Friday, September 28, 2007

Playing the tourist

First off, THANKS so much to everyone who wrote comments and emailed about Gabe. That support means so much when we need to get through this crap life throws at us. Thank goodness for great friends as well - Jon, Laura and Heather dropped everything and stopped by the very next morning to keep me company and toast a beer to Gabe. (ex. for pregnant Heather of course), and that meant more than I can say.

And thank goodness for other distractions, such as... work and travel! I zipped out to Ottawa last Saturday as I had some work meetings in our lovely capital city. I had never been before, so on top of visiting museums (for work!), I got to play tourist with Jen! The highlight was getting a private tour of the House of Commons. Well, private with the rest of the museum crowd (30 or so of us). If I had a pen and paper I would have left a nice little note in Stephen Harper's desk in regards to Canada Student Loans! Other highlights were: the Cathouse at Parliament Hill, the 5 pubs on every street with a tasty variety of brewed beverages, the museums, and visiting Jen!

The Hill

Ottawa, man it was hot there. Hottawa.

Look, it's SuperJen!

Oh, I also found my a replica of my tent in the Museum of Civilization!

Ex. this fictious person is wayyy more prepared than me. Lookit all that wood!!!! But my tent is bigger. So there.

Does this look familiar? Not to me really either until I thought about it - apparently I don't look too closely at the $20 bill...

The voyageurs! Unlike our museum, people can't CLIMB into this canoe!

Parliament Hill, from a distance.

Museum of Civilization

Stacie sits on the steps of Parliament and thinks, "god could it GET any HOTTER?!?!" and "um, is it happy hour yet?"

Ooh! This display was entitled "Sled Dog Shoes"!! Haha!

Jen and the huge ceiling. Oh, and the art.

Apparently, the high ceiling fascinated me. Let's see it from this angle!

And again:

ooooh, now that's some ceiling eh Jen?

How I envision porcupines these days... EVIL!
(ok, not really)

Quills put to good use - lovely quill baskets.

One more of my kooky friend:

Yes, yes, that is Jen riding the lion statue...

I'm now in cowtown for a bit of a holiday/more museums, so more to come!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, it's with much sadness that I pass on the news that Gabe passed away on Saturday night.

After a hard-fought battle with the mysterious illness almost 1 month ago, the poor guy just couldn't fight it anymore. His seizures had gotten worse, much worse - almost to the point where he was in one constant seizure on the last day. Luckily, he went very peacefully at home, and I was able to be there with him right up until the end. I think he was still trying to hang on, but once I told him it was ok to go and that he didn't need to keep fighting it, and reminded him of all his buddies (his dad, brothers, Kate - even though she bossed him around) that he'd be seeing soon, he was gone within 10 minutes. It blows my mind that he passed on that quickly after I told him that, and I swear he knew exactly what I was saying to him. It was like he was waiting for the ok.

Ripper and Gabe - a few falls ago:

Gabe was the first sled dog that I really had a attachment to. He was always a big sweetheart. I got him when he was 5, and for a while it was just him, Kuna and the three monsters. Poor him... haha. He was a super leader. When he wanted to be! He was also the team cheerleader who CONSTANTLY barked whenever we stopped for 2 seconds. Heck, he even skijored this past winter! Him and Kate, for the very brief skijor down my road. And the funniest part was Gabe's reaction to me putting the harness on him. He was acting like I had made a mistake and put it on the wrong dog! And it took him a while to remember how to run in harness (not run and sniff the side of the road, or pee everywhere...), and it was good to see him have one last run for that short time.

This is one of my favourite pics of him - shows off his happy personality. So cute too. It only took a warm cabin and the run of the yard to make him a happy dog later in life.

Rest in Peace my Gabe-ster.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The new playpen, satisfying meadow-dwelling huskies...

What an AMAZING sunrise this morning!!! I LOVE FALL!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so my crappy camera doesn't quite do it justice, but you get the point.

It's amazing what warmer weather and a roaring fire does for my moods in the morning! I wake up a very happy camper.

This is what made me (and a few dogs) not so happy last week!

Porcupine encounter #856 for Lucy. Thanks to my determined neighbour, Darrell, we were able to pull a whack of quills out of Lucy (the worst!), George (2nd worst) and Kuna. It looked like a combat zone after we were done (those ones in the tongue really bleed!), everything was covered in blood (including us as they splattered about) but they made it through. So did we!

Needless to say, the dogs are now fenced in. One porky encounter was all it took to get me off my butt to spend a whopping 9-hr day on the weekend sinking post(seven of 'em!) and putting up fencing.

The wobbly fencing - in need of a post or two more, but it's doing the job. Sage walks the perimeter...

Loki chases the herd chasing the ball

Fencing that you can actually see

Fetch begins!!! This group has been so needing to get out and RUN that they were having a blast here. I fenced in a fairly large area - 1/4 of the meadow, more in the trees, and they absolutely love it. I can really whip the ball far for them.

Blurry dogs because they are so freakin' FAST! :)

And just because Ripper makes me laugh soooo hard when we play fetch, I had to share this. He is barking like mad in Ivy's face, but I'm so used to it I usually tune it out. You can just hear him "gimme the ball!" "throw the ball!" "share the ball!"

He is insane. I like how Sage and Ivy totally ignore me when the game is on. It's like there are wayyyy more important things to do than come to me! Rupert and Gabe, white dogs are covered in tree sap in case you're wondering. Actually all of them are, you can just see it more on those guys. Enjoy! And keep the sound down if you have dogs! :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

I like(d) bugs

I was looking at my old drafted posts that were never published and this one is very relevant to what is going on now:

Ok, so finding twigs and brush and stuff in my hair has become pretty common over the last month with all the wood cutting and forest dwelling going on. So when I was driving home from the property on the weekend, I wasn't surprised at all to feel something in my hair, gently rubbing, almost caressing, my face. If I had REALLY thought about it I would have remembered the spruce beetle that was hiding out in the truck on the ride out. And it was a big-assed spruce (or whatever this is!) beetle that kinda freaked out my 75lb *tough* dogs - Jack and Harris. The only thing they didn't do was squeal, the babies. They were dodging it in the tiny backseat as we sped down the highway. And when I finally let them out, they seemed rather relieved as they hightailed it down the trail far away from the backseat.

It looked like this, only mine was way bigger and had HUGE fangs protruding from it's jaw. Really. It did.

I should have made sure it made its' way out of the truck, but when I headed home it made a reappearance in my hair. Of course, you don't think there's bugs in your hair normally (NOW I do!), so I tried brushing it away. First, then again... then I screeched (in typical Stacie-overreaction), "ACK!!!! A BUUUUGGGG!!!!!!!!" and I grabbed it and flung it across the truck. I flicked my hand with such force it smacked into my chainsaw on the passenger seat and just about broke my hand. Man, it was sore for hours. Freakin' gong show!

So, fast forward to a few months later, to this morning. After feeling a few things crawl on me (other than dogs) throughout the night, I'm noticing that the bug factor is getting more serious. Not only that, the main pole for the tent is totally infested with beetles who gnaw away all night on the tree. There's bark shavings falling down all the time, on me, the dogs, my stuff...

And just when I was starting to think "it would be really nice to be INSIDE a sealed house, this tent thing is getting really buggy..." I woke up to find a big, fat caterpillar wriggling and squiggling about on the pillow next to mine! Although he was the cutest thing I've shared my bed with in a long time, I had to give him the boot...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I heart long weekends!

Without really planning it, we started fall training this weekend!

I was working on windows and dog fencing when all of a sudden, out of the blue, I got an urge to train dogs and start cutting trails. So out the "window" (pun intended!) went the previous work plans for Saturday night (woohoo!) as I dropped everything (not the windows though) to totally deviate from my original weekend plan. I haven't even really considered dog training until that very moment, which is a bit weird. I guess once I see the leaves starting to change colour (which just recently happened), THEN it's training time.

This is the trail. Yeah, I thought the same thing, "where?!" even after I drove the 4-wheeler through it, like 10 times. I cut only about a km of trail, but then I hooked up to my driveway and from there we headed down the ditch (right near the trees, far from the highway) for a run of a couple km's or so.

So! Who to put in lead for the inagural run? Rupert and Ripper got the go-ahead from their coach. It was not an easy task, first run of the year, cool temps, hyper dogs, wide open meadows AND brand new trails... oy! That could totally spell disaster.

But these guys were simply, amazing! I would have never expected such a flawless first run with all these wonky factors. Even with all the ant hill-dodging, tree-dodging, meadow-frolicking, and hummocky ditch running, they ran like they had done this course a hundred times. Rupert was some kind of command GURU as he made every turn that I asked of him. Before I'd finish saying "Gee!" he'd have already looked that way and started making the turn. Superstar!

Then I made them turn around in the worst place here - this is after we've turned, we came from the right, but I didn't realize there was this large hole (can't really tell how deep it was from the picture), but they only hesitated briefly before heading down it and turning around.

Fall colours! Yum!

Boing, boing! Bouncy Rupert is lovin' the meadow running.

So here's the little surprise I was promising last post - puppy! Not mine, just a neighbour's who's dogs I was watching. This little furball is 10 weeks old and is a bit of a bossy little Mr. Independant. He's an only child, so maybe that's his problem.

He is funny though, when I pick him up to maul him (because you HAVE to do this to puppies), he can only stand it for a few seconds before he gets wiggly and annoyed. Then if you don't let him go RIGHT NOW, he'll start to grumble under his breath. Hilarious.

I haven't eaten for.... hours!

I LOVED this little beauty. She is totally a Rupert-look-alike. I think if she magically appeared in my yard, I wouldn't mind so much.

And I am pushing her away just so I could get a photo of her! Well, that and to keep her off my head! Very friendly. Very hyper. Very adorable.

Here is something that I could watch all day - a puppy running. I love how wobbly they are and how they kind of run sideways like there is something screwy with their legs, but nope, they're just kinda uncoordinated! Even more hilarious is him wiggling his puppy butt into the feed shack! You can see he has it down to a fine art! Then he mows down on the food inside (but it is totally dark, sorry), and gets in trouble. Ah, the life of a misunderstood pup! :)