Throwback Thursday: Sum-thing Special

img_0595Today is a special day, it was once our anniversary, but that date changed when we got married. We already had September 7th memorized so after we adopted our St. Berdoodle Summit, we decided that our old anniversary date would be perfect to celebrate as her birthday!

The image above was taken the day that Summit and I met (Chris was out of the country)! She was much more timid back then, but I could tell that she was incredibly sweet and would be a good fit for us (I didn’t realize just how lucky we were to find our match).

Summit is about 3-years-old according to the vet, but her birthday celebrations won’t affect her age. We just wanted a day to spoil and love her EVEN MORE than we already do.

When I got home from work tonight, Chris and Summit jumped in the car and we headed to the pet store. We chose one doll each to give to her and bought her a special wet dinner. She was so excited about getting spoiled and she proudly carried one of her new toys (Calculator) around the aisles! The cashier loved her so much that she told us that she was definitely going to follow Sum on Instagram (@Summit.the.sweetheart).

Summit played with her new dollies immediately and she loved her birthday dinner even more. She is an amazing doggo who has gotten so comfortable with us, I’m so proud of how far she’s come in less than a year (read about when we first got her here and the last update on her here).

Happy Birthday Summit – I bet you were the cutest pupper I would have ever seen.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Once I Loved a Duke

My love of dogs feels lifelong.

In my lifetime, my family had a Border Collie who I don’t personally remember, but have seen pictures of, named Hook (like the movie). He herded us a bit too much for our young ages (apparently we cried at the nipped heels) so they found another home for him. The next pup we had been a white German Sheppard named Coach (Craig T. Nelson‘s greatest character). I remember bits and pieces, but my main man growing up was my pal Duke.

Duke was a beautiful two-year-old Flat-Coated Retriever (we think) who we adopted from The Animal Guardian Society (TAGS). The organization really wants to make sure that the family and the dog are a good match and within the process there is a two-week

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Duke and I through the years. The bottom photo was taken a couple months before he was put down.

period where the dog can stay at the house. Duke had been living in a small apartment and was kept in a crate for long hours so he thought that our wide backyard was paradise. He ran and ran, I sat on top of out patio table to avoid his speedy laps. When he settled in and I began to fall in love with him our epic friendship began!

I loved him and he loved me. I hugged, kissed, and shared secrets with him. I was also a very sick kid with a lot of physical health problems, he was my cuddle buddy. My mom remembers me falling asleep on him and he’d notice and rest himself to not disturb me. He was far from perfect in his rescue-monkey ways (some bad habits that never really went away), he was some sort of stomach-of-steel-dog who ate crazy things!

Firstly, he loved drinking mom’s cold coffee left in mugs on livingroom tables. Then we get into the stuff that he ate that he was definitely not supposed to: batteries; candles; garbage. One time he got into my brother’s Halloween candy and ate only the red suckers, somehow leaving the sticks and wrappers for us to clean up later.

He was trouble, but he was mostly a happy boy who we all loved so entirely. He put him down when his body began to fail from a type of cancer when I was 13 and I remember missing him so much for so long. I didn’t think that I’d love another dog again, but we all know that didn’t come true.


Thanks for reading this week’s Behind the Throw Back Thursday! What was you first true-dog-love?

A Sunday Stroll Through the Park: The Oshawa Peony Festival

Tis the time of the year for one of my favourite local summer festivals – the Peony Festival! This year’s festival was held from Saturday June 10th to Sunday June 11th. Chris and I had a busy weekend, but I knew that I wanted to squeeze in a walk through the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens for the big event so we made time on the morning of Sunday June 11th.

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Photos spontaneously captured by Rosenlee Photography – just good timing!

The location of the festival is special to me: oddly the gardens are outside of a small arena that I used to frequent for hockey practices in my youth (Children’s Arena); my family had lots of fun and took photos there before my parents divorced; and lastly, Chris proposed to me in these gardens a year and a half ago (they put a garbage can in the exact spot where he knelt [we laugh at the “romantic” spot now]). The paths and gardens represent a lot of happy memories for me and the Peony Festival celebrates the parks beauty, Oshawa’s beauty.

edit.jpgChris and I were excited to bring Summit because it’s held mostly in a public park, there are elements held in the arena, but why would you want to go inside on such a beautiful day? Parking was a bit crazy which I think is wonderful because it means that the festival is an ongoing success! Luckily the neighbourhood has many side streets that quickly filled with parked cars. We walked the short distance from our car to the park grounds and people had already started to compliment Summit on her beauty – I am a shamelessly proud mother.

collage 1.jpgThe festival includes: manicured gardens with over 300 varieties of peonies; dozens of local art, artisan, and food vendors; contests; live jazz music; and people enjoying the walking trails. Chris and I first stopped to view collected bugs in glass cases that was surprisingly fascinating. It was neat to see bugs from Malaysia too, Chris says that he hasn’t encountered them which is good because they were pretty damn big!

We continued to browse vendor booths along the walking trails and I especially loved Fancy Fellows who makes bandanas, bows/bowties, and other fashion accessories for dogs and children! They sold out of the Star Wars selection so we are planning on Photo 2017-06-11, 11 24 01 AMordering a custom one from her online! She has some really great fabric patterns so be sure to check out her page!

We met with the committed creator of What’s on Oshawa, a local online supporter of my hometown community that I have followed online for a long time! Creator Anna Huk was a joy to meet and I recommend you follow them online to keep up with cultural events to attend if you live near by! What was so fun was that Anna also recognized Summit from her Instagram account, she asked “is this @summit.the.sweetheart?!” and my proud-dog-mom heart grew four sizes. Chris laughed because he knew it would only encourage my commitment to our dog’s Instagram shenanigans.

collage 2.jpgWe took Summit to the water to get a drink and walked the rest of the trails. I also met a lovely En Plein Air painter working by the river. Her name was Judy Harper and she mentioned that she was looking forward to painting in this coming September’s Plein Air festivals in both Millbrook and Belleville. It’s a lot of fun to watch the live painting process so even if you don’t paint I recommend going to see artists in action. Keep your eyes peeled to see her work!

Photo 2017-06-11, 11 05 00 AM.jpgOur morning was filled with beautiful nature, friendly festival goers (so many people stopped us to talk about Summit and loved hearing her St. Berdoodle breed name), and a long healthy walk. Summit had a great time and it was really nice to expose her to socializing with that many people since her past wasn’t an easy one and she was once much more scared of people than she is now. Chris and I love spending time together at free events like these and it was the perfect Sunday morning activity.

I hope you keep in mind free local events like these in the future! They are incredible mini-day-dates, make for fantastic family photo back drops, and you can meet some wonderful people while you’re there! Oh yeah, the flowers were pretty nice too.

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Fictional Furry Friends: My Favourite TV Dogs

I always (ALWAYS) appreciate when a television program includes a supporting character with a good bark! The level of participation in shows vary, but they are all important to me. This list of my top five (with five more honourable mentions) will be a bit nostalgic, very cute, and in no ranking order because every dog is the best dog.

  1. Eddie from Frasier

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Behind the Bark:
Frasier ran from 1993-2004, Moose (the original dog who acted as Eddie) was bred so that his children could take over. His son Enzo started acting as his stunt double and eventually took over when Moose became too old.

eddie.jpgWe recently subscribed to Crave TV and I am loving rewatching Frasier! It is such a great show that always makes me laugh, one of my favourite aspects of the show is that Eddie consistently contributes greatly to each episode. He isn’t just a prop, his character might not have lines, but the writers definitely gave him personality. Eddie has complex relationships with Frasier, Niles, Martin, and Daphne who interact well with his physical comedy. I recommend you watch this fun video featuring some of Eddies best scenes. Frasier would not have been the same without the supportive Jack Russel Terrier.

 

  1. Hobo (AKA London) The Littlest Hobo

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Behind the Bark:
Chuck Eisenmann trained all of London/Hobo’s German Shepard

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Chuck Eisenmann and his shepards.

descendants. The dogs, from multiple generations, starred in the movie, the original television series, and the reboot as well – it’s all relative!

 

Hobo is a Canadian icon! I watched this show occasionally growing up, I liked that the dog was quite literally the star and that he was way cooler than Lassie. The Littlest Hobo had multiple productions: the first being a 1958 American film of the same name; the second being the original television series that ran for two seasons from 1963-1965; and lastly, after increased popularity of the syndicated 1960s program, The Littlest Hobo was started up once more and ran from 1979-1985 -that’s six more seasons! It featured the adventures of a stray dog who would travel and help humans in need of some animal assistance. Take a look at some of the hilarious episode descriptions from Wikipedia as curated by Nicole Cliffe to get a better idea of what the plotlines were like!

 

  1. Wishbone

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wishbone2Behind the Bark:
Unlike Frasier’s Jack Russel pup, Wishbone was the lead character and therefore acted in nearly every shot. Wishbone was mainly played by Soccer who was
chosen due to his very expressive face, but the demanding hours required some scruffy stunt

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I’d love to have this poster framed in my house!

doubles including Phoebe, Slugger, and the odd doggo-acting-extra.

 

This brings back childhood memories for me! Wishbone aired from 1995-1998 and featured a Jack Russel Terrier who was often clad in period-piece costumes while introducing youth to literary classics such as Robin Hood or Frankenstein. The fictional Wishbone lived in the modern 1990s, but would start day dreaming about himself in the lead role of many famous novels. The show encouraged reading and featured a dog in funny outfits – it’s an obvious A+ and I’d love to watch it for a laugh now that I’m older!

 

  1. Comet from Full House

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Behind the Bark:
Commonly mistaken for the Golden Retriever who played Air Bud (Buddy did cameo on one episode of Full

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Comet as Fluke, the role wasn’t didn’t call for a Golden Retriever, but he waas so good that they just dyed the fur!

House where Comet needed to become an athlete), Comet was played by… Comet? The dog actor is largely uncredited, but appears to be the dog in the 1995 film Fluke with a dye job!

 

 

Comet simply wasn’t in Full House enough. This was a pre-Air Bud world so a gorgeous Golden Retriever on my television screen was exciting! There would be some episodes with plenty of daughter-doggy time and then the series would go episodes without Comet in sight. It was always on my mind, I was always looking for that fluffy tail. What I really loved about Comet was that he was a lot like the dogs I had growing up: big; loving; lazy; and always there for a hug. I definitely love this cheesy show and the dog upped it’s cute-factor by a thousand.

 

 

  1. Backup from Veronica Mars

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Behind the Bark:
The very obvious recast of Pilot-Episode-Backup (played by a white and brown American bulldog named Gordo) to Series-Regular-Backup (played by a tan

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The first Backup.

colored pit bull named Lefty) is said to be the result of the crew not wanting to work with the first dog’s unreliable trainer.

Here’s our most modern TV dog on the list, Backup quite literally had Veronica Mars’ back when she had to investigate some shady areas.

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The second Backup.

Veronica Mars was a kickass show from 2004-2007 that featured a teenaged girl who conducted some not-so-licensed private investigating. Admittedly, Backup wasn’t in the show very much, but when he was, I loved him. The name itself is worthy of making the list, imagine being able to say things like “don’t worry I brought backup” and then watching peoples faces when they realize you mean your dog – it’s brilliant! Backup not only protected Veronica on the job, but comforted her at home after boy trouble and acted as an occasional face-licking alarm clock!


I could talk about fictional dogs forever, but I think five is a good starter list. Some honourable mentions include:

  1. Diefenbaker (AKA Dief) from Due South
  2. Dog from Columbo
  3. Murray from Mad About You
  4. Speedy from the The Drew Carey Show
  5. Stinky and Nunzio from Dharma and Greg

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Dog-Mother’s Guilt: A Quick Update

Photo 2017-05-15, 6 34 19 PM.jpgWow. This week has gone by so fast, I have a ton on my plate now that I’ve started my new job. Even though I’ve only worked there for a few days, I’m already feeling like I fit in (clearly a welcoming workplace). I’ve started getting the groove of things and it feels great to contribute to the team effort.

Something that I knew I would have a hard time with when I started working was mother’s guilt from leaving my dog Summit at home during the days. She and I were lucky to have all of the time together that we did; I was unemployed when we adopted her and she had a solid six months of all-love-all-the-time from mom (me). She seems to be doing incredibly well with the new schedule though and I’ve been committing to an after-work routine that I hope helps make the transition easier.

Our days go like this now:
-Wake up between 6:30-7:15am (that’s me, not her…)
-Summit gets out of bed around 7:45am
-I make Summit go outside to go pee
-Summit sleeps on the back porch and sometimes I have to go outside and be a pee-cheerleader (she sleeps in and is used to peeing in the late mornings[10:00-11:00am])
-I finish getting ready, drag out my goodbyes with Sum
-I Leave the driveway at approximately 8:20am
-I head home at 5:00pm and usually get in the door around 5:30pm (not a bad commute at all)
-I immediately get changed into dog park clothes and Summit starts jumping around
-We have tons of fun on a half hour dog walk through the conservation area
-I feed Sum and start making dinner for myself between 6:00-6:30pm
-By 7:30pm we’ve both eaten and I sometimes have some projects I need to work on, but when I’m able to, I like to give super amounts of loving to Summit!

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Look how cute Summit is in the hat they gave me at work!

Earlier this week, I had a moment at my desk that reminded me of how happy I am. My university education actually paid off (it hasn’t been paid off, but it’s officially shown me it’s worth) and I am finally able to do a job that I love in a full-time stable environment! It’s been pretty tiring and I can’t wait until my husband gets home from his month away from work! I look forward to having someone to help cook, clean, and spend time with Sum – plus, you know, I miss him!

I’m looking forward to the long weekend and I’ll definitely write a longer blog for next week! I hope that everyone stays safe and has fun – don’t forget to make time to rest (I always need the reminder so I assume you might as well)!

Why You Should Follow More Dog Accounts on Instagram

(Scroll down for my top 6 favourite Instagram accounts [3 humans and 3 canines])

Photo 2017-04-06, 12 29 58 PM.pngInstagram is hands down my favourite social media network. I use it far more than any other platform and it tends to make me happy. Not only do I share positive moments in my life with my own followers, but I take in great snapshots and funny captions of those who I follow. In my opinion, this is how it differs most in comparison to Facebook or Twitter.

My Facebook newsfeed tends to fill up with generic memes, commonly shared stories, or rants both for and against topics that are controversial. As the Twitter feed updates, I’m led to articles of varying importance and I generally learn all my local news here. Both Facebook and Twitter definitely have their benefits, but they are more likely to expose me to depressing or upsetting content. Instagram is (largely apart from sponsored posts) curated by me, for me and I keep it feeling pretty light.

Photo 2017-04-06, 12 30 07 PMI technically run two Instagram accounts, one for me (@cassythemusicalfox) and for our dog (@summit.the.sweetheart). Before our last dog passed, my personal account was filled with photos of our dog Daq and I followed many other dog accounts. Daq had such an incredible personality that I loved sharing her with the Insta-universe, but she was an old girl and I didn’t want to create an account for her only to have to close it after she inevitably died. It was then no question as to whether or not I would start a dog account when we adopted Summit – she would rule the world… I mean approximately 300 followers on Instagram.

Having two accounts is actually very helpful to me. The dog account allows me to follow hundreds of animals online with zero shame and they all do one thing: they make me happy. Like real life dogs, Insta-doggo accounts are very loyal, it’s a faithful online community. Seeing those slobbery smiles doing pretty much anything keeps me feeling good and maybe it would help brighten your day too. Take a break from photos of your friend’s lunch and search for a cute canine going on an adventure.

So, who are three of my top humans and doggos to follow on Instagram? (Feel free to look through accounts I’m following through the Instagram profiles as well because it was really hard to choose only three of each)

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Account: @grumpyandgeeky
Followers: 12,700
Species: Human

@Grumpyandgeeky seems like a fun guy (not to be mistaken with a fungi) who posts a lot of ‘nerdy’ pop culture content. He has access to a ton of the newest and nerdiest merchandise that you will see and possibly then want to buy for yourself. He’s a man of good taste and he also occasionally posts pics of his dog which I 100% support!

 

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Account: @koda_and_moo
Followers: 809
Species: Dogs

Koda and Moo are St Berdoodles (just like my fur-babe Summit), they are brothers who have the best smiles and take frequent naps. Not only are they handsome unique looking bros, but they also give back to the community – Koda and Moo are actually therapy dogs! Sometimes they have Instagram posts featuring these two doggos making people happy offline out in the real world which then in turn makes me happy when clicking that like button online.

 

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Account: @shaundowneyart
Followers: 8261
Species: Human

Shaun Downey is a Canadian artist who is from my hometown, but currently lives in Toronto with his wife (she is another of my favourite artists [@kellygraceart]). His work is incredibly stunning, the colours are gorgeous, the details are

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My Shaun Downey print in the bedroom beside my lingerie chest.

meticulous, and his depictions of fabric textiles blow me away. Every piece by Shaun Downey stands on its own as true beauty and when you think that you have a found your favourite, you will discover his next painting. I was also lucky enough to win a print of Shaun’s last year and I love the way that it brought my girly nook together.

 

 

 

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Account: @dog_wears_hat
Followers: 1520
Species: Dog

I’ve been following @dog_wears_hat for a long while now and they are one of my all time favourite accounts. Every photo and every caption is perfection in a way that the account doesn’t take itself too seriously. This dog, Ol’ Bluey, is a star. I can only hope to look half as good in hats as Ol’ Bluey does because he totally owns it. His serious faces, that might be referred to as Ol’ Bluey-Steel, are the greatest and I hope you check them out!

 

sarahkbenning computer shotAccount: @sarahkbenning
Followers: 402,000
Species: Human

Sarah K. Benning is a talented hand embroidery artist that I happened upon during a time of needlework research. Her work is often intricate and amazes me, she was one of the first embroidery artists to inspire me to go beyond traditional hand embroidery styles and combine it with modern concepts. She has approximately 400,000 Instagram followers who all love her work, but if you can beat the rush, you can purchase your own Sarah K. Benning hoop art off of her Etsy store.

 

waitingdogstoronto computer shotAccount: @waiting.dogs.toronto
Followers: 4296
Species: Dog(s)

This account pretty much posts what you’d expect: dogs waiting to come home; dogs waiting outside the store; dogs waiting for a treat; dogs waiting at the window. The account really makes you realize what a patient species they are and they don’t even have cell phones to look at Instagram to pass the time! It’s a fun account that lets me see a good variety of dog breeds in a nearby city centre (because this is a priority when you are a crazy dog lady like me). You can also submit photos of your waiting dog by tagging them!

 


There you have it folks, a little glimpse into the behind the scenes of my Instagram priorities. What are some of your favourite accounts? What types of curating do you do? Does it make you smile? I hope so.

Dog Sitting Days are Over

Fact: I am a crazy dog person. Crazy about dogs and crazy for thinking that taking care of three would be pretty easy.

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Top Left: Summit | Top Right: Deeks | Bottom: Kensi

Even though I love dogs, I only own one dog and only want one dog (Summit). Last week I dog-sat my mom’s two fur-babies, a 2-year-old bernese mountain dog named Agent Deeks and a 1-year-old poodle named Agent Kensi (named after characters from (NCIS Los Angeles). I had three somewhat large dogs in the house and Chris left for work the same day that they arrived, the dogs definitely kept me company, but also pushed me close to the edge of insanity.

What is a week like with three large dogs who are still quite puppy-like? Hard, but cuddles and kisses helped make it all bearable.

It gave me a chance to see what it’s like to constantly watch a few monkeys and made me really admire parents of human children (rather than fur-children) even more than I already do. I’m currently 26 and it boggles my mind when I think about how my parents had three kids by the age of 25. I really applaud mothers and fathers of young children that are all within a few years of each other. Obviously dogs are very different than humans, but taking care of any living creature can be a lot of work when they out number you!

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When the dogs realized you could easily pull off the toilet paper off the holder.

As many destructive and mischievous moments as there were over the week, the dogs always won me over in the end. Those cute little faces and their incredibly loving hearts make it all too easy to forgive them for any grievances. My favourite times with all three dogs were always cuddles in bed, definitely dog-lady heaven. Deeks and Kensi officially went home yesterday, Wednesday March 1st, and my mom stayed to help me clean the very muddy house.

What did I learn? Dogs are incredible, but are a handful (wait, I knew that)!

Photos from the week:

 

 

 

A Photo Essay: Walking in Oshawa’s Winter Wonderland

collage-1I present you with a brief photo essay:

We love living near the dog park, but we never appreciate it as much as we do after a fresh snowfall. The Oshawa Harmony Valley Dog Park looks surreally beautiful when the trees are dusted with powder and the fields are blanketed in white sheets. I asked Chris to bring his camera for our walk on what was a truly beautiful day.

Summit, our approximately two-year-old Saint Berdoodle, loves running around in the off-leash zones at the park. She’s the first non-black dog that I’ve ever owned and I still haven’t gotten used to having a dog that doesn’t appear to suffer from severe dandruff during snowy days. Her smiles are just as big as my past dog’s though, and I enjoy watching her bounce around in a deer-like manor.

Chris and I put on our big winter boots and almost over dressed as the temperature was surprisingly warm for a snowy day. We trudged along the paths and took a lesser known route by one of the streams. We carefully crossed the ankle-deep water by stepping on dscf9234snow covered rocks (luckily, we didn’t fall in [our mothers would have told us not to do it, but like most adults we make stupid decisions sometimes]). Summit bounded across the newly frozen ice and her back legs broke through a thin patch. She quickly made it to the ‘safety’ of the nearby ground after getting some ice-cold motivation!

Before walking to the open field where Summit likes to play, we stopped to take photos with her by our favourite bridge. The entire walk, including twenty minutes of playtime, lasted for forty minutes and I could feel tiny drops of sweat beneath my scarf. We came home with rosy cheeks, runny noses, and new winter memories.

 

Check out our photos here:

A Dog Lover’s Gift Guide: Top Three Tips

Earlier this week I wrote an update about my recent rescue so I thought that I would keep the dog theme going this week by picking my top three favourite dog-owner Christmas gift ideas. One let’s everyone know who they’re dealing with, the second helps avoid backyard backaches, and the third keeps your furry-friend fit.

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For Owners Who Wear their Hearts and Interests on their Sleeves: Dog Themed Clothes
Like most dog-lovers, any product sporting a furry face catches my eye when I pass by. I am a huge sucker for dog-themed shirts and I’ve been searching for a good dog patterned dress for a while now. This is a perfect present for “loud and proud” dog lovers and the website Animal Hearted makes your search that much easier by curating a collection of pet oriented products. Not only will you make that pet-person on your list happy, but you will help some pups too – 25% of Animal Hearted proceeds go to no kill animal shelters!

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Mine’s green!

For Practical Pet People: Top Paw All-In-One Scoop Set
What is it?
It’s a pooper scooper! You use the little rake to scoop the poop into the long-handled poop-pan.
You’d think that a pooper scooper would be an odd gift, but it was given to me and I think that it’s the best thing in the world! My 60lb St. Berdoodle leaves me 120lb St. Bernard sized poops so this handy rake and pan tool is a life/backache saver.

For some reason, I had never owned a proper device for this chore, I have always stooped and scooped with bags or old oversized kitchen spoons to help, but we still had pooperscooperto bend down every couple of feet. It’s simple, but it’s helpful and as much as giving or receiving this item will make you all laugh, it would be one of the most useful gifts a pet owner could get.

I’d also like to take a moment and direct you to one of my latest favourite Instagram accounts: @ipoopinbushes – definitely give them a follow.


collage-3For the Trendy Tech Owner: WonderWoof BowTie
What is it?
WonderWoof is an activity tracker (yes, like your Fitbit) for your dog that connects to your smart device with real time stats on exercise, sleep, and, GPS. The device also calculates
the exercise that your dog needs based on its weight, age, and breed so that you can help your dog reach its healthy goals each day.

Wearable technology is constantly expanding and improving so it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. One thing that I love about the WonderWoof is that it’s available to purchase now. Many wearables collage-2look exciting (like the Kyon Collar), but are not finished being funded which means that wait times are not only long, but sometimes delayed.

If you research the pet wearable market (obviously, a leisure task for us cool kids), you’ll find that there are a ton of activity trackers to choose from. This is similar to wearables in the human departments, except that these collar accessories don’t wrap around wrists. What makes WonderWoof stand out then? It’s in the style. The sleek bow tie comes in seven different colours and patterned bands for those doggos with bold personalities!

The last awesome thing about WonderWoof is that you can buy it online or in the store while you’re doing your other Christmas shopping – Best Buy had it on sale just last month, keep your eyes open!


I hope that my top three tips helped inspire you, let me know some of your favourite pet-presents!

Summit’s Safe Place: One Month Adopted Home Update

Yesterday, Monday December 5th, marked my one month anniversary with our newly adopted dog Summit (See her Instagram account @Summit.the.sweetheart).

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Summit and I on our 2nd day together.

In a previous blog post, I explained the process of grieving my late dog Daq and finding Summit online. To summarize, Summit is a 2-year-old St. Berdoodle (Saint Bernard/Poodle) who was rescued when she was pregnant with 11 puppies. Her rescuers in the US sent her to foster parents who ran a Portuguese Water Dog breeding business and were familiar with handling the impending puppy situation properly. After finding homes for the puppies, the breeder then set out to find a home for mommy-Summit. When I saw her photo online, I had a weird feeling that told me she was right for us and I expressed this in an email.

Like all rescues, Summit has a colourful past that contributes to present issues, but she is the biggest sweetheart. It is believed that she was abused because of her fear of meeting new people. She loves playing with other dogs and has zero anxiety about her furry friends (even when they are strangers).

Summit has come such a long way in a very short time.

photo-2016-12-05-9-54-27-amWhen I first brought Summit home, I was excited, but it was hard because she didn’t trust me enough to let me hug her and cuddle her the way that you want to when you get a new fur-baby. The sweet girl had never gone up and down stairs before so she was limited to staying on the main floor. I decided that I would sleep on the couch that night so that she wouldn’t be alone – I think this really helped our initial bonding.

She seemed to be picking things up really quickly! On the second or third day, she was learning what her dog bed was and even showed interest in wanting to go upstairs with me. One day when I was about to jump in the shower, I saw her little head poke up from the landing! She had come that far, but then immediately forgot how she had gotten up there and couldn’t figure out the rest of the steps (she had this thing where she didn’t understand that she needed to move her back legs). I paused what I was doing and helped show her how to climb up the stairs on four legs (I had been doing this for days like a little animal). I was an extremely proud mama when she made it all the way up and discovered more of the house.

Summit had not only never used stairs at the age of 2, but she had also never seen a TV, nor did she know basic commands like sit, lay down, stay, etc. She was housebroken, but

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Summit watching an animal documentary.

with moving to a new environment she did leave me a couple stinky presents in the house early on. By the end of the first week she had conquered the stairs, was cool with the weird moving pictures in the living room, and had even officially mastered the art of sitting on command!

Week two included visits from more family and friends (lots of practice at meeting new people), but Summit especially loves playing with her friend/my mom’s dog Agent Deeks. These two are so infatuated, they love playing, cuddling, nuzzling, grooming, humping (we continually break them up) – they just can’t get enough of each other. After a week and a half of bonding time, it was hard to let go of my control, but I let her off leash on a woods-walk with mom and Deeks.

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Summit and Agent Deeks.

With her friend at her side it was more likely that she’d stick with him, she did such a good job and had so much fun! By the end of that week she had learned the lay down command and was growing even closer to me.

Week three was fun because Summit and I went on a road trip to see my sister who lives four hours away. My sister has a Bernese Mountain Dog named Dude (brother to Deeks), a German Sheperd named Sidney Prescott, and two cats named Rafi and Taco. Summit was fast friends with her cousins, especially Sidney who seemed to be ecstatic to have a girlfriend since she was always surrounded by males. The dogs had a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see them reunite for the holiday season.

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Summit and her cousins Dude and Sidney.

This last week has been nice, Summit seems completely at home now.

  • photo-2016-11-21-3-00-10-pmShe loves:
  • Looking through the front window
  • Standing on the backyard deck to guard her kingdom
  • Napping on her bed all day
  • Going for walks to Poke-stops
  • Playing with her dollies
  • My made-up songs and dances in the kitchen
  • Cuddling with me in bed
  • Playing with other doggos

This month of so many firsts has been hard work that has already proven to be well worth it and I can’t wait to share more of these experiences with her fur-daddy. Chris has been away for five weeks and is coming home in a couple days – he will finally get to meet the fur-baby that he has grown to love through the constant receival of unfiltered photos and videos each day. I can’t imagine how excited he must be.

We are so lucky that we found a new dog to share our love with and to spoil this Christmas. She still has a lot to learn and so do we as new puppy-parents. She is two, but has so many firsts that dogs her age would normally have already experienced that we are going through puppy stages and also getting used to such a playful girl compared to our gorgeous old 12-year-old labradoodle (we still think about her every day).

Dogs, like people, aren’t perfect and it is often the imperfections that we grow to love most. Do you have a rescue dog and have some helpful anecdotes to share? Let me know and give them a kiss for me!

More Pictures from this past month: