Loic has it.
(the hat was the purchase - the goggles are just part of an everyday rain suit (duh) )
We went to the Ecology centre and Loic was deciding between a "cool Palaeontology helmet" (your child is brilliant, Erika!) and a squishy lizard. He went for the helmet...and then had the most intense case of buyer's remorse I have ever seen. He was happily sitting in the back and suddenly he burst into (pretty fake) tears and said "oh no I wanted a squishy lizard!".
Luckily, an elaborate game of digging for fossils cured him.
Abby might be broken. Cuddling? Really??
All of this hiking is tiring them out. They aren't spring chickens anymore. Ryan will be 6 in a month and Abby turns 9 this year. How did that happen??
Other than the grey you wouldn't know Abby is almost a senior...
This was her "I just found something REALLY EXCITING in that stump over there, why did you call me???" face.
Lucy is no senior.
It takes a lot to tire her out but it's so worth it...tired floppy Lucy is adorable!
My parents are away so I've been taking care of Lucy. I think she is finally starting to act a bit more mature. Today I noticed her choosing to settle down a few times without being forced to, even in the midst of toddler chaos. She wanted to cuddle with Loic...very cute!
I got her a new Lucy-sized ball yesterday and we went to the playground/field to practice playing fetch. She did great! She chased the ball as far as I could throw it and ran back with it at full speed every time. I was giving her tiny treats for returning the ball but I think she was almost at the point where the next ball throw was reinforcing enough to replace treats. I'm hoping to get her to the point where her own ball is more fun to chase than Ryan's tail....we'll see if that's possible.
I've been back just over a week and the dogs have gone hiking or on some kind of big outing every day. They are definitely getting the good end of this unemployment business. They haven't had every day hikes since I was in school almost 5 years ago.
Today I took them biking. Unfortunately I don't have a mountain bike (or the skills and coordination to use one) so I had to stick to a flatter gravel trail. What I didn't realize is that Ryan has never been biking with me...and that his somewhat robotic brain has trouble processing new things. Ryan is a very.good.dog. I don't think the thought of doing anything bad even occurs to him. Part of this is that he learns patterns and he sticks to them...when we go to the dog beach he follows the exact same path every time we go there and lays down in the same spots waiting to see if we will play ball. He never jumps out of the car before being released - again, I don't think the thought enters his mind.
Today as I started biking, Abby and Ryan ran ahead and Abby started to race down the grass embankment towards the road. I called both dogs and continued to bike. Abby came back up and kept running along the path...and I suddenly noticed that Ryan was gone. I looked behind me and he was wayyyy back (almost at the car 100 m away) and running full speed. Ryan never lets me out of his sight for more than a few seconds....but apparently the person he doesn't let out of his sight walks on two legs and is never on a bike. He must have heard me calling, saw some 'stranger' next to him on a bike, thought he lost me, and took off back to the car. When I called him again (loudly and frantically since he was just about to cross the road) he came racing back towards me and passed me *again* without even looking at me. It took 3 times and me getting off the bike for him to realize that the land version and bike version were in fact one and the same.
The rest of the ride was fun and uneventful...oh Ryan.
We had a good day today checking out the open house for a friend's new dog and cat boarding facility (http://www.adogslifek9centre.ca/). It's on about 10 acres and is awesome...I'm pretty sure my dogs would have liked to stay (me too, actually!) There is an agility field out back - and soon a dock dogs pool! - and it was a rare sunny day today so it was perfect for running around like crazy. Ryan especially enjoyed the muddy ditch to cool off in afterwards. Luckily there is also a dog bath on site.
I really should have brought my camera...instead I just have these phone photos from when the dogs were drying off on Erika's deck afterwards. I have no idea why Abby sits so far away from the door (or stands on the deck table). She is an odd girl.
She is getting much more lenient in her old age, though. I didn't think I'd ever catch her sharing a bed with anyone! This photo is really blurry but still...cute!
I'm back home to the dogs and to 'real' life again. My parents and Emma took great care of them while I was away for the last two months. Ryan was as excited to see me as he is when I'm away for 10 seconds (as in, crying, wiggling, mind blown, needs to find a toy to put in his mouth, excited) but Abby was just....weird. My mom brought her to the airport to meet me and she stood on the sidewalk staring at me, then walked over to pee in the dirt and jumped back in the car. She sat on my lap facing me and sniffing my face for about 5 minutes in the front seat then jumped in the back and curled up in a tiny little ball. When we got home she put herself to bed. It seemed like her brain just short circuited and she didn't know what to do with the situation. She is slowly getting back to normal - maybe she just thought I would turn around and leave again. My poor little girl :)
Adopting Abby in 2005 gave me a crash course on owning a high drive dog...I liked it so much that I adopted Border Collie puppy Ryan two years later.
These are the (no)tails of my adventures in agility, flyball, sheep herding, general training and daily life with two NuttyMutts....and with some pictures of sea lions and other aquatic life thrown in since I worked at an aquarium.