Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The temperatures in Vancouver are uncharacteristically hot right now. People are uncomfortable at night and lunch decisions are based primarily on if the location has air conditioning or not.

This morning Louise opted to ride in the stroller the whole way to work. No time for messing about outside where a pug can easily overheat.

We happen to have guests at our office this week, all the way from Venezuela. They are customers here for product training and while I did tell them I was putting their photo on the internet, I did not ask if I could post their names. So they will remain nameless customers, even though they were very happy to be introduced to Louise.

As usual, Louise was happy to meet the new people. Any attention she gets from strangers is good attention so she had no problems with being coddled and posing for the camera. I'm not sure, but Louise might have to do a little overtime with another day at the office this Friday. Anything to keep the customers happy.

Of course, that wasn't all that happened today. Tommy and I also met Greg for lunch and while Louise played coy she was certainly happy to see him again. I suggest visiting his blog as he was up to his usual tricks with cameras. I suspect there will be another wiggly photo of Louise coming up.

Unfortunately the air conditioning is only in the office. For lunch we walked over to Science World to eat at the secret White Spot location. There were a couple older ladies there who were asking if Louise could have a french fry. (The answer was 'No.') They were asking all sorts of questions about her and sneaking pets while we waited for our orders to be prepared. Louise entertained them by being her usual self and thankfully didn't beg for their food. We chose to eat in the shade because it was just too hot in the sun. Even so, Louise was fading by the end of the visit so by the time we got back in the office I had to get her wet to help cool her down. Twenty minutes later she was cool but exhausted so she slept until the end of the shift.

She is asleep now and we have the temperatures under control in our condo. Sometimes it helps to live in a shaded ground floor unit. I just heard the first warning shot go off for the fireworks so I should wrap things up as we hope to head out to see the show. Yes, Louise will join us. That trooper will wake up the instant I put my shoes on, guaranteed.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Beach Photo Extravaganza!

Okay, this is going to be a little tricky. Louise and I went to the beach again on our walk this evening and I took a LOT of pictures this time. I also got quite wet as I was in the water with her. She really liked that part and got excited. Maybe it was just the choppy waves, who knows. Either way, she had a great time in the water, which was quite warm for the ocean, yet still refreshing on the toes.

I say it is a little tricky because I am trying to accomplish two things in this blog post: First, I plan to post nine or ten photos,and second, each of them have been formatted to fit perfectly on the screen of a macbook, or 13" macbook pro. That's the computer that my wife uses so I figure there are at least a few of you out there who might appreciate me cropping to that size. I chose to resize the images for a couple reasons - the current size I had tended to use was just too big for most screens and even if not, blogger tended to resize the images down from the original size anyway, so they never really quite fit as background images without a little work. By choosing a smaller size they now fit at least one common screen size and as a side benefit for those with really big monitors, clicking on a photo gives a reasonable zoom in without forcing a user to scroll just to see the entire image.

Please feel free to make use of these photos for your computer backgrounds if you like, or for whatever other noncommercial uses you might have. All I ask is that you give me a comment on the blog so I know if they are being used at all. I don't even care if the comment is anonymous.

Now that the preamble is done, let me tell you about today's adventures. I wore my shorts and sandals so I could dip my feet into the water, it's nice so long as there is sand underfoot but really, that only goes a few feet out before it turns into rocks. It didn't matter though, as Louise and I jumped around in the waves, climbing over rocks and logs. At one point this little dog had gathered a crowd of people who were entertained by her antics.

The wind wasn't very strong, but for some reason the waves were pretty choppy. Or maybe the wind was strong but I didn't notice because it was warm. I don't really remember, other than to say that the waves were wild and Louise was thinking they were something to bark at - as if she could calm the sea. As usual she would run in and along the water's edge, trying not to get into water deeper than she was. (She really doesn't like being splashed in the face.)

There were quite a few logs along the beaches today, which presented a small challenge for Louise as she sometimes had to run over or around these moving things. They were slippery too, which meant that sometimes she vaulted over the log and into water that was deeper than she planned on, forcing her to scramble back to shore. It looked chaotic but every pass she made as she ran by I saw nothing but pure happy dog. I let her have her fun.

Eventually it was time to move on, at least to another spot though - the tide was coming in and there was less and less space to play in. We started along the seawall and before we rounded the first bend I heard someone calling 'Wheezie!' - I turned around and noticed our newest neighbors calling to Louise - they were out walking one night about a week ago as Louise and I were coming back from a walk so they knew which dog it was. Still wet from the beach, Louise was happy to entertain, sitting pretty for photos and saying hi to everybody. This lasted until Louise heard another dog barking and then she was off again at full gallop, leaving our neighbors to laugh at her endless energy.

It's not endless though. I can tell by looking at this dog napping on her bed next to the computer, still wet on her back from today's adventure, snoring much quieter than I do. She's going to sleep well tonight, that's for sure.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hot summer walks

Summer weather is here and we are all enjoying it to the max. Luckily for Louise, it doesn't really get scorching hot in Vancouver, at least not downtown. Even on the warmest of days we seem to be able to find a cool breeze, so she is still very enthused to go out on multiple walks.

Last Wednesday we were at work and I happened to be chatting with my niece Sarah. I said I would share some photos with her from our lunch walk and I did, and here is another one from that day. Now fast forward to the weekend and you see us down by the beach again. At this time of the year the Downtown areas are extra busy with tourists so we sometimes get a lot of questions. Louise is sometimes into it, enjoying the attention and at other times, just not wanting to be bothered. One can not really tell ahead of time how she will react at first but generally if she is having a good day, the whole day goes well.

I took the third photo over at the church next to our house. It has been for sale for a couple months now and the garden doesn't seem to be as closely groomed as before. Volunteers are still looking after things, but it is taking on a 'vacant' character. Louise prefers the new feel to the area as longer grass is something of a luxury for her. She's taking a good sniff of something I prefer to remain ignorant of in this photo, let's pretend she's smelling buttercups or something.

That brings us to the walk we took this evening, where we met this little girl and her family walking along the seawall at Coal Harbour. She noticed Louise back on Denman street, and we happened to be walking the same way so she had some time to get used to Louise. She was quietly watching from afar until just after this photo when I indicated to her papa that Louise was friendly and would be no trouble. He laughed and said 'she isn't', nodding toward his daughter.

She was very nervous when he told her (in Spanish) that she could pet Louise. With one little finger she cautiously touched Louise just above her tail so softly that Louise barely noticed. Louise has been, and is always, fantastic with children, be they timid or boisterous. She just stood relaxed and let the child have her encounter, careful not to do anything to startle her.

Yeah, we got a great dog. Nobody can tell me different.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Recovery walk

Louise has become my personal trainer. Since I pulled my back, I have been laying about the house, not moving around a lot. This is not really the best course of action for me, as I am supposed to keep moving as much as I can. This is where Louise is determined to help. She all but refuses to go for a walk if I happen to be home, unless I attend. Which, given the circumstances, is just the motivation I need to get my broken butt up and moving.

But it makes for slow, short walks.

Still, between that and some late night strolls I have been taking with Holly, my back does seem to be getting stronger again.

So what is a pug to do when her walking partner isn't at full speed? Goof around, mostly. I was feeling a bit better this morning so I happened to grab my camera on our walk. She was in the perfect mood to mug for the camera and make the most of the sunshine.

We wandered around the West End, alternating between sunny and shaded streets, to give Louise time to cool off, but I'm not sure if it was needed or not. We wandered over to Barclay park, mostly because it's close by (I was in no mood to stray too far and then have my back wear out again) but also because Louise was off-leash so I was picking areas that I knew would have very little car traffic.

Of course now we are back home and Louise is down for the count with her daily nap. I honestly don't know how she can sleep as much as she does - but she seems to be happy so who am I to complain. Gives me time to do my back stretches and post to the blog.

That's a good thing, by the way. What has gone unsaid until now is that while I recover, Louise is getting very, very well rested. I expect she will walk the socks off of me sometime soon, just as soon as I can handle it.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Shoe Shoppin' and Splish-Splashin'

Okay, this should be a fun post. I have quite a few good photos to choose from, like this one here where Louise is with us as we ducked into a shoe store to check a sale price. The photo looks to me like it is ripe for a caption but maybe that's just me. I liked how the light was reflecting off the leather making it all shiny. It just looks to me like she is asking permission for a pair, when that was totally not what was happening at that moment.

As you know, Louise tends to get a bath on 'beach days'. We sometimes work that the other way around, where she gets to go to the beach on 'bath days'. On this day Louise and I happened to arrive at the beach right around sunset, which made for some pretty good photo opportunities. It didn't take much coaxing for her to run the length of the beach and back. Once she was off, she had a good old time messing about in the water. We even tried playing fetch with some old mussel shells, which never got returned because they would sink and she would lose track of where they went. But the fun was in the chasing and not in the returning, so that was ok. She had a good time romping and splashing and it was another walk done. Bath time came later and it took two rinses because I thought it was a good idea to use a stinky used pet towel from before. Unfortunately this left Louise smelling worse than when we started, so the re-do was in order.

I took a little heat for that one. This last photo was taken the other day when we found ourselves back out 'in the country' as we like to say, visiting our friends Bill and Colleen. You might remember that they own a dog named Daisy. Another friend of theirs was there with her dog, a pug named Lilly.

All three dogs were well behaved but I couldn't help but notice how different each was from the other. Lilly was about six thousand times more energetic than Louise or Daisy. Daisy just tried to stay out of the pug's way most of the night, looking for consolation from the other house guests. Louise tried bossing the other two dogs around and made it her life's goal to coax some appetizers from everyone there. Okay wait, the dogs weren't all that different from each other - they were all pulling that stunt where they would be as cute as possible in hopes of being rewarded with food.

I didn't get a good picture of Daisy that night, but here's a shot of Lilly. She was a little charmer, that's for sure. Oh and by the way, Louise is on the welcome mat because she needed a bathroom break and then on the way in decided to hang out on the porch where it was cooler.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Ok, this post is a little premature, since we haven't yet set out to celebrate the holiday proper. However, it's been a while since I posted last and I do have a few pictures to put up, so here we go:

Last year we went to Granville Island to participate in the festivities - this year we will probably just stick closer to Robson street since we learned that the same band will be playing there again this year. We really enjoyed them last time, so it should be fun. The band is called Soulstream and they kept the funk up last year so we are hoping for more of the same. Once again, we will be breaking out the doggie stroller to help with crowd control - we don't want little Wheezie getting stepped on!

Another change from last year is they are giving away free ice cream instead of free cake. While I'm happy about this, Holly is a little disappointed - she likes her cake! It's not a deal breaker though, we will enjoy the ice cream just the same.

This will be Louise's chance to celebrate with the crowds - we were out earlier for our morning walk along the seawall, which she enjoyed, but it was quite windy - I had to be careful not to get into the sandy parts of the beach as we didn't want blowing sand to get in her eyes. Other than that, it's pretty much perfect pug weather - sunny and warm, but a cool breeze to keep a pug comfortable.

Happy Canada Day, pug lovers!