Sunday, August 22, 2010

So innocent and harmless...

Okay, so where do we start? Louise came in to work with me two times last week - it just worked out that I was able to bring her in on Friday as well as her usual Wednesday. As usual we went for a walk during our lunch break and we decided to check out the Olympic Village again. To be honest I am just curious to find out when the new London Drugs store is going to open as it would be conveniently close to the office. Still not open yet.

Anyway, in this first picture Louise is posing with the BC Place Stadium in the background. Note all the cranes and whatnot? Also note the absence of the inflatable roof? That is because they are putting in a new retractable dome style roof, or at least that's what I have heard.

Since that didn't interest Louise any, we continued on our walk and I found a spot where I could take pictures of her with those crazy birds in the background. I tried to get shots where it looked like the bird was whispering in her ear, or some other nonsense but it really didn't work out that well. Here's the best one of the bunch, you can figure out if there is a caption that could go with it or not.

Next up we decided to take a bit of a break before heading back to the office. I found a spot where we could sit in the shade and then tried to photograph Louise wearing my shades. It did NOT go over well. Generally speaking Louise doesn't like anybody messing with her face so it took several tries before she learned that I was not going to mess with her nose roll or anything else like that.

Later, on the way home, we met up with Chester. He's a pug that lives on our street and he's about the same age as Louise. He's normally quite happy to see Louise but today we had Louise's stroller with us and well, she got a little protective of it. Chester felt the date wasn't going so well when Louise started barking at him to get away from her ride. Don't take it personally Chester, she treats all the guys that way.

On Saturday the West End had the annual Dog Fair - I think that is what they call it. If you recall, last year we were there and filmed Louise eating a cupcake. I linked to it again recently and we hoped to do something similar this year but well, things didn't work out that way. Louise was pretty enthused to go to the dog park again, but wasn't the best behaved dog at the show, so we had to cut short our time there. I think it was a combination of the heat, the availability of treats and the high number of other dogs that just had her getting a bit too aggressive. She has to learn that not all treats are for her. In fairness, I also could be doing a better job at keeping her in line during times of high excitement.

Moving on, because we are all about the good times at Heavy Breathing, we have a picture of Louise sitting like a good dog as we participated in a contest to see who was the softest dog at the show. While Louise does have soft fur for her breed, we just couldn't compete with an Irish Setter, who won the show. But that was okay, they still had prizes for everyone, and the next picture is of Louise and I, holding the cup we got for participating.

No other dogs were actually harmed in the making of this blog post. We came close a couple times, but so far, so good.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bonus leftover photo post

Louise and I just got back from our morning walk - today is going to be pretty hot so we made sure to get out earlier before the heat became an issue. For me, this is the perfect Saturday in August, weather-wise. For Louise, not so much. I think she would prefer the perfect Saturday in late September, or even October.

Despite that we had a nice walk along Robson Street, coming back to the house through the side streets in the West End. Many of those streets are well shaded by trees, which also helped to keep Louise comfortable. While I brought my camera with me, I didn't end up taking any photos. Some times I just get lost in the moment and enjoy walking with our dog. Today was one of those days.

So instead, I'm treating you to some of the photos taken over the last couple weeks - some of the other ones that for whatever reason, didn't make it to the blog at the time they were taken.

A year ago there was an event held at the local dog park for all the pet-supply-vendors to show off their new stuff. There were representatives from Louise's favorite pet store, Bosley's as well as a bunch of others, ranging from those selling bike trailers for pets to doggie day care spots to various pet food resellers. Oh, and who can forget Louise eating her cupcake treat (complete with liver flavoured 'icing').

Anyhow, that event is coming up again soon, perhaps next week. Holly saw it mentioned in one of the local papers but wasn't sure what the date was so this morning Louise and I headed up there before our main walk 'just in case'. We will be happy to check out what is going on again this year - so if we manage to get there again, look forward to more adventures and possibly more film clips of Louise doing something silly. Or maybe just dog-like.

Okay, this last photo was one I hoped to include during the fireworks but really, I was never quite able to capture what was going on the way I hoped. It was during one of the nights we had fireworks, when the local roads were closed to allow the increase in pedestrian traffic. These four Japanese students were quite taken with Louise, who was only too happy to sit and let them take pictures of her. 'Kawaii' is probably one of the first Japanese words I learned thanks to Louise - it means 'cute' and she hears it often enough that sometimes she responds to it.

Friday, August 06, 2010

One Less Church

Yesterday morning I woke up and took Louise out for her morning stretch. Like always, we headed half a block to the north to the church grounds. They have maintained a wonderful garden area that the entire community has used and appreciated. It's a volunteer effort that has continued despite the church being sold to urban developers.

The developer felt the need to fence off the property however - when I had Louise out for a stretch after dinner we had no access to the garden area. Now, as far as I can tell, the developer is nowhere near ready to begin tearing down the church - they are still trying to get city approval to put up their monstrous 22 storey rental tower in it's place, and well, that isn't going smoothly. Oh sure, our mayor is behind it, but the community sure isn't.

Anyway, none of this really concerns Louise too much, other than the fact that she can no longer sniff some of the areas she was used to trading pee-mails. I've put up a picture of the church in part as a reminder to me when it's gone, but I'm sure you can recognize the area in many of the earlier posts on this blog.

Now the fact of the matter is that I can't really talk about the old church more than I have. Quite simply, I don't have many Louise photos that relate. But what I do have are a lot of stroller-adventure photos. So we are going to go with that because well, this could be a long post (I have that many photos).

I guess it was a couple weeks ago now, but we decided to take Louise with us on a trip across town to do some shopping. It was going to be a bit of an adventure because it was the first time that Louise would be on the new Canada Line extension of the Skytrain. It's pretty snazzy compared to the older lines, with wider trains and new stations that still smell of freshly poured concrete.

We did have one encounter with Skytrain Security, but only because the security guard had questions for us about pugs - he was researching which breed of dog he wanted to get and they were high on his list. He was quite taken with Louise but was surprised when I explained that yes, pugs do shed. More than a little.

A lot of the shopping we were to do that day involved grocery stores, so that meant I had to hang out in front of the store with Louise. I think this goes a long way to explain why I have so many photos from that day. We were just hanging out, letting people say hi to Louise, and taking pictures.

It didn't matter though, she enjoyed the outing and was great the whole time. I think Louise just appreciates doing new things and breaking the routine every now and then. Who can blame her?

As I finish this post off, Louise is returning to another lamb bone - we had a roasted lamb dinner tonight and well, Louise is just doing her part to help out with the bones. It's kind of funny to watch the cats as they stare at Louise with awe. They know it smells good and can tell by Louise's enthusiasm that it sure must taste good, but whenever they get to sniff at a bone Louise has left unattended they just can't figure out how it is that she can actually chew through it. I know I run the risk of anthropomorphizing them a bit, but I can almost feel the jealousy from them over this one dog ability. As for Louise, well when she's chewing a bone, the only time she pays attention to a cat is if it gets too close.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Vancouver Pride Parade 2010

As usual, the Vancouver Pride Parade kicks off the beginning of August and we were there, although for some reason we struggled a bit to get up and get out of the house. But we made it and as usual it's one of the best parties this town throws.

Louise's favorite part of any of these outings has to be the carnival food and she was lucky enough to taste some. While Holly and I had to basically view each of the food vendors to make up our minds on what to eat, Louise was pretty much in favour of anything, so long as she could share.

In fact, she was getting so rambunctious in her stroller that at one point she shook it hard enough to spill some ginger beer we got (from the kiosk representing the Reef, a great little Caribbean themed restaurant in town). Normally I wouldn't care, but I had absent mindedly placed my camera in the top of the stroller next to the drinks. Oops. I wiped it off quickly but as the soda dried it got sticky and I've been noticing it has been making the lens grind and pop as it zooms in and out. I'm hoping a gentle cleaning later will sort things out - I really like my camera and it's already been through a lot with me, including my wipeout in 2009.

Nonetheless, all three of us had a great time. We even ran into Randy, a friend from work who was volunteering for the Vancouver Friends for Life charity. From their website:
The Vancouver Friends For Life Society serves as a catalyst to enhance the wellness of individuals living with a life threatening illness by providing complementary and alternative health and support services.
If you feel so inclined, I urge you to consider donating to these people. By the way, Randy isn't in this last picture, this is one of the parade performers who happened to also be visiting the Friends for Life booth at the same time.

Eventually we had to go home and somehow we miscalculated. We were faced with either walking all the way around the parade route or cutting across the street mid-parade. With all the people watching the show, this was not an easy task. Eventually we found a section where people were using super soakers to spray the parade float performers as they went by - at least there were fewer people sitting in that section, so we squeezed through and eventually made it - Holly had to stop a couple times for people to take pictures of Louise, but we were all pretty happy to make it across. After that much fun and excitement, Louise needed a nap.