electricland: (Default)
My dad called this morning to say M is doing better. Boyfriend has heard the awful news and was great, likewise her parents. So that's good.

I forgot to mention in my previous post, but the last time I saw Sam he also peed on my living room rug (brat). After they'd left Jen said "He's very sweet, but he kind of looks like a Fraggle." Which is true - his ears were tufty and stuck out sideways. Apparently you sometimes have to tape terriers' ears down for a while so they'll fall right? SO BIZARRE.

(Not sure if that was done to Himself or not, but his ears are lovely.)

Only a little bit goofy


Jan. 16th, 2012 08:33 pm
electricland: (Default)
I only met Sam 3 or 4 times. The last time I saw him, M had brought him over for a play date. We took the dogs to the off-leash area on the beach, where they garnered many admiring looks as a fine handsome pair of Airedales should. He'd grown taller than Blue by then, much to M's surprise. He was bouncy and friendly and full of energy - a typical Airedale puppy, in fact. He was a struggle to bring up because of all that energy, but M and J were doing a great job and he was learning.

He should have had much longer.

M was walking him by the Humber River yesterday afternoon when they met some other dogs. She decided to let him off the leash - something she never normally does, except in a fenced area to put on a flexi instead. She doesn't understand why she did it. He ran away from the other dogs and to the river, and wouldn't come back, and slipped in. I'm not completely clear what happened next. I know M went in after him at one point; and some people brought a boathook or something but wouldn't, or didn't know to, try hooking it to his harness; and some people wanted to call 911 but someone else said they wouldn't come for just a dog, so they didn't. Realistically, it probably wouldn't have made much difference, but...

Someone brought M home and sat with her, and at some point she called my parents who called me, and also the police. We met her at the door, hoping for a miracle, and went down to the river to search. The police searched too -- at least 2 cars and the Marine Unit. I am so impressed by the police response. But nobody found anything.

The Humber moves fast, and it's wide, and right now it's almost covered with rotten-looking ice. I climbed down the bank in a few places and kept well away from the edge, hanging onto trees. If you fell in you wouldn't come out. I was shocked when I saw it. There's no ice out here in the Beaches, nor in the Don apparently. My new rule: no rivers. Lakes are OK. Rivers are treacherous.

There's no better feeling than walking into your home and getting a joyous greeting from your dog. It was so hard to go back to the apartment and see all the dog toys and blankets and dishes and crate. M said "He should be here."

I hope it was quick enough that he didn't have time to be too scared. I am so sad, and there's nothing anyone can do. M was distraught. She blames herself: for letting him off the leash, for not looking after him, for not calling 911 sooner, for not doing something different that would change the outcome. She keeps seeing his face as he went in. To make it even worse, her boyfriend's in Korea on business.

We all make stupid decisions and mistakes sometimes. It's just luck that most of the time, nothing bad comes of them. This time Sam wasn't lucky.

I came home and hugged the dogs and wished things were different.


Dec. 27th, 2011 05:37 pm
electricland: (Default)
We left the dogs at home for a couple of hours, which in most households is perfectly fine, but came back to find Tilde had made her way upstairs and expressed her disapproval in rather biological terms. Sigh.

Blue didn't eat anything he shouldn't though!
electricland: (Blue in snow)
Did I ever show you Blue's crowning achievement of destruction? Here it is:

electricland: (Blue in snow)
It could be awesome. Or the motion-capture could make it really creepy. I just watched the trailer and am no closer to deciding. As you know if you follow me on Twitter, I am concerned about Snowy/Milou though.

@electricland Passer-by, seeing my dog: "He's like a big version of a Tintin dog!" Perfectly true.
@electricland Am in a position to state w. authority that Hergé really knew his terriers.

(Seriously, if you live w/ a terrier and start reading the Tintin books, or rereading in my case, you spend a lot of time going "OMG my dog does that!")

Here's a close-up.

Pros: Posture good. Movement may be good, too soon to tell. Ears and big black nose quite true to life. Eyes: DEAR GOD TERRIFYING. Mouth: Too far from nose. That could be the real problem.

For comparison purposes, have a cute picture of my dog, who is bigger and a different colour but otherwise, well, a terrier, there is a reason terrier people aren't quite like other dog people:

Owly Images

See? The nose is very similar but the mouth is much closer to the nose and the overall effect, although I may be biased, is much nicer. (For example, the eyes are not filled with the light of hellfire. Well, usually.) Dear Tintin artists: I bet there are loads and loads of people who would have let you come and watch their wire-haired fox terriers for a day and take image reference.
electricland: (Blue in snow)
My uncle John is going above and beyond the call of family duty this week by looking after THREE dogs: Tilde (9-year-old miniature long-haired Dachshund), Blue (5-year-old Airedale, pictured), and Molly (8-month-old German Shepherd, very sweet & very rambunctious). I'll let him tell it:

Not the Finest Day in the History of the John G Puppy Palace…

You know, mostly they're pretty good. Then there are days like this.

In short form, I go out shopping, Rogers technician comes, checks outdoor connections, leaves back gate open. I come back to front of house, let dogs out the back. I put groceries away, and leave 3 lb filet for beef Wellington to drain in the kitchen sink. Notice it is quieter than usual, then hear Tilde and Molly barking out front. Bring them in, and call for Blue. No luck, so I go around the corner to the Vet, where Blue has just arrived -- good thing he likes the place so much, and even better that they are so nice about his frequent visits. Back home with Blue, close the gate, and go in to find Molly in the living room, chowing down on the filet. Clean up, make sure nothing else they are likely to eat is in range, and go out for another filet. Come back to find I had underestimated Blue's appetite for grains: an empty granola box is lying in the hall.

Tilde says she doesn't know who these creatures are, or where they came from.

Now I'm going out for a nice, peaceful walk down by the lake.

Love, John

If that's not noble I don't know what is.

I'm impressed that Blue has started going to the vet on his own when he gets out. Normally he makes friends with some kind person who either takes him there (or if they have read one of the other tags on his collar, calls the 1-800 number that connects them with me). I occasionally get calls that start "Are you looking for Blue?" -- generally when I'm at work, and so must reply "I didn't think I was." It's lucky we live in a dog-friendly neighbourhood.
electricland: (Blue in snow)
The neighbours' cat is fine, thank goodness.

My dog's one virtue as an attempted cat-murderer is his inefficiency -- he seems to have no idea how to go about it, beyond terrifying speed and a lot of growling. I do not wish him to improve, terrier heritage be damned. His predecessor, Brandy, killed to my knowledge one woodchuck (I think? some midsize rodent, anyway) and one sick raccoon. She was alarmingly good at it. Luckily she never had much chance to go after cats, or possibly we discouraged her enough as a puppy. Blue seems to hate cats with a fiery passion and this is the third he's gotten scarily close to in as many weeks.

I need to get him a harness for walks (anyone have any suggestions for good brands?) and not let him through the back gate, ever. What happened was a friend returned Jen's car while Blue and I were in the back yard assembling the new barbecue* so I opened the gate to say Hi and get the key. I didn't spot the cat, who only goes out on a leash as she is minus her front claws; I think she was behind a bush. Blue had no such problems and the next thing I knew was in the bush growling ferociously; canine-feline free-for-all ensued, I completely failed to catch him, cat slipped her collar and ran for the door, door was closed, cat ran the other way and up onto a neighbour's garage. I hoped this meant she wasn't seriously injured but couldn't actually tell. Blue spent the rest of the evening and this morning in disgrace and I spent them fretting.

Anyway, went over this evening with some kitty treats and a catnip duckling/octopus thingy and a card (strangely nobody seems to make a "sorry my dog tried to eat your cat" card, although you'd think that would be a popular item in areas like mine) and learned the cat is fine. Neighbour does not appear to bear a grudge, which is kind, because: awkward.

How are you all?

*New barbecue yay!
electricland: (Blue in snow)
Jen is in Chicago, so the dogs and I are holding down the fort. So far, they seem weirdly content to sack out on the floor next to me while I fiddle on the computer and the TV plays in the next room. This cannot last, but it's nice for now. Possibly it helps that it's raining outside -- nice white noise and not too many people walking past the house (THE NERVE).

Tilde spent the day with the groomer. Jen has a rule that when Tilde starts to look matronly, it's time for a haircut; this has worked out brilliantly yet again. She seems to have forgiven me for (a) showing up late for dinner, (b) not being Jen. Again, I don't think this is going to last.

I keep mulling much more interesting posts in my head. Hopefully I'll get to them eventually!
electricland: (Blue)
1. Airedale-themed wedding raises funds for Airedale rescue. Featuring the Cutest Bridal Shower Cake (and cupcakes, and cookies) EVAR.

2. via [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem:

Robin's Dewey Decimal Section:

946 Iberian Peninsula & adjacent islands

Robin = 85294 = 852+94 = 946

900 History & Geography

Travel, biographies, ancient history, and histories of continents.

What it says about you:
You're connected to your past and value the things that have happened to you. You've had some conflicted times in your life, but they've brought you to where you are today and you don't ignore it.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com


May. 21st, 2008 10:19 am
electricland: (Blue)
I lost about an hour on YouTube last night. It all started with this video of an Airedale babysitting six Scottie puppies. I defy you not to laugh and/or go "Awwww!". DEFY YOU.

This one's pretty adorable too. )
electricland: (Blue)
Blue and I went to the off-leash area down at the beach this morning, as we generally do; he had a fine old time galloping all over the place with a good crowd of dogs who were playing at the right level. I was just thinking about heading home when a new batch came in, including a medium-size curly blond dog that I realized, in retrospect, I'd met before. I pieced all of this together in retrospect, in fact, so this anecdote probably makes me sound quite dim. To wit:

The crowd had not been around long when the curly blond dog (male) peed on a woman's coat. The male owner -- cheerful, hearty, middle-aged -- said exactly what he said to me, viz. "You can't stand still for too long! Gotta keep an eye out!" The woman seemed only mildly annoyed, and they chuckled a bit over the incident, which surprised me, because it was a wool coat that she's probably going to have to get dry-cleaned. Anyway, this is when I knew I'd seen dog and owner before, because a week ago the same dog peed on my leg. Luckily, my jeans go in the washing machine.

Shortly after that the dog and Blue got in a bit of a snarly dominance-game scrap. The man grabbed Blue, who was on top, and we determined that nobody was hurt. Man and dog headed off down the beach while I hung onto Blue, who was annoyed. The woman -- who, it gradually dawned on me, was the co-owner of the curly blond dog and thus presumably the wife of the other owner -- told me curly blond dog was 3 years old and not neutered, and this happened sometimes, but they didn't see any point in getting him neutered because he didn't mark and didn't have any discipline problems and everyone else's dog was neutered so it didn't really matter. I pointed out that other dogs tend to go for unneutered males more often, but I was preoccupied with Blue and reflexively assuming it had mostly been his fault, and also hadn't quite connected up the two incidents, so it didn't actually occur to me until later that what I should have said was "Lady, your dog just PEED ON YOUR LEG. You have a problem."
electricland: (puppies)
My mum and I drove to Brampton in not-yet-horrible snow on Saturday to look at a young Airedale who needed a home. And as Jen and her parents said, what were the odds that the two of us would drive all the way to Brampton to look at an Airedale and come back without him?

So as of Saturday I am the proud new owner of Blue. He is adorable: on the small side for an Airedale, about 35 to 40 pounds. He's 20 months old, so still fairly puppyish, but house trained and knows his basic commands (although we will be enrolling in obedience school just to make sure we speak the same language). He's really sweet-natured. We were a bit worried about how he and Tilde will get on, but so far so good -- he's fascinated by her, and while she is a bit put out ("You brought a strange dog into MY HOUSE! And now there's this boy following me around all the time!") they seem to be getting on OK. They seem to have evolved Tilde's game of sit-on-the-couch-and-drop-squeaky-toys-on-the-floor so that two can play (she tosses toys at Blue, and he takes them and squeaks them; she hasn't yet gone on to take them back, but I'm sure this will come).

This may turn me into a morning person. We got up at 7 and walked on the beach and watched the sunrise. No going off the leash yet, but it was fun. I only got in to work at 10:25, but considering I had to return the rental car, brave the slowed-down-by-snow subway (with medical emergency on the train ahead), and go to the post office ([livejournal.com profile] raithen, your gift is on the way! finally!), it could be worse. I don't think I'll have problems in the usual way. Heartrending barking as I left the house. I hope he doesn't do that all day.

I did other stuff too, but that's what's occupying my head.
electricland: (puppies)
Jen is back, and the number of dogs I am responsible for has halved. Thank goodness.

We actually got on pretty well yesterday evening. I got to John and Helen's late; both girls were ecstatic to see me and Tilde insisted she was starving! starving! Which may have been true as [livejournal.com profile] pariah_ink got stuck at work and couldn't come to feed her at her usual time. On the other hand her bowl was full when I left in the morning and empty when I got back. So. Hm.

We hung out in the back garden for a while and then walked home, getting tangled in our leashes and conversing in civilized fashion with a Wheaten terrier along the way. (A minor miracle -- Basta tends to bully dogs smaller than she is and Tilde is standoffish with dogs she doesn't know.) Neighbour asked, as they tend to, "Did you always have two dogs?" -- I think it's because they're actually kind of similar-looking, being mostly black and plumey, although of course rather different sizes and shapes. Then we watered the plants and enjoyed the evening and I made myself some dinner and we had a minor scuffle when I gave Tilde a treat to distract her from Basta's bone but didn't notice Basta was behind me when I did it. Oops. Then I sat on the couch and Tilde snoozed on the couch next to me and Basta snoozed on the floor next to the couch (she seems to be OK with Tilde getting special couch privileges on account of height, as long as they aren't abused), and there was great peace and contentment until Jen came in, at which point there was great rejoicing and tail-wagging and jumping up and down.

They're still very cute.
electricland: (puppies)
So I am once again dogsitting Basta. The timing is poor, however, as yesterday Jen made one of her periodic trips to Montreal and I am also dogsitting Tilde, and John and Helen are in Europe. So last night it was me and two dogs not in their normal routine, and, well...

They are very cute. They follow me around and wag their tails whenever I say anything to them, but oh my. Tilde hasn't been eating much -- I think she misses Jen -- but she has eaten some of Basta's food and been quite interested in her bone. She and I slept in Jen's bed last night for a little continuity. Basta has peed on the rug (once) and pooped on the floor (twice, in two different places, luckily NOT on a rug). Grrr. She may feel she is not receiving enough attention. Took them both over to John and Helen's this morning, forgetting my coffee in the process (not that I could probably have managed two dogs, three bags, and a cup of coffee anyway...). Confined them to the kitchen and sunroom so if there is any more of this peeing and pooping business it will at least be easy to clean up.

Luckily Jen is back tonight, so Tilde will be happy and I can give Basta the attention she clearly feels is her due.

puppy love

Jun. 19th, 2006 03:57 pm
electricland: (puppies)
so much still to catch up on, but I just wanted to say that between [livejournal.com profile] cretkid's new puppy (yay!) and seeing all kinds of family photos on the weekend, my puppy-need has intensified. My uncle scanned in a bunch of my grandfather's old slides, including some of puppy!Becky, the first Airedale in our family (she arrived when my mother was about 15). I'd say from the colouring and size that she'd be about 3 or 4 months old in the pictures -- most of her is still black, except on her face where it's giving way to tan, and her feet are huge. There were a few of her at an older age, too, when she was also pretty adorable, and one of Brandy, my Airedale, as a brand new (to us) 8-week-old puppy. (Also of Mickey, properly Mikado, the first family dog my mother remembers -- he was a Pekinese and came to a bad end, if memory serves, because he wouldn't back down from ANYTHING.)

I'm not sure what it says about me that children make me say "Oh, what a splendid baby you have there!" while puppies make me go "OMG SO CUTE AWWW! *snuggles!* *melt!*" Probably that I need a puppy more than I need a baby. It's fortunate that they're so much easier to come by, isn't it?
electricland: (house plan)
My aunt reports:

Today for lunch, Dan and John went to Gabby's and had pub grub. I had a meeting.

Yesterday Dan drywalled on the first floor and William has been repairing floors. Today, John worked on the vent in Jen's bathroom.

Today in the afternoon, John called and asked me if I was free tonight. I thought: dinner and the opera? dinner with friends? a corporate function with an OK policy wonk as speaker and lots and lots of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres. Actually--his having been sick and all (Mike has the dreaded lurg now)--he meant help cleaning up floors for the floor guys who are coming in tomorrow. So, John, Jen and I trudged over in the pouring rain and lifted floor covering, moved stuff and swept. Went surprisingly quickly, all things considered. Who needs opera and hors d'oeuvres?
Cheers, Helen
I even phoned at around 6:45 to see if they needed help moving stuff, because I had a strange presentiment that they might. But no answer, so I had drinks with Cranky and friends and doled out sage very (in my case) out-of-date advice on Paris, London and Edinburgh instead. (Short version: wear comfy shoes and check the opening times of the museums.)

Then got home to find that we have a Basta for the weekend! She was thrilled to see me, and I her. She thinks she's sleeping in my room, which unfortunately isn't going to happen.
electricland: (puppies)
I am not ready for Monday. I would like all weekends to be three-day weekends from here on in, plzkthx.

[livejournal.com profile] crankygrrl drove J and me up to the cottage on Saturday (we had stayed in town Friday for book club -- none of us had made it very far into A Suitable Boy but I'm enjoying it very much). Spent most of the weekend laughing at the dogs: my aunt and uncle are babysitting Leo, a 4-pound, 6-month-old Yorkshire terrier, enormously engaging and confident of his welcome anywhere (yesterday morning as I was just waking up he leapt onto the bed, ran around my head once, licked my fingers in passing, jumped off the bed again and ran out). My grandmother was very taken with him, even with his habit of hopping up onto her chair without warning and climbing all over her to lick her face. He and Tilde together don't weigh 20 pounds, but they were very firm about defending the homestead from those awful, awful people in the cottages either side of us. He's also quite a water dog -- he hopped into the water to investigate some of the ducks, then retreated when six of them started swimming towards him to investigate in return, and came swimming with us a couple of times. Tilde's nose was slightly out of joint; we had to reassure her that we still love her best, it's just that the dog who randomly hops into your lap is more likely to get snuggles than the dog who remains aloof. She also wasn't at all keen on this swimming business, but we weren't sure if that was because she believes dogs shouldn't swim or she was jealous.

Drove down yesterday evening, watched Veronica Mars and Doctor Who ("Father's Day") on tape. Have high hopes of addicting J to Doctor Who.

Everyone have a good weekend?


electricland: (Default)

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