Wordless Wednesday

March 13th, 2019

A Winter Day.jpg

It was too inviting out to stay inside looking at a screen.  Bailey and I opted for an outdoor adventure.

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Newf Dress-Up

February 26th, 2019

Sweetness PersonifiedIt’s true that my teenage son still enjoys the childhood pursuit of dress-up.  Today, our Newfoundland dog was the recipient of his efforts.  My son had been sent to retrieve Bailey from her garage kennel where she was finishing her dinner.  Upon entering the house, he decided that the towel used to wipe her big paws was better suited to being a shawl.  Drawn by his laughter, I peeked into the entry way to find Bailey sitting with the towel wrapped around her head and shoulders.  Her beggar in disguise attire was accompanied with a look that suggested “Treats for the Hungry”.  Begging For TreatsI joined in the laughter which soon attracted the attention of my husband.  The three of us shared a few thoughts as to who Bailey resembled resulting in more chuckles.  Some thoughts are not for public consumption.  Bailey, being a good sport, took all the attention in stride and sat waiting for her paw wipe.  Once the laughter had subsided, our beggar girl was ready for a treat.

Banana Fever

February 19th, 2019

Mine.jpg

Another day of extreme wind chill is enough to convince me that moving south might have merit.  Even Bailey needs no encouragement to return home after a quick business tour outside.  We are greeted by a tropical fragrance permeating through the house.  It is coming from the kitchen.  The two of us are eager with anticipation.  For the last couple of days, I have been dehydrating dozens of bananas.  Banana Fever.jpgThey have been transformed into chewy, bite size banana chips.  Yummy is the only way to describe them.  Bailey and I are addicted to them.  So much so that yesterday’s batch has magically disappeared.  But, today’s batch is now done and ready to fuel our addiction.  Neither Bailey nor I can eat just one.  Their one ingredient, bananas, means their consumption involves little guilt.  The only guilt that I feel is not having any left for the other three family members.  Bailey doesn’t share in my guilt.  Her motto is “Let’s eat until there is nothing left.”  I tried to smuggle a few extra banana chips into my mouth without my partner in crime noticing.  Somehow, Bailey seems to know that five chips into my mouth and one into the container doesn’t add up to a lot for her.  She kills the moment by leaving a drool pool on the kitchen floor.  It’s time for a location change.  Bailey practically trots beside me without a second thought to the slippery hardwood flooring or the dreaded wall heater that she passes.  Some days, Bailey will pace on the living room carpet as she gathers her courage to find safe passage to the kitchen.  Today was not that kind of day.  She raced by me and sat herself down in front of the sofa.  I didn’t intend to share 50/50.  But, between her begging eyes and the drool, I’d say that she conned me out of ¾ of them.  It was the breakfast of champions – gluttonous addicts with no shame.  So, although the wind howls across the snow packed yard, Bailey and I have found refuge in our tropical oasis as we happily bond over banana chips.  I see another batch of them on the horizon.

Drooling For Bananas

 

Playing In The Glorious Outdoors

January 30th, 2019

Longer Than You.jpg

This morning, Bailey and I ventured outside to more pleasant temperatures.  The previous weekend had been shrouded in extreme windchill warnings which put a damper on Bailey’s 4th birthday.  The thermometer showed -36 degrees Celsius at 6 am.  But, by the afternoon, it registered -14 degrees.  Warmer temperatures meant more snow.  The front yard was cleared in the morning.  My husband and I turned our attention to working on shovelling out the backyard.  My assignment involved cleaning off the deck, stairs and patio area.  Waiting Patiently.jpgBailey waited patiently – happy to lie out in the cool, fluffy snow.  It didn’t take too long before I was throwing the ball to the delight of my big girl.  From there, we progressed to “Hide ‘n Seek”.  Bailey stays sitting while I find a clever place to hide.  The whistle is then blown and the challenge is on to find me.  I hide behind the garden shed or duck alongside the raised bed.  Bailey loves this game as she is treated with dried sweet potato pieces upon my discovery.  I move further away and provided some confusion for her as I disappeared around one side of the house only to return by the other side.  Bailey still found me.  I can’t say that my clothing helps me to blend into the white landscape.  I always wear a safety vest when taking Bailey out of the yard and it is just become a habit.  It clearly stacks the game in Bailey’s favour.  We also practiced our carting and Rally-O commands in between games.  Our last game was Tug.  TOW Begins.jpgAs the name suggests, Bailey and I engage in a tug-o-war over her rubber, double handled Kong.  I have learned to lie out on the snow in order to improve my chances of winning.  Bailey never seems to tire of this game.  I begin losing more than I win.  Bailey celebrates getting the Kong away from me by whipping it from side to side as she shakes her head.  After an hour or so, I am done.  Bailey is not.  I am reduced to lying out on the snow, watching the snowflakes fall as my girl stares at me in disbelief.  She tries to convince me with the nudge of the Kong to continue the game.  Not a chance…..

Winner.jpg

inside

Egg Games

January 23rd, 2019

Anytime Now.jpg

With the arrival of extremely cold temperatures, Bailey and I have found ourselves spending more time inside. It doesn’t seem to bother her.  She is content to just nap.  An intervention was needed.  While cleaning out holiday decorations, I came across a container of plastic Easter eggs.  I got thinking about ways to use them.  One idea was to create a “Shell Game”.  I took 3 eggs and selected one to hide a salmon treat inside.  Egg Games Begin.jpgI sent Bailey to the entry way before placing the three eggs out in the living room.  Bailey scurried in upon hearing, “Find the egg”.  She sniffed the first egg but, quickly ditched it (no treat inside).  Then, Bailey moved to the next one.  This one held her interest as she snuffled and snorted over it.  I opened it up to reveal her tasty prize.  She was eager for another challenge.  I reloaded the egg under Bailey’s watchful eyes.  Copious amounts of drool dribbled from her mouth.  I threw the eggs into the entry way.  Once I signalled for her to go, Bailey charged full force towards the eggs.  She found the desired egg within seconds and nuzzled it until I came.  The reward was quickly inhaled.  The last game involved Bailey sitting patiently while balancing the egg with treat inside on her head.  It took a few attempts before she clued into what it was that I wanted.  Now, Bailey’s a pro.  Our days have become more “eggciting” as we wait for warmer temperatures.

nothing here

 

smells good

Treasure Hunt

January 16th, 2019

Treasure Hunt Begins.jpg

At the start of December, an unexpected opportunity arose that resulted in making trail walks more interesting for Bailey.  Each morning, the two of us meet up with my friend and her lab/husky cross dog for a hike through the forest.  It is an invigorating stroll because of the cold northern winds and winter temperatures that hover below -30 degrees Celsius.  Bailey is not bothered much by the weather like her short-haired pal.  Her double-coat is more than warm enough for these temperatures.  She waddles along often at a very slow pace while the three of us feel the cool nip.  Cas usually conveys his discomfort by lifting his paw up off the frigid ground.  Sure she’ll chase him for brief periods.  But, he needs to keep moving at a fast pace in order to stay warm.  That’s the other issue.  Cas has lots of energy to burn off before returning home.  If not, my friend must play with him outside in the hopes of tiring Cas out.  The last thing that you want to do after hiking for an hour in our harsh climate is to delay going inside.  My situation is quite different.  Bailey can walk for 10 minutes or an hour and the end result is the same – a morning of napping.  Sometimes, she only gets as far as the front entry way before crashing for a well-deserved siesta.  It’s was a troubling problem for us.

Tracking Cas.jpgWe decided to try a new approach. My friend and Cas would start 15 minutes before us.  They would hike to the place that we call “the rock”, turn around and meet us somewhere between there and the start of the trail.  Cas would be warmed up from chasing snowballs and leaping through the snowbanks.  It was a wonderful plan.  Both dogs were a little confused at first because their buddy didn’t show up as usual.  I had to bribe Bailey with treats to entice her to move from the corner where we had met them previously.  I guided her across the street to the trail head where she caught her pal’s scent.  It was game on.  And now a month later, Bailey can’t wait to track down her pal.  I’ll get the game going by asking her, “Where’s Cas”.  She moves quickly down the trail following his paw prints and p-mails squirted randomly on the sides of the trail.  I have found myself challenged to keep up to her while wearing a heavy parka and snow pants.  Now, I am the one trailing behind.  Her nostrils flare in and out as her nose tries to catch his scent in the air.  Suddenly, Cas appears out of thin air much to Bailey’s delight.  The treasure hunt has ended.  The prize has arrived and a different game begins.

sniffing for cas

snow tracker

hurry up

finding the prize

R & R

January 9th, 2019

Winter is well-entrenched here in Labrador West and won’t be ready to leave until late May.  January is usually the coldest month of the year.  Time outside is limited when temperatures plunge below -30 degrees Celsius.  It encourages me to spend more time on the couch with a book in hand.  As I have gotten older, I treasure the moments of reading a book.  The recent holidays provided so many hours of reading that my book stack has been diminished considerably.  Thankfully, our local library is close by and stocked with a variety of reading material.  When our family arrived here 8 1/2 years ago, the first place that we visited was the library. The library cards given to us were very special for a family who longed for a Newfoundland dog of their own.  nl library card colouredResidents of Newfoundland and Labrador enjoy the image of the Newfoundland dog and Labrador retriever on their library cards.  I took it as a sign that we had found the perfect place to bring a Newf puppy home.  Every time our library cards are used, we are reminded of the breed’s beauty.  The card for me symbolizes my love for books and the Newfoundland dog.  Bailey is supportive of my reading habit as she happily lies alongside the couch waiting for my hand to dangle down and connect with her exposed tummy.  “R & R” has a unique meaning to her – “Rubs & Reading” Time.