Sunday, September 27, 2009

Long Walk Home

Even though I hurt my back last week while I had Louise at the office, we still had to get home. I had to use most of my tricks to ensure that we could get back without Louise getting too rambunctious, as every time she would yank on the leash I would wince in pain.

Behold, the strategy I call the 'sleeping canary'. When nothing else will do, I drape something over Louise's stroller so she cannot see outside. No outside distractions, no barking dog. It's almost eerie with how well this one works.

Of course, as you can see by the photos, my implementation of this strategy was less than perfect and Louise managed to find a way to peek out from under my sweat shirt. We were half way to the skytrain before someone mentioned that they thought Louise looked cute, tipping me off that she was just being good and not barking. I think Louise appreciated the shade from the sun to be honest, as the weather was quite warm that day.

We made it home and my wife had to take over the nightly dog walking duties. This really confused Louise who would always wait for me at first. She was happy when I was able to finally take her out for a walk again this afternoon and then again tonight.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pug with a cold

Over the last few days, Louise has been fighting off a cold. She's doing much better now, but for at least one day she was really feeling the ill effects. So much so that Holly had to prepare some warm broth for her, just to entice her to eat. Let me say that again, for it bears repeating. Our dog was so sick that she lost her appetite. But like I said, the broth was effective in helping Louise to eat and the day was saved.

Over the course of the next few days Louise would wake up feeling rough, but then improve for the balance of the day. The first morning walk would have her hacking and sneezing, but eventually something would dislodge and then she could breathe clearly again. Well, as clear as one can expect for a pug. Miracles didn't happen.

On one of these walks we were cutting through the park and were spotted by Lenny. Lenny is a pug who is kind of special to me because he was the first pug I saw in our neighborhood, even before we actually moved in. I had been scouting out places to buy and noticed him walking with his owner. By that time I was pretty homesick and went so far as to stop Lenny's owner to chat about her dog.

Anyhow, Lenny saw us and decided he was going to cross the park to meet Louise. We all saw him purposefully striding over to us, which is why it was easy to grab this quick picture of him. As you can see in the next photo, the two dogs didn't cooperate for the camera quite so well. To be honest, I don't think that Lenny even noticed me or my wife. He was focused on greeting Louise, another pug he knew. They had their greeting and all was well in Lenny's world. Louise even let him sniff at her stroller, something that normally would be a no-no for other dogs. Then, as quick as it started, we parted and were off. That's how it is in a dog's world here in the West End. We just roll with it.

Back to Louise's cold, it seems to be mostly done now. She's currently snoring on the sofa with my wife and her breathing seems normal again. Which is good, because her sneezes were extra gross during this time. We all could hardly wait for Louise to get better.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Introducing Olive the One-Eyed Pug

One morning last week I was walking Louise in the rain. We put on our rain gear and set out for our stroll, not really anticipating the adventures to follow. Early on we met a lady with a pug puppy that was only a few months old. She had named her dog Olive and explained that she got her for a good price from a reputable breeder because her puppy has only one functional eye. It looks like this cute little dog is always winking.

We chatted for a few minutes and the two dogs got used to each other. Since Olive is still a pup, she didn't really need very long outside and was looking to go back inside pretty quickly. We hope to see more of Olive - it's always good to see another pug in the neighborhood.

After meeting Olive we continued on down to the sea wall where we saw a man with his golden retriever. He let his dog off leash for a bit and it chased after a small flock of Canada Geese, forcing them to fly out into the harbor. I managed to get a photo - if you look closely you can see the geese in-flight as they flee the chasing dog. The geese were not pleased one bit but I was surprised to see Louise was paying very close attention to what this Labrador was doing. Lately she has decided to chase after the pigeons, gulls and crows in our neighborhood and now here she was taking notes on how to flush out geese as well.

Apparently, Louise is a quick study. On our way back she noticed that the same flock of geese had decided to take flight from their safe location on the water and ran to the sea wall to investigate what all the honking was about. When she noticed they were heading back to the lawn, Louise took action. She ran out to where they were planning to land so she could chase them back to the water. I guess she didn't want the Labrador's work to be undone so quickly. As for the geese, well they were even less thrilled than before but still powerless to change things - they altered course and landed on the beach a few hundred yards away.

Oh, and I noticed that I posted a duplicate photo in last week's post. I should pay closer attention to what I am doing - either that or try not to post late at night.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Family has come up to visit and things are pretty interesting around here, at least in the eyes of a pug. You see, this is the first time Louise has met her 'grandparents', so to speak. Of course they are familiar with reading about her adventures here on the blog, but it is a different experience to meet Louise in person.

What I have here for photos is a mix of slightly before and during the first half of their visit. I usually have my next blog post 'in the works' and I hate to waste some good photos - so I'll just work them in as I describe unrelated events. I get the impression that half of you are here just for the pictures anyhow, while the other half probably live in the area. :)

I am not sure if I have mentioned this or not but there is a new work of art being constructed that features eight red statues of chinese men, squatting down with their fingers knitted together like they are braced to lift something - only there is nothing for them to be lifting. The day that Louise and I stumbled upon this sight we noticed a lot of other tourists having their photo taken next to them. Louise thought it was a great idea to have people down at her level and immediately went over to say hi and somehow get into their pictures. We weren't too disruptive so it was ok but I put her leash back on soon after.

The next day we set off to pick up our guests and that was a hard day for Louise - she had to stay home and guard the fort. She's able to stay at home by herself for the bulk of the day so long as she has opportunity to go for a good long walk in the morning and again in the evening - but it's clearly not her favorite plan for the day. She ends up sleeping most of the day away and isn't really entertained by the cats. When we arrived home she was waiting for us at the door, but mostly just because she was bored and ready for us to return.

The next day Louise finally got to meet our guests and it didn't take her long to get comfortable around them. In fact, it took about ten minutes, or roughly the time she determined that they might be holding something good to eat. We all went out for a nice long walk to show the area off some and when we got back to our place we took it easy for a bit. This was just right for Louise who was quick to find a nearby lap to settle into. Once they recharged we were off again to see some other sights in the city.

Even though this 'vacation' has been here at home we have been quite busy, leaving us quite tired at the end of the day. Being a tourist in your own town is tiring work! It's fun though - I'm not complaining at all - just the sort of break I needed.