This report will cover the first two days of a very busy Holiday weekend. Saturday was a sunny and much warmer day than we had been experiencing and we were all thrilled to see some old friends arriving for a visit as well as meeting a new puppy. Hunter drove up to the gate and hopped out to join his gang , Gracie and her sidekick, Stanley , were dropped off for a weekend retreat and they joined us on a nice walk around so they could greet old friends and meet new ones. Then, the long-anticipated return of our Senior Statesman and all round good sport, Saki . He was feeling pretty spry for a guy who will be fifteen years old later this year and, although he doesn't make a big deal about it, we could tell he was happy to see so many of his buddies lined up to greet him.
Then the arrival of a four-month-old Irish Setter called Monty really livened things up as he was a very confident and sociable puppy who wanted to play with everyone.
Monty would like to come and stay for a week and his cousin English Setters, Arthur and Owen were so impressed with his good manners and endearing personality, they both gave him a big thumbs- up.
The action continued, but this time we had to say goodbye to sweet Molly who is heading back to the family home after a busy week as well as Maggey and Max, who enjoyed their overnight stay.
When all that was done, Stephanie suggested a beach hike and that sounded like a great idea. she assembled the beach goers and off they went down to the shore where they all had loads of fun, including a swim and lots of ball fetching. Even though the air temperature was below freezing, that blue sky and sun almost had us believing summer was on the way.
While we were enjoying the time exploring on the beach, Owen was visited by a feathered friend Raven, who wanted to play tag with him. That's one big bird.
When we got back to the house, it was almost time for dinner and then our post-dinner nap as just the ticket to carry us through to our late walk under the stars.
Sunday morning wasn't sunny and the low clouds were threatening rain but we didn't let that stop us from going out to explore and check to see who might have visited through the night. Inky tried to scare us with a tall tale about a big Black Bear looking for a tasty morsel but we all know that Inky is a trickster so we didn't pay him any mind. Kelsea soon arrived to get our breakfast and that became the priority so we ate then wandered around outside some more while we waited for the arrival of those bombastic Basset Hounds, Leroy and Lola. When they got here, they told us that their brother Cletus, elected to stay home and enjoy some peace and quiet while being cared for by a family friend. So, the two of them had to expand their repertoire to fill the void left by Cletus and they didn't have any problem with that. The noise level and the energetic greetings were right on par and they proceeded to check out all their favorite haunts while the rest of us returned to the house.
After a rest period, Kelsea organized a beach trip and we were hoping that Rory would arrive in time to join us but, sad for her, she was late getting here and we couldn't wait any longer. Beauty arrived to spend the day with us and not long after, Rory was dropped off. Jasper was picked up by his human who brought back a lovely gift of coffee from Costa Rica and then our old buddy, Hercules was anxious to get out of the car and into the circus of old friends and new acquaintances. Kelsea took all of us for a long walk around all the fields while she picked up dog blossoms and then she arranged to take Rory, Hercules, Maya, Winston Nikku, Arthur and Leroy down to the shore with her girl, LaVie and her partner, Ryan. That bunch were very excited to finally be going to have a fun time running on the sand, splashing in the shallows and swimming in the waves.
When they got back Mary and Kelsea tackled a couple of maintenance jobs before getting our dinner ready and after we ate, we waited for Tessa to arrive for a short stay. She was so excited to see such a large crowd on hand and it took a while to get introduced to everyone but she soon found a couple of critters who would enjoy a rousing game of chase in the waning light of dusk.
Here's how Mary described the temperature this morning when she opened the door to let us dash outside.
"BE CAREFUL OUT THERE" she said "ITS COLDER THAN A WITCH'S TIT IN A BRASS BRASSIERE." We weren't sure if she even knew a witch, but we couldn't disagree that it was bitterly cold at minus fifteen with a wind chill factor making it seem like minus twenty-one.
Needless to say, none of us wanted to dawdle around so we were back inside as soon as we took care of our business. Throughout the day, we did spend short periods of time outside when newcomers arrived, like Max and Maggey and Marley but that warm sunroom was very appealing.
Felim and Jora were picked up by their human and our regular Friday day-visitors, Baxter, Nala and Shelby arrived along with Kali.
What made today special was the arrival of that little dynamo, Murphy, the Sheltie. He was so excited to be here Stephanie had a hard time getting him to come in the house, in spite of the cold. We took turns playing chase with him as the sun was setting and eventually when it got too dark, he agreed to come in the house.
Tonight, we're hoping that the cold will back off a bit tomorrow and we can get out with Murphy and show him how we play.
The weather forecast last night said that it would start snowing at eight o'clock this morning and they were right on the money. It started snowing just as we were starting our breakfast and it pretty much snowed all day, sometimes just light snow showers , other times heavier stuff. The temperature remained just above the freezing mark so a lot of it melted as it hit the ground. School wasn't cancelled but given the forecast of snow falling until ten o'clock tonight, they decided to send the kids home at noon.
No day-visitors joined us but we did get to welcome our new friend Flynn and a little while later, or good buddy Charlie , the Golden boy was dropped off for a weekend of fun. We had loads of fun playing in the snow and getting acquainted with Flynn and roaming around with Stephanie and her camera.
The horse, Tallen, was also feeling frisky in the snow and he put on a show for us.
Flynn was busy getting to know everything and soon he was one of gang and happy to be amongst such a cheerful bunch.
Today was a special celebration for Joe, the Handyman, who is celebrating his seventy-first birthday and he enjoyed a special rainbow birthday cake and lots of good wishes. Atticus wishes to go on record as saying that his friend Joe is a mere youngster at seventy-one years. Atticus informed all of us that in a month he will celebrate his birthday and he will be ninety-eight, in human years.
After the birthday party, Stephanie took Joe home, Kelsea arrived and the snow continued but that didn't prevent Kelsea from taking Lucy, Scamp, Benji, Charlie, Cuffs, Willie and Molly down to the beach for a dip in the ocean. They got back to the house just as Stephanie was getting dinner ready and once all the food was eaten, the ones that didn't get down to the beach followed Kelsea around the North field for a long walk. Queen Ruby grudgingly went for the walk but complained loudly to Mary, when she got back to the house, about the snow balls that were stuck to her feet and legs.
Tonight, as we take our late walk, it is still snowing and still above freezing and we are all pretty tired.
Hi, this is me, Molly , the Doodle, reporting on the snow-day activities. We awoke this morning to a winter wonderland of untouched, heavy, snow covering everything and, after putting on my sweater, we soon dashed out the door and put our mark on it. School was cancelled, province-wide, and a couple of our regular Wednesday visitors bailed out, but, after Rollie got the driveway plowed, Kali and Odin both joined us for the day. Stephanie arrived with daughter Ellie and after breakfast, we headed outside to have some fun and Stephanie snapped some action shots of me being wild and crazy. I wasn't the only one !
We enjoyed the sun and snow and when we got tired, we returned to the sunroom to rest and wait for another buddy, Willie, to get here and when he did, we all went out to say hello. He thought I looked pretty silly with my muzzle full of snow but soon we were good buddies. Tristan arrived to shovel the snow from all the gates and steps and after he did the work over at the barn, we moved over to the cabana with Stephanie and the fun continued there. The critters that stayed behind with Mary enjoyed the warm sunroom atmosphere and occasionally barked at Tristan as he shoveled more snow away from the house.
Once Tristan was done shoveling and he departed, Kelsea arrived to relieve Stephanie for the afternoon since her school was cancelled as well. The afternoon seemed to go by at top speed and soon it was time for Odin to return to his family and a short while later, Kali's human drove up to the gate to collect her. That meant we could finally concentrate on eating dinner and then find a comfy dog bed to curl up on and sometimes even share with a buddy.
After we took our late walk, Mary consulted the weather forecast and it looks like we're in for another snow storm tomorrow. So, we all know what that means ... more plowing, more shoveling and more fun. We'll have to wait until the morning to see if school will be cancelled again.
Tuesday was very busy after breakfast with the five, regular, day-guests arriving for some fun and games. Here we are, at the end of the day, looking like we think we might be staying for dinner. From left to right, Oliver, Nala Sr., Drake, Baxter and Benny.
We spent most of the day playing outside the cabana and enjoying the company of Scamp, Jasper, Cuffs, Jake, Molly, Felim, LaVie and Nikku. We were all getting along well as a group and in the afternoon, the sun was trying hard to peak through the clouds. When we weren't playing games outside, we relaxed inside on the comfy beds and sofas.
The rest of the gang hung out at the house and they had a romp in the East pasture while Stephanie took some photos.
You'll notice that there was a little LADY mixing with the commoners and not wearing any of her fancy trappings. Apparently, she thought it would be amusing to see how the ninety-nine percent lived. Some of her sycophants had accompanied her, even if it meant leaving their favorite napping spots. Goodness knows they wouldn't want to find themselves out of favour.
Queen Ruby Duke Atticus
Earl Inky Duchess Jora
Trying to look like she was part of the crowd, we spotted Her Majesty's bodyguard, the ever vigilant, Corporal Chloe , The shoulder holster was a dead give-a-way.
The afternoon was just about over and a few snow flurries had started to fly when the day visitors departed and we had dinner. By the time we had all finished our meals, the snow had blanketed the ground and it was time for Angel to depart with her human. Later, when it was time for our late walk, there were a couple of inches of very heavy snow on the ground and we had loads of fun running around and rolling in it.
Good Day to all my loyal subjects. It is I, Queen Ruby hereby giving you a royal account about my reign here in Seaforth. Pay close attention.
Monday arrived threatening some nasty weather and I was escorted outside by my retinue before breakfast was served. A quick tour of the front yard was all that I needed to work up my appetite and once I had my breakfast, I was ready to have another nap. But first, there is my Royal Duty, where I have to give an audience to the morning arrivals like Baxter, Nala Sr., Nala Jr. and Gracie and later, Felim and Jora. They all parade in front of my throne and bow their heads as I try my best not to fall asleep.
Later, they all want the opportunity to have their photos taken with me but I give them my most regal glare and they soon go about their business. Can you tell that WE are not amused by their requests for something called selfies.
Stephanie keeps a close eye on the progress of our walk-a-bout and documents my every word and deed for posterity. She also takes photos of the other guests as they follow me around, hoping I will notice them. They should be careful what they wish for since I have been known to notice them with a royal snarl and a regal nip, on occasion.
Time for me to take my leave and return to my throne so Stephanie can go over my wardrobe choices for the day. There is a lovely hot pink ensemble that will require some alterations but the plum, plaid vest fits just right and looks regal on me. That will be my choice for the next royal occasion.
It started to seriously snow and the more outdoorsy types were happy to tag along with Stephanie on some walks while some of us were inside, being waited upon by the other staff. That included Atticus, the Duke of Napshire, Inky, the Earl of Siestaville and Jora, the Duchess of Dozelandia. When lunch was ready, the great unwashed horde came in with Stephanie and brought their distinctive odour of eau de chien mouillé . Oh, the things a Queen must endure for the sake of her subjects.
It was supposed to start raining at lunch time but the snow continued throughout the afternoon and aside from a couple of brief excursions, I kept warm and dry and waited until the evening banquet was served. The rain did arrive after dinner so hopefully it will get rid of the icy patches so I don't slip and fall which would be most unseemly. Well, it's time for bed so I am heading upstairs so I can claim my favorite sleeping spot. Good night all.
Well, we survived another one of those wicked wind storms and when we got out of bed on Saturday morning we surveyed the damage. Missing roof shingles always tops the list and this time the wind tossed our big garbage bin off the veranda, just missing Mary's car. Repairs will have to wait until the wind stops blowing and it warms up a bit.
Three of our regular Friday visitors, Shelby, Baxter and Nala, who couldn't come yesterday because of the ice storm, arrived this morning to spend the day and Shelby's human helped May and Stephanie get the broken garbage box back on the veranda so Mary could move her car. We did a quick inspection tour with Stephanie to check if there were any sections of fence blown down or ice damage. We were fortunate not to have lost power in this storm as more than fifty thousand other folks in the province were dealing with this problem.
Mid-morning brought Cuffs and her big food supply since she's going to be here for an extended stay and then at noon, little Queen Ruby was dropped off along with our new friend, Molly . Mary and Stephanie dug out a sweater for each of them as the wind was very cold and they both wanted to stay outside and enjoy the day.
We had lots of fun showing Molly and Ruby around and Molly really enjoyed the games of chase as we explored the East pasture.
Eventually, it was time for Shelby, Baxter and Nala to head for home and for us to enjoy our dinner. The moon put on quite a show as it rose in the East before the sun had set in the West.
After dinner, we welcomed Angel back for her overnight stay and then we napped until it was time to go and feed the horse and take our late walk in the minus fifteen windchill with that incredibly bright moon lighting our way.
Sunday dawned with moonlight on the west side of the house like a spotlight and then the sun joined the party on the East. We don't usually have day visitors on Sunday but today we had two of our good friends arrive, Beauty and Sam. They were both keen to follow Kelsea around outside and point out the dog blossoms for her to gather in her bucket. There were a lot of goodbyes today as Charley, Karter, Nick,, Packer, Lumie and Price all went home with their humans so Kelsea had a very small group to take down to the beach in the afternoon. Kelsea reported back that the path was very icy so we may have to stay put while we wait for that slippery footing to improve.
Stephanie and Mariah were here early in the morning to do some grooming on Tallen and to practise mane braiding for an upcoming fun show at Mariah's riding club. Braiding a horse's mane for show is not a task for the weak of heart as it takes a long time and requires the horse to be very patient and stand still for a long time. For Tallen, the standing still wasn't a big deal and he loved being made a fuss over but they had been at it for a couple of hours, when there was an unexpected visit from the blacksmith. Tallen needed to have his borium-calked winter shoes put on which meant another hour of standing on three legs, most of the time, which was very tiring for the old nag.
Meanwhile, we had a visit from Mary's niece Sheila, her partner Richard and their dog Fritz who is a very high energy terrier. Mary took her Blueberry Coffee Cake out of the oven to cool a bit while Sheila and Richard gave Fritz a run around the North field and then a game of fetch in the East pasture. Once Fritz had his exercise, Mary served some cake and all the visitors departed, things were pretty quiet until Beauty and Sam were picked up and we had our dinner.
Tonight, the moon was again putting on a fabulous show as it rose over the water to the East and when we took our late walk, it was very bright and we didn't need any other lights to navigate our way around.
Yes, the freezing rain came at us overnight and this morning everything was coated but that was just a start. It kept building and building until there was a half inch of ice coating pretty much everything. The willow trees couldn't hold themsleves upright with all that extra weight and Mary and Stephanie had to chop a lot of ice away from the verandas and steps while we watched. School was cancelled so Ellie tried to enjoy the outdoors but that freezing rain made it tough.
The freezing rain was supposed to change to rain in the afternoon with a rise in the temperature but the thermometer was holding around zero degrees most of the day. Rollie came and tried to plow some of the crusty ice/snow from the driveway so cars could get up and down, but in the end the day visitors stayed home and two longer term guests cancelled their visits. Mary got hold of Bugsie and he arrived after lunch with a big load of crusher dust on board his spreader and he coated the ice with a thick layer of grit so that cars and feet could get some traction. By dinner time the, Packer had been dropped off for a weekend visit and it was still hovering around the zero mark with freezing drizzle. Stephanie gave us our dinner and she and Ellie headed home, on foot, down the driveway.
Then something very strange happened. In a matter of a few minutes, the wind shifted from north-east to south-west and more than doubled its speed, the temperature jumped from zero to ten degrees and some heavy rain started falling. The roar of the wind couldn't drown out the crashing noises of big ice chunks falling from the roof and the clattery sound of the icy branches on the trees as they were tossed around.
In the midst of this, our buddies Maya and Winston arrived at the gate and the winds just about pushed them off their feet and a little later it was Angel's turn to battle her way from the car to the house. We are all lying around now trying to ignore these massive gusts of wind that are approaching a hundred and ten km/h and shaking the house from top to bottom. We're wondering just how scary it will be when the time comes to take our late walk.
It's Thursday, Nala's back for another day and very happy to see Odin. Odin was thrilled to have his excellent playmate with him for the day. The games of chase, my stick, hide-n-seek, etc. got underway and they pretty much continued the whole day. Benson also joined us but he wasn't interested in getting run over by those two so he elected to hang out with those more his size, like Scamp and Inky.
The big orange ball played a big part in the days activities as we took turns knocking it around in the snow. Our buddy, Price, the Black Lab, was dropped off just as the snow started to fly and he tried to be a ball hog but LaVie convinced him to share.
We enjoyed the day and it snowed on and off but not much accumulated on the ground. The next thing to catch our attention was the arrival of Jake who is going to be here for an extended stay. He quickly made friends with all of us and enjoyed a nice walkabout with Stephanie and the gang.
The afternoon was quiet as we watched the weather get more and more miserable and we said goodbye to Odin, Benson and Nala before settling down to eat our dinner. Our after-dinner nap was interrupted by the arrival of one of our oldest friends, Lumie, who is here just for a long weekend. Lumie wanted to go out and explore in spite of the freezing rain that had started to coat everything but she made sure we heard her when she wanted to come in the house.
Wednesday was another sunny day with temperatures above zero so we spent a great deal of time outside playing with our buddies. Hunter, Kali and Mika arrived to spend the day and Karter was dropped off for a long weekend so once everyone was in place and our breakfast had digested, we were off to the beach with Stephanie.
There was a lot of air traffic today, but not in the form of helicopters or planes, but eagles and ravens.
Stephanie watched them closely to be sure they didn’t drop any tidbits or bones for us to devour. LaVie and Scamp were the top water-dogs today but Owen, Kali and Mika had their fair share of balls to retrieve on shore.
Once Stephanie had all the balls rounded up and put away, Arthur and his gang, which included Karter, Nikku and Chloe got the call that they were allowed to run down and join us, however, Karter and Arthur were the only ones who actually made the trip today. Nikku and Chloe opted to sit beside the mudroom door and wait for Stephanie to show up.
Upon our return from the beach, most of us headed over to the cabana with Stephanie for some R&R as well as fun and games. Since today is Angel’s house cleaning day, Hunter and Charlie came over to join us, while Inky and Atticus opted to stay with Mary over at the house, just in case she needed any help editing the video she was working on.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful until Jasper made his presence known and we all rushed out to see him.
We had a nice stroll through the fields in the lovely sunshine until it was time for our daycare pals, Kali and Mika, to set off for the day. Everyone was very hungry after all that fresh air and exercise, so Stephanie had our dinner prepared and served to us, lickitysplit. After dinner, Hunter made his exit followed by Stephanie, once she had Tallen in the barn and fed.
On the subject of creature comforts, Stephanie washed all our dog bed covers today, so it was cozy and warm to curl up on a freshly washed bed and snooze until Mary made us all go out in the cold for our late-night walk.