Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Mysterious Black Hole

I have lost my dog's favourite toy. Cadie's favourite toy is something called a Tricky Treat Ball. As you can see it's porous, orange, largish and round. It works by putting treats (though I just use kibble) into the opening, (the big hole in the middle of the ball pictured above) then you through it down for the dogs and they kick it around and food magically appears. Cadie got her first Tricky Treat Ball when she was 13 weeks old. I felt completely overwhelmed by her growing activity level, and the puppy book said she needed a "job". The book recommended a Kong filled with Kong filler, or peanut butter. My vet would freak if she thought I was giving Cadie peanut butter, and Cadie had already chewed through her teething Kong (after a little less than a week) so I knew a Kong was out of the question. I headed over to Walmart to see what alternatives they had, and that's where I found the Tricky Treat Ball.

It was an instant hit, and my vet even remarked at our second appointment that Cadie was a "pro" with the ball. It's true though, Cadie's "job" was to roll the ball around and collect the treats. At first she used her nose, which meant that she could sniff the treats out as soon as they dropped to the ground. It didn't take long though for her to build her skills, she now kicks that ball around the house like a super star soccer player.

So a couple of days ago I went looking for it, I was headed out, and I wanted to give Cadie something to do while I was gone. But I couldn't find it, I searched high and low, under beds and bookshelves, behind chairs and in closets. I have no idea where this thing could have gone. It seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

oh well, I'll just have to replace it. I think my mum's dog has one that she's not using, I'll just pinch it while I'm home next weekend.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nuit Noir

So I think I made that up, but the point is that I slept. YEAH! I would feel fantastic except for 3 things:

1) I'm fighting a head cold, and I feel pretty run down
2) Cadie is starved for social interaction and exercise
3) It's still raining, which means that I'm going to have to walk the dog in the rain, in order to get some rest tonight. (This is the downside of being single for sure.)

But still let's not lose track of the fact that I got some sleep. YEAH! Here's how the story unfolded; Over the summer Monday evening was far and away my favourite television night, my favourite, Thursday is my favourite, but over the summer it was all reruns, and the Monday night shows were all new to me. I would park myself at 7:30 and stay there until 10. It was a great chance to get some sewing done or just to chill. That has changed now that they've moved Big Bang to Thursday, where I'll never be able to watch it.

Anyhow, I was sitting on the couch last night watching The Simpson (AKA my sleeping pill) when my head got heavy and the next thing I knew it was 9:40 and a rerun of Big Bang was on. Ha! sleep at last, and at a reasonable hour too!

So I rushed to bed, and Teddy Bear followed close behind, and I slept through until my alarm went off. Ahh! Now I just need to shake this cold before next weekend.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nuits Blanches

I am not sleeping these days. My mind is racing, I have no idea where it thinks it's going, but it won't slow down. Every night I head to this bed, where this teddy bear is waiting for me, and I feel a strong sense of relief, because I'm ready to stretch out and sleep.

But then something happens when I turn the covers down. The Teddy Bear strolls up to the other side of the bed, and lays down on the pillow beside me and I think that this is super cozy, so I close my eyes tightly and try to think of nice things until I fall asleep. After 10 minutes of trying to force my mind to think positively I give up, get up and go into the living room where I put on The Simpson, and almost instantly fall asleep. I start this by myself, but after about15 minutes Cadie will come out of the bedroom and sleep on my feet, it's nice to have company.

This means that I have to get again, usually either at 12, or 1 or even 2. The mid night room change also means that I am exhausted in the morning, just as I am now.

So now I have to figure out how to stay awake on an overcast Monday morning, I also have to figure out how to get to sleep tonight.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kew Gardens

I was very excited Friday afternoon, C and I were planning a trip to Riverside Park. A park that seems to get people pretty excited. But the best laid plans are no match for erratic weather. As I have some difficulty parking in the garage, I left my car out on the street, as I came into my apartment I heard a booming crack, and then a thud, as a huge branch hit the ground. That sealed the deal, C and I agreed that the combination of the black clouds overhead, and the powerful winds meant that Riverside Park was out of the question.

However, I owe you a park review, and it occurred to me that I never did post a review of our trip to Kew Gardens.

Kew Gardens is out in the east end. You'll see here that it has a gorgeous gazebo, they use this during the Beech Jazz festival too, the musicians are in the gazebo and they arrange chairs in front. You will see that Cadie escaped my grasp here, but this is technically not an off-leash zone.

This photo may be harder to see, but here you see a lawn bowling club, and beyond it the lake, what you may not see too well is the boardwalk, and sort of lost in the mix is the off leash area.

I don't know if you remember it, but the day Cadie ate a stick of butter she found a beach ball, and I hid it in the closet. I knew we were headed to the beach, and I wanted her to have something to play with when we got there. I'm glad that I kept it for her. This beach ball gave her minutes of fun...about 3. She chased it and lunged at it and grabbed at it, and then it deflated, so I threw it out, it was a no brainer.

The dog park is huge, at least as large as Sunnybrook, but, at least twice as spectacular. There is a lot of sandy space for dogs to run and catch balls, or wrestle with each other, but it's right on the lake, so more often than not we passed people sunbathing with their dogs. Cadie and I went with C, her brother D and of course Toby.

It was very windy that day too, so I was very worried that Cadie would want to go swimming, and I had forgotten her life jacket, so there was no way I was going to let her go in. Fortunately, as always, Cadie was far more interested in chasing after her ball then in going into the water.

It was a hot day, and truthfully both dogs were really struggling with this trip. It seems counter intuitive, but I don't think this park is really suitable for a hot day. The off leash area is completely sandy, while the grassy area is shady and cool, it is reserved for on leash dogs and people. Sand doesn't hold cooler temperatures as well as grass, and there were very few trees, and no water fountain that I could see, so it was even hotter there than our regular walk. We did stop on our way back to the car to enjoy the cool shade, we were all very pleased to sit for a minute on a park bench.

That being said, it was great to get out and play in a new park. I think we would definitely go back The cherry on the cake was the fabulous view!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stumbling blocks

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, our cleared hurtles and our stumbling blocks, I guess that's true regardless if your dog or a person.

Cadie is an urban dog, and it takes a lot to rattle her. She loves to ride the elevator, she sticks her nose in the tiny little gap of the door, and sniffs frantically as we go up and down, trying to get a feel for what the neighbors are having for dinner.

Cadie also love the subway. Inevitably she finds a person or two who will make as fuss over her, and that is after all what she loves most. Also the subway usually takes her out to see her friend Toby, and means a good romp in C's backyard.

Cadie doesn't seem to notice traffic at all, I don't think she ever did to be honest with you. She simply trots along, confident in the knowledge that those noisy cars won't bother her.

The one thing Cadie is afraid of though is being inside one of those cars. As a small puppy of 5 Lbs. she would curl up in my lap and sleep, occasionally she would stretch, and reposition herself, but then she would go back to sleep almost right away. And at the end of the day maybe that's the root of it, maybe she's only comfortable in the car when she can sit in my lap. At any rate, Cadie is not as excited about Hermione as I am.

I have tried to create a positive experience for her, putting her in the car and taking her to the park where she can play. I even tried taking her to C's place, my mum's place, and new places, but still I can't seem to get Cadie excited about the possibility of a car ride.

Admittedly I'm not a good driver, and maybe that's what's upsetting her, she fears for her life. I couldn't enjoy a car ride if I thought I was going to die. But...I didn't think dogs could fear for their lives...does anyone know the answer to this, are dogs aware of their own mortality?

But I digress. Last night on our way home from the park Cadie was accosted by a Cadie-look-alike. They sniffed hello and then the Cadie-look-alike hoped into the car, and drove off into the sunset. I turned to Cadie and said:

"see. That's what you need to do."

Cadie turned and gave me a look that said:

"don't pull on that thread. Aren't we having a nice time here?"

So I dropped the subject, and we continued on home. I guess no one is perfect, and I still have an advantage over Cadie in that I can pick her up and put her in the car if I want her in there.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

There's Something in the Air

Cadie and I got up and headed to the park first thing this morning as usual. We were out for a good 2 hours, again, nothing unusual about that. But then we headed out again in the afternoon for another 2 hours. We had a good stroll up Yonge Street, and then headed down Mt. Pleasant, all in all, it was a great day.

They have already put the bubble up on the tennis court beside us, so I had thought that we had seen the last of the found tennis balls. I was wrong, Cadie found two today. The first ball she found she was happy to have me simply put in my dog walking bag.

When we got to the park, she started jumping around and clawing at my bag until I finally pulled her favourite orange ball out and threw it across the lawn. I don't know how she had the energy to chase a ball, but she did. so we spent some time in park, and then headed home.

It was fabulous, the temperature was perfect, and the roads were so full of people, though it became less crowded as the afternoon wore on.

On her way in Cadie found the second ball, and her day was complete, she had everything she could want. Then she came in and headed right over the couch where she struggled to keep her eyes open while she demolished her newest treasure.


Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Cadie Life, I Just Live Here

It's funny how an animal can take over your life. One moment you are blissfully unaware the animal exists and the next you are completely wrapped around their little dew claw. This is how it is with Cadie. Cadie sets the tone in the apartment, if she's having a bad day everyone (meaning me) is having a bad day. Cadie tells me when it's time to go to bed, and when it's time to get up. She also tells me when it's time to eat, and when we've spent too much lounging and we're bored. It's true, Cadie is the real matriarch of the apartment, and I am just the follower.

I remember being in my first year of university and being terribly offended when my roomate, who I wasn't all that fond of told me that what I needed was a mother. Naturally I protested, I can look after myself. She laughed and tossed her head and said, "no, no you can't. You need a mother!" The obvious rudeness of this statement aside, I am at heart a routine-driven person, who thrives on knowing what to expect from each situation. Of course life isn't like that, but I think that's the biggest reason that I am such a dog person. Dogs are completely lost without their routines, (they also love cooler weather, and are happiest when they live in the moment. At my more philosophical and romantic moments I like to think that I am descended from wolves, but I digress.)

University on the other hand is so flexible. You get up when you want, you do your homework if you want, a person has to create their own routine, which was something I was struggling with in my first year. So really I don't need a mother, I mean I have one, what I needed was a dog. A little being to run my life and keep me on a short leash.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rainy Day Relief

Hermione has come home. I can't tell you how much of a relief it is to have my car back. The drive home last night was gruelling, but it was worth it, as it took me only 15 minutes to get to work today. Also it's supposed to rain today so I'm glad that I'll have the ability to dive to and from the park if needs be.

As a general rule Cadie hates to be out in the rain, but then she didn't get as much exercise as she needs last night, so we may be walking through a steady stream in a soggy park after all.

happy, rainy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Photo Gifts

I know that it's weird to be writing about the weekend on a Wednesday. But I find the middle of the week so tiring. The worst day of the week is clearly Tuesday YUCK! But Wednesday can be pretty bad too.

Cadie and I played host to our good friend W on Saturday. We had my famous egg salad sandwiches, on a fresh baguette and fresh veggies. But W came over for another reason. I was going through my photos looking for a nice one of Cadie and myself when I noticed that all of the pictures of me were taken by my ex. Not only is it disturbing to think that the only photos you have of yourself were taken by an ex, these photos are now very out-of-date. They're two years old, I was much heavier and Cadie was a puppy. It was time for some new photos. So W came over and here is what she gave me.

A pensive Cadie, trying her best to please her new best friend

Sitting pretty so that W will pet her

Me watching Cadie play, you can also see the dilapidated baseball diamond

You might think that Cadie is playing, but really, she's protecting her ball from this interloper
Excellent recall, she just wanted to make sure W saw her being so good

Finally, I have something updated, and we look fantastic together don't we?

As you know every picture has a story, this story is that Cadie was driven to distraction by my insisting on getting a photo. As far as Cadie was concerned she was at the park to chase the ball and nothing else, so getting this shot was a bit of a struggle. I had to rein her in multiple times, and in the end W had to shoot almost blindly, because we had only a couple of seconds before Cadie wormed her way free and ran off to find her ball again.
All in all, a very successful weekend as far as I'm concerned. So thank you to W for giving me such beautiful pictures of my little Cadie, and of the two of us. It's nice to have photos with good memories attached to them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

Cadie and I headed out for our walk last night under heavy, black rain clouds. Initially I was going to drive, but Cadie's energy was way too high, and driving me nuts, and as I was pulling onto my street it looked like the sun was coming out.

The sun was not coming out, but the walk was pretty dry. It rained on us a little again in the baseball bowl and then just as we were headed inside, so not too bad at all, and truthfully I really needed the walk, to clear my mind, and try to stop my head ache.

It most have worked because I got a great night's sleep last night, and when I woke up the sun was trying to peak through the clouds. This is the best sign of the week, even better though is that it is expected to be a beautiful day leading into a beautiful weekend.

C and I are going to another Jays game tonight. We're going to have the best seats of the season (usually we sit in the nose bleeds, but tonight we'll be down in the 100s). This is GREAT and I am very excited, the 100s have the best indulgence-type foods, so I think we're having pizza, though that might change after we've had the chance to walk around and see what else the Dome has to offer. But, even if we do decide on pizza, the pizza in the 100s is much, much better than the pizza in the nose bleeds, I have no idea why, it just is.

Anyhow, the sunshine has renewed my faith in life and revitalized my spirit. Happy Friday everyone

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Me and my Shadow

I had a terrible sleep last night, I seemed to wake up every 2 hours, and at 4 this morning rolled over, half opened my eyes, and became convinced that someone had just closed the door to my room. I was terrified. so after hemming and hawing over what might be lurking in the shadows of my room I decided to turn on the light and get up.

I'm nobody's fool, I took a big, heavy flower pot to protect myself, just in case it wasn't my overactive imagination. Luckily I had nothing to fear, the closing of my door was nothing more than an imagining, I should have know that, Cadie was dead to the world on the bed beside me, had there been an intruder Cadie would have been up and trying to make friends with them.

At any rate, I moved to the couch in the living room after that, Cadie always waits until I get myself settled, then she comes out and pushes herself onto the couch at my feet. I can't say it was the best night ever, but at least I had company. And upon reading last night's blog again this morning I think it's time to start taking the vitamin D again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Into Every Life...

Many of you may not know this, but I dubbed September the "Official Month of Me" about 6 years ago. The honour came after September 2004 ended up being the best month of my life. That's when I landed my first full time job, I mean, that's really the only thing that happened but it was momentous for me. That one event opened a world of possibilities. As I recall there were some other good things that happened in September 2004, but the specifics are lost to the sands of time.

Since I've been fortunate enough to have been steadily employed since 2004, I'm sure you can imagine that no other September has been as great, or has meant as much to me since then. The moniker remained because it made me feel good to know that I had a whole month to celebrate me. It's greedy I know, most people in North America only get a day a year, most people outside North America are lucky if they get that. Still. My birthday is the fist, and so it seemed as though the month should be dedicated to me. Every year my birthday has been pleasant, the weather has been reasonably pleasant, and although these Septembers were uneventful, that too was pleasant.

I have nothing to complain about. 2010 has been my year, and just about everything has gone my way since the end of February. That being said, this September has not been pleasant. Sure there are highlights. C made me feel very special on my birthday, and C, the dogs and I went for a great hike over the labour day weekend, but on the whole it hasn't been a great month.

I've been fighting with the bank, my telephone providers, pay roll, (these fights are my own stupid fault, and everyone I've been dealing has been very helpful, so I really shouldn't call it fighting, but "fighting" really describes my feelings on the subject, rather than the reality of the situations). I've also been involved in a little car accident, embarrassingly less than a month from the day I got the car. To top it off, the weather has gone from ridiculously hot and humid, and borderline cold, with nothing but rain, rain, rain, and the migraines that go along with the rain and cold weather.

The car accident happened in my parking garage, when I hit one of the posts. I was alone in the car, and was driving about 5 to 10 KM/h, so no one was hurt, except poor Hermione and my pride. Last night was a bad one, initially I panicked and tried to handle all of the details for fixing the car by myself but, before too long, (14 hours, and a persuasive email from C), I realized that I couldn't solve this problem on my own, I felt like DJ on Full House, when she drove the family car through the kitchen window.  After a good chat with my benefactor (Bene from this point on) I am feeling much better than I did last night.

So the worst things to have come from all of these challenges is:
1) I learned a good lesson about car safety, and about not panicking behind the wheel!
2) I tend to lose perspective while I'm sitting at home alone, which means that I may need to rethink the whole dating thing, as I may be turning into a hermit in my private life.
3) Bene taught me a lesson that Full House tried to teach me 15 years ago, you can't do everything on your own, you need to talk to friends, and honesty is the best policy, secretes are no good, proving that Bene and C are more persuasive than television.

Again, focusing on the positive, September is only 8 days old, there's still time for things to turn around

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Famous Last Words

So just one business day after my last post I regret to inform you that my fail-proof alarm clock has failed me. Cadie let me sleep in well past 6:10, in fact, it was 6:25 when I finally struggled to a sitting position. I don't know what exactly the trouble was, perhaps it's because it's suddenly fall and Cadie is suddenly confused, it could be a result of the fact that I pulled down more of the covers last night and Cadie and I weren't so squished, I am inclined, however to blame the alarm clock for not going off 

As I said it was 6:25 when I woke up, shook my fist and cursed my inability to set an alarm clock I've been dragging around with me since I was thirteen. However, if this had to happen I'm glad it happened today. Today my office returns to regular hours, and I had a couple of extra minutes to spare. I still got to the office with an extra 45 minutes, so I guess all's well that end's well.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Great Lakes Weather...

If you don't like it just wait ten minutes, it'll change.

The weather here has been all over the map this weekend. It was hot and humid on Thursday, then cooler on Friday, though still a little humid. Saturday morning was very cold. So cold that when I first stepped outside for Cadie's walk I turned right around to come back and change. That being said, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect morning; the sun was warm, the sky was a beautiful bright blue, with a few fluffy white clouds whizzing overhead, pushed along by the strong, cool wind. It was the most fabulous morning I've seen in a long time. We spent a little more time than usual lounging in the baseball bowl, then we headed over to the trails, where we wandered around for about 20 more minutes. All in all it was a great morning, but as I rounded the corner and onto my street I looked behind me (north) and saw that I had been chased from the park by a black and ominous looking rain cloud. I felt a little like Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh, the donkey who has his own special rain cloud.

From there the rain ebbed and flowed for the rest of the day, just when I'd think it would be clear for me to heard out for another walk, or to run some errands, the rain would come back. But as I was rounding my corner to my street, after my second walk I looked behind me (South this time), and noticed that the black rain cloud was headed out to the lake, and looking to the north I could see beautiful bright blue sky coming towards me again.

Sunday morning was also beautiful, it was the perfect day for a hike, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect, we had clear blue skies overhead, and saw the first few drops of rain just as we were getting back in the car. It was then overcast and rainy for the rest of the day.

Even though Environment Canada indicated that we were only looking at at a 30% chance of rain for today, it has been a pretty steadily miserable all day. I don't know if it was the rain, of the fact that Cadie and I haven't been outside much today, and that I've been on my own most of the day, but I've started thinking that it might be time for me to start thinking about dating again. I looked into the dating websites and ultimately decided that I'm not ready for the work and inevitable rejection that comes along with dating, and while I was looking at the computer feeling uncomfortable I realized that Cadie was hovering beside the door, so I've made up my mind to focus on her instead.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Fail-proof Alarm Clock

There are two days of the week that are the hardest for me in terms of getting out of bed. The first is Tuesday, because Tuesday is the longest day, and the most hopeless day of the week. The second is Friday. I have this strange feeling that Friday is part of the weekend and, actually, I think we should start a movement to push for a 4 day work week, so that Friday is just permanently part of the weekend.

This morning the alarm went off, and I resisted by first turning it off, and then laying back down and snuggling in with Cadie. Cadie likes to sleep right beside my pillow, so in those few moments while I am truly awake I usually reach over and wrap my right arm around her, and we both go back to sleep.

It doesn't last long though because if I over stay my welcome (in my own bed) Cadie gives me a kick. I sort of picture it looking a little like a cartoon where the donkey or horse gives the main character (usually  schmuck) a kick with both of it's hind legs, the kick usually hits in the face, and the schmuck topples over backwards, with his feet going over his head.

The real version looks more like this: Cadie gives me, the schmuck, a kick with both of her back legs, that hits me in the chest, which is very unpleasant and sends me reeling out of the bed on the opposit side.

As I said, it's very unpleasant, but it works, I'm never late for work, and really it's my fault for being so lazy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Want to Hear From You

As you can probably guess I'm sturggling to find a look for this blog that I like, so please let me know what you think of it, Do you like the header, the background? should I scrap it all and start over?

A Great Day

I was driving home yesterday, feeling hot and uncomfortable when I heard the radio announcer say that it was 39 degrees Celsius, that's insanely hot for Toronto in September, it's over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just too hot for me. It was the highest temperature ever recorded in Toronto in September (according to the radio, which is the best source of reliable information ;) ) and it was the hottest birthday I've ever had.

It was my birthday yesterday, and I had a great one, C and her husband B invited me over to their place for a nice dinner in the backyard, so we sat and had a visit while the dogs played, it was great, and the best birthday present was not having to walk the dog in 39 degree heat.