That's right, just Cuffs and me, Nikku , left to man the fort after our little Puggywug, Atticus, was chauffeured home to a big reunion with his human. Chloe went along to keep him company on the drive and I think she may have been sad to have to say goodbye. Mary went to pick up Joe so he could come and do some work and he stuffed about twenty bags with loose hay which our neighbor, Chris, picked up for his cattle. After Joe went home, Mary was at loose ends with only the two of us to look after, so she made some pastry for a Rhubarb-Strawberry pie and then began the process of making Whole-Wheat Raisin Bread. Meanwhile, Poe, the Raven, was hopping around on the veranda trying to get Mary's attention so she would feed him.
This was very annoying for Arthur who wanted to go out and chase him off and he got very upset when Mary fed Poe the left-over pizza crusts which Arthur thought he was going to have for dinner. I figure this is going to escalate into a real Dog versus Raven conflict so stay tuned.
Later in the afternoon, Fritz arrived to go for a beach walk with us and he had a blast racing around and swimming out to get the ball when Owen couldn't get hold of it. As you can see it was a perfect afternoon and we could have stayed at the beach much longer but for the call of dinner.
There was more snowfall overnight so this morning everything was covered in ice and the birds were very busy looking for a bite to eat. The Raven, Poe , was perched on the railing of the front veranda waiting for Mary to throw some scraps out for his breakfast and the small song birds, waited to see if there would be any crumbs left behind. We ventured outside for some quick business and then Kelsea arrived to get our breakfast, having walked up the driveway. Before we had a chance to eat, Lucy and Rusty were dropped off to spend the day with us and both of them were very excited at the prospect of a day running loose and an empty beach.
Baxter and Nala arrived a little later and they were pleased to see all their friends and keen to get to the beach with them. But first, there was a horse to feed and turn out in his paddock and lots of snow to get shovelled. We hung out with Kelsea while she shoveled snow at all the usual gates and steps and the rising temperature was doing a good job of melting a lot of the white stuff. Just before lunch, the pone rang and it was Gracie's human calling to ask if Gracie could come and enjoy a beach walk with us. We said, the more , the merrier and she arrived about ten minutes later.
We did enjoy a lovely time at the beach with Kelsea once the tide had dropped and the waves settled down and she even managed to get some great photos of us.
After Arthur and Nikku arrived we spent a little more time playing with one another but time was running out and we soon had to get back to the house so Baxter and Nala could be ready to go home when their human arrived. The fact that it was also very close to dinner time, did have some impact on our decision to return and, with so few of us to prepare meals for, we soon were fed and biscuited and content. Gracie got picked up after we ate and a little later, Lucy and Rusty were met at the gate and they were ready to return to their homes in the city.
Here he is, our newest friend, Mago , who arrived from Costa Rica and has been adopted into Max's family. He's a real neat guy and seems to love the snow as you can see from these photos. It doesn't look like he's had any problem switching from an equitorial climate to a more northern one.
Max has been a super older brother ever since Mago arrived and enjoys showing him all the best places and reviewing the fence perimeter so he knows what his boundaries are.
The snow started this morning and fell pretty much all day with almost white-out conditions at times as the North-East winds blew it around. Odin also joined us for another day of play and he was just thrilled to see his best-friend Nala Jr. here so they spent most of the day outside with Levi playing in the snow. No beach walk on the agenda today with this nasty weather so the rest of us enjoyed our naps and watched Mary make a pot of Chili for lunch. Max, Mago, Odin and Nala Jr. were picked up by their humans later as well as Karter and they all agreed that they appreciated their short stay, jammed pack with so much activity and paws-on socializing. Levi got a big surprise a short while later when his human drove up to the gate to take him home after his lengthy stay and they were very happy to see one another.
So now, we're down to just three guest critters and it's eerily quiet especially with this heavy blanket of snow covering everything. The wind is still howling out there so we are hoping that our late walk won't have to be too energetic or lengthly.
Yes, the four of us were just thrilled to see eight of our buddies arriving today and they really livened the place up. The line-up for today includes
Nala Sr. ,
Nala Jr. ,
We played outside the cabana all morning while Angel was cleaning the house and then we got a big surprise when Fritz arrived to spend the afternoon playing with us. He was thrilled to hear that he hadn't missed the beach walk and Stephanie began making plans to take us to the seashore. We had to wait until Stephanie got back from the grocery store since she is the designated shopper and once the provisions were put away, we were primed for this adventure. Hold it! A visual check of the beach revealed that another bunch of walkers and dogs were already enjoying it. We had to wait a bit longer until the other group departed. Once the coast was clear, off we raced with Angel and Stephanie to find out who these strange dogs and humans were and to see if yesterday's storm surf left behind any surprises.
The first thing that we found was that the channel to the pond was racing with water so we had to stay on the west bank but that didn't hinder our fun.
There was lots of splashing and Fritz got his beard very wet which made him look a lot like Fu Manchu.
Once we tired ourselves out and managed to get thoroughly soaked, we knew the time was getting short. Soon the day visitors would have to depart so we trudged back up the hill and, after saying goodbye to the four o'clock gang, we had dinner. What a great day!
We awoke to heavy rain and wind and figured today would be one of those lazy days that we all enjoy, now and again, although I have to say that it's been a quiet ten days or so. There were no day visits or other arrivals and Tali went home just before dinner, so tonight we are back to the four critters that, due to circumstances, remain in place. Not that we're complaining, mind you, as long as we continue to get our meals, have a comfy place to sleep and plenty of pats and belly rubs.
The rain lashed against the windows all day and soaked the ground, so our walks were brief and Mary, Stephanie and Ellie kept themselves busy with washing/repairing dog beds, cooking meals for Atticus, teaching Ellie how to play Scrabble and Tri-Ominos and keeping up with the e-mails. We did go for a wet walk which led to some toweling off in the mudroom but we enjoyed the massage if not the embarrassing photos. While we were outside, Stephanie caught sight of Poe on the post and snapped his photo and after we were dried off, Ellie wanted to give us all a biscuit for being such good critters. As you can see, she had us spellbound.
Late in the afternoon, the sun broke through the clouds, the rain stopped and we saw this spectacular display of spindrift.
Here is a short video so you can enjoy the combined sound of the ocean and the wind.
It was a lovely morning with lots of sunshine and we were up and out the door early to wait for Stephanie and Ellie to arrive. Breakfast was the first thing on the agenda but, with only four guests to feed, that usually, lengthy task was over and done in a few wags of a dog's tail. We hung around outside the barn while Stephanie fed the horse and then we waited for our day-visitors to get here. Baxter and Nala arrived and then Gracie so we had a brief greeting before going off to follow Stephanie while she did a Poop Patrol and wait for Odin to get here. When he arrived, there was another burst of excitement and soon Stephanie and Ellie suggested a beach walk which was a very popular idea.
The water was much calmer today than it had been so we enjoyed racing in the shallows and swimming in the pools close to the shore while Stephanie kept us well supplied with orange balls. That white stuff you see in a couple of pictures is the result of the minus twelve-degree temperature last night and the spume from the waves washing onto the shore. When the tide started to fall, these patches of frozen foam were left behind.
Gracie and Tali were very happy girls to have so many balls to fetch and Nala Sr. enjoyed sitting in the frozen foam which helped to cool off her recently shaved bottom. Both Odin and Nala Jr. were right in the thick of things and most of the time they just got in Gracie and Tali's way while Baxter did his best to supervise everyone.
Later we strolled up the hill in a very leisurely fashion, enjoyed a big drink of water and went looking for our favorite dog bed. To our surprise, most of the dog beds had their covers off and were being washed but we figured it made sense not to have twenty-plus dogs beds scattered around if there were so few of us to use them. Stephanie put the clean ones away upstairs so they would be ready when things go back to our old normal.
After the Nala Jr. and the day-visitors departed for home, we had our dinner and Mary sat down to enjoy a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with a piece of yesterday's Birthday Cake for dessert. When an unattended moment presented itself, we figured that Levi couldn't resist all that butter cream and he tried to get the slice off Mary's plate but he could only get a small piece before Mary chased him from the kitchen. He had been doing so well up to this point that Mary figured she wouldn't have to give his humans a bad manners report but he just couldn't help himself. We all agreed that given the opportunity to escape detection, we might have given in to temptation and made a try for the cake as well.
It's so QUIET around here, which is not something we're used to. After Flynn was picked up by his human on Saturday morning, there were only four guest dogs remaining, Atticus, Levi, Cuffs and Nikku.
While the sun was shining, the wind was blowing hard and the surf was pounding the beach with big waves. That ruled out a beach walk and none of us appeared to miss it so we took advantage of the quiet time to catch up on our sleep. Mary made lunch for Joe after he worked at doing some clean-up over at the barn and then she took him home.
Stephanie arrived back just in time to get our dinner underway and we went for a walk with her after we ate. Mary is still investigating something about a thing called COVID-19 that seems to have piqued her curiosity. She is keen to understand how a country, India, with over a billion people can have only three hundred and twenty nine COVID-19's while Canada with thirty-three million people has fourteen hundred and thirty COVID-19's. It's a little outside our area of expertise, but it seems that this is a case where having less is a good thing. Frankly, we would rather nap and fart until it's time for our late walk.
Which brings me to the next topic of interest that Mary has been wondering about. Each night, this past week, when we take our late walk in the North field, we see a very bright planet in the western sky just above the horizon. She can't just enjoy seeing that bright light, she has to know what it is, which creates more work as she tries to get an answer. Dogs are much smarter, they don't dwell on these things, they just enjoy the night sky and that doesn't require additional effort. We don't see how knowing the name of the celestial body is going to change how great it is.
Sunday was another beautiful sunrise with sunny skies but overnight the temperature had dropped to minus ten degrees and it couldn't get above minus five throughout the day. The strong north-west winds picked up which gave us a wind-chill temperature if minus twelve. Kelsea was on duty this morning and she got us a fine breakfast, welcomed Nala Jr. and Tali at the gate and took us over to the barn while she fed the horse. This was followed by a delightful romp in the East pasture during which we all took a great deal of pleasure in barking our fool head's off.
We knew something was up when Kelsea and Mary started cleaning up the house and making preparations for something. Then it dawned on Atticus that today was Mary's sixty-eighth birthday and she was preparing for an afternoon dinner with a couple of friends. No bouncy castle or waterslide at this shindig just boring talk about how many COVID-19's might show up in our neck of the woods. Fortunately, Kelsea was game to take us to the beach and, once Briar Rose arrived, off we went to enjoy a good run and to check out all the stuff that got washed up in yesterday's big surf.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Mary and her friends were enjoying a leg of lamb with veggies followed by a surprise Birthday Cake that Stephanie and Ellie brought with them. Stephanie makes the most delicious celebration cakes and this one was no exception as everyone poked down a good size piece. The wet beach dogs stayed in the cabana to get dried off so we missed any opportunity to snag a piece of lamb or cake, more's the pity. We had our dinner and Mary's friends departed and things got back to the new normal where we all nap quietly in our beds. Time for our late walk, checking to see if our planet was still in the night sky. Turns out it's Venus and just knowing that means we can all sleep easier tonight.
We slept a little later than usual and went outside to some rain and fog but our morning was brightened up by the arrival of our pals Baxter and Nala . It did brighten up a bit by mid-morning but that didn't last long and soon it was raining again and there was a very cold south-east wind bowing. There's no point in trying to make the day sound any more exciting than watching paint dry so instead Mary went back to some past-year March 20th diary/blogs to see what was going on back then. How about two years ago.
March 20, 2018
Tuesday dawned cold but sunny and Piper's brother, Caper, arrived early for another day of fun with his little sister.
A short while later, Benny, our regular Tuesday day player got here and then Ellie , The Golden Retriever pup got here for a week's stay. She was pretty excited to see so many other Retrievers and she didn't hesitate to join in the fun. Mary had some errands to do this morning, one of which was to go back to the grocery store and see if her hunch would pay off. When she was there last week, she couldn't talk herself into buying a two pound leg of lamb with a price tag of $18.59 even though lamb is one of her favorite meals. She took note of the March 20 Best Before date and now here she was back in the meat department. There were three legs of lamb in the bin, all of them reduced to one third of their regular price because they had reached the Best Before Date. She grabbed all three and came home feeling very triumphant as two went into the freezer and the third was put on the menu for tonight's dinner. Our Duck Toller pal , Tali, was dropped off to have an overnight stay and she didn't waste any time drumming up support for a beach hike.
Just after lunch we got to meet a sassy little Shih Tzu called Belle, just five months old, who would like to come and stay for a couple of weeks later in the spring. She had never been outside without a leash before today so at first she stuck close by her humans but within five minutes she figured out that everybody was her pal and she went for a long walk with the pack and Stephanie. She had a blast running around and acting silly and it was obvious that she would fit in just fine here. After Belle departed with her humans, Stephanie picked up her daughter Ellie at the school bus and they gathered a bunch together for the beach hike. So now there was Ellie, the six year old girl and Ellie the eight month old Golden and they had a great time at the beach.
The rest of the pack were having loads of fun and even taking a dip in the Atlantic just to prove how tough they could be and there were lots of orange balls to chase.Benny went home and we had our dinner and we could smell that roasting leg of lamb, knowing full well we wouldn't get any so we all sat and stared at Mary as she enjoyed her lamb served with rice, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli and a generous helping of mint sauce which Jack's human had brought back from Ireland last week.
Funny coincidence that the day after tomorrow Mary is cooking another leg of lamb that she got at a bargain price. Let's go back four more years.
March 20, 2014
Well, I'm back doing the diary report again. You would think with all these critters in the house, there would be one who could string a few words together but apparently not. I don't know what's wrong with these youngsters today; all they want to do is eat, play and get full of mud. So, from high atop Mount Dogbed, I'll fill you in on the past two days events. Henry was here for his regular Thursday visit and Lucy, from across the road, arrived for another short vacation. Who would ever have thought we would have two hairy Hungarian Vizslas in residence at the same time. Certainly not me. The two of them are so much alike it's uncanny. Neither one of them know how to walk at a civilized pace; they both dash everywhere, running over anything that gets in their way or leaping into the air like some kind of overgrown Praying Mantis.
Those long spindly legs seem to be capable of projecting them off the ground a metre or more. Lucy is only fifteen months old so one might assume that her antics are just puppyhood but Ledi is nine years old and she should be all over that puppy stuff by now.Even the more civilized guest, like Casey can sometimes get a little silly as seen here playing with one of Owen's toys. She had a great romp around the yard daring anyone to try and take the toy from her. Atticus and Sasha and Josey found the time to enjoy what little sunshine there was and take a stroll and have roll. Sheeva is always on watch for something worth chasing while Layla, Ferris and Koda think that their role is to be an early warning system. If they see someone walk along the highway or if the garbage truck stops to pick up the recycling, they start the most god-awful howling and they run down the field to the fence, getting the others in panic mode.
The farrier arrived while I was still in bed. He came to replace Tallen's shoes and trim Topaz and Tony's feet. I was quite miffed to learn this later, after I got up, since I always enjoy snacking on the hoof trimmings and Mary swept them up and threw them away. She said that she couldn't take a chance on one of the guests getting hold of this rare delicacy since it might not agree with them. None of them have the refined palate that I do, more's the pity. After lunch Mary took Sophie to the vet so they could examine what appeared to be an abscessed tooth. By this time I had arose from bed and had my breakfast but the rain had started and kept the rest of the critters inside most of the afternoon. All except the ones that wanted to get as muddy as possible. That would include Franklin, Ozzie, Saki, Henry, both of the Rufus dogs and Butters. Little Phil runs with this gang but he never seems to get very muddy.
That Cocoa had a sharp tongue but he was the Boss and he didn't hesitate to tell it like it was. No one has been able to fill his paws since he passed away two years ago. Here's what was going on ten years ago today.
March 20, 2010
Finally - first day of Spring and it's a beauty. We are all out prancing and dancing in the yard while Cathy gets breakfast ready. There is only one departure scheduled for today. We say goodbye to Brea as she has a happy reunion with her humans and takes off for home. Cathy goes to get Joe and he gets to work on the barn chores right away. We hang with Mary while she does some tasks outside. Now Cathy is off to get Mary's birthday present and a birthday cake. While we are busy with stick gathering around the flower beds, Mary and Joe move St. Francis from his old spot in the bird feeder station to the stone bench by the old patio. Then a game of Chuck It starts except we very quickly run out of balls. Seems Licorice, Ben, Poppy, Willow and Ella all want to hang on to their balls and not share them.
Cathy returns home and Mary and Joe go to Oren's place to pick up Morgan's new sleeping bench for the family room. Cathy will have to stain it so it goes into the basement to await finishing. Joe goes home and Cathy does dinner. We're starving, as usual, so the actual eating part only takes about five minutes. Preparation and clean up take up the better part of an hour. Mary and Cathy have BBQ ribs for their dinner. They are truly delicious. Afterwards we all retire to the living room to watch "Hachi, A Dog's Tale" starring Richard Gee, Joan Allen and an Akita. Sydney is the only one of us who recognizes the dog on the TV. He barks and tries to follow Hachi by running toward the TV and then going into the dining room to see where he went. It's hilarious although the movie is kinda sad.
Sounds like it was a fun filled day ten years ago and good weather as well. We certainly miss all these old friends that have passed on.
Hello everyone. This is Flynn coming to you with today's DogBlog post. Big news! Today I got brave enough to go to the beach with Stephanie and Kelsea. Usually I am loathe to leave Mary's side but she encouraged me to relax and go to the beach with the pack and I had a great time.
Since there are so few overnight guests, having six, day visitors was great as they added a lot of extra energy to the day. Odin, Oliver, Drake, Baxter, Nala and Mika rolled in to the parking area between nine and ten o'clock and proceeded to check out the place and all of us. Here's me leading Odin on a merry chase and then giving Mika a play-bow, all the time being watched by our handsome Raven friend, Poe.
Here's Oscar enjoying the sunny day with Chloe while Atticus soaks up the same rays and Levi swaps some tall tales with Drake.
Oscar got the call that his family was back home and they wanted to come and pick him up so we all had to give him a big send-off. Mary had to drive into the city to deliver Tuck to his home and family as they were undergoing self-isolation and Mary told us he was thrilled to be back with them. When Mary arrived back home, we got organized for our beach walk and Stephanie kept me by her side for the first little while until she was sure I would stay with the pack. Kelsea was also on hand to keep an eye on my activities while Stephanie was busy with the camera. Here she caught me racing through the shallows and getting soaked in the process.
I have to show you all of the photos she got of me flying around the beach and then I finally slowed down and sat still for a portrait.
The fun continued for quite a while but then we had to go back so that the day visitors could get dried out bit before their humans came to pick them up. I was so tired when we got back that I laid down in the bed under the desk and promptly fell asleep.
Dinner was prepared by Kelsea and, after she went home, we settled down for a quiet evening until it was time to take our late walk after which Mary fed the horse and then checked us all into the house for a good night's sleep. I'm glad I got to experience the beach with all my buddies and I know I'll go again real soon.
It was a busy day with visits from Hunter, Oliver, Kali, Nala Jr, Baxter and Nala Sr. Angel and Kelsea were both here today while Stephanie was busy with child care. Angel had to attend to the house cleaning so our beach hike was scheduled to take place just before lunch when the tide would be at it's lowest point. Today Oliver would have his first trip to the beach with us and it was a great time for him. He stayed close by and didn't wander off and get into any trouble which means that he can be go with us every time if this behavior continues.
Plum got a message to say that she would be picked up at noon and her human was right on time. Plum was over the moon with excitement when he saw him at the gate and she raced to the car without a backward glance so our pack continues to shrink. The big surprise was the arrival, at the gate, of Inky's humans just as we were getting back from the beach. They were returning from their extended say in the Caribbean and found themselves without any means of communication as their phone and internet had to be reactivated but they wanted to retrieve their little guy and then start their two weeks of self-isolation. Inky was very happy to see them and he also hopped in the car, ready to get back to his home routine.
We enjoyed a long nap while Kelsea and Angel had lunch and the house cleaning was finished up so Angel could head home and we relaxed until it was time for the day visitors to go home and dinner to be served. After we ate, our buddy Willie was picked up along with Hunter and then Mary made herself some dinner. Goodness, it's so quiet around here we're all beginning to feel like we're into extreme social distancing especially when the call came to tell Stella and Cruze that they were going to see their humans after their lengthy stay. They arrived at the gate and after gathering up their beloved pups and their belongings, they headed home for their two weeks of self-isolation. It's great to know that our pals will all be back with their families and be able to help them cope during this trying time ...
... and then there were seven of us left so we all slept in the best dog beds.