Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

We probably won't dress Louise in a costume for Halloween this year, not because we object to such things, but just because it hasn't been as big a deal for us. I guess the novelty of dressing the dog up has worn off a bit, at least for me. The best I could do was to grab a picture with the flash on, getting the freaky colours in her eyes, which we see here. For the record, her right eye is the one that is closest to her natural colour.

I'm not really sure quite what to expect this Halloween either. We haven't been in our current place long enough to get a feel for how many neighborhood kids to expect, if any. I guess that is one of the things about living in a condo, that there are few, if any visitors on kid-centric holidays like this one. I'm sure we will see the costumes as I take Louise out for her nightly stroll, but then again, by the time we get going it's possible that most of the kids have already returned home for the night. It's just not the same holiday that I remember as a child, I guess.

This next photo I grabbed while out on our walk this evening. One of the local restaurants, Delilah's, has a light that casts the name of the place on the sidewalk in front of it. Louise took pause just long enough to watch the image rotate past her and then gave up on it.

Finally, a photo of Louise as she chased a squirrel into a tree. Normally she doesn't really bother too much with squirrels, but these past couple weeks they have been much more active, what with storing food for the winter and all. This is something Louise has started to pay attention to, so now when a squirrel runs out of the way, she often gives chase. Luckily she also gives up easily, so we don't have to worry too much about her actually catching one (and any associated diseases or fleas).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Autumn leaves at sunset take on the hue of fire

It was early evening when I had Louise out and took these photos. Photographers more experienced than I have often remarked at how great the light is at sunset. I will say this: it changes the colours quite a bit. But you aren't here for that. You just want to hear about how Louise loves to frolic in the leaves (she does) and run along the streets barking at cars (she does that too) and that's ok. Hey, it's what we are here for.

We headed out to English Bay since that is the area of the West End that faces the sunset best and well, it means there is a nice long stretch of the seawall we can walk on that doesn't have cars to distract

At one point I managed to get Louise to hop up on a bench and she was in the right kind of goofy mood to really ham it up. She also discovered that the view from the bench was better than on the ground, as she noticed a few things she had missed before.

We are getting ready to take a trip to Nova Scotia next month. It's an opportunity to see my family but it also means we have to figure out where our pets are going to go. Luckily for us, the people at my office are mostly dog lovers so between a couple of them, I think we have Louise's 'hotel' arrangements mostly looked after. Tomorrow I bring Louise in for the day to test this theory as she hasn't yet met Nikita, the dog who lives at the place she will be staying at. Let's all hope that tomorrow goes VERY well.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Planes, laps, stools and tables

This weekend brought a break from the rain (It is now Monday and it's raining again.) which meant that Louise and I were able to get out for a few good walks. The first shot was taken down along the beach in front of Denman and Davie streets where Louise perched on an old stump. That joker-like grin is actually her yawning but the picture looks like it needs a suitable caption if you asked me.
Louise is not a marathon runner. She's much more like a sprinter. Often she will run in a burst and then come over to me expecting to be picked up and carried until she catches her breath again. This only works if I'm not feeling lazy or tired, at which point situations like this second photo happen. Once rested, we were out to continue the walk. Another stalling technique is the patented 'gotta scratch, hang on a second' move.

I think these next two shots are actually from a different walk, either the same day or the day following. (I don't really pay attention to the metadata gathered by the camera.) The only reason I think that is because they are taken on the opposite side of the West End, so it is unlikely that we would have been in both places during the same outing. We just don't usually last that long before we return to the house for some food.

In order to get close enough to the planes for more photos, I had to carry Louise across the metal bridge that joins the floating dock to shore. This was because the holes in the grate were too large for her little paws. Once we got on the dock she was able to walk on her own as it was a solid concrete surface. Luckily none of the planes were actually landing or taking off as we were there - Louise already likes to bark at them from a distance, I'm not interested in finding out how she responds up close.

Back at the house, we find Louise once again on my lap, this time after dinner. When we finish eating she likes to 'join us at the table' for a bit. Sometimes, if the remaining food has already been cleared away, she will lay down across my folded knee and rest her chin on the table's edge.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Here comes the rain again

As usual, Louise has been having lots of daily adventures and I have not been keeping up. Recently we wandered over to the local Dairy Queen to get some ice cream and Louise thought she was at the gates to heaven. All those burgers smelled very enticing! She was good though and waited at the front door with me while Holly went inside to place our order.

The weather has been pretty good these past few weeks with not too much rain - that autumn weather where mornings are 'crisp' and cold, but the afternoon still warms up to the point where you don't really need your jacket on some days.

I was especially concerned about having Louise in that week because we have been introducing new dogs at the office, and whenever that happens they have to learn the 'office rules'. Firstly, they discover that while they are usually the only dog on the premises, they can smell LOTS of other dogs in the area. Sometimes a dog feels like marking territory, and that's where the trouble starts. We introduced a new dog last week and it seemed to confuse even some of the regular dogs - there was someone cleaning pee out of the carpet every other day or so. Needless to say, I was on high alert with Louise but I am happy to report that she didn't resort to such things. In fact, it was a pretty normal day for her. Since then, Hiram and some of the other regulars demonstrated that they too were not bothered with the news of more dogs frequenting the office.

The following day was anything but normal. Louise was at home with Sophie and Sassy, when a squirrel climbed into our covered patio. We keep the cat's litter box out there, so the patio door is also usually open wide enough for them to come and go - things got a little crazy when Sophie realized what was going on. Holly managed to get the patio door closed before squirrel and cat could meet but it was close - and the squirrel would freak out anytime anyone got close to the patio. Eventually it figured out how to get back outside and the cats very carefully investigated the entire area. Apparently Louise slept through most of the drama, barely lifting an eyebrow occasionally to see what the fuss was all about.

All this nice weather was destined to end though, and today seems to be the first day of hard rain. The weather forecast calls for lots more of it, so I suppose we should just prepare our umbrellas, or in Louise's case her rain coat and get on with it. This last picture is one I took this evening just before we headed out for our evening stroll.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday morning bird watching

As usual, we had some running around to do today, so that meant I had to give Louise a longer walk than usual in the morning so that she would be tired out enough to sleep while we did our errands. Overall, the plan was a success - Louise and I were out for about an hour in the late morning and it was a great day for a walk. She romped in the leaves while I snapped all sorts of photos, leaving us both happy. Oh and yes, she is quite out of focus in the second photo because she was busy shaking off and losing balance. The various blurs in the photo indicate which way(s) she was moving at the time.

We even saw a blue heron at the Westin Bayshore that was so preoccupied with fishing that he let us get up very close. You can see some of the photos I took of him on my flickr account, if you like. Louise didn't really notice the bird at all, since he wasn't moving. Maybe she thought it was just a stick in the water.

From there, we headed over to Barclay park, where she proceeded to wander around the perimeter. They have a fantastic low stone wall that is moss covered right now - the updated banner photo was taken here, as was the third photo in this post. Actually I got about four really good photos that are all basically the same as this last one and I had a very difficult time choosing which one to post. The odd thing is that Louise seemed to actually enjoy getting her pictures taken here and she was hamming it up for the camera quite a bit.

In the end, the walk was successful - Louise and I came home and she pretty much fell asleep on the sofa while we were getting ready to leave for the afternoon.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Night Time is the Right Time to Party

It's a lazy Saturday for us mostly because the rain has started. Of course, that doesn't slow my wife down much - she just keeps going full steam indoors, doing laundry, sweeping, cooking meals, etc. It's enough to leave a pug exhausted (and husband too).

My job is to occupy a very inquisitive dog while she cooks dinner, so Louise is sitting on my lap while I compose this post.
Needless to say, I have a little more editorial freedom this time since her attention is squarely focused on the kitchen.

These first two shots were taken the other night on our last walk of the night. The first one was me experimenting with the timer on my camera, which is why I'm only partially in the frame. The second one is just a water fountain at one of the condos we were walking by.

I don't usually get a lot of good night shots, mostly because it's a more time consuming process.
Next up is the only shot in this post taken today, when we had a brief break in the rain. Louise and I headed to the seawall and noticed the tide was in.
The water was pretty calm and we saw a lot of ducks and geese.

Finally, something a little silly. Last month we had a sendoff party for one of my coworkers and everybody got a set of marti gras beads (the name of the guy leaving was Martin). When I got home, I slipped them on Louise and took a few pictures. Yes, I have probably had more sober moments in my life.

UPDATE: So I noticed that if I use the new browser, Google Chrome, I get this annoying bug where any photo added after the first one no longer links to the larger version. Thanks to Firefox for allowing me to correct this little problem.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More office hijinks

On average, I find I take about thirty pictures of Louise for each one that makes it on the blog. That doesn't count the ones I delete straight away, but only includes the ones that I keep on my hard drive. Needless to say, there are often a lot of photos that would be great here, but I never seem to get around to posting - and once some time has passed, I don't come back to.

Part of the reason is that I do try to keep a small measure of consistency with the photos on Louise's blog since well, they should all be about her. But that means her fans miss out on some really different photos, like this one or this one. I took these at the office when Bill came by with a ukulele just for the heck of it and well, Greg was just being normal Greg. While both would be well suited for captions, I didn't use them here because they weren't as sharp as I like.

I can keep linking extra photos like I did here, or would you prefer to see more photos per blog post? The main photos here were taken along the sea wall again, where we normally take our walk on work-days, and where I also take a lot of scenery shots that don't have Louise in them. Tell me what you think and I'll adjust how I post to this blog (or not, if that's what people want.)