Grace the golden retriever

She turns five years old on June 21st.

anti-winter humour photo project on FB

Today in honour of how bleak the grinding, bitter, ferocious winter has made me feel, I fought back with an anti-winter humour photo project on Facebook.  I set up a Facebook page for Grace the golden retriever who lets me stay in her house.


Grace will offer photos and advice on being a dog and being a human.


first swim of 2006

first swim of 2006 by gnawledge wurker
first swim of 2006, a photo by gnawledge wurker on Flickr.

from my flickr posting in 2006: “I dont know why but this year Shakey was less interested in starting the swimming season. In the past he and his sister would have gone in even with the remnants of ice on shore. At any rate, yesterday he went for his first swim of the season. He also managed to find the skeleton of a large fish, a muskellunge.

I am always amused when he finds a dead fish washed up on shore and goes and rolls on it. I understand that this is to mask his scent. The only trouble is I have this mental image that forms of a couple of bunnies in the woods, a half mile from shore, sniffing the air. One says to the other, “Gee, I wonder what a dead fish is doing walking into our woods.”

It was 22 C. yesterday, warm enough for shorts for me. On the other hand, a few days ago the temperature dropped for two days and we had highs of just 2 above freezing. We have a curious Spring in these parts.”

Shakespeare passed away at age ten years and three months.  He was a wonderful dog and we miss him.  The dog in our lives now is Miss Grace, who is four years old and still very much a pup.

Grace and Remington dance

This afternoon I took Grace down the street to play with her pals, Rufus and puppy Remington. They have a fenced in backyard and after the heavy rains it dried out enough today to go wrestling without becoming chocolate labs.

Grace takes a break from her work to look out at Georgian Bay

The typewriter in the foreground is a 1960s vintage West German made Olympia.

We had some trouble yesterday and are still waiting to see the final result. This summer has been a bad one for neighbours choosing to light fires either for decoration/nostalgia or to get rid of gardening residue. Either way if the wind cooperates, the cottage turns into a smokehouse. My sister has asthma and the smoke bothers her a great deal. Two days ago, the wind angle and the smoke worked together for maximum effect and to counter its effect she put on a particle mask. I finally went over and told the neighbour that the smoke was really bothering us and her specifically. He apologized and doused it. It is amazing how smoke clings. I will long remember her with mask on taping garbage bags to cover the window air conditioner unit since it was right in line with the smoke to prevent more infiltration. At the end of the evening she put the mask in the waste basket in the bathroom.

Yesterday, while my sister was out working in the garden, Grace got annoyed to be left inside, began barking a great deal. My sister came in and found half of the mask on the floor and some other stuff from the garbage. The mask is mainly paper with a cloth elastic band to go around the back of your head, and has two tiny staples to hold that band in place. It also has a a thin malleable metal band which is there so you can bend it over the bridge of your nose to ensure a tight fit. She looked everywhere but no elastic band, staples or metal strip could be found. Conclusion: Grace ate them.

So off to the vet. We brought along an intact mask to show the vet. Xray showed the staples. No sign of the metal strip. But Grace’s stomach was full of food and it might have concealed it. Bottom line, if she starts vomiting, we are in trouble and likely she will need surgery. Or she may simply pass these things through her system.

Sometimes owning a dog can be very distressing.

Today we will buy a new waste basket for the bathroom, one with a lid that can be locked.

We still have a baby lock on the handles of the doors of the cupboard under the kitchen sink where we store cleaning supplies, like Windex and Comet. As a puppy she found that plastic thing interesting and gnawed on it a little. I must confess I feel a sense of triumph whenever I manage to unlock the baby lock to get in there.

Grace seems fine. God I hope she is going to be allright.