Jan 19 2013
Piaf and Plume playing in the snow.
Jul 10 2010
Two days ago I bought Alison a hammock for her birthday. I had no idea how I came up with that gift, she never asked for it. Then I saw this photo, taken 3 years ago, that I used for our calendar. Subconsciously I must have been inspired by it.
Unfortunately it rained and thunder-stormed all day yesterday so Alison couldn’t try it out. (Fortunately it cooled things down a bit, after a week of sweltering heat with temperatures of 30-35 and high humidity)
She likes it. She stole my iPad and just read the whole Internet. And Plume likes it too, just as Poupoune did before. She eats her Kong toy and enjoys the rocking motion of the hammock.
Plume is slowly taking over the special place Poupoune had in our lives. I still love Poupoune, but she’s getting older and isn’t as active anymore. She still goes on walks, but usually not in the morning when she’s too stiff of arthritis. She seems reasonable happy although she’s a bit jealous of all the attention Plume gets. To keep her busy we gave her a Kong for own and that seems to have helped.
Jun 10 2010
We, Plume Regina, declare that our bosses are cruel.
[Long time no post, sorry for that. Twitter (http://twitter.com/MareMtl) seems to be easier and faster for quick and dirty updates, and I don’t have much patience/stamina/time for writing longer posts. Excuses, excuses, excuses… I should, there are some things I want to write about, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to writing them.]
Plume is doing well. Not so much today though. She has been sterilized two days ago and was licking her wounds. So Alison thought it was better to put this Elizabethan collar on. Now she’s sitting in her basket —she refuses to lie down— panting at a fast pace. I’m tempting to take the thing off again, she’s right: I am very cruel.
Poupoune and Plume are getting along quite well, the animosity of the first weeks is gone. Poupoune still growls now and then, but they sometimes even touch each other when they’re lying on the bed. Something that never happened with Poupoune and Pepe. Plume’s size makes Poupoune less bossy and I think she secretly likes it. No need for to constantly play the boss.
Plume still tries to play with Poupoune, especially when Poupoune is excited just before we go on a walk —she get much more walks these days—, but Poupoune is still refusing to play. In the dog park Plume sometimes plays with other dogs, but she doesn’t have good social skills. She barks at dogs when she wants to play, but her barking is a bit menacing so the other dogs aren’t sure what to do. She’s much better and quieter with smaller dogs and made some friends with those.
Feb 13 2010
Meet Plume, our newly adopted family member.
We found her on Petfinder.com, she was in a shelter in the Lanaudière, about 70 km from Montreal We went there a week ago to meet her, but she was coughing so she couldn’t be spayed and we couldn’t take her right away.
She’s still not sterilized but the shelter called us that we could pick her up anyway and make an appointment with the veterinarian to do the spaying in a few weeks.
So today we drove again to the shelter to pick her up. We filled out some forms, paid the adoption and sterilization fee and let Plume jump into the car. On the way back she sat quietly in the car and just looked outside to the passing landscape. When we arrived back in Montreal, we first went for a walk to test how she acted away from the other dogs in the shelter. She passed with flying colours. She was great, pooped an peed when we entered the park and listened to our directions, and it looked like she already had accepted us as her new bosses. We even dared to let her go off-leash, and she ran from Alison to me when I called her, and in the other direction when Alison called her.
After the walk we took her home, and took her and Poupoune for a short walk around the block so they could get acquainted on neutral terrain. Then she entered her new home. This to great dismay of Poupoune who is in general not fond of other dogs, and in particular hates to share her house with other dogs. She’ll has to get used to her new housemate, the time she was the sole master of the house is over. Plume wants to play with her, but gets a growl in return. She has to play with other dogs, in the dog park; Poupoune only plays with humans.
Plume is a mutt, but we aren’t sure what breeds are in her pedigree. She’s definitely house trained, walks on the leash without pulling too much and even obeys when we call her. It doesn’t matter that she only bears the name Plume for a few days. It’s not a stray but either ran away from home and got lost, or the old owners dumped her when they went to hibernate in Florida. Or something like that.
Yesterday we made the house “Plume ready”: removed loose items from the floor, bought a water and food bowl for her (a very cool food bowl, with ribs so she can’t eat too fast) and a big bag of food. I also made a little door in opening of the broom closet door to block her from entering. The door starts about 20 cm from the floor and the resulting opening is just big enough for Poupoune to crawl in, so we can leave Poupoune’s food out and Plume can’t eat it. It also gives Poupoune her own den, so she can get some rest from the evil intruder.
Now Plume is lying on the floor in the kitchen in front of the fridge, attentively looking at the activity around her. I think she’s happy and I think we’re happy with her.
Jan 30 2010
Poupoune still doesn’t like it when I put her boots on. But she doesn’t bite me anymore, she just growls and shows her teeth. I can even do it myself now, without Alison holding her in a blanket. When the boots are on she stands frozen for a while in protest, but when the door opens she trots through the hallway, happily wagging her tail. Tadadum, tadadum, tadadum…
It was cold today and after a while, even with her wind proof coat, the cold got to her. She still followed us but with difficulty, and was really happy when we were home and she could shed the clothes and boots and warm up near the fire. Oh wait, we have no fire.
She’s getting older and doesn’t have the energy for really long walks. She has a chronic liver condition, and has only a few more years to live, at most. I’m fearing the moment we have to put her down. Of all the dogs I had in my life, she’s by far the dearest to me.
Aug 22 2009
It’s almost two weeks now since we had Pepe killed. Every day there are many moments I’m reminded of him. When I look next to the bed: his crate, where he used to sleep in, albeit quite a while ago since after last summer he almost always slept in our bed. When I open the drawer with the dog collars and leashes: no red harness anymore. When I come home: no jumping and yapping dog that is so exited and happy to see me. When I open the fridge: no can of special soft food. When I load the dishwasher: much less bowls, forks and small spoons, used to prepare his food. When I sit outside on our terrace: his grave next to me.
Memories of him are good and I don’t cringe and tear-up anymore when I realize I won’t ever see him again.
Some of the reminders are quite negative though and I don’t mind that some things have changed. When I sleep: no heat emitting dog in between us, who needs to be carried outside three times a night to pee. Uninterrupted sleep and not nearly as much dog hair in the bed. When I walk in the house: no chance of walking in a puddle of dog piss. When I open the garbage can: no weewee pads, no stinky smell of decaying dog pee. When we go in the car to go for a walk: not howling Pepe in the back.
Poupoune in the mean time, really enjoys Pepe’s demise. She has changed a lot now she is the unchallenged alpha dog again, and is really much happier than before. She is also more affectionate, checking us out all the time: “What am I supposed to do?” It doesn’t help that she is very, very deaf and easily startled. The only thing she really misses is the Pepe-food. She cleaned up after he finished eating, and when she got the chance, emptied his bowl. She hasn’t given up hope, and expects that I will give her some soft food when she stares at me long enough while making complaining noises. I have to disappoint her, until she develops a disease of her own she has to eat her regular kibble.
She also gets more walks, since it’s much less of an expedition to walk just her. The only thing she hates even more than before is when I lock her up in the kitchen when I leave to work at a client. Then she apparently feels really alone, even though her companion was very annoying.
I write this post because I’m procrastinating. I’m working on the update of “Clean My Screen” and after some deliberation I’ve decided to put Pepe in as one of the cleaners, even though he is dead. He has a distinct cleaning style and an enormous long tongue and it has to be preserved. It took me a while but now I can see it as an homage and a monument.
I shot the footage of him licking during his last weekend, but he still looks and acts very healthy. Canned tuna water on a piece of glass does wonders. The video had to be cleaned (removing blemishes and blacking out the background) and I did that last week. It was a bit surreal, staring and retouching images of a dead dog for a couple of days (yes, it’s an elaborate process) but I could handle it by just pretending it was a random Chihuahua. But now i have to dub his licking sounds and that feels kind of spooky. It’s like I’m somehow reviving him by adding sound to the silent video.
However it has to be done, so back to work. The results can be admired soon on an iPhone or iPod touch near you.
May 29 2009
In the winter a water pipe broke under the porch that feeds the outside tap. I had drained the pipe and the tap was wide open but the pipe was slightly sagging and at its lowest point it froze, expanded and burst. Fixing it wasn’t a lot of work, but I had to crawl under the porch and it stinks of cat pee.
The pipe is fixed now, and A. can water the plants and I can use the hose to wash my car. Uhm no, I don’t wash the car, I haven’t done that since I bought it. I’m such a bad person.
Next year I’ll make sure to completely blow or suck all the water out of the pipe.
So, like, how did you know the pipe had burst?
And how did you fix the pipe?
I found out when I opened the valve and the water bursted out. Finding water leaks is usually not very hard. Leaking water makes a lot of noise. Gas leaks also make sound, but by the time they get loud it is usually too late.
I fixed the pipe by cutting out the piece of pipe shown above with a pipe cutter and by a putting new piece of pipe in it’s place connected with two lugs that I soldered.
Oct 7 2006
We had almost given up hope. It was getting dark, it drizzled and we were cold and exhausted. So we decided to leave the wild life viewing spot and hiked back to the car. And then there was a noise in the woods and a big moose crossed our path. He was very close and didn’t pay us much attention but just kept going its way. Our hearts were pounding, it was the first moose for both of us.
Too bad this photo was taken in The Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg and the moose in the previous paragraph was non-existant. We saw a lot of geese but no meese. Hecla island was almost deserted, the season was definitely over. The campsite closed, all shops closed and we couldn’t even find the hiking trail that was on our map. So we walked in a slight drizzle that later turned into rain along the shore over boulders and pebbles. We did see a couple of American Bald Eagles though, but they were pretty far away. Huge birds with a wingspan of 2 metres. And even though we had a bear cannister we didn’t see a bear either.
In the evening we decided to head back towards Winnipeg and camp somewhere there so we wouldn’t have to get up at 6 in order to catch our flight home.