecting more water to magically appear through the bottom of the bowl, or is this his way of trying to tell me something?
"More H2O Mom!"
Either way - very cute....have bowl, will travel!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Lady next door

Here is my little friend... the "Lady" next door!
A little beagle mix pup that has been hanging around our house the last several months. I call her "Lady", but i'm uncertain of her name. The poor little dear has lost an eye and is very sensitive if you try and pat her on her head... no doubt because of the trauma that resulted in her eye injury. She lives down the road, but almost every day the last few weeks she stops by for a visit... she thinks this is her second home. I've been sharing some of Jake's' liver treats with this "Lady" next door. A well mannered, polite little pup, maybe 4 or 5 - she sits eagerly for a treat, lifting her paw to try and shake your hand. I wonder if she sense's Jakes' impending arrival! I look forward to their first meeting; when she comes to lie on the mat outside the patio door, the door flies open and out bounces a little puppy to greet her!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"There might be bugs on some of you mugs, but there aint no fleas on me!"

Although a decision could not be made when I first met the litter, it only took a few days until I returned .... I knew I wanted a boy. There is something a little easier about the whole spay / neuter process with having a boy... sorry guys... but its the truth. Not only easier for the pup, but on the pocket book too... I know... if you have to worry about vet bills you should not be getting a dog... but if you can budget a little bit where possible, whats wrong with that!?!
Seriously... i like boy puppies better... they are known to be a little "suckier"... which I like... (something to be said for human boys too... :-) maybe something to do with Buddy... I don't know, but I decided on a boy...
The owner was wonderful - I'll call her "V" - she hurried off an email to me first thing Tuesday morning and alerted me to the fact that "another family was coming around 5:30 to choose a puppy", "not certain which one they were after, but wanted to make sure you got the one you wanted!" My plans were to be there between 6 and 7 ... "schedule revision!" I bolted from the office at 2:30 and made it to the farm at 4:50 pm! She was not even there yet - but shortly after five, V pulled in, waved at me and rushed to grab the two little boys I was interested in... I assumed I would have at least a good half hour alone with them on the front lawn....but lo and behold; not 5 minutes after a short frolic with the pups - a large red van careened up the driveway, braked, doors flew open, the couple tumbled out with an eight year old fast on their heels... all three racing towards the helpless pups!
I had not made a decision yet... what do I do? I could see that the little blond one was leaning towards my other half and he in turn was leaning towards him... meanwhile, noticing my panic stricken face V calmly asked the family "You didn't mention which one you were interested in?"... without taking a breath they exclaimed "the blond one"!
Resembling a scavenger shopper at a K-Mart flashing light sale, I calmly fumbled for the little red collar from my Coach bag (Note of caution - little pup has taste in handbags!) and slipped it gingerly over his head while announcing firmly... "Sorry, I believe this one's taken!!!"

Snagged !! Too close! I felt like i was eight.... battling over marbles with the other eight year old! Too bad, Jake is mine and he comes home August 9th :-)
Max (the little black one I was also fond of, will go home with the family..... thank heavens, or I might have ended up with both of them!)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Note to self...

Note to self:

Stop perusing puppy sites... or you will find what you're looking for!

Yes, I think I have found him. (or "them")

After a struggle trying to determine the right breed... Black Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever, I have found the perfect mix... "Otis", a philandering Black Lab, found a willing Golden Retriever (her name escapes me) - to "enjoy an evening with him". As a result, six adorable little puppies arrived on June 4th....

I could not resist - I read the ad, and knowing I was going to Ottawa on the weekend, I completely convinced myself that "Lakefield" was on my way! Just up the road, just around the corner, about 5 minutes out of my way!

It turned out to be 45 minutes out of my way; but certainly worth the trip. I drove up the driveway and was greeted by this lovely golden retriever - announcing to the home owners that yet another visitor was here!

As she carefully poked around her puppies, it was as if she was nudging them to tell them to "wake up.... someone is here to adopt you, so be on your best behaviour!"

It was a little sad too... the mother reminded me of Ann-Margret in "Who Will Love My Children"!

I have to admit, I am extremely proud of myself - I actually walked away without making a decision right then and there. (i think the owner was a little put out - she drove from her cottage with Mum and 6 pups in tow to meet me - but she was wonderful - very accommodating and answered alot of my questions)

As I reluctantly drove out the drive way - (with my little ribbon still in my handbag) it was difficult - should I or shouldnt I - I had ample time to think on the drive to Ottawa. I know "I" will be the major caregiver in this adventure - but there are two of us at home, so thought I would get some additional input... the only response was "black - boy" and "Y" - we'll make a trip up on Tuesday evening....

I'm almost there... but I'm leaning towards the blonde boy....I will decide on Tuesday - Bailey (blonde) or Max (black)

Anyone interested in helping me make that decision, please feel free to comment!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friendly Neighbourhood Loo!

Prior to building this house..... the land was a plush carpet of green grass, flourishing shrubs of various sorts, flowering weeds and a forest of towering pines and spruce. Last April when we broke ground, I'm sure nature's little creatures wondered what on earth was happening to their homeland... they likely felt like the people of the war torn country's - devastating earthquakes, bombs and fire threatening their very being.
The one solitary creature that seemed to harbour no resentment or show the least amount of fear was the neighbourhood cat. I call him Morris. Dirt everywhere - mounds of new earth, dirt and gravel - ripe for depositing his waste around every corner.
Now that the house is built, the grass is in and work continues in the back gardens ... Morris still thinks this is his paradise... Each morning I sit with my coffee and book on the deck and watch begrudgingly as he saunters through the yard - glancing at me as if to say, "thanks for your hospitality" ... he is plotting his next dropping spot...
Part of my morning ritual is a stroll around my new front garden - watching the shrubs and blooms settle into their new home... and each morning my blood pressure rises ever so slightly when I come across a dozen or so neat little paw prints weaved through the freshly groomed flower beds... hrrmmph... what to do... I cant catch him in the middle of the night with a quick spray of the hose...
The web search begins...and within minutes, EUREKA!! ... my Gardening Idol - Mark Cullen has the solution! - A recipe to end Morris' foray into my garden - or rather, the local Kitty Loo!
Simple... normal ingredients... quick and easy - Thank you Mark Cullen!
I'm off to the kitchen to seek out my blender!
Mark Cullen's cat repellent recipe *
· one garlic bulb
· one onion (smelly)
· one tablespoon of Tabasco sauce
· one litre of water
Mix the ingredients in a blender and pour it on. Repeat after heavy rain.
Be warned Morris... your lavatory is soon to be demolished!

I will let you know if there are any kitty prints in my garden tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Not ready yet...!

It has been a little over 3 months since Buddy left this earth...and admittedly not a day goes by that I don't think of him - sometimes along with a few tears. A space has been dedicated in my yard where he will be remembered... between the three lilacs that grace the side of the yard with a peaceful view of the is comfortable there, and I know he appreciates the view.

It seems that every other day a puppy will cross my path - a news story, a small child walking with his friend in the park, or a fuzzy friend flailing out of a truck that rumbles down the country road....ears flopping, tongue wagging and that look on his face that tells you... this is the life!
Sunday evening, while dining at the Golf Course, "Tent Style", I could hear a dog announcing his presence out the back of the tent - I did not pay too close attention until I went to leave - I caught sight of her through the back of the tent...and what a beautiful sight she was! A lovely golden retriever about 3 years old... I had to stop. Just gorgeous...the right size, soft and loving... she licked my hand (she could probably taste the chocolate dessert I dared to have! (busted!) She cuddled up beside me as if to say "I'm so happy you stopped to say hello.... let me lean on you awhile!" and she did.
Reluctantly I left... knowing her master would be along shortly to take her home...I am still thinking of her - I think I'm ready.

I continue to peruse the websites that appeal to the weak at heart... Rescue Shelters, and tacky want ads - I frequent YouTube, specifically for "funny dogs" videos, just to get my fix.
Some of the shelter ads are quite amusing - people desperately trying to convince you that this dog would be perfect for you, and you and you! It appears they have hired marketing guru's to assist in their efforts to "get rid of their puppies"
Well the owner of this little fellow almost has me hooked... his name is Rosco... but that can be changed....
It would mean a trip to Pennsylvania... what a coincidence, I will be there in 4 weeks...
no, no, no... not yet...I'm not ready... or am I?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Garden Dilemma

After a visit with my bestest friend last weekend, I have my plan for my garden... well at least I thought i did. I found some design ideas on the web and after carefully reviewing and plotting and "listing" with her I set off in search of "shrub deals"....shrubs and a few blooms no later than the end of June..... and another good hunt in September for more shrubs - this is the plan.

I really had no idea what i was looking for - the names would sound familiar, but once i saw the plant, it was not what i expected... after getting "so exciting" on finding a "Cotoneaster"... my heart sunk when i actually saw the photo of the would be grown shrub... hmmph... not quite what i was looking for...

a few bargains here and a few splurges there....i have what i call a "start" on my gardens. A peony - an award winning peony to boot!, a few boxwoods and Eonymous, a Sand Cherry and hosta's already in.... a Wigelia, some Veronica, and Lily of the Valley waiting patiently on my deck to be meticulously placed in just the right spot... i will retreat to the garden for awhile this morning.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Buddy - Old & New

An old dog, with a new haircut...

This is my Buddy... One does not realize the impact a dog can have on your dog was my companion, my confidant, my therapist .... a friend...

I miss him terribly.

When you bring a dog into your life, you begin a journey. A journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet will also test your strength and courage. If you allow it, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.

Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's simple pleasures --jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears. If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of valuable information.

Your pace may be slower, except when heading home to the food dish, but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field. Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details: the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig.

Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world. We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes, look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows: that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an essence all its own.

You will learn the true measure of love. The steadfast, undying kind that says, "It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are together." Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not find it often among the human race.

You will learn humility. At times Buddy would look at me and I felt shamed... He felt such joy and love with my presence.. He did not see the flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only his wonderful companion. Or maybe he saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway. If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to be. The one they were proud to call beloved friend.

Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your beloved dog will go down a trail that you are unable to will need to find the strength and love to let go...

We only borrow our pets for a short while... it baffles me how fast that time goes. During those brief years they give us all their love, every inch of their heart and spirit until one day there is nothing left. That young puppy of yesterday now wakes up stiff and lame, grey muzzle and cloudy eyed.

Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken. But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead, young and whole once more. "God speed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again. *

Buddy... December 1993 - March 2008 - Forever in my heart.

*labrynth, absent friends