Saturday, May 29, 2010

Playground in the Rain

Wheezie and I had to pull some unexpected overtime again today with an emergency trip into the office. It was stereotypical Vancouver weather which is to say that while it wasn't quite raining, the moisture was so thick in the air that it might as well have been. You could see the water droplets gently blowing around, wetting everything. You can see how wet Louise is in the photos from this.

While this means Louise gets to wear her rain coat, it doesn't really slow her down much. In fact, it sort of helps keep her cool which means she can go further without slowing down. This is good for her, but not so good for me as it means I am the one who has to keep up with her, instead of the other way around.

We had an early start today though, so Louise was content to just ride in the stroller most of the way in to the office. I kind of like that at times as it means we can just motor in without stopping to sniff each tree.

Midway through the day I paused what I was doing to take Louise out for a walk. We headed over to the Olympic Village again, but this time went to the far side of the area and discovered a new park to explore. It seemed to have a Railroad theme, complete with some small sections of rail tracks and an untreated metal tube converted to a playground feature that resembles a railway car. Louise was VERY unsure about entering this feature, even after seeing me go through it easily. I had to coax her to the entrance but when I called to her to come to me she tried to go around it instead. (There is a stream that flows underneath, so that wasn't a good option.) I had to come to her to illustrate that it was in fact ok. Louise was willing to enter it if I was there and once she realized that it would support her, she was fine.

It's hard to find new experiences for Louise when we follow predictable routes each and every day, so I was pretty happy to find that little park. Louise certainly had fun exploring it and we weren't there long before we heard the drum beat of the dragon boat racers calling to us. Louise wanted to check it out and as usual, let out a rant at the noisy boats. I managed to catch a bit of it on video but kept it short.

Eventually we made it home and the drippy mess named Louise was volunteered for an immediate bath. Now she's clean and exhausted, sleeping next to me wrapped in blankets. Good times.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

At the Doctor's Office

Today was Louise's day to come into the office. It's also the first day I have been at work all week. Monday was a holiday and the past two days had me on a course at an off-site location. So Louise was pretty happy to go to work today and barked out her excitement even as we headed down to the storage room to retrieve her stroller.

We had a full day at work and I was plenty busy. At about 4:30 pm an alarm went off reminding me that I had a physio appointment in half an hour. Under normal circumstances that would be just enough time for me to get to the doctor's office from work, but with Louise, well it was going to be very close. One thing I knew was that I wouldn't have time to drop her off at home first.

So I arrive with Louise, just barely on time for my appointment. I quickly ask the receptionist if it is okay to leave Louise with her. She reluctantly agrees, mostly because all she has seen is the top of the stroller and is assuming it is a baby. Once she saw it was a dog instead, well that was a lot better for her.

As usual, Louise was a hit and I don't know how she does it, but she ALWAYS manages to find her way in behind a desk. This started at Bosley's, her usual pet food store, where she comes around to where the sales people are to beg for dog treats. They get a kick out of it and encourage her to do so. Now, she ends up going around to see the people at work no matter what the setting, be it store, service desk or now, doctor's office.

On the other hand, that's a lot better than being told to re-schedule the appointment because pets aren't allowed in the building. I was pretty lucky to have picked a good office, I guess. Thanks, Burrard Physiotherapy for making Louise feel welcome in the office! Oh yeah, and thanks for helping me recover from my back pain too. That really helps.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Unscheduled Pool Time

So this morning we set out to do some shopping and we brought Louise along in the stroller. We did this because we planned to be out for a while and knew we would be ranging far and wide.

At one point Holly wanted to run into a drug store to pick up some nail polish so Wheezie and I hung out at International Village which was only about a block away. The sun was shining and the plan was to let Wheezie have a stretch in this little park area.

It took Louise about ten minutes to discover, and jump into the water features at this park. She did it before I could react and man did she look satisfied. Someone nearby commented that I must have a Labrador Retriever and not a pug, since clearly this was a water dog. I was able to coax her out and get her to dry off enough that by the time Holly returned Louise could be put back into the stroller without completely soaking it.

Of course before then, Louise proceeded to say hi to just about anybody who was interested. That quick little dip had improved her mood considerably and she was feeling like being social. Just getting her to sit down and relax was not an option at that time. She had her fun and that was okay - I'm pretty sure tonight became 'bath night' - a decision that would have made sense even before her little wading pool session.

The fun didn't stop there though. We were all getting pretty hungry and were trying to figure out where there might be a place with an open enough patio that they could accommodate a dog stroller and decided to just head down to Coal Harbour and figure it out from there. Along the way we discovered a BC Ferries promotion where they were advertising local vacation packages that sounded quite nice. They were taking pictures of people in front of their logo and printing out free copies of them. I asked for them to email a copy to me but it didn't arrive in time for this post. Of course, it has only been a few hours so that's reasonable.

Anyway, from there we ended up at De Dutch on Robson street. The hostess was quite taken with Louise, who was pretty well behaved, considering that there was food about to be served. Holly had a pannekoek and I ordered a scrambled egg dish with turkey bacon, some of which somehow ended up being shared with Louise. The weather was just about perfect. We were in the shade from the patio awning and there wasn't much of a breeze.

After eating we headed home and finally gave Louise a chance to have a powernap so she can be ready for her walk later on this evening. Whew! That was a longer post than usual!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Massimo the bulldog

The weather has been quite nice lately and Louise has been taking advantage of it. It's the perfect weather for pugs, not too hot and finally not really that cold at all. Now if only my back would strengthen up, this little dog could really cover some ground.

Last night while walking in Coal Harbour, we had a few encounters. First there was a couple on a date who asked if I could bring Louise over to the bench they were sitting at. They were quite taken with Louise and enjoyed being able to give her pets. Once Louise figured out what was going on, she took a seat and received her attentions.

Moving on from that we encountered this bulldog pup named Massimo. He was quite excited to see Louise and when she started to bark at him it just got him excited. I was happy about this because it meant Louise would be burning off any excess energy she might still have.

What I did not count on was Wheezie burning an energy DEFICIT. She didn't have enough gas in the tank to make the walk home from Coal Harbour so I ended up carrying her about half of the time. She was okay again after resting for a few blocks, but she did sleep well that night.

Monday, May 10, 2010

First Beach day of the Year!

It is clear to me that Holly pays closer attention to the weather forecasts than I do. She was the one who knew to dress in light layers and to bring the dog to the beach this past weekend. What a great day it turned out to be. First off, we barely arrived when this massive hovercraft came racing by. In some ways it was good that we didn't arrive until we did, as the resulting wake surely would have drenched little Louise.

Not that she would have minded much. We barely got paws on the sand when she set off running, chasing waves, barking at boats, that sort of thing. In short, it was just what the doctor ordered for a pug who was getting a little bored with her usual walks.

We weren't there very long before we met up with another dog owner and his three year old dog named Jack. Jack is ball obsessed, which is to say he will fetch much longer than the average arm can throw a ball. Luckily, we do not have a ball obsessed dog, as she rarely fetches or even chases much of anything.

Still, the two dogs had fun running along the beach, Jack chasing a ball and Louise chasing Jack. The best part about this kind of arrangement is that Louise is generally exhausted after a brief period of time. Not that we were in a big rush to leave on such a nice day though.

So in the end we stayed a while, took photos, soaked up some sun (this last item is much needed on my part. I don't think I could be any paler than I am currently.) Overall it was a fantastic day at the beach and it seems a lot of other people had the same idea - the place was pretty busy.

After the time at the beach we returned home for a quick lunch, and then set out to go to Rona to pick up some flowers for the patio. The best part was that we took the carrier and Louise was able to come along for the ride. We hit a few different places including a quick stop at both Pet Smart and Tisol, where Louise got a bunch of compliments on how unique her facial colouring was as well as how trim she was, especially for her age. All things that a little dog likes to hear.

So all in all, Wheezie had a pretty good day at the beach. Another way we gauge these things is by how much she sleeps the next day. From what Holly says, she was pretty wiped out for most of today, which means that a lot of fun was had by this little dog.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Weekend work day

We had a scheduled release which meant that Wheezie and I were at the office today. I noticed that the Saturday crowd on the Skytrain tends to be more chatty with me about the dog, even though I was really trying to hide in my headphones most of the time. Still, Louise was friendly and photogenic, turning to 'smile' for folks as they took her photo.

Of course, at the office whenever there wasn't any food around she looked more like this photo. She's sleeping in my old chair - I won't sit in it anymore because I think it was part of my problem with my back - it encouraged a poor posture. Now I sit in one of the simpler chairs that has me in a more upright position.

Not that Louise cared much about that - she was happy to visit with Tommy and Travis and was pretty tired by the time we got home. All in all, a good day for her.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Excitements over a Lamb bone

We have a crazy dog. Here I was, spending my day on the sofa instead of at the office because of a strained back. We decided to order a nice lamb dinner, which Louise and I went to pick up at a local restaurant. We make it back, but I can feel that I over exerted things a bit but I was lucky because I hadn't hurt myself - yet.

Of course, in Louise's world, everything was great. We were coming back with tasty meat and she was looking forward to it. She was right to do so too, as we had every intention of giving her a lamb bone. Normally she settles down on her bed and chews it up but tonight she decided for a more 'unique' pose.

This was something we both found to be quite funny so I snapped a couple quick photos from where I was on the sofa, before Louise thought to change position. It was all over in a few minutes but it was fun for us while it lasted.

As for today, I've been even more bed-ridden and Louise has not been interested in going outside any more than she has to. It worked out okay though as Holly went out to run some errands and I settled into the bed with the three animals. The only time I was outside was when I helped Holly bring in the groceries (by holding the door open, not actually carrying anything). Then it was back on the sofa with my animal nurses tending me in the only way they know how: sleeping on me.