Thursday, October 22, 2020

Long Overdue

Liam's introduction to the blog world is long overdue. The saying "every cloud has a silver lining" certainly fits this blog post.  During a worldwide pandemic when all the travel I had planned for this first full year of retirement was cancelled, I had to find that "silver lining" so I got a puppy.  In August, I added Divine's Locharran Liam to the pack. I've been looking for a bi black puppy for over a year now and if it hadn't been for the pandemic I wouldn't have gotten Liam as right now I'd be on a Mediterranean cruise; I wouldn't have gotten a puppy just to leave them with someone else for nearly a month.

Liam - Six weeks

Liam came home at nine weeks old; that first day was very hard, every time he napped I was in tears because he wasn't Beckett.  He'll be five months old on 4 Nov.  He's fit in quite well.  At first Teddy was a little rough but he was never aggressive, now Teddy is very patient with a little brat who's always pulling his hair and nipping him. Keltic doesn't like Liam much and is usually the fun police but lately Keltic has been trying to get Liam to tug on a toy with him. 

Liam - 10 weeks

Liam is going to be a big Sheltie. He's not quite five months and he's already as tall or taller than Keltic who is 15 1/2 inches. 

Liam - 12 weeks

Liam - 14 weeks

He's been a good puppy. We've had very few accidents and usually because I've ignored him. He always whined when he needed to go out, unlike other young puppies who just stopped and peed right where they were.  At night, I first had him in a kennel on my bed but then he was asking to get out two or three times a night so I decided to try him out on the bed with me, once I did that he would sleep through the night. Well mostly, he would usually have to go out between 3 and 4 am, then I would put him in the kennel for the rest of the night.  He's been sleeping through the night for over a month now, getting up between 6:30  and 7:30 am.  He's also sleeping on the dog beds rather than with me in bed. He's the first puppy I've had that took himself off to bed upstairs.

Liam - 4 months

Even during a pandemic I've tried to expose him to many things. He's been to a garden centre,  went shopping with me to Canadian Tire, been camping and hiking and has visited with family and friends.  He's been sharing Teddy's agility classes, doing tugging games and impulse control games soon we'll be able to do some basic agility training.  He's not been phased by anything too much; although this week, a bunny that came out from under the cedar hedge while he was taking care of business, which did startle him a bit. The next bunny he saw though, he stood his ground and then started to chase it; that bunny escaped under the fence.

Liam out shopping

Met Beckett's litter sister, Hannah while camping

At home


Playing with Teddy

Meeting Border Collie friends

I still miss Beckett but now Liam has found his own place in my heart.  I'm sure we'll have many wonderful adventures together. Hopefully, it won't be another four months before there's another post about Liam, or Teddy, or Keltic for that matter.

Counter Surfer?

I can almost reach.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Mini Walktober Walks

 Well, it's Walktober, one thing we can do in a pandemic is go for a nice walk. I planned three walks, none of which turned out as planned but it was still nice to get out.

Facebook reminded me of past walks by the Ottawa river ahead of our Thanksgiving weekend so I decided to do that again. Since adding Liam to the pack, I can no longer take all three dogs to the federal government owned lands administered by the National Capital Commission. NCC regulations only allow each person to walk a maximum of two dogs so I decided to go to a boat launch that has a trail by the river.  There's a an old boat on the shoreline, I'm sure it's located on private property. I thought it would be a good place for some pictures; but since this really isn't a public trail, I found it had been overgrown and I decided I wasn't going to try and wrangle three dogs through the brush to get there so we turned back. Even had we made it to the boat, we would have had to turn around as the trail just follows the river's edge.

On the Ottawa river.

The boys leading the way.

The trail

Looking down to the boat launch.

Our next walk was on Thanksgiving Monday, we went to do the Wilsondale trails. They are trails maintained by the city of Ottawa and are in behind the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. We started out to do some of those trails but even though it was a bright sunny day, the trail was wet and muddy.  I don't think we had even gone halfway and it was just too muddy so again I headed back.  We did walk the museum property instead. The museum doesn't permit dogs when it's open but once it's closed they don't seem to mind. I've walked the dogs there a number of times even in the winter as the roads are kept plowed. 

On the Wilsondale trail

Heritage Village Museum

Barn in the Heritage Village

Tractor and fall colours

Another barn

Old gas station

My last Walktober walk was just yesterday. I had thought to go downtown Ottawa to take a picture of the statue of the Famous Five statue as today is Persons Day in Canada. I took just Keltic and Liam with me. We walked all around the Parliament buildings, down to the canal, over to the War Memorial and down the Sparks street mall but we didn't see the statues. Turns out because the restoration work has started on the Parliament buildings that many of the statues have been moved. The restoration work will take the next ten years.  The Famous Five statue has been moved to the front of the building being used as the temporary Senate, it will be a government conference centre once all the renovations are done. 

Statue to the War of 1812

View of the Ottawa River and Gatineau from behind Parliament

Eternal Flame and the Peace Tower

Keltic and Liam on the Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal Locks

Keltic at the War Memorial

Liam - downtown Ottawa

So while none of walks turned out as planned, they got us out of the house to enjoy some beautiful fall days.  Hopefully, there will be more nice days ahead as I have leaves to rake.  

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Masters Jumpers Dog of Canada

 Well, the little dog who could, came out to play agility this weekend. We went to our first agility trial since the lockdown this Saturday. There were many precautions like you had to wear a mask except when you were in your own crating area or when you were running your course, no spectators were allowed in the park, and there was hand sanitizer everywhere.

The trial site was over an hour away, an hour and forty minutes according to my GPS so we left the house at 5:40 am as our first run was to start with the walk-through at 8:15 am. Well, there's no traffic at that time of day and we arrived at ten after 7 but that gave me time to leisurely set up and to walk all the dogs.  The weather forecast was for a sunny and warm day so I just brought my beach shelter and sport umbrella.

I had entered Keltic in two Jumpers runs and one Standard run. First up was Jumpers, he needed one qualifying score for his Master Jumpers title. I liked how the first course walked and I thought that if Keltic would just run we would have a good chance but since we hadn't run since March, other than doing the Fun At Home League that the AAC had started, I wasn't sure what he would do.

I wasn't sure I could lead out with the tire as the first obstacle, so I didn't; but I still got to the end of the tunnel before Keltic came out and so got my cross in. The run was going really well until the tunnel at 14, I heard Keltic fall inside the tunnel, I was sure he was going to come back out the same way he went in but he didn't, he just came out walking.  He looked fine and when I called to him he started to run again so we went on to finish. Keltic did the course in 41.3 seconds, the allowed course time for medium veterans was 50 seconds, so there it was his Masters Jumpers title. There's no video of the run since I didn't want to give my phone to anyone.  

Our next run was also a Jumpers, again Keltic ran really well. I was late doing a front cross on jump 12 and Keltic came around with me but we were well away from obstacle 13 so once I got him back on the right side of me, we finished the run for another qualifying score, a "Q" to spare. Keltic finished this course in 44.46 seconds, the allowed course time was 55 seconds. He actually made the Medium Regular time of 46 seconds but then again he's only jumping 8" rather than 16".  I still thought he was running well. I had been thinking of retiring him, maybe all he needed was a rest. Anyway, there are no indoor trials this winter so we'll see what happens next Spring.  

Our last run was a Standard, Keltic again ran well and I was really happy with the run as he did all of his weaves and never argued about doing the entry, unfortunately we had an off course tunnel.

So the dog I thought would never get a Masters title, now has two.  We'll see what next year brings.

This trial was hosted by the Hilltop Agility Club in memory of one of their life members, Pat DeRonde, who sadly passed away in July.

Liam and Teddy had a good time walking around and enjoying hotdogs and other treats. Both were very good in their crates. Liam enjoyed meeting many other dogs and even some puppies. We had an awesome autumn day, it was even a little too hot by lunch time, but that's far better than being cold and wet.  One more trial this weekend and that's it for 2020. There's no titles on the line so we'll just go and have some fun. Our runs are later in the day and the trial site is closer so it's not another early morning.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

COVID Camping

Well, instead of traveling out West for agility nationals and to visit with family, I'm taking a few camping trips close to home. The first one was just to a provincial park called Rideau River, that's only about an hour away from my house. Two of my sisters and their husbands also joined me.  We had three sites side by side.  The middle one that my youngest sister had was quite private as there wasn't a site directly opposite it on the other side of the loop. We had our campfires there and most of our meals. My site was a corner site, I booked it so that if I wasn't able to back in I could just drive through.  I was able to get my trailer backed in; it just took awhile, like half an hour.

We were only spending two nights so I arrived just after 1 pm, if your site is available they will let you check in early. We all had a hand in planning the meals. I did dinner the first night. It was garlic Dijon salmon with shrimp, boiled potatoes with dill, garlic butter and sour cream and a salad. I had planned a dessert too but we were all full just with the meal. Even though we've had dry weather, there's been just enough rain that there wasn't a fire ban so we enjoyed a pleasant evening around the campfire.

The next day breakfast was ham and cheese croissants, my sister Juanita was in charge of both breakfasts.  After walking the dogs, we ladies went for a swim to cool off.  The showers at all provincial parks are closed this season.  There's not too much at Rideau River but it does have a nice little sand beach and picnic area.  The beach was only about 750 m from our camp sites along a shore line trail. Steve stayed back at camp with the dogs. After our swim, Maureen and Steve drove to the nearby town for ice and bug spray as they had run out and the mosquitoes had been bad the first night. Lunch when they got back from town was naan bread pizzas. 


Naan bread pizza
A friend who lives close to the park came over in the afternoon to visit with us and we just spent the afternoon imbibing and chatting.  Maureen and Steve were responsible for supper that night and they made a foil packet sausage and vegetable dinner.  I put together the dessert that I planned too; it was a foil packet peach and pineapple upside down cake served with ice cream and whipped cream.

Camping dessert
Again we enjoyed a lovely camp fire. The weather the last morning started out beautifully; they were calling for rain, we thought maybe the rain had bypassed our location but then the clouds rolled in and just as we were sitting down to eat our breakfast quesadillas and sausage, the rain started.

Evening fire

Rainy breakfast
 Luckily it didn't last long and it was still warm so things dried out fairly well before we had to pack up.  I had a few things that were damp and bit sandy that had to be cleaned off once I got home.

After the rain
I think this was Teddy's first camping trip, I think he enjoyed it.  The next time we'll find a trail and take a nice long walk, he'll enjoy that.

The next trip is to Murphy's Point Provincial Park which is just a little further away. It's bigger and has some nice trails and walking paths we can do.  There's also an old mine; I doubt the mine will be open since the parks are keeping most things closed, even boat rentals, but maybe you can still walk around the grounds.