Third one’s a charm

I’m finally on vacation for a couple of weeks, and now that we’re past Christmas, I have a chance to update things here. To say it’s been busy would be an understatement. We adopted a third dog, another sled dog. Yes, we’re a little crazy! After the relatively easy transition that Coco made to life on the inside, and hearing that there were still dogs left to be adopted… well, we couldn’t say no.

We brought Cooper home a month after Coco, and it’s been a different experience. Now that we’re a couple months in, I’m so happy we took the leap of faith that we did. At the time? I was pretty nervous that we’d made a huge mistake and bitten off more than we could chew.

I’m working on a series of posts chronicling the adoption and integration process we went through with Cooper, because I think it will be valuable for anyone adopting a shy, anxious or older dog. In the meantime, here’s my favorite (to date) video of our new family.


Welcome, Coco

Exactly two months to the day we said goodbye to our sweet Sarah, we brought a new girl home.

Welcome, Coco.

Formerly known as Can Can, she is a retired sled dog from Whistler, BC. We made two long back-to-back trips to Whistler, the first time to meet her and the second time to introduce her to our other dog, Darwin, and to bring her home (barring any dog meeting fireworks!) Thankfully, they mostly ignored one another and did not get too wound up. Coco was way more interested in people, in particular Curt’s mom, Marlis, who came along to help us with the dogs.

Both dogs were awesome on the long trip home (3+ hours). For a dog who has never lived in a house, Coco is settling in remarkably well. She loves soft dog beds and being inside – she sleeps a lot! We’re finally getting her to eat one meal a day without fussing, and will work on increasing it to twice a day soon. She is a husky x greyhound, so she is tall and slim, and not too interested in food. What a difference from our dachshund! Long, low and always on the hunt for tasty morsels.

The retired Whistler sled dogs are truly special, and there are 43 dogs (as of this writing) who still need loving homes. Every dog is truly unique, and will need dog-savvy people to cue into their personalities. Some of the dogs are very shy and will need time to get socialized – but they are far from a lost cause. They need love and opportunity. Dogs are incredibly adaptable. Nearly every dog we met from the group was friendly and wanted nothing more than a pat and some cuddles.

Here are a few links to the story to get anyone interested up to speed:

CBC News / Vancouver Sun / CTV News

On Facebook: Whistler WAG / Whistler Sled Dog Co

The dogs are mostly still at the kennel in Whistler, which was formerly run by Whistler Sled Dog Co. That company has folded operations as of mid-July, and is hoping to get the dogs into homes before the snow flies! They have gotten help from Whistler Animals Galore (WAG), as well as the Victoria and Burnaby SPCA branches. I urge anyone who might come across this blog post to consider the idea of bringing one of these sweethearts home. In just one week, our hearts have grown another size bigger thanks to Coco. Darwin the dachshund is still not 100% sure, but they get on a little better every single day. As for us, we are cuckoo for Coco!

RIP, Sarah

mobile - 25We lost our Sarah dog today. Lost her to old age, blindness, to pain and disorientation. She didn’t have the strength to come back from this fight, and we had to help her find rest.

I am not sure I should write about this now, because the loss is fresh and unfamiliar to me. I’ll try, anyway.

I’m someone who leaves before the loss is permanent. I haven’t experienced many deaths in my circle of family, friends or pets. I moved so often growing up that we usually had to surrender any pets to the SPCA. There were a few animals throughout the years that left suddenly, prematurely — and it was devastating to me. I’m very soft-hearted and keep my emotions close.

We met Sarah at Coquitlam Centre in early July, 2000. We lived across the street at the time, newly living together. A dog would be great! We talked about it, and started checking out the pet store. Didn’t take long to find her, a striking black and white puppy of 4 months old, desperately needing us to take her into our fledgling family.

It was ridiculous for awhile. The three of us living in a 600 sq ft condo, where most of our neighbours were newer immigrants from Asia and not as comfortable with dogs. The elevator rides were interesting! Sarah started to grow, and grow, and grow… we quickly figured out that Beagle-Pointer cross was really more like Pointer-Beagle cross, with the size more like a Pointer. We also figured out that the temperament leaned Beagle, especially as she aged. Always a little on the anxious side, she was also loving, intelligent and beautiful. Continue reading

summer strep

Nothing like a case of summer strep throat to get me blogging again. I’m at home, a little bored, unable to be around people because the quarantine period is still in effect (24 to 48 hours after starting antibiotics).

my concerned nurse, Darwin

my concerned nurse, Darwin

Also just my luck that I get sick right before the first long weekend I’ve had off in a very long while. I’m hoping I’ll feel well enough to enjoy the extra day off without feeling the pressure to catch up on work I’ve missed this week. As a bit of a workaholic, this can be challenging!

Part of coming back to blogging after a long hiatus (with a few sputtering starts in between) is my continued search for life balance. I can handle more when I’m writing. It gives me a voice, an outlet, a way to work through the complexities of life like no other tool I know. When I let my voice go silent out of fear, disinterest, boredom, being too busy — whatever the reason — I don’t do so well. Simple as that.

Here’s to letting my blog flag fly, yet again!

better living through imagery