Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dancing Queen

My honey just happens to be a one dance wonder. Even though he only has one dance in his repertore, he always rocks it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Our neighborhood is mourning Annie, a sweet little Yorkie who recently passed away. Like many tiny dogs, she had a really big personality - and very fancy hairdo. Annie had the canine equivalent of a Napoleon complex. Everyone adored her.

Annie’s person (note to people who don’t have dogs, most of your neighbors will never know your name, always referring to you as Rover's mom or dad) is a lovely older woman, who lives a wonderful, full life. Several years ago, after being diagnosed with cancer, she confided in me that she wasn’t going anywhere, as Annie needed her. I’m so happy that she was able to hang in there, holding her little friend peacefully in her arms as Annie passed from this earth.

All of this talk of death has my family debating what will happen to us when our time comes. Not to sound like a Drama Queen, but I want to be cremated, and have my ashes scattered with Tex and Maggie's ashes someday. Our son Tyler agrees that cremation is the only way to go.

Thing is, even though my husband Tom is not very religious (anymore), he still carries around the baggage that comes with growing up in the Catholic church, he still feels that burial is the only option. Our good friend Josie has assured him that the church has loosened it’s rules, allowing cremation under certain conditions. Truth is, Tom isn’t really sure why the church of his childhood banned cremation in the first place, and on one level he just feels it’s better to, you know, Cover Your Ass...... just in case.

Tom's thinking reminds me of the Jesuits who said "Give me the child, and I’ll have the man for life."

Some things just never leave us.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Troubled Times

While walking the dogs this evening, we were so happy to see around 30 geese, an assortment of adults and gangly teenagers. You see, over the past few years our little hood has been divided over these beautiful birds. The community seems to be split into two groups - those who see them as pests - and those of us who feel they have every right to thrive.

Over the years the anti- geese brigade has employed a variety of tactics. One year they went around shaking eggs, in an attempt to kill the embryos. Last year things finally came to a head, when an early morning jogger came upon a few parks board employees, who were taking the little goslings from their parents and stuffing them into bags. Apparently they planned to take them into the country, with the hope  they would be adopted by other geese families. Let's just   say there was a big revolt, which was covered by our local news stations for several weeks.

We are living in an era that scientists refer to as the 6th extinction. This time we can't blame it on an asteroid or ice age, seems humans are the cause of this latest annihilation.  Scientist predict that over 50 percent of earth's species will disappear in the next 100 years, forever altering life on this planet. Shouldn't we be celebrating those species, that in spite of our best efforts, thrive in our urban jungles?

In honour of all creatures, here is one of my favorite poems:

Little Citizen, Little Survivor
Hayden Carruth

A brown rat has taken up residence with me.
A little brown rat with pinkish ears and lovely
almond-shaped eyes. He and his wife live
in the woodpile by my back door, and they are
so equal I cannot tell which is which when they
poke their noses out of the crevices among
the stacks of firewood and then venture farther
in search of sunflower seeds spilled from the feeder.
I can't tell you my friend how glad I am to see them.
I haven't seen a fox in years, or a mink, or
a fisher cat, or an eagle, or a porcupine, I haven't
seen any of my old company in the woods
and the fields, we who used to live in such
close affection and admiration. Well, I remember
when the coons would tap on my window, when
the ravens would speak to me from the edge of their
little precipice. Where are they now? Everyone knows.
Gone. Scattered in this terrible dispersal. But at least
the brown rat that most people so revile and fear
and castigate has brought his wife to live with me
again. Welcome, little citizen, little survivor.
Lend me your presence, and I will lend you mine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I recently had a discussion on romance with a group of friends.  I’m not a girl who is easily impressed by the usual cliche's; flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day just don’t do it for me.  Here’s the story of one of the most romantic things Tom has ever done.

I blame the whole thing on Nina, my BFF, who called me one day to elicit my help in rescuing a poor, down trodden pug.  In hindsight, I’m not even sure how Nina got involved in the whole thing, let’s just say she’s a cat person at heart.  Not to mention that once she reeled me in, she was nowhere to be found (knowing Nina, she was most likely enjoying a fabulous meal in a chic sidewalk cafĂ©, flirting with a handsome waiter named Raul.)

The long and the short of it goes something like this - Bobby  belonged to a young woman who was moving out of the country asap -  she desperately needed to find him a new home.  It soon became apparent that while she may have had good intentions, Bobby had lived something of a hard life.  He spent 90% of his time in a crate that was way too small for him, and when he was fed, it was usually either a happy meal or slice of pizza. Worst of all, the young woman had a biker boyfriend who liked to get rough with little dogs.  Guess it made him feel like more of a man. As a result,  Bobby had lost most of his hearing, due to the fact that he was repeatedly hit upside of the head.

I took one look at poor little Bobby’s sweet pug face, and took him home with me.  The problem was all of this happened in a matter of 24 hours, while Tom just happened to be in the backwoods of BC, well out of cell phone range. Poor Tom...... for years he's been roped into my numerous animal rescues, often having to drop everything in order to drive a wounded bird to the closest wildlife rescue centre.  This time I had a funny feeling that coming home and finding a new dog sleeping on his side of the bed, might not be Tom's idea of a good time.

To make matters worse, a few days after Bobby moved in with us, the biker boyfriend called and threatened to take the pug away if I didn’t give him $500. Seems the reason they were making a quick exit is the boyfriend was going to court - where the most likely outcome was an extended holiday in the big house - hence the plan to leave Canada on the first red eye. Once they realized they didn’t have enough money to get the hell out of dodge, boyfriend started making the rounds, trying to come up with extra cash.

Tom came home to a hysterical wife, extra pug, and a scary biker dude leaving cryptic messages on our home answering machine.   Instead of getting mad, he hugged me and assured me that everything would be okay – he would take care of the biker dude – as long as I promised to find Bobby a good home - pointing out that this wasn't an episode of 101 Pugs.

Tom ended up driving his scooter (no kidding) to a tough biker bar on the wrong side of town, paying the pug ransom,  and making tough guy sign an agreement that he would never contact us again. Thankfully it was the last we heard of him, as I imagine that kind of contract might be a just little difficult to enforce.

It doesn’t end there………it soon became apparent to Tom that I wasn’t really trying to find Bobby a good home. What can I say, I really fell in love with the little guy.  So on top of everything else Tom was the one who ended up finding Bobby a forever home, where he lives with another pug, two little girls, and has birthday parties and Christmas presents.

Now that's what I call romance.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pug Flick

This is for the pugs - things we saw in Florida that they'll find groovy. No barking guys!