Well, It’s Good For the Soil

26 07 2017

the incontinent gardener.png

Pup Of the Week 2

26 07 2017

2014-09-21 10.47.28.jpgA baby Staffordshire? I could be wrong. I spied him on my sea wall run along False Creek in Vancouver. He could barely walk since he only had a nodding acquaintance with his legs, not unlike Theatre Row in our city after 2am.

Erudite Basset Hound

21 07 2017

The smell of books makes me . . . me . . . zzzzzzz . . .At my local bookstore this was the sight I beheld in the stacks. Another dead dog? Nope. A very much alive 10 year old Basset named Jud. Talk about the Life of Riley. He was clearly a reader in a previous life.





Jack/Fox mix!

18 07 2017

IMG_4040.JPGAnother amazing dog, this time, a fox terrier and Jack Russell mix. My sister had a fox terrier for 12 years, so self-possessed and affectionate! (So was the dog, rimshot here) I can only imagine this mixture is a species of Superdog. He must be approached by movie and TV directors all the time.

Just Smile

16 07 2017


images.jpegI once had a manager who would motivate us to smile with this (cough) excellent advice: ‘You’re ugly when you don’t smile.’  Isn’t that akin to saying ‘Imagine your worst enemy being drawn and quartered until . . . . they’ve had enough’, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, in order to bolster a smile? Perhaps I underestimated her managerial brilliance – does it matter, the means, as long as the result is satisfactory? It did work, after a fashion, all of our faces emblazoned with feverish rictus grins. Of course, we were all of us green as grass, and probably would have done parkour in our birthday suits if asked. Just carry a pencil or pen in your mouth at all times, is my advice. In theory, these facial muscles will somehow engender a feeling of well being, since they are the ‘smiling muscles’. It does double duty in that you will be unable to talk which, in my case, is usually my undoing.

Thx for reading!


14 07 2017


Saw this cutie-pie in (when else) the middle of my run and HAD to stop to say hello! The owner was unsure of the mix beyond King Charles spaniel, I thought perhaps beagle? Well, his name was “Bagel” so . . .

I wanted to play with him but needed to complete the run! :-)

My First Dog

9 07 2017

20170630_090525.jpgHey that’s me, fresh out of the womb! Beside me, Harold, our cocker spaniel, who had a few months on me. His worldliness had always made me feel inferior. Named after Harold MacMillan, a British PM (or so I am led to believe, there are no other Harolds of note, Hark the Unknown-3.jpegHarold Angels Sing notwithstanding). Named by my dad for reasons of his own. Physical likeness to the PM? His pragmatism, wit, and unflappability?

Harold (the canine version, not human) lived a goodish life, til he was about 13, when his life took a turn for the worse: he died. Memories are mainly of him in either the pursuit or consumption of food, a fair summary of my life to this point.

One time he ate our dinner at a campground in southern Manitoba, a few steaks and a 12 pack of weiners. Dogs seldom refuse food, if one does, it should be taken to a vet for an immediate psych evaluation.  After The Incident, it was agreed that shortening Harold’s rope would prevent future barbecued meat binges.

After that, on his birthday, he would get a special treat: either a cooked steak, or a 12-pack of weiners, which he would wolf down in a most unsatisfying manner, especially when he would follow it up with a doggy look of ‘what’s next?’ I know what you’re all thinking, and yes, we did specially barbecue the weiners, not just give him 12 raw hot dogs. We’re not barbarians.



Other great memories: hosing him down in the basement, removing his ticks and burrs. These activities were always fraught with peril given his tendency to snap at any assault on his body. He would likewise make aggressive overtures to the milkman (4am delivery back in the day, frozen 2 litre milk popsicles in 50 below winters), the paperboy, and the mailman. He despised these uniformed invaders of his territory, how they plagued him.

He would chase a tennis ball, which my father would hit with a tennis racquet. Both ball and dog would become dots on the horizon. The balls would return slathered with a viscous fluid and be rendered useless. One could also throw a Frisbee or stick, neither of which would be returned. Harold only liked the tennis ball.

Okay, he was no prize winner (even of the ‘participant’ variety) , and he was the opposite of obedient, but he was OUR dog. He was faithful to us, and despised almost everyone else until ‘he got to know you’. That usually entailed a prolonged visit, dinner, drinks, cigars in the parlour, dancing by moonlight. My Nanna came to visit and they got on like a house on fire by the end of it. Mind you, she stayed a month or so.

Thanks for reading about Harold! Here’s a picture of Harold refusing food from my Nanna.