We Made The Best of 2020

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Let’s just start this off with saying…… It wasn’t a normal year by any means and it had many difficult moments. Thankfully our family and close friends have all been okay. And by okay I mean frazzled stressed isolated depressed anxious and on their last nerve but not sick. This is where we knock on wood.

Positives….. camping season was not cancelled. We were limited in visiting with our seasonal campground “family” so campfire socialising wasn’t a regular even but. to be honest, as an introvert the social distancing isn’t a big jump for me. Actually that’s probably why I haven’t had an overly difficult time with the isolation. I usually just want to chill with Daisy & Wheaton!

We hiked & we camped just as we always do….. this helped tremendously.

There were some downsides. I would have enjoyed seeing my nephew nugget more, FaceTime visiting just isn’t the same. I miss hugs. Yes. Hugs. I may be an introvert but when I’m around my peeps I tend to hug. Wheaton did his best to help me through this……

Hugging my leg while he naps
Needing his Momma
More lap snuggles
Wheatie asking for more loves

He’s a big comfort when I need hugs.

Perhaps this year didn’t break me because I go to weekly therapy sessions and was able to work through some of my corona anxiety and depression and frustration?

Thank you therapy.

What I’m saying is that we did our best to make the best of the crappy year we were dealt. On the cusp of the end of 2020 we hope y’all can find some positives to the last 12 months too. Even if you have to dig deep, please try to end this evening with gratitude and joy.

A 2020 morning sunbeam

With love, kindness and warm hugs,

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

Heal Me and I’ll Heal You…

My boy is a healer. He knows just the right moment and just what I need before I know that’s what I needed.

Last night we went to bed early, I was just so exhausted and feeling a bit empty. Just blah.

Wheaton and Daisy always sleep cuddled up with me. Wheaton likes to nestle in up against my side with his head in the crook of my armpit and then I rest my hand on him and rub his belly. Daisy curls up in the nook between my neck & shoulder and I feel her breath and hear her little sleepy snores and snorts.

There was such comfort in feeling Wheatie stretch his warm little body tight against my side. With every stretch he lets out a sigh and burrows his head into my armpit crook a little more. He relaxes me. He soothes me. He comforts me. All of this in the quiet bedtime cuddle.

So even though the Netflix show was over and my eyes were heavy and my arm was falling asleep I stayed just like that…… grateful for this moment and wanting time to stand still.

Daisy’s sleepy snores in my ear and her breath against my neck. Wheaton pushing himself against me so I know he’s there and he’s comforting me.

Sleeping Daisy
Sleeping Wheaton

Our animal companions are so special, aren’t they. We are so lucky. I’m blessed to have these two little fur babies. My gratitude is over and ever flowing.

I waited for Wheaton to stir, and then I slowly rolled onto my side for my regular sleep position. He pushed up against my back. Daisy, against my shoulder & neck, hardly moved. The troubles of the day/week/month melted away and sleep took over.

Happy Gotcha Day!

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There is so much happening in my head these days that I almost forgot that today is Wheatie’s “gotcha day”!

6 years ago today the rescue gals brought this terrified matted diaper wearing broken little dog to my house for a trial visit.
He poked his head out of the kennel and then ran straight to the corner to hide.
He had spent his first 4 years in a filthy cage in a puppy mill, scared of people, neglected and abused.

He was in terrible shape.
I knew I loved him already I just hoped it was enough…..


6 years later and this little goofball is exactly where he was meant to be!

4 years of hell and 6 years of this new life….my boy is 10 now! Wow!

Sometimes we have to go through something terrible to get to the wonderful waiting on the other side.

I promise you Wheaton that I will do my best to keep making it wonderful!
My little Wheatie boy, Momma loves you so much!

2020 Camping Season

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Well our camping season has ended…and it was pretty great all things considered. I’m an introvert so gatherings are not my thing. We have our regular camping crew that we visit and share a fire with usually one of the evenings on a weekend but mostly we hike or hang at the site on our own.

We did many hikes, saw many sunsets, enjoyed MANY campfires, and lots of sleeping bag snuggles. It seemed like there were less thunderstorms…I’m positive Wheaton was thankful for that!

It’s always so difficult to say goodbye to the season…especially in a “draw” campground because you never know if you’ll make it into the draw next season let alone get your same site! We’ve been VERY lucky! It helps that our favourite site is small and basic! So many folks have the big fancy RV’s and they want a bigger site with electricity!

We made it through the season without any skunk or bear encounters. Yay!

We look forward to the 2021 season and hope to see all the “regulars”.

End of the Season – Packed up and saying Goodbye

Summer 2020…Just Doing Our Thing

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Wow. I’m not a consistent blogger.

If you’re reading this…thank you for sticking around!!

To be honest we’re just trudging along doing our thing and I think to myself “i should put something in the blog” but then more things happen and weeks go by…and then you realize it’s been months!! Oops!

But we’re here.

Last time we checked in camping was just about to start and now we’re 3/4 of the way through the season. Ugh. It goes SO fast! It’s been great! The weather has been perfect (if you like sweating).

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We hike through the forest trails and walk the shoreline as usual…loving it like always! The fur littles have never met a hike they didn’t enjoy!

I just posted a video to my Instagram a few days ago of Wheaton being playful and silly.  I captioned that a lot of people only see the scared skittish timid side to him and think “oh poor Wheaton” but no…not at all…he’s a happy playful goofball!  He has all these parts of his character and it makes me a little sad that not everyone gets to see these other sides!

In other summer news; I just had a deck added on to the back of our little house…and it has become our new favourite (non camping) place to hang out! We now have (contained) outside space to just chill! It’s the only time I’ve ever procrastinated while getting ready to go camping….it’s so cozy that I find my early morning coffee turns into mid morning reading and lounging…when I was planning on packing the car and hitting the road!

In a nutshell, we are making the BEST of Summer 2020.

We hope you are too.

With love & kindness,

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton!

Pillow Talk with Wheaton

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Hello folks, Wheaton here….

Momma’s been laying low for the last couple months…she says there’s some virus going around so we are staying home more and getting lots of cuddle time! I think she told you a few posts ago how much I love the cuddles now!! She even calls me her “snuggly boy”.  Sometimes, even though my sister Daisy was there first, I push my butt in next to her and then I push till I can be wedged in between Daisy and Momma! Daisy gets real mad at me when I do this but she forgives me.

We are getting lots of walks and we still get to go to work with Momma….there’s no one to bark at though! In fact it’s so quiet that we just sleep all day while Momma works.  The good news…actually GREAT news…is that in a few more days we’re going to start camping again! I can’t wait to smell all the stuff that’s happened out at our campsite! Momma’s real excited cause we get to park the camper in our favourite spot again! She tells me only “4 more sleeps” but I think she means HER sleeps…cause Daisy & I have already had like 4 naps today!

Speaking of naps…Momma thinks I’m pretty handsome when I’m sleeping and when I first wake up she thinks I’m funny cause she giggles at me…what do you think?

Sometimes I wake up and catch her with her phone in her hand and I know I’m looking cute…uhh, cause I look cute all the time! Right!?

It gets warm under the covers so I move to the pillows after I’ve had my snuggle “fix”. It’s so cozy in the pillows with the cat and the bunny – they don’t say much or move when I step on them? Momma says they’re “stuffed”? Whatever they are, they’re soft and I like to snuggle them too!  This is when Momma laughs at me.  I love mornings when I get sleepy belly rubs, Momma always tells us we make her late for work cause she can’t stop cuddling with us…I think that’s a perfectly good reason to be late.

Wheatie Pillow 13Wheatie Pillow 16

Wheatie Pillow 19Speaking of cuddling…I can never decide who I want to cuddle with more…Daisy or Momma, so I switch it up….

They don’t seem to mind…they always have time for my cuddles! In fact, right about now seems like a great time for some cuddle time with Momma..Wheatie Pillow 11

We hope everyone is keeping well and we highly recommend that you all find some cuddle time.

Bye for now.

Wheaton

xoxo

 

Saturday in the Park…

Now that I get a full night’s sleep I wake up at 6am even on the weekend….no need to sleep in when you slept all night!

3F730755-A9A2-41D8-A6EF-1EE2B258742DIt was so nice I figured we needed an early morning park walk. So we went to a little park just outside the city limits, La Barrier Park. It was early enough that there were only a few other cars there and we only saw other people and dogs in the parking lot. Which gave us the freedom to be leash-less for our trail walk!!

I caught them both mid shake! CFFEF77D-9826-4801-BCC3-363E6694BFF4

It was such a beautiful morning walk through the trails….the sun shining through the trees and just the sounds of birds chirping and snow crunching under my feet.

There are just some things that set your mind at ease and make everything feel right….for me it’s hiking through wooded trails with my fur littles. I feel the energy from the forest and it calms me and clears my mind. It’s my form of meditation. But the BEST part is how happy it makes Daisy & Wheaton.

In total we trekked over 3kms of trail, for Daisy & Wheaton’s littles legs running back and forth and through snow that’s a days worth of exercise…… the next pic is 5 minutes after we got home….

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Ooooh That Smell….

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Wheatie camper 1

Snoots….

A dog’s nose is an amazing piece of natural technology. I completely understand that my dogs need to check & recheck the route every time we go for a walk. Not just to check the “pee-mails” and send their replies but this tells them what’s going on, who’s around, if there is someone new in the hood…etc…it’s their social network!

A walk isn’t just a walk, it’s a status update, a form of communication for them. It’s their “dog thing”. I mean really they are so FAR removed from being the primal wolves they came from…they may still eat raw but they’re not tearing it from a carcass! They sleep in plush dog beds, have full access to the couch, cuddle under a duvet with me every night, they wear sweaters & boots when the weather turns chilly….and the only thing they “kill” is a squeaky toy or my balled up socks!

noseThey need time to still be animal dogs…not just lap dogs! It’s in their DNA to sniff!! And if we impatiently jerk the leash to get them away from the tree, the pole, the hydrant, the fence and every 4th blade of grass….we take that need away from them.  The walk isn’t about me, it’s not about where I want to go, it’s for them. The only thing I need to control is in the morning when we have to get to work, once they’ve completed the necessary jobs we can start turning back for home. But on walks when we’re just free ranging, they call the shots! We go where their noses want to go, if they want to sniff a tree for 5 minutes because there’s a LOT of info there then I wait. If we come to a fork in the trail or a crossroad and they want to go left – we go left.  The best scenario is when we’re somewhere that they can be off leash…then the stop & sniff becomes more of an adventure! And I can see they’re happiest when they have the freedom to explore and sniff, and go back and sniff again and usually pee on the spot to send their reply!! Snout

I just read this interesting post from Dr. Karen Becker from her Healthy Pets updates. Here is the story at a glance:

Story at-a-glance

  • A team of citizen science researchers in France monitored the pulse rates of 61 dogs on short walks, both on leash and off
  • Their results show that the activity of sniffing lowers dogs’ pulse rates, especially when they’re on a long leash, and off leash
  • Another instinctive activity that lowered the dogs’ pulse rates was “shaking it off” while walking and sniffing
  • These study results provide additional evidence of the benefits to dogs of being allowed to sniff the world around them
  • It’s important to your dog’s physical and mental well-being that you give her lots of opportunities to sniff up a storm on her walks with you

For the full article please follow this link:

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/03/02/benefits-of-sniffing-for-dogs.aspx?cid_source=petsnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1HL&cid=20200302Z1&et_cid=DM473149&et_rid=821325306

So yes, sniffing is a BIG deal!

2015-06-20 11.51.22Top 10 Dog Breeds with the Best Sense of Smell
  • #1 Bloodhound…
  • #2 Basset Hound. …
  • #4 German Shepherd. …
  • #5 Labrador Retriever. …
  • #6 Belgian Malinois. …
  • #7 Bluetick Coonhound. …
  • #8 Black and Tan Coonhound. …
  • #9 Golden Retriever…
  • #10 Dachshund…

 

As for the animal kingdom, according to the number of scent receptors, the bear has the best sense of smell of all terrestrial mammals. Bears are thought to have the best sense of smell of any animal on earth. For example, the average dog’s sense of smell is 100 times better than a humans. A blood hound’s is 300 times better. … A bear’s sense of smell is so acute that they can detect animal carcasses upwind and from a distance of 20 miles away. Black bears have been observed to travel 18 miles in a straight line to a food source, while grizzly bears can find an elk carcass when it’s underwater and polar bears can smell a seal through 3 feet of ice. 

I once did a nature hike with a small group at a national park that was led by a ranger…the guided hike was specifically about the black bears in the park. We got to see an abandoned bear den, we saw how a bear marks its territory on trees, and learnt about recognizing bear scat & tracks.  We were told that a black bear could smell a stick of gum in our pocket from over 5kms away. This is why you don’t keep food in your tent! Or gum for that matter! Actually anything that smells like food; like fruity scented body lotions, yummy lip balm, the clothes you wore when you cooked your hamburgers for supper. When in “Bear Country”, if the car is close by store all your stuff in the car, or use a bear box or even hang it in a tree at night, but do not bring it to your tent! yogi-boo-boo-yogi-bear-movie-wallpaper-2

So when you have those 5 dog treats in your pocket and you only give your fur littles 4 and they keep licking their lips….it’s not that they can count…it’s that they can smell the other treat in your pocket!

Smell ya later!

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

 

We Have a Visitor…

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It’s that time of year again…Miss Bailey the “crazy” high energy Min Pin mix has come for a visit.  She will be staying with us for 12 days which means she’ll be coming to work with us too! She is part of our whole routine. This is them at work…… it’s a bit chilly in my office area so I have a radiant heater, Daisy enjoys warming her belly by the “fire”. Wheatie is zonked and half out of his bed as usual. And Bailey has made the best out of a bed that’s a little smaller than she’s used to (her actual bed stays at the house cause it’s too big to lug to work every day). She doesn’t seem bothered!

It’s always an adjustment when we have a house guest…it’s a change to the routine and GAWD I love a routine! Most people with high level anxiety do love routine…it’s predictable and well…routine!  And yes it’s pretty much the same….Bailey is a dog; she eats, she poops, she sleeps, she walks…but it’s different. She comes with her own way of doing things and it takes a while to acclimate to our way of doing things.  In the winter she doesn’t really go for walks every day, she’s a bit more go outside in the yard and do your thing kinda dog…mine, not so much. Wheatie does go out for his “quick pees” those are the ones where he has to pee and Daisy does not so he just runs down the steps, pees and runs back in, they are the mid evening pees or the 2am pees!! Our usual routine is morning walk, after work walk and before bed walk.  Bailey likes the walking but it’s one more dog to do sweater and harness & boots for…this she is not really use to so it’s like dressing a 2 year old to go outside!

Then there’s the walking…she LOVES a walk….but doesn’t always want to complete the business side of things!  She’s just out for the scenery really and I need this to be for the pooping…we’ve got things to do & places to go!

Really it’s just different. And sometimes different is just different enough to activate my anxiety. It’s not Bailey’s fault, she’s a pretty good guest….although I think Daisy would disagree.

Sure looks like they all get along when you see them like this…..

All in all it’s not such a difficult task to have Bailey included in our routine for 12 days. The leashes get a bit more tangled, she did throw up in the back seat the other day which was LOVELY to clean up on the day when it felt like minus 30 with the wind, and there’s a much bigger poop to pick up a couple times a day…always making sure I have 2 bags in my pockets!!  Bailey is a bit “prey reactive” so she sometimes gets a bit too focused on Daisy, after all her breed were bred to hunt rats and while Daisy is NO rat…she’s small and could look like prey.  It can get intense cause Daisy does not tolerate any bullshit! My little 5 pound fluff-ball is one feisty scrapper, she doesn’t appreciate being eyeballed, this happens over a toy or if Daisy is on the floor and Bailey is above on the couch…like a mountain lion stalking her prey!!  They are never left alone together and I keep my eyes on them for signs of escalation!! As for Wheaton, he just turns his bum towards Bailey, that’s his signature “let’s play” maneuver, the “bum nudge”. He’s pretty funny!

Cheer Squad Feb 2020This past Wednesday I was running on the treadmill, the couch is right behind where the treadmill is and all three of them were in their respective spots…I could feel 6 eyes on me as I was running.  I feel pretty lucky to have such a cute cheer squad.  It must have been because I was running before dinner time!  They were all just waiting patiently for me to be finished so I would go do the important stuff…like fill their bowls!

Our “12 days of Bailey” is almost done, she will go home to her humans on Sunday. They are always super grateful that she has a safe place to stay when they go on holiday. A place where she gets all the walks (and then some), all the treats, all the cuddles, etc. that she would get at home. They always comment that she seems a little sad when they get her home…like she’s missing hanging out at our place! This is good, cause at least I know that even though she’s missing her routine and her humans she’s at least enjoying herself with us!

I mean she seems quite content….

 

Have a great weekend!

In peace and in kindness,

Jenn, Daisy, Wheaton….and Bailey!